Sunday, September 22, 2019

[YouTube] Rambo Action Figures (1986)

The movie First Blood, which is based on a novel written by David Morrell in 1972, released in theaters in 1982. It stars Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo, a Vietnam War veteran suffering from PTSD and struggling to readjust to civilian life. This film is quite different than what followed as it has a serious tone and is grounded in reality. However, when Rambo: First Blood - Part II released in 1985 Rambo became an unstoppable killing machine that catapulted the character into an iconic action hero for the '80s. Although neither movie, nor the additional sequels that would follow, are appropriate for kids, the popularity of Rambo led to the cartoon Rambo: The Force of Freedom.

Rambo: The Force of Freedom began as a mini-series in 1986 and received a full season of 65 episodes but was not renewed for a second season. In the show Rambo (voiced by Neil Ross) and five other fighters are members of the Force of Freedom commanded by Colonel Trautman. They battle the evil S.A.V.A.G.E. (Specialist Administrators of Vengeance, Anarchy, and Global Extortion) that is lead by General Warhawk. Of course, being a cartoon in the '80s it needed a toy line and Coleco obliged. Coleco released 12 series one action figures in 1986 and six series two figures in 1987. There are also a variety of accessories that include eight weapon-related items, four vehicles, and an enemy base.

Although the show and toy line weren't around too long the series one items are common and rather easy to find loose but series two figures are rare, especially carded figures. During the brief time that the toys were on store shelves, the War Resisters League protested them and the cartoon for promoting violence among children, and also claimed both were racist and sexist. Coleco didn't seem bothered by most protests though it did feel the pressure from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee which led to the discontinuation of the Nomad action figure.

I've got seven series one action figures and some of the accessories (with some broken parts). Two of the series one figures are versions of Rambo: one being the iconic movie look while the other has him wearing a sweatshirt with the Force of Freedom logo. My only other good guy is Trautman who, unfortunately, broke a leg but it is possible to snap it back in to stand him up. For the bad guys, I have four figures.

The Force of Freedom


Fire-Power Rambo

Colonel Trautman


General Warhawk

Sergeant Havoc


Black Dragon


10/26/2019 UPDATE: I was digging around in the basement and found part of an action figure's packaging. The front doesn't show much so I only scanned the back which I suppose isn't too unique either. It's an image of all the action figures.

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