Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks is back…and it’s bringing action figures

Diane, it’s almost ten o’clock on Monday night, and I’ve just discovered something stupendous, something I never thought I’d see. No, not coffee that somehow manages to be even blacker than black, although that does sound pretty good right now. I’ve just discovered that Funko is about to unleash Twin Peaks action figures on the world.

At the 2017 London Toy Fair, Funko – best known currently for its seemingly endless variety of Vinyl Pop figures – unveiled not only Twin Peaks Vinyl Pops, but a selection of four 3 and 3/4″ Twin Peaks action figures as well. Perhaps it would be best to say that only three of them are action figures; one of the figures doesn’t really move…but then, the character of Laura Palmer didn’t really move much once she was wrapped in plastic.
Twin Peaks

As is often the case, Funko’s choice of characters to produce in what is often referred to as “the Star Wars scale” is both iconic and frustrating. Audrey and Leland, at least, get Vinyl Pops, but there’s no 3 and 3/4″ love for those all-important characters; the quartet of figures instead consists of Agent Dale Cooper, the Log Lady, the aforementioned plastic-wrapped corpse of Laura Palmer, and “Bob”, the spirit form of a deadly presence that inhabited more than one resident of Twin Peaks in the show’s two seasons on ABC. (It could be that the character choices are tied closely to Twin Peaks’ upcoming revival in May on Showtime – only time will tell.)

There is a welcome development for this latest round of 3 and 3/4″ figures from Funko – the “Star Wars standard” of five points of articulation (neck, shoulders, legs) has given way to nine point instead (adding elbow and knee joints); this slightly more modern approach puts these figures on a par with Big Bang Pow!’s Flash Gordon, Big Bang Theory and KISS action figures in the same scale. (Laura Palmer has no points of articulation, being dead and all. Blame it on rigor mortis…and hang her next to Carbonite Han in Jabba’s Palace.)


Will we ever get more characters in this format from Funko, which has drastically scaled back its ReAction line of 3 and 3/4″ figures in recent years? Overproduction of past 3 and 3/4″ lines such as Gremlins and classic Star Trek has given way to a more collector-oriented “boutique” approach with more recent licenses such as The Dark Crystal, The Golden Girls, and E.T.; however, Funko has irked a few collectors by not returning to the well for licenses that did prove popular. A good example of this was its Firefly license, which never delivered figures in any scale for Shepherd Book, River Tam, or Simon Tam, let alone any secondary or enemy characters – no Reavers, no Badger, no YoSaffBridge. Anyone who spent any time watching Twin Peaks at the height of its popularity knows that the show was about far more than just these four characters (one of whom is, it has to be said again for emphasis, dead and motionless); whether we’ll ever get more than three characters and a plastic corpse remains to be seen.

It’s also not known if these figures will be individually carded or sold as a boxed set, a la the more recent E.T. and Golden Girls box sets.

Funko’s line of Twin Peaks 3 and 3/4″ figures will arrive later this year.

What If Pixar Decided To Do Pulp Characters?

When it comes to Pixar there really isn’t much they touch that doesn’t turn to gold. Having said that however there are genres they’ve yet to tackle. Sure, they have given friendly monsters a go as well as a sentient vehicle universe. Not to mention moving films dealing with growing old in addition to the greatest Fantastic Four movie made. That was of course not an official film of Marvel’s First Family – but it was…INCREDIBLE…nonetheless.

See what I did there?

Ahem. While 2004’s The Incredibles marked Pixar’s first foray into superheroes. The talented Phil Postma is always eager to present different genres that Pixar has yet to approach. You might recall some of the other artwork of Postma’s that we’ve shared on The Retroist before. Like what if Rankin and Bass had produce a 1977 stop motion version of The Hobbit. Or perhaps Fisher-Price had produced Adventure People Killers to their toy line?

Back in 2013, it turns out that Phil presented Pixar versions of some legendary pulp characters. Such as Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon, Dale Arden, and Ming the Merciless of course.

Images courtesy of Phil Postma.

He also shared a look at what Pixar could deliver with Lee Falk’s The Phantom.
Pixar - The Phantom - Phil Postma

Last but certainly not least and the film I wish Pixar would truly deliver is The Shadow!

