Thursday, October 18, 2012

Vampirella (Moore Action Collectibles)

The character Vampirella is often times mistaken to have been created in the mid 1990's. This was due to the character seeing a massive resurgence in popularity, thanks in part to adult screen actress Julie Strain who hit the road for several live appearances during this era at various comic book conventions across the nation.

However, she was actually created in 1969 by Forrest J Ackerman and costume designer Trina Robbins. The character was mainly utilized as a horror-story hostess (such as the capacity of Elvira) until issue number eight were she was developed by writer-editor Archie Goodwin to a more dramatically leading character.

Since then, stories under the title of the character have been produced by multiple companies such as Warren Publishing (1969-1983), Harris Publications (1983-2007), and Dynamite Entertainment (2010-2011). The various mini series that were produced by Harris Publications from 1991-2007 are what brought about the largest resurgence of the character.

In the year 2000, Moore Action Collectibles attempted to capitalize on the Vampirella image with a small toy line based on the character. In fact, it was only based on the character as the only figures produced were of her.

To date, this series goes down as the only one we know that produced an intentional variant figure that was packaged backwards. Obviously there are some fans out there who simply enjoy plastic behinds, and this variant was very appealing to them.

A second version known as "Harvest Moon" was also produced. This depicted the character in a white and black outfit, as opposed to her typical red one. The packaging was also changed from the initial blue cardboard backer to an orange/peach one.

Despite the success of the comic book, fans actually enjoyed the live appearances more. Something about a skimpy outfit on a slim woman with nothing to apparently hide got the blood flowing for a lot of "men". This is where Julie Strain comes into the picture. Ms. Strain was not the first model to dawn the Vampirella outfit, nor was she the last. She is however one of the most well known persons to do so.

As a result of this combined popularity of both the character and model, a couple "Julie Strain" based figures were produced. Both were made exclusive to Fandom and Tower Records. The first being the purple carded version, and the second being a boxed version.

A third exclusive, "Golden" Vampirella was produced for various toy shows in 2001. This would also be the last figure produced for the line.

The character Vampirella never saw the success of characters such as Spider-Man, Superman or Spawn, but the series produced under her name do have a loyal fan base. A film was produced in 1996 staring Talisa Soto, Roger Daltrey, Richard Joseph Paul, and Corinna Harney, directed by Jim Wynorski that went straight to video. Despite there being an announcement of a sequel in the credits, the second film never came to be.

Join us next time when we take a look at Video Game Super Stars - Resident Evil!

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