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Collecting the Legion 005: Lights, Camera, Action (figures)!

A little different format this week. You'll have to visit various web sites (some mine, some not mine) to see these. And the "not-mine" sites were just chosen for the picture, I'm not endorsing anyone or anything here).

This week, in honor of the recently-announced DC Direct Action figures of Mordru, Mon-el, and Brainiac 5, here's a look back at the other Legion-related action figures that have been produced - but there aren't many. So I'll bend the rules a bit as to what exactly an "action figure" is and what I'm going to talk about - for these purposes, it's any physical 3-D representation whether it has bendable joints or not.

In 1986, as part of the 3rd wave of the then-popular Super Powers action figures, someone decided that a kewl-looking villain should be added to the cast. Why they went all the way to the 30th century to get Tyr is beyond me, but he gets the distinction of being the first honest-to-goodness Legion-related action figure. The Super Powers line featured "action" figures - you moved it in a certain way and they did something. Tyr's gimmick was that his arm blaster fired when you squeezed his feet. The front and back of the card tell of his "Power Action Rocket Launch" and a card you were supposed to cut out that described his powers and weaknesses. These things go for about $65 or so if it's still in the box, probably $20 if loose (original price: somewhere around $1.50). The third wave of Super Powers figures was made in smaller quantities than the earlier waves, which explains why he's hard to find these days.

The 4th wave of Super Powers figures for 1987 never got off the ground. However, in an interview a few years ago, Steve Lightle discussed being asked by the Kenner team to design at least two Legion figures: Dream Girl and Dawnstar. They never made it past the drawing stage, though Steve's suggestion for Dream Girl's insignia can be found on a page that has an excerpt from the interview (the original of which has apparently vanished into cyberspace). I can see Dawnstar's "action" power (squeeze her legs and her wings flap, just like the Hawkman figure), but I have no idea what they were going to do for Dream Girl's.

Seems that 1986 was a good year for Tyr. He next showed up in a set of Legion 1" figurines sculpted out of lead similar to those used in miniature wargames. This set, made by Grenadier as #6503 (there was also a JLA set and I think an Outsiders set, but I don't know about any others), was meant to be used with the DC role-playing game (RPG) series from Mayfair - and I'll do a column on those in the future. There were five heroes and five villains: Dawnstar, Blok, Wildfire, Sensor Girl, Element [sic], Modru [sic], Persuader, Tyr, Lightning Lord, and Emerald Empress. As with all of these 1" lead figures, they're a little clunky looking but I'm sure they'd look cool if someone painted them properly. The front of the box has poses of Dawnstar, Wildfire, Tyr, Persuader, and Blok lifted from various places, and the insert when you open the box identifies the figures. If you can find them, the set runs upwards of about $50 (original price: $7.95).

Of course, more recently we had the 1999 Silver Age LSH depicted in PVC. In early 2001 we rejoiced to the first three Legionnaires in DC Direct's line of action figures (wave 14), featuring the Silver Age versions of Lighting Lad, Cosmic Boy, and Saturn Girl. As I mentioned above, Mon-el and Brainiac 5 are the next two additions to this series. Interestingly, the "head sculpt" changed from the prototype (not Proty-type) figures to the originals.

The newest additions to this list, the DC Pocket Super-Heroes, are small (around 2 inches high) figurines like the Kubrick or Lego series. Coming two per pack, Series 1 has the Lightning Lad/Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy/Mon-el sets, with more likely to follow in Series 2. Series 1 is scheduled for July 2002.

Of course, if you want to stretch things, you can add the following honorary and reserve Legionnaires and Super-Pets:


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