If Adventure Had A Toy Line…it would be The Raiders of the Lost Ark toys produced by Lucasfilm symbiote Kenner in 1982.
Welcome back guys to the Toy Chest. This time out we’ll be taking a look at a rarely talked about line of movie tie-in toys for Raiders of the Lost Ark. In particular, the man the myth the legend himself.
Acquisition Year: 1984
Acquired via: Purchase (Toy Chest)
Years In Possession: 36
This guy is another entry in the “I was organizing my basement and look what I found!” series. Which now that I think about it is pretty similar to how I originally found this figure (and the others in this line)
If I’m not mistaken, I did NOT get these toys when they were originally released in 1982. Instead, I don’t recall noticing them until after Temple of Doom was released in theaters. Which is why I dated this guy as having been purchased in 1984.
I remember finding these on the pegs at Toy Chest with bright red clearance price tags. My mom loves a sale, so it was easy to convince her to get this figure. Over the next few weeks we would return repeatedly and pick up several more characters until the only one I didn’t own was Marion. Not because I didn’t want a girl fugure but because I never found her. Apparently she was one the rarest of the line.
I loved these figures when I was a kid. There was an entire summer after seeing Temple Of Doom where I was obsessed with Indiana Jones.
I can remember spending days and days using a box of toothpicks and Elmer’s glue to build a suspension bridge playset one stick at a time. I had such a grand plan in my head but in reality all my tedious effort resulted in more of a platform than a bridge. I don’t think four inches qualifies as a “bridge”. But I was proud of it anyway and used it to create a bunch of adventures before it finally fell apart.
As for the figure, his right arm was spring loaded for a “quick draw” gimmick. You had to pull the arm down and let it spring back up into a firing stance. It was a cool feature for the time, but kinda made Indy look a little weird when his hands were empty.
The molded holster on his hip was open in the front so you could wedge his gun in there when not shooting at Nazis.
Unfortunately I lost his revolver years ago. It’s possible it got mixed in with Star Wars weapons and I’ll find it again some day but I doubt it.
His whip was probably the lamest accessory Kenner ever created. It was literally a small black plastic cone as the handle with a piece of black string knotted through a hole in the center. The spring action arm worked great for simulating Indy’s trademark whip skills, but man that string looked goofy.
There was even a hook molded into his left hip that represented the small snap closure loop that would keep his coiled whip attached to his belt.
Unlike their Star Wars line, and perhaps foreshadowing the design of the M.A.S.K. figures that they would be making in a few short years, the Indiana Jones line all had jointed knees. Which come in handy for driving Nazi trucks and riding white stallions down the side of a sand dune. (Both of which were accessories sold seperately)
I’ve talked about the mail away offers that Kenner used with their Star Wars figures, and surprise surprise, they also tried it with Raiders line. You could send in proof of purchased from the card backs and receive a special Belloq figure dressed in his ceremonial outfit from the end of the flick when he opens the Ark. I tried to get that figure, sent in the p.o.p.s and money for shipping, but my Belloq never arrived. Eventually I think we got the envelope returned to us with a note from Kenner that the offer had ended already. Oops.
It’s actually a pretty good thing that I found these guys in the basement when I did. They were all being affected by the dreaded haze that develops on these old figures as the plastic starts to break down. Their parts start to get covered in a grayish film that feels waxy. Some of these had advanced so much it looked like fuzzballs stuck to the plastic. Luckily as I discovered from the Toy Polloi channel on Youtube, this is a pretty minor condition even though it looks really bad. All it takes is a gentle scrubbing in soapy water and that film comes right off. I should have taken a picture of it before I cleaned it off, but you can see from these pictures the crisis was averted.
Well, that about does it for this installment of Fitz’s Toy Chest. Hope you all enjoyed my blathering and come back next time when I dig deep into the pile once more and pull out some more unexpected surprises!
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