25 Marvelous Marvel Comics Toys (That Aren't Action Figures)

By Chris Cummins in Comics, Daily Lists, Toys
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 8:08 am
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Marvel has been around for over 70 years, and there's been an incalculable amount of toys based on the companies various properties over the years. With that in mind, today's Daily List is an admittedly foolhardy (and subjective) attempt to figure out what Marvel toys are, well, truly marvelous. Because action figures could and have merited entire lists of their own on Topless Robot, they were removed from the running straight away. Likewise, the decision was made to try to focus on as wide of an assortment of characters from the Marvel Universe as possible. This in itself proved to be a Herculean task thanks to the fact that Spider-Man toys take up most of the Earth's mass in and of themselves. Ultimately, what I came up with were 25 items that are just plain fun. Each of these stirred both my inner child and my desire to collect. Perhaps they will do the same for you. Excelsior!

25) Marvel Super Heroes Colorforms
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Of the many Colorforms sets based on Marvel Comics characters over the years, this particular release stands out as the best. Highlighting Spidey, Cap and the Hulk, it features a three level backdrop that kids could use to bring whatever comic adventures they desired to life. Want to make Spidey fight the Leader of have the Hulk take on the Rhino? Go for it. I won't tell anyone. Best of all, you can still land one of these cheap on eBay.

24) Spider-Man and Friends Superhero Playset
The above commercial raises a few questions. First off, this playset seems geared to preschoolers, so why are the kids in this ad tweens? And more distressingly, where exactly do superheroes go to have fun? My money's on either Emma Frost's apartment or Hedonism II.

23) Thor Helmet & Mjölnir
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Hopefully people were buying these more out of their love for the God of Thunder than for use in Adventures in Babysitting cosplay sessions.

22) Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends Fisher-Price Cartoon Viewer
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Like the Ideal Pocket Flix toy before it, the Fisher-Price Cartoon Viewer featured a variety of cartridges -- sold separately of course -- that could be used to transform anytime into Saturday morning (as a kid I had one of these with a Sesame Street cartridge that I would spend hours playing with because watching Paul Bentley fall down never stops being funny). There was a surprising lack of merchandise from Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends during the show's run, with this being one of a handful of items that were actually released. It's unclear exactly why that is, though that bitch Ms. Lion is probably involved somehow.

21) Power Putty
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Due to the subjective nature of lists like this one, there's bound to be some heated debate in the comments. That's just the way the Internet works I suppose. Yet with all of its firsties and lolz, one thing people can still all agree with online (and off) is that Silly Putty is a tremendous toy. It's perfect in fact. There's seemingly no way it can be improved upon. Yet the toy-schilling madmen at Gordy International did just that when they released Power Putty in the late '70s. It has all the properties of good old fashioned Silly Putty with one special advantage: it comes packaged in a replica of a Marvel character's head! With great Power Putty comes ever greater copyright infringement I suppose.

20) Spider-Man Machine
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The Spider-Man Machine billed itself as "the riding sensation of the year" (insert joke about your favorite pop culture whore here). Children who received this certainly agreed with this sentiment... or at least they did once they stopped questioning why the hell Spidey would need a big wheel in the first place.

19) Thor Super Van
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If the Thor van's a-rockin', don't come a-knockin! Before this entry completely devolves into a That '70s Show punchline, let me just say that there were many different Marvel-themed Hot Wheels released over the years -- all of which were varying degrees of terrific. Thor's Super Van is worthy of getting singled out because you can totally imagine him driving around in this while hunting for broads and blaring a Bread 8-track.

18) Mega Bloks Fantasticar with Thing Playset
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Again, I am a sucker for head-shaped carrying cases. So it's little surprise that I am especially enamored with this Lego-esque version of the Fantasticar that comes complete with a mini version of the Thing. Speaking of which, just look at cute the widdle guy is! Aww. Choking hazards are rarely so adorable.

17) Jigglers
Although the Ben Cooper company is primarily known for their Halloween costumes, they did occasionally release toys as well. The best of which were jigglers, cool (and somewhat bizarre looking) rubber replicas of pop culture characters. These shaky playthings were the toy equivalent of Jell-O, thus their name. Like all things of beauty, jigglers deteriorate over time. As such, they become rarer every year. If during your nerdy travels you find one, purchase it immediately. But more importantly, cherish it.

16) Weapon X Lab Playset
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Playing God was never more entertaining than with this playset that let users create little Wolverine skeletons. After turning the included "admantium powder" into goop, kids could infuse a body with the same shit that caused Logan so much grief. What a bunch of sadistic bastards.

15) Marvel Scooters
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Apparently these offerings from Marx Toys have crossed over into our reality from an alternate universe in which the action in Marvel comics primarily takes place in Portland instead of New York City.

14) Spider-Man Vs. the Hulk Race & Chase
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After a drunken evening spent watching The Fast and the Furious, Spidey and the Hulk decided to race through New York City. The resulting carnage was replicated in this racing set from Matchbox. Somebody call Damage Control, they're gonna need some overtime.

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