Not every movie deserves a line of action figures, but lord knows if there's a buck to be made, someone's gonna make it. Movie Merchandise from Hell deals primarily with action figures, vehicles, and playsets from movies that didn't merit a line of toys, but can also cover generally horrific merchandising decisions. This week, John Travolta's failed attempt to launch the first scientology fiction film with the notorious flop Battlefield Earth.
On the outside chance you've never experienced the horrors of Battlefield Earth firsthand, it's basically a grimy Planet of the Apes-esque survival adventure where the apes are 8-foot tall dreadlocked weirdos and the humans are a bunch of grunting cavemen, and it's shot with a constant dutch angle complete with frequent Star Wars-wipes. It's total dog shit and not worth watching at all, unless you want to see John Travolta ham it up like he's never hammed it up before.
The movie came and went quickly in May 2000, yet the merchandise hung around much longer than the movie. Moving from clearance endcap to clearance endcap at my local Toys R Us and Target stores, eventually turning up at discount retailers, and still kicking around the occasional yard sale and "Free, take me please" boxes. The Half Price Books near my house will sometimes get them in, causing me to reminisce about the 12" Talking Terl figure that my roommate Les got me as a gag gift.
Frequent cries of "Exterminate all man animals at will!" at two in the morning soon became the norm, and just looking at this magnificent hunk of plastic is enough to make me teary eyed for my former glory. Click here to see a video of him saying all his awesome catchphrases from the movie.
There was also a line of six action figures, cleverly produced in scale to one another. The figures of invading alien Psychlos Terl and Ker (played by Forest Whitaker) were about five and a half inches, while the four human action figures were around 3 3/4" tall. Let's take a closer look, shall we...
Man, so many adventures you could have with this figure. So many great scenes from the movie to reenact. And yes, both Terl action figures come with a pile of gold because as well all know, John Travolta loves gold...
Perhaps you could use your Ker and Terl figures to recreate that classic scene where they scream at each other about leverage.
Because Barry Pepper's Jonnie was the hero of the movie, he got two figures. One in his prisoner getup, and the other attached to that stupid learning chair from the movie...
Tig from Sons of Anarchy (aka discount Vincent Gallo) played Carlo, so if you're looking to create your own line of 3 3/4" Sons of Anarchy figures, this is a great place to fill in a piece of that puzzle.
Finally we've got the Forest Warrior, one of whom was played in the film by Richard Tyson, the bad guy from Kindergarten Cop. So maybe grab yourself a ReAction Terminator and get to Kindergarten Copping.
There were also 3 vehicles for the film, wildly out of scale, though you could fit the humans in the jet & tank...
So there you have it. Next time, we'll take a look at the toy line from 1999's Virus starring Jamie Lee Curtis and a Baldwin. Ooo, which Baldwin will it be?
Big thank you to the good folks over at Figure Realm for the pics.