Cheech and Chong's Up In Smoke
Cheech and Chong took the act of being stoners, and turned it into an art form which took the 70's and 80's by storm. Though the duo had begun their act in the 60's, it wouldn't be until 1971 that they cut and released their first comedy LP, the self titled Cheech & Chong. From there they took off, releasing albums fairly consecutively each year, and branching into films by 1978 with the widely popular Up in Smoke.
In 2003, NECA produced a very limited series of action figures based on the aforementioned film title. Though there was certainly room to grow, only Cheech and Chong were released for the line. When sales took off, NECA developed a second series, but once again only focused on the duo - This time in their garb from the final act of the film.
While the figures aren't difficult to find these days, doing so at a reasonable price can be a little frustrating for casual collectors who aren't necessarily interested in a steep investment. Though they have been known to sell for as little as $12.00 each, most second hand dealers ask between $40.00 and $100.00 for a set of two. In addition, series two is much easier to find than series one.
Though we won't go into them here (because they're rather difficult to track down), NECA also branched the Cheech and Chong license out to 18 inch plush dolls as well as bobbleheads, which they called Head Knockers. They also produced several non toy related merchandise such as a van and head sculpted Stash Jars - AKA cookie jars.
Regardless of their continued popularity, Cheech Marin separated himself from the duo's act in 1985, choosing to instead focus on a solo career. Though the two continued to have a steady stream of fans, neither saw the same success as when they were working together.
The two have since reunited, and a sequel to Up in Smoke is rumored to be in the works. Whether the film sees the light of day or not is another story. Though they were arguably one of the funniest acts of their time, these days, especially at their age, it's questionable as to whether or not it would be funny to see the two pick up where they left off. Perhaps it's one of those things that are better off left alone. Then again, maybe the two will actually be able to pull it off. We suppose time will tell.
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