The 8 Coolest Apocryphal Superhero Movie Action Figures

By Caleb Goellner

If there’s one thing people love about live action super
hero films, it’s seeing their favorite characters tailored for the
reality-rooted big screen. From source material inspired getups to ridiculous
costume revamps, fans are obsessive when it comes to their heroes’ blockbuster
wardrobes. Such passion helps to explain why so many non-cannon characters have
started cropping up in super hero movie action figure lines in recent years.
Thanks to toy makers, collectors can own characters who don’t necessarily even
appear in a film, taking on appearances fit for the movies. No longer must they
simply imagine concept characters alongside the stars that appear on camera.
Read on to experience the joy (and pain) that comes from seeing an expanded
super hero movie-verse, even if it only exists on the pegs of toy store

8) Metallo / Mongul, Superman Returns: Man of Steel

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For everyone frustrated by the complete and utter lack of villain punching in Superman Returns, Mattel offers two familiar Supes baddies sporting updated looks. Neither toy is especially attractive or articulated, but some collectors might be into their classic, squatty stances, which sort of resemble Marvel’s old Secret Wars line. They aren’t perfect, but they’re still far more threatening than a bald Kevin Spacey and giant crystal real estate. 

7) Kraven, Spider-man 3

Sam Raimi’s Spider-man trilogy was an inarguable box-office success even if its third installment polarized fans. A lot of people didn’t dig some of the series’ goofiness, but nobody can complain about the character designs, which have been among the most faithful of any decent comics film. That’s one reason why the toy line for Spidey 3 is so charming. There’s plenty of cool movie-ized toys to choose from, including versions of the Scorpion, the Rhino and the Lizard, but Kraven the Hunter stands out. Packaged with nothing more than an animal, a whip and a smile, he is most assuredly an evil bastard.

6) Firefly, Batman: The Dark Knight

Of Batman’s illustrious rogues gallery, Firefly is something of a B-lister. There’s nothing wrong with his bug themed persona, and his arson shtick is as intimidating as any of Batman’s villains’ tricks, but fans would be hard pressed to find a Firefly tale in a Batman omnibus. Such an unassuming history works to the advantage of this toy though, since collectors can have their low expectations duly met and exceeded by its silver jetpack and buggy goggles, both of which would look believable in a Nolan film.

5) Batgirl, Batman and Robin


Remember the dark decade between 1990 and 2000 when Hollywood hated super heroes and their fans? Batgirl does. Fortunately for toy collectors, this cowl-clad Batgirl toy is so completely inaccurate to its film incarnation (i.e. Silverstone-less) that it can be considered apocryphal. Why, if the head sculpt were a little less orangutan, this toy would almost qualify as not awful. Thanks for the memories Kenner!

4) Vengeance, Ghost Rider


The begrudged “other” Ghost Rider, Vengeance is just like Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch, except for he’s uglier, meaner and purpler. Like a lot of castrated anti-heroes, Vengeance started out as a bad guy, but eventually turned good. He’s still got mad cred, though, because his ribs protrude from his chest all evil-like. This toy has a lot going for it, especially with its football shoulder pads and fire gun. Considering his badass image, Vengeance could possibly have helped make the Nicholas Cage Ghost Rider film less awful. That is, if he wasn’t already in the film. This is all just a guess since nobody actually saw it.

3) Bi-Beast, The Incredible Hulk

Bird Aliens build the best androids. Just look at the bodacious Bi-Beast. He’s got non ball-jointed shoulders that are perfect for parallel punching and boogying down to the monster mash. Some people consider Bi-Beast a villain, but that’s really a misconception. Sure, the Bi-Beast likes to punch the Hulk, but more than anything it just wants to take the jade giant out for a coffee and see if there’s a connection. It could just be a Bi-Beast phase, but for now this movie styled action figure remains Bi-Beast curious.

2) Iron Patriot, Iron Man

What’s better than a comic character being translated into a movie character? How about a Photoshopped promotional teaser image translated into a non-cannon movie action figure? At the height of Marvel Comic’s Civil War event, the House of Ideas taunted fans with an image of a mysterious Iron Man/Captain America amalgam. This toy captures the spirit of that armor perfectly and has continued relevance as a new “Iron Patriot” in similar armor is now operating in the Marvel U.

1) Deathstroke, Batman: The Dark Knight

One of the most noticeable differences between comic book movies and actual comic books is a marked lack of spandex. This works out great for characters like Deathstroke, who seem to command a bit more respect in a fitted pair of trousers than bright orange underoos. The execution of the rest of the design is pretty spot-on, with Deathstroke’s trademark one-eyed mask, boots, gloves and bandolier all present and accounted for. It’s unlikely fans will ever see Deathstroke onscreen with Christian Bale, but this is one toy that makes fans dare to dream.