1. Chuck Norris Karate Kammandos. Aside from the simple fact Chuck Norris will never have a heart attack because his heart would never be stupid enough to attack him it doesn’t get better than this! The mustache alone would beat most other action figures in any fight, red pants blue utility belt and matching head band would be completely lame on any other action figure but because it’s 1980s Chuck Norris it’s awesome! Also don’t forget this toy comes with “Dual Fighting Karate Chop Action.”

Chuck Norris Karate Kammando

2. M.U.S.C.L.E. Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere. These things actually came out in Japan first and are known as Kinnikuman. The toy line was released in the United States between 1985-1988 and included 236 original figures As a child I use to spend hours setting up and posing these figures for various battles. A league of Wrestlers battling for the title of becoming the greatest Wrestling Champion many of these figures were modeled after famous wrestlers who have competed in Japan. In fact one of the figures Robin Mask is based on the British Professional Wrestler and Catch as Catch Can Wrestling Legend Billy Robinson (see the second picture below Robin Mask action figure holding Robin Mask M.U.S.C.L.E action figure).

Robin Mask action figure holding the Robin Mask M.U.S.C.L.E. action figure.

3. Storm Shadow. I remember being younger and never owning this action figure because it was so hard to get. I found one at a garage sale and couldn’t afford the $35.00 price tag. Why was this figure so hard to find? Simple Storm Shadow is the most awesome Ninja action figure ever made period. Coming from a toy line chalked full of some of the best action figures ever produced such as Destro, Cobra Commander, Snake Eyes, Zartan and more the fact that everyone wanted a Storm Shadow attests to how amazing this toy actually was

Storm Shadow4. Boba Fett. With a missile on his back plus a rocket the design of this character’s armor alone was so cool later people would write novels about it (See The Mandalorian Armor (Star Wars: The Bounty Hunter Wars, Book 1)). At the time this toy came out very little in the Star Wars Universe on Boba Fett had been created. There was no prequel revealing every detail of Boba Fets origins the reason all of this came into existence is because Boba Fett was an awesome action figure!

Boba Fett

5. Skeletor. The entire He Man line spawned a host of radness in the action figure arena so many in fact revenues from this line totaled over a billion dollars! (see Mastering the Universe: He-Man and the Rise and Fall of a Billion-Dollar Idea). Out of this line my favorite character was always the blue skinned, muscled out, skull faced, hooded skeleton!. This toy had better armor than He Man and better weapons a battle sword an and evil looking potentially Satanic Goats Head Scepter!

6. Casey Jones. The story of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is every comic book creators dream. Two broke down on their luck creators hanging out, one of them draws a Ninja Turtle to make the other laugh, they formulate a story intended to be a homage paid to all their favorite comics, self publish and it becomes an overnight merchandising sensation! The Turtles it is a beacon of hope to anyone that if you can put together the right ingredients such as Mutants and Ninjas you can hit the big time. I always loved Casey Jones a crazy vigilante dawning a hockey mask, baseball bats and hockey stick in hand, smooth with the ladies ready to fight crime.


7. Optimus Prime. Transformers another toy line chalked full of amazing characters such as Grimlock, Megatron, Star Scream, Soundwave the list of rad goes on and on. But I still have to put the Autobots leader at the top! Transforming into a large Over Cab Truck with a trailer that opens into a mobile battle station complete with ion blaster Optimus is still a great action figure.
Optimus Prime

8. Crystar The Crystal Warrior. An Iconic 1980s translucent action figure and probably the best translucent figure ever made. I have many memories playing with this toy as a kid. Not only does Crystar look awesome, with his red boots, gloves and head band, the Marvel comic book published in conjunction with this toy line spawned the infamous Skull used by Rock icon Glenn Danzig.

Crystar the Crystal Warrior source of the original Danzig Skull.