10 Exclusive Action Figures You'll (Probably) Never Own

By Jason F.C. Clarke in Daily Lists, Toys
Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 8:04 am
One of the classic geek hobbies is collecting toys, specifically action figures. Many collectors are often "completists" who want to own every single figure in the line (including all the goofy guises like Arctic Batman or Colonoscopy Exam He-Man). Given the tendency of some geeks to fly into Hulk-like rages (on the Web, anyway) at the slightest frustration in their hobbies, it's understandable that one of the most hated things in all of geekdom is the super-rare exclusive.

And so, continuing Topless Robot's grand tradition of re-igniting the flames of nerd ire long after they've burned out, we proudly present 10 Exclusive Action Figures You'll Never Own (unless you're rich and/or well-connected, in which case we hate you). Before you begin mentioning all the missing items on this list, please be aware that we used a couple of rules in generating it: 1) more than one copy of the exclusive has to have been made; and 2) it has to have been released deliberately by the company, either in stores or as a giveaway, domestically in the United States (we'll have a separate list for international exclusives later).

10) "Save Blinky" Bart from The Simpsons (Mattel, 1990)
In the early 2000s, Playmates Toys produced what most fans would consider the definitive Simpsons toy line, producting many of the show's cast of hundreds. But ten years earlier, at the beginning of the show's popularity, Mattel produced a short-lived line of action figures. Rarest of the figures was a mail-away figure of Bart wearing a "Save Blinky" t-shirt--so rare that only three of them are known to exist. All evidence suggests they were legitimate mail-in figures, making SBB the holy grail of Simpsons toy collectors.

9) "Turtles Pasta" Super Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Playmates, 1993)
While the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is loved by many, the sequel, Secret of the Ooze, is remembered mostly for sucking (and an appearance by Vanilla Ice, so...case in point). However, the film did have some fairly cool creature designs, such as the monsters Tokka and Rahzar--and Super Shredder. Many collectors consider Super Shredder one of the highlights of Playmates's TMNT toy line. While the standard figure is popular enough among collectors, even harder to find is the all-black Super Shredder, offered as a mail-away with Chef Boyardee's "Turtle Pasta." Available with 20 proofs of purchase, the few kids who did get this figure also got another prize: childhood obesity.

8) The Cantina Adventure Set from Star Wars (Kenner, 1978)
Cantina Adventure Set.jpg
The Cantina Adventure Set was sold solely through Sears Christmas catalogs in 1978 and 1979. Already a rare item by virtue of being an exclusive, it's also made of cardboard, making it extremely hard (and costly) to find in good condition nowadays. Furthermore, the Cantina Adventure Set came with the rare "Blue Snaggletooth" figure, the #1 Infamous Variant according to our list, which is largely why it's still so sought-after today.

7) Pepsi Optimus Prime from Transformers (Hasbro, 1985)
This odd mail-away exclusive was basically a regular Optimus Prime that came with a couple of small Pepsi stickers for his cab. While the U.S. version is rare enough, the Canadian version included much larger stickers that covered the entire sides of the trailer. Boy, the '80s were really good at rewarding kids for consuming junk food, weren't they?

6) Silver She-Ra from Masters of the Universe Classics (Mattel, 2010)
At last year's San Diego Comic Con, Mattel raffled off two all-silver She-Ra figures. Last we checked, no one even knows who won them. Two of the rarest MOTU items of all time, and as we'll see, just the latest in a long string of incredibly rare Mattel items.
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