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Will's Guide to the Universe

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Welcome to the Universe of Imagination!

Action Figure Universe, where the comparative mythology of Joseph Campbell meets pop culture & modern mass media memorabilia, is an interactive entertainment scrapbook & resource site, all about figures of action & adventure of the mythic past, present & future, as they appear in their various forms in human history, popular art & the ever-expanding collectible toy market.

For me, collecting, enjoying & studying action figures isn't just about childhood memories.  It's an important part of personal growth & self-actualization, as well as a fun way to remain creative & imaginative throughout life's amazing journey.

Many of the action characters (heroes & villains alike) you will find here were conceived for adults, while others were originally intended for a younger audience.  Bearing in mind that no one is ever too old to be young at heart, I bid you welcome to the Action Figure Universe.

While you're here, feel free to explore the boundless reaches of child-like wonder & imagination that have long inspired people of all ages to not just dream, but to do, create & of course, PLAY.  As you step beyond the threshold of the so-called "real world," take heart & remember...

"The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play."

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Monday, January 30, 2012

The New Adventures of Flash Gordon Revisited

In 1979, hot on the heals of the mega success of Star Wars, many a film and TV studio was scrambling to cash in on the emerging scifi craze.  Naturally, not many of the projects that were hastily greenlit at the time turned out to be even half as popular or lucrative as George Lucas' interstellar cash cow, but Flash Gordon, the classic saga that had inspired Lucas to spin his own space fantasy yarn, did go on to become not only a major motion picture, but a highly regarded animated TV series from Filmation Studios.

Read all about it on the Flash Gordon - Filmation page.




1:01 am jst

Saturday, January 28, 2012



The Heroic Journey of a 20th Century Odysseus

In the first of many updates to come in the Planet of the Apes sector of the Action Figure Universe, I present the tragic mythic journey of the all too flawed and ultimately very human hero, ANSA astronaut Colonel George Taylor.

Read all about it on the Planet of the Apes -1968 page.





10:42 pm jst

Friday, January 27, 2012


Jessica's Custom Zira

In 2004, Sideshow Collectibles first unveiled an all new line of wonderfully crafted 1:6 and 1:4 scale Planet of the Apes action figures that initially brought joy and amazement to an "ape-o-naut" fanbase that had long been starved for high quality memorabilia based on the classic film series.  Sadly, sales were not as high as expected, so the Sideshow line of POTA action figures is (at least for now) no more.  Yet diehard fans like Jessica Rotich are doing more than their fair share of hard work to keep POTA fandom alive and very, very well indeed.

Read all about it on the Jessica's Planet of the Apes: Zira page.



6:27 pm jst

Tuesday, January 24, 2012



S.T.A.R.
The Rarest of Bad Robots

The 1979 Disney live action scifi film, The Black Hole, may have never been a huge success at the box office, but in the intervening years, several of the more rare 3 3/4" action figures from the MEGO Toys line have become highly sought after collectibles.  Owing to the fact that the last 3 characters in the line were released in such limited numbers, S.T.A.R. here alone might run (or earn) you more than $600 US!

Read all about it on The Black Hole page.






3:43 am jst

Sunday, January 22, 2012




Buster Crabbe is Flash Gordon


The late, great Olympian and early screen movie legend Buster Crabbe, is forever immortalized in 1:6 scale cloth and plastic with the introduction of this new tribute to one of the founding heroes of Saturday morning serialized scifi fantasy.


Read all about it on the Flash Gordon page.






6:39 pm jst

Friday, January 20, 2012

Why DID the new Conan flick fail at the boxoffice?

Great movie!  But maybe the filmmakers made the usual mistake of delivering a project that is too graphic for young audiences, thereby automatically eliminating quite a large percentage of potential viewers.  But therein lies the true rub; since Conan's much storied adventures have long been permeated by book and graphic novel covers with maidens and witch queens in all sorts of states of near undress.  And I guess, when your story takes place in a violent, dark age shrouded in myth and legend, any film on the subject is going to at least flirt with content of a more or less graphic nature.

Read all about it on the Conan the Barbarian page.




6:58 pm jst

Wednesday, January 18, 2012



They may smell bad, but Tauntauns are pretty fuel efficient, you know!

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is pretty hard to beat as live action films in the franchise go.  Check out two recent reviews of previously issued 1:6 scale Tauntaun and rider sets.  Though articulation on the older figure body Hasbro used with most of their 12" figures wasn't all that great, if you can still manage to pick one of these wonderful vintage sets from an aftermarket source, you are sure to enjoy the Tauntaun at the very least.

Read all about it on the Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back page.




3:52 pm jst

Wednesday, January 11, 2012



Seen Any Ape Girl Scouts Lately?

You guessed it. It's time to find out just exactly how much the apes of the immortal classic Planet of the Apes franchise mirror and have maybe even borrowed from our own lowly human culture of the remote past!

Read all about it on the Humor on the Planet of the Apes page.

Click here!




12:55 am jst

Sunday, January 8, 2012




Star Wars Figure Collecting

I really like Maddwoba's newest video featuring his most recent Star Wars acquisitions.  Watch the flick and read my thoughts about building your own Star Wars collection.  Or any collection that makes you happy, that is! 

Read all about it on the Star Wars: The Light Side page.





5:27 pm jst

Wednesday, January 4, 2012



Shogun-zilla and More!

I managed to finally get my Shogun Warriors page up and running, but as usual, I need more pics of the vintage toys.  However, as a kid, I only had two of the larger Shogun figures and three of the 4" sized ones.  And boy, are these toys EXPENSIVE (and not even always in especially good shape) nowadays from aftermarket sources! 

Read all about it on the all new (but not yet quite perfected) Shogun Warriors page.





7:09 pm jst

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


New Doctor Who Timeline!

What better time to visit the timeless tales of the much storied Timelord from Planet Galifrey than at New Years?  After all, it's a time for all creatures great and small to hopefully regenerate and reflect, with a bold outlook for bright futures ahead.  Sure, your trusty time and space faring machine is STILL stuck in the form of a 20th century Police Public Call Box but never fear; ever greater adventures surely lie ahead in 2012! 

Read all about it on the Doctor Who page.




1:29 pm jst


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