Make sure to hop on over to Phil’s official blog – The Minion Factory. You can check out even more of his fantastic artwork and even purchase merchandise.

Now that we’ve seen what some pulp characters would look like if Pixar was in charge of character design. How about re-watching what an animated series for The Rocketeer might look like?

[Via] Amazing Cartoons

I See Some TRON In This 1982 Worm War I Ad

Worm War I is a 1982 game that was developed by Sirius Software for the Atari 2600 and released by 20th Century Fox Games. I was able to find out that the programmer for Worm War I was David Lubar who also programmed the Atari 2600 titles Fantastic Voyage, Nexar, Bumper Bash, Space Master X-7, Flash Gordon, and Activision’s River Raid II to name a few of his accomplishments in the video game industry.
worm-war-i-david-lubar

Didn’t you mention TRON?


I certainly did and I think for some very evident reasons. Let’s take just a moment and compare an image from the Worm War I commercial featuring the player’s tank in action.
worm-war-i-tank-shot
All right. I now ask you to compare that image above with this quick snippet from 1982’s TRON.

I think you can see the obvious similarities between the two. Not just with the tank but even the electronic battlefield of the two seem a little similar wouldn’t you say? Considering that TRON was released the same year I believe it is more than understandable that it would have influenced Worm War I commercial design.

TV Days
I have not had the pleasure of playing Worm War I for myself but thanks to AtariAge and the High Retro Game Lord‘s YouTube channel we can see how it played – kind of a cross between Space Invaders and River Raid

Image courtesy of Atari Age.

Image courtesy of Atari Age.

Whatever became of David Lubar?
I mentioned some of the Atari 2600 titles besides Worm War I that David worked on at the beginning of the post – he also had a hand in games for the Nintendo Gameboy, Super Nintendo, and the Apple II as well as the Atari 800.

I learned that beginning in 1994 while he was still employed as a video game developer he focused on his true love. Writing. By the end of 1995 had sold six books – today he has published over 24 books.

Why don’t you take just a few moments out of your busy schedule and listen to David talk about why he became a writer yourself? I bet you will find it just as interesting as I did!

[Via] Adlit

Buster Crabbe Appears At Science Fiction Film Awards

It is common knowledge that Star Wars was influenced by the Flash Gordon serials of the 1940s. So how cool was it that Buster Crabbe (Flash Gordon in the serials) appeared on stage with Mark Hamill during the Science Fiction Film Awards telecast? It aired in 1978 to recognize achievement in science fiction film for the year 1977.

Hamill shows up at 3:46 of Part II to introduce him. The entire show is worth watching from the beginning, especially to see the opening song and dance number.

I’m just posting Part I and II just to show the flow leading to the Crabbe and Hamill appearance. The special itself is split into 10 parts on YouTube. Rather than blow up the blog with 10 embedded videos just search for “Science Fiction Film Awards 1978” on YouTube if you’d like to watch the entire special. This was the fifth annual but first televised broadcast of the ceremony.

Here is the entire award show in 10 parts:

or if you want to jump straight to Buster…here is part 2.

Are you a fan of Flash Gordon? Follow HAIL FLASH on Facebook to appreciate the history of the character.

Dead Klytus Action Figure

I have run across a lot of weird action figures throughout the years, but this is one of the weirdest.

Meet Klytus (on the right), Ming the Merciless’ metal-faced right hand man in the 1980 classic, Flash Gordon. Klytus is a loyal servant who helps Ming make the lives of everyone around him miserable. Toward the end of the movie in a battle against Prince Barin and Flash Gordon, Klytus is pushed on to a platform full of spikes where he is impaled and dies. When he dies, his eyes bug out and his tongue hangs out. Like this:

This is the “Dead Klytus” action figure from the recent line of Flash Gordon figures.

I’ve bought a lot of dumb figures in my life. Next to my desk I have a tiny bobble head Burger King standing next to a knock-off Hulk Hogan thumb wrestler leaning up against a generic Minotaur with a giant handlebar mustache. Let he who does not own an Ugnaught cast the first stone, right? I can’t imagine ever, ever needing a “Dead Klytus” action figure.

Which is exactly why I bought it. ALL HAIL MING!