I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before, but I'm a total nutjob over the classic LJN Advanced Dungeons & Dragons line of toys from way back in 1983. (I have mentioned this before... lots.)
In fact, I wrote a little something about my all-time favorite D&D baddie, Warduke, over on my About.com site. And also on the same site, you'll find a small gallery of LJN AD&D action figure card backs.
But today I want to talk about a collection of AD&D toys fromt he same period that aren't seen very often and I had never seen in real life until I scored some on eBay recently. I'm talking about thse killer little AD&D plastic mini figures...
There little fantasy denizens stand just slightly taller than your average green Army man, but these guys have the bonus of being fully painted (in Warduke's case, very poorly painted, with is giant red paint splotch where his eye should be).
I'm not really sure on when or in what format these were released, and quite frankly, I'm too lazy to research it right now. I imagine that they came out around the same time period as theri fully articulated counterparts, but as to whether they were sold in sets, on a card, in a box or perhaps in a gumball machine is beyond me.
Here we see the far more nicely detailed goody-two-shoes, Strongheart...
Here we see the blue-bearded dwarf, Elkhorn, who's name always bothered me since he clearly had the horns of some sort of bovine-related animal on his helmet and not the branching rack of an elk. And besides, elk don't have horns, they have antlers. But I digress.
And finally (in my collection, at least) is the good wizard, Ringlerun, which is a stupid name. he sort of reminds me of the Winter Wizard from Rankin & Bass' Santa Claus is Coming to Town. You know, like after he got his choo-choo and got all warmed up and pink-skined. Just sayin'.
If memory serves, I believe there was at least one more figure in this series of some sorceress chick in a black dress. Maybe one day I'll find her.
In the meantime, I'll busy myself repainting poor Warduke's glowing red eyes.
These are odd little figures, since they're too large to actually use playing D&D (Elkhorn would be a giant!), and too small to use in play with the other figures (even the rubbery non-posable figures from the line are much larger than these harder plastic figures). But their sheer oddity is what I find so endearing about these toys. I wonder what their ultimate purpose was? What was LJN thinking?
Well, who cares. They've earned a place on the mighty shelf of nostalgia here in the Nerdatorium, and there they will stay.