3/19/13

Go Go Gadget Action Figures

These Inspector Gadget action figures came out nearly a decade after the show they so accurately recreate aired. They missed their target mark by a generation, and subsequently failed as a toyline. Yet they were darn near spot-on design wise, and offered many different Inspector Gadgets with all sorts of neat and relevant action features. They would have been a hit had they come out ten years earlier, or ten years later for the nostalgic crowd. As it was they fell right into limbo.

I was a huge fan of the cartoon in Elementary School, but the fact that the toys came out when I was nearly finished with High School is why I never owned any - or even ever saw any in person - until now. I wasn't shopping for toys my senior year (that I would admit to at the time, anyways) and I darn sure wouldn't have wanted kiddie toys from a kiddie 'toon (unlike the more adult oriented nature of Batman: The Animated Series for instance)! But there they were, languishing on toy store shelves, impressing no one.

In fact, the only reason I own these now is because of Freecycle. If you have never heard of Freecycle, it is a community based online group where folks post stuff they are giving away (yes, for free) and you can stake a claim on it. Look it up in your area.

So a while back a lady said she had a bag of her son's old toys, listing some characters, and mentioning Inspector Gadget specifically. I jumped, not really knowing what I'd end up with - in fact, I more than half expected to get some movie version McDonald's Inspector Gadget toy. Remember that crap?

The bag was mostly nothing to write home (or a blog post) about, but it did contain these three cartoon based Inspector Gadget toys which I was very pleased to see.

And that my friends is how a cartoon I loved in '83 became a toy I ignored in '92 to later be given to me for free in '13. A toy's journey is a circuitous one.

Unfortunately our hero Inspector Gadget himself is a little bit...off, like the cartoon character I suppose. His spring loaded feet aren't working so well. His right foot is permanently sprung, while his left foot only springs out a quarter of an inch. He's in good shape otherwise, with very little play wear. This version isn't canon, his coat and hat being light blue instead of grey, but at least he's not neon pink. He's close enough to his cartoon colors for a free toy, anyways.

Gadget's precocious niece Penny is in pretty good shape too. She used to have a white stripe that ran across her shirt, but it has been worn to a white square. I do not know why the kid who owned her wore so heavily on those two spots specifically, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he just likes squares. Penny originally came with her canine counterpart Brain, but unfortunately he was not present in my free bag.

No matter, I'll probably customize her into a 'tween Harley Quinn soon anyways.

Finally, what's a hero without a villain? Sadly, instead of the infamous Dr. Claw action figure which revealed for the first time his (disappointing) actual face, my freebie bag only contained this sour-pussed M.A.D. Agent. What's with the single glove, dude? Single gloves are so 1983!

So there you have it, the entirety of my Inspector Gadget collection. Good toys, really. It's a shame the line was so poorly timed; a well made Inspector Gadget line released today could actually be a big hit.

But you know what they say: Timing is everything.

7 comments:

  1. Wasn't there a big (it might have been a dolly!) Inspector Gadget with interchangeable accessories released in the 80s? I kind of remember wanting one.

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  2. I've never thought of looking for toys on Freecycle before!

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    1. I look everywhere for toys. Craigslist, Freecycle, under rocks...

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  3. Ahh go go gadget, loved that show when I was a kid...go go gadget copter!

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  4. Totally love this! I too missed out on the line, if only because I could never find a Penny in stores, so I stuck my nose up to the entire line. But how cool that you came across them! You are right about the fate of our lives and toys. I believe that one for sure.

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