Toy collecting is a wicked mistress. She tempts us and teases us. She lifts us to exulted highs, and drags us down to the depressing lows. She guides us toward good decisions, and tricks us into making bad ones. And it was the latter that caused me to pass up today's series of action figures when I first saw them years ago in a comic shop, under the absurd belief that these would be around for years to come, to be bought on another day when other, more pressing purchases ceased to call.
How wrong I was.
Fast forward 7 years and you would find me desperately searching for a reasonably priced set of Thundarr the Barbarian action figures, only to be repelled, time and time again, by the stunningly high prices of the now rare and massively in demand figures.
But it was only a matter of time before my love for the classic Saturday morning cartoon about a ravaged planet Earth and the savage inhabitants that struggled to live there would win out and force me to pull the trigger on three of the most badass action figures ever produced. And that time...
... was about a week ago.
Yes, gang, I am now the proud owner of a full set of Thundarr the Barbarian action figures. And after being haunted for years by my decision not to buy them when I first saw them, the wait has not dimmed my desire for them and the hype that I had formed around them in my own mind has proven not to be greater than the truth. In short; these figure are friggin EPIC!
After having dropped more than my usual toy allowance on these babies, you'd think I'd be reluctant to rip them free from their brilliant packaging, with those stunning backing cards, evoking countless Saturday morning adventures in a world torn asunder. But, no! Set them free, I did, for these figures were meant to trod the soil of this Earth, facing the forces of evil with courage, strength and magic!
The figures themselves are brilliant. Simply and eloquently sculpted, like an Alex Toth design come to life. In this day and age, when many action figure lines are being pumped full of detail and paint applications, and many franchises of the past are getting "updated" for today's aging and nostalgia-afflicted collector, it's rather refreshing to see such an honest and simple representation of the fur-clad post-apocalyptic warrior and his cohorts.
The Thundarr figure comes with his famous Sun Sword, which detaches at the point where the flaming blade meets the top of the crossguard, in order to store the hilt on his left wristband via cleverly hidden magnets.
Thundarr's ever faithful Chewbacca-esque sidekick, the towering and growling Ookla the Moc stands a good head taller that the Thundarr figure (as is fitting) and comes with a bow and arrow and and extra set of hands so he can go from gripping claws to smashing fists in those often-occurring "RAWR!" moments.
The beauty of the trio, budding sorceress, Ariel (who I had a mad cartoon crush on back in the day) comes with two translucent "magical formations", a ball of orange and red energy and a swirl of blue and green power that can be very carefully balance in her hand (or in the case of the orange and red ball, stolen by your cat).
Overall, I cannot gush enough about these figures. I would have licked a running chainsaw to have Thundarr figures back when I was 10 years old, so to finally have them in my adult-nerd clutches after all these years is like a dream finally coming true (and without the power tool-inflicted tongue lacerations).
So, beware, evildoers of my toy collection. There are three new fierce warriors added to the Shelf of Epic Nostalgia who will stand for no injustice whatsoever in this land known as The Nerdatorium. May those of you who seek to enslave the weak, silence the voiceless and control the hapless masses, take stock of where your selfish actions may take you, for this land is now protected by Thundarr the Barbarian!