Killer Klowns From Outer Space (Amok Time)

Killer Klowns From Outer Space
Amok Time

Amok Time gets the Official Seal of Awesomeness for their 2013 renditions of Shorty and Tiny from the 1988 cult classic, Killer Klowns From Outer Space. While this wasn't the first time these characters have received a plastic rendering, it was certainly one of the more accurate to their actual movie counterparts (in terms of sculpt and paint job).

The movie starred...Well, nobody really. John Vernon is really the only person most people will recognize, and even then they won't know him by name. The film is your typical "B" movie horror flick. It has corny dialog, cheesy special effects, and a cast that (mostly) went on to do very little, never seeming to break out in Hollywood.

So what makes the film so great? Well...It's one of those so bad it's good movies. You know the kind. The ones that you'd never sit through alone, but yet when you're with your buddies, possibly a case of beer, and a night of doing nothing, it turns out to be great.

The movie actually had sixteen different clown klowns in it, so it's rather disappointing that only two got produced. This of course was most likely due to poor sales at best. Let's face it, we don't know to many fans of the film in general - Let alone ones that collect action figures. It probably didn't help that Amok Times went out of business in 2014.

Honorable Mention

Now Playing Presents
State Of The Art Toys

State of the Art Toys gets an honorable mention for being the first company to produce figures based on the movie. Much like Amok Time, only two figures got produced. Because none of the klown characters were given  names officially on screen, these figures were only entitled "Klown".

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Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Die Cast (Kenner)

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Die Cast
1980 - 1983

Oh, why not? Let's pick up where we left off last week with the 1978 - 1980 Star Wars die cast vehicles...

After finding success in the toy isle with their aforementioned metal vehicles, Kenner continue into The Empire Strikes Back line with them. However, in doing so they mainly just re-released everything under the new film's banner, with a handful of new vehicles that followed.

The only new items to materialize were the bubble carded Snowspeeder, Slave I, Twin-Pod Cloud Car and larger boxed TIE Bomber. It's key to note that while the Imperial Cruiser was re-released, the name was changed to reflect it's proper name, Star Destroyer.

What's fun about these particular items (both the original Star Wars series and these all new The Empire Strikes Back releases) is that they can be incorporated into the vintage Micro-Collection. Granted there is still a scaling issue, but they still fit nicely when compared side by side.

Like the original series, these are far from common items to find on secondary markets. The smaller carded bubble vehicles are slightly easier to find than the larger boxed ones, but don't let that excite you. In general they are all fairly difficult to track down.

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Star Wars Die Cast (Kenner)

Star Wars Die Cast
1978 - 1980

We admittedly have never been big fans of die cast vehicles, but that's not to say that they don't have their charm. Die cast certainly have their appeal to many collectors, and with ranges from land vehicles to space ones (not to mention everything in between), it's not difficult to see why.

Though they obviously don't coincide with the scale of Kenner's vintage 3 3/4 inch line, the below die cast items were just as much a part of the series as the 12 inch dolls. Back in the early days of Star Wars toys, Kenner was just looking to produce something that would appeal to a wide variety of children, so while the 3/34 inch line became the obvious most preferred, it wasn't necessarily Kenner's main focus at first. Let's face it - Nobody was really prepared for the phenomenon that Star Wars became.

Kenner produced two different styles of vehciles - The smaller bubble carded ones, and the larger boxed ones. While it was nice to get the variety of sizes, obviously there is still a scaling issue from vehicle to vehicle. Can you imagine if the Millennium Falcon was as large as a Star Destroyer (or Imperial Cruiser as it was called in this line)?

The biggest problem with this particular series is the high value that most sellers put on them. Asking prices range as high as $500.00 to $750.00 for each vehicle. The reality of this is that most buyers are willing to pay only $65.00 to $300.00 depending on which vehicle it is, and in what condition. Yeah, sure, that's still a high dollar amount for one die cast vehicle, but it's a far cry from $700.00!

It's key to note that these are few and far between on secondary markets. They're not as common as your typical Kenner Star Wars action figure - Especially not in the package. This aspect could be playing a crucial role in why so many sellers thinks they should be asking for such high prices.

Regardless of the reasoning, this is definitely one tough set to put together. However, with that said, time and patience will be your biggest reward if you're up to the challenge of the hunt.

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The Martian Chronicles (Larami)

The Martian Chronicles

Ray Bradbury has written a couple of novels during his time, so you may have heard of him before in the sci-fi community. One such novel was The Martian Chronicles which featured a series of short stories which tied together via interstitial vignettes. The novel was first published in 1950, but wasn't actually all new material. The stories themselves had originally been published in various magazines throughout the 1940's.

In 1974, Larami obtained the rights to produce figures. Unfortunately for fans, they only developed and released three alien figures - Each eight inch figure featured the same body sculpt, but a different head (mask), and different color robe.

The figures are actually based on the renditions as seen in the six hour television event by Charles Fries Productions. Reviews for the "show" were mixed at best, which is still considerably better than the popularity of the figures which seemed non existent.

However, it's because of this lack of popularity during the 70's that these days the figures will set you back considerably if you want them. Carded figures sell between $130.00 and $250.00! Mind you, that's if you can find them. They are incredibly rare - Only contributing more so to their high demand prices.

If you do plan on hunting these down, it's probably not going to be something you'll find overnight - Unless the stars are just perfectly aligned that night. Even as we type this there was only one carded orange robe figure we found, and one loose pink robe figure. They are out there -They're just not in abundance.

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Bob & Doug McKenzie (McFarlane Toys)

Bob & Doug McKenzie
McFarlane Toys

You like action figures, eh? You like beer, eh? You like SCTV, eh? What about Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, eh? Tired of reading the word

Bob and Doug McKenzie were the fictional hosts of Great White North - A skit seen on SCTV. Bob (Rick Moranis) and Doug (Dave Thomas) often times spoke about Canadian life and culture, frequently referring to each other as hosers in the process.

The success of the sketch led to a full length movie in 1983, and it is the film that these figures from 2000 are based on. While it's no doubt that McFarlane Toys brought their usual "A" game to the series, it's the accessories that really stand out. Each package is stuffed to the brim with them!

Beer bottles, beer cases, packages and lawn chairs - Each one is meticulously designed to compliment the figure perfectly. They alone are worth grabbing these figures if you wanted to incorporate them into another line of figures.

These days they're not difficult to track down, and at as little as $10.00 a piece (sometimes), they're not bank breaking at all. At most, we've seen them sell for $15.00 to $20.00 each, which still isn't all that bad. 

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