Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Addams Family (Playmates Toys)

They're creepy AND they're kooky? What kind of family could a combination like that churn out? The Addams Family of course.

In 1992, Hanna-Barbera launched an all new animated series on ABC based off of that classic family which first started their iconic time in the spotlight in 1938 as a live action show. The show ran for just a little over a year before it was pulled, but still managed to crank out 21 episodes over two seasons during that short time frame.

The most interesting thing the show seemed to have going for it, but which was unknown to most children, was that John Astin, the original actor to play Gomez in the 30's also voiced the animated Gomez.

Playmates Toys, who had seen huge success with their figures based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line was licensed to release figures based on the show from the start. This was typical for Saturday morning cartoons to be launched with toys as the shows themselves were often times considered by parents to be thirty minute toy advertisements.

The packaging was very vivid and eye catching with its mixture of yellows, purples and shades of red. Each card back included a "family portrait" of the figure inside (picture G.I. Joe file cards) which offered a few tidbits on the character's background. The top of the card showed a group shot of the family all snapping their fingers to resemble the opening theme song, while the middle of the card was reserved to show the other figures available in the line.

The figures saw little success (much like the show), and Playmates ceased production on them prior to the cartoon series ending. This is perhaps a good thing as there was room for only a handful more of figures (such as Wednesday and Cousin It) before it would have to rely on variant figures or some other form of cliché to milk the series for every dime it was worth.

I can't personally help but think that between Hanna-Barbera/ABC and Playmates, they were banking the entire series on the "snap, snap" portion of the theme song in hopes that kids would pick up on it, find it fun, and dive deep into the series as a result. Obviously, that didn't happen.

Today the figures can be obtained for anywhere from $5.00 to $10.00 each. On occasion the Morticia figure has been known to sell for $20.00, but that is a rare occurrence. Overall, it's not a bad set of figures, it's just not a very good one.

Join us next time for our look at Hellraiser!

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1 comment:

  1. The comic strip started in The New Yorker in 1938, the live action t.v. show aired from 1964 to 1966.


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