Action figures that are sitting down? They’re the best. Here are 10 of them, and then also three more of them scattered around the list because why not, right?
A top 10 list that starts with number 11? Truth be told, I don’t know a single thing about this Metron dude other than that he’s got a pretty cool lookin toy that popped up when I googled “action + figure + chair.” Because I couldn’t be bothered to do my homework, this one’s on me. Feel free to let me know what’s up in the comments, where I will not read them.
10. NORMAN OSBOURNE and MORPHEUS (tie)
Is it just me, or does Morpheus’s table looks like a depth charge from a WWII submarine movie? He at least has the decency to come with a phone and all, but his apparent zero points of articulation have me literally one deja-vu-glitch-in-the-matrix-cat-hair away from cuttin him off the list. If it wasn’t for his super-sweet chair and how well it matches the one that came with the useless Norman Osborn figure, Morpheus would be on the streets.
The Norman Osborn figure was from the same line that gave us the somehow even more poorly thought out J. Jonah Jameson figure that you’ll find later on in this list. We live in a world where not only does Willem Dafoe have an action figure, but it’s an action figure where he is lost in deep contemplative thought.
The name of the movie this little dude comes from is AKIRA, so of course McFarlane waits until the second series of action figures to actually make a toy for the dude the movie is named after. In another nice touch, aka a middle finger to the fans, series 2 included Kaneda on a bike, whereas the first series sold them separately, and you couldn’t even put Kaneda on the bike? Wow. I was not expecting this stupid list to open old wounds, but DAMN IT back in 2001 this meant something REAL to me. “I bought Kaneda AND the bike last year, and now I gotta buy em again?!” WTF TODD?! STICK TO BUYING SOON TO BE OBSOLETE MARK MCGWIRE BASEBALLS!
Whew. What was I saying? I was typing about action figures and blacked out…
08. J. JONAH JAMESON
The cups and phone and tape and everything are loosely attached to the desk, so when he slams his fist down on it and they jump all over you’ll never lose em which is a nice feature so children wouldn’t lose them, but sadly, approximately zero children bought this thing. “A toy! With a desk! And a high backed chair featuring a pre-OSHA four-leg base with casters! And papers! And editorial responsibility! And a bottle of pills that help ease the pressures of adult life! Buy it for me, mother (and/or father)!”
Surely the only people who bought this toy were irony-addled folks such as myself that were able to appreciate second and third tier character actors. I don’t know about you, but at the theater where I saw that first Spider-Man movie there were near-constant shouts of “It’s Barber Dan from The Adventures of Pete & Pete!” and “It’s Aryan Brotherhood member Vern from HBO’s Oz!” whenever J. Jonah Jameson was onscreen.
07. JAMES T. KIRK
You can’t not have a sitting-down action figures list (there are SO many out there) and not include James Tiberius Kirk sittin in his uncomfortable-looking Captain’s chair. If it had some kinda weird action where it could thrash around against the chair while I wobbled my head around all crazy-like to make it look like the Klingons were attacking I would’ve ranked it higher, but science is apparently too busy workin on curing cancer to get around to making my Star-Trek-action-figure-related dreams into realities.
This is the first of three wheelchair-based action figures, which I swear is not cheating. The only other American president who coulda landed on this list would be Abe Lincoln from some monuments of the National Mall play-set that, sadly, no one has made yet. Imagine a Lincoln Memorial come-to-life Abe that has been freed form his stony chair and is now climbing the Washington Monument all “King-Kong ain’t got nothin on me!” style. Money in the bank.
05. TERRELL OWENS and LADANIAN TOMLINSON (tie)
Not only did McFarlane toys fuck over LaDainian Tomlinson with a figure where he’s riding the bench, but THEN he fucked over Terrell Owens a year later by benching him AND it’s just repaint of the Tomlinson figure. Thank god they replaced the itty-bitty Gatorade cup with a towel to avoid confusion! I’d be psyched if I was a superstar athlete and this was the ridiculous action figure that was made of me, but it’s probably just that sort of whimsical attitude towards life that’s been keeping me on the internet making lists of action figures and outta the big leagues.
04. STEPHEN HAWKING
Eagle-eyed fans of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver might have seen this little guy hanging out on the desk of the one and only Stephen Hawking while Oliver interviewed him. Hawking came with a boxing glove attachment, which makes the question of “Is it at all in bad taste to own this toy?” moot. Yes, it is in bad taste, but it’s a John Waters style taste that’s so bad that it’s crossed back over into being good taste. And here’s a tip I’ll give ya for free: The “Stephen hawking loves strip clubs, so it’s OK for me to also love strip clubs” defense ALWAYS works.
03. SPACE GHOST
The folks who see this toy and think “What is that Hanna-Barbera cartoons character doing with a desk?” are the same crusty old people who think every Beatles and Elvis record is worth a hundred dollars. If you bought this toy and didn’t immediately set it up to interview your Stephen Hawking action figure, then you’re a bad person and I do not ever want to meet you in person.
02. HERMAN MUNSTER
An action figure of Herman Munster. You’ve got my attention right there. And he comes with an electric chair? Shut up and take my money.
Is Herman the only figure to come with an electric chair? Nope. McFarlane Toys made a Death Row Marv Deluxe Box Set for the second series of it’s Sin City line, but it was more of a statue than an action figure, so I get to kill (execute?) two birds here. While some stores refused to stock the Marv figure, goofy old Herman Munster was apparently too loveable to generate that kinda ire even when making such a gleeful caricature of capital punishment.
01. PROFESSOR X
The Professor X action figure for the first movie had one of the strangest articulation features I’ve ever seen, and doubt I will ever see again. Like some kind of reverse kung-fu grip where an otherwise awkward infirmity is embraced and, against all notions of propriety and decorum, even magnified, our man Charlie’s knees were purposefully loosened making it very difficult to stand him up, so even your most fantastically creative moments with him grounded in the comic-book continuity where he must be forever wheelchair bound.
To make matters somehow worse, the wheelchair had a pull-back-and-go feature that allowed you to launch Xavier from whatever elevated place your heart desired, and watch as his limp legs flailed about before be would come to rest in an undoubtedly embarrassing pose. That his arm did a “Come to me my X-Men” thing that could very easily be confused for a “Heil Hitler!” was the icing on the cake.
00. POPS (Honorable Mention Due To The Whole Not Sitting-Down Thing)
With very rare exceptions, you almost never see a Muppet SITTING DOWN, so we’ll have to use our imaginations here and assume that there is not a puppeteer with his hand up Pops’ ass, and in fact the Muppet Theater stage-doorman is seated. Since he doesn’t come with a chair, he’ll have to exist here as an asterisk-burdened honorable mention, but at least he has his one eyed cat to keep him company.