Tech Deck Dudes were again brought to the top of my mind the other day, so I thought a little retrospective was in order. While it seems Tech Deck is not longer producing their copyright-skirting finger-skating figures any longer (I haven't seen them in stores for a couple years now, all they appear to be making are the boards themselves) the ones I have will always hold a place in my heart, and there are still a few I'd like to track down in the future!
Here's a re-cap of the one's I have or have had in my collection:
The first Tech Deck Dude to ever really catch my attention was 'Adam.' I recall seeing this guy in the store and being floored that Tech Deck would dare fly in the face of DC and Warner Brothers and produce this knock-off. Apparently I wasn't the only one to feel that way, as 'Adam' didn't last long as was eventually stricken from Tech Deck's line-up. Smartly, I bought two and still have this one and one mint in package!
The Tech Deck Dudes design aesthetic later evolved to include arms. I eventually discovered 'Minga,' an Optimus Prime wannabe and knew he had to be mine!
Around the same time this Kato inspired 'Bruce' hit the scene. I sure wish Tech Deck would have gotten around to a Green Hornet figure!
As Tech Deck Dudes began to hit their twilight, Dudes began to appear with little pet sidekicks. What's true in sit-coms is true in toyland. 'Mort,' resident Megatron faker, came with a little RatBat 'Zood.'
The Dudes further evolved with the elimination of their magnetic feet - by the time Ghostbuster 'Murry' came about he held fast to his board via a peg. Murry also came with a ghost 'Zood' whose name I do not recall.
The very last Tech Deck Dude I purchased in store was way back in 2010 at a discount outlet store - another sign of the death of a line. 'Nightwatchman' is a clear rip-off of The Watchmen's Nite Owl II. By this time the Dudes were not only pegged to their boards (instead of the classic magnets) but Nighwatchman came with a clear plastic 'arm' to pose him mid-rip on a base that could be connected to other Tech Deck Dude bases for hours of displaying fun.
While Tech Deck Dudes started out innocently enough, with various general designs, by the end the pop culture references were the bulk of the line. I'm just surprised they were able to pull it off for so long.
Here's a handful of Tech Deck Dudes I missed out on but wouldn't mind tracking down someday:
Will Tech Deck Dudes ever make a triumphant return to toy store shelves? I don't know, but I am sure a generation of kids and collectors will one day look back on these guys with a nostalgic eye, and maybe they'll get super articulated pain-in-the-butt-to-buy-online-only Tech Deck Classics!
One can only hope.