Wednesday, March 27 2013 00:03

Retro Toys: NECA brings John S. RAMBO back to the action figure aisle...

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Growing up, there was a distinctly 80s phenomenon of companies spinning-off a lot of awesome toys from entertainment properties that weren't kid-friendly. In fact, there were quite a few R-rated films that had products readily available for purchase at your local Circus World, KB Toys, Child World, or Toys "R" Us. ALIENS, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, ROBOCOP... those all come to mind. And then there was RAMBO, marketed by Coleco for "Ages 5 and Up."

If such tactics were to happen in 2013, a public outcry would take place as media pundits and bloggers would raise their virtual fists and start blaming the toymakers for real-life ills. I'd call B.S. on it, as I grew up on all kinds of "violent" toys (I still have one of the banned "Entertech" Water Hawk's stashed away somewhere - should do a blog about that) and I'm doing just fine. But now we have toys for "The Adult Collector."

necarambotallIndeed, the tale of JOHN S. RAMBO that begun with the 1982 film FIRST BLOOD was primed for the kiddie market upon the 1985 release of RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II. Reworked and tamed for a "family" audience, a cartoon that largely aped G.I. JOE hit the streets as RAMBO: THE FORCE OF FREEDOM, and along with it came the previously-mentioned line of toys (which looked terrible). Even Entertech got in on the action, with re-branded versions of their popular waterguns cashing in on the RAMBO craze. 

While it's been awhile since RAMBO has been in the action figure aisle (there was another kid-aimed line in the mid-1990s), the folks at NECA  are hitting "The Adult Collector" market with a new series of RAMBO action figures, starting with the May release of JOHN S. RAMBO himself - modeled after Sylvester Stallone in his FIRST BLOOD glory. The packaging for this one is clearly-labeled "AGES 17 & UP." Just like the movie. As noted by NECA on twitter, if this figure does well, the next will hit in Aug/September, with a figure from FIRST BLOOD PART II to follow.

JOHN S. RAMBO is available for pre-order now at Entertainment Earth

Here's a preview of the packaging:

Will you be snagging RAMBO to play with while the kids are in bed?  Can you think of any other "adult" movies or TV shows that spawned toys aimed at kids? Share your thoughts below...

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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