Retro Toy Review: Bonehead (Playmates Toxic Crusaders)
I bought a set of figures from the Toxic Crusaders line more than a year ago, and man, I love those figures. Not only am I a fan of the Toxic Avenger movie (the over-the-top gorefest on which the cartoon and toy line were loosely based), but the figures are great companion pieces to the classic Playmates TMNT line. Both lines feature that crazily-detailed sculpting that Playmates exhibited in the early 90's. I managed to get most of the Toxic Crusaders in one fell swoop, but one figure eluded me from completing my collection: Bonehead.
Fast forward almost a year, and I finally managed to score this radioactive zombie. Let's see how he compares with his Toxic Crusader comrades!
Year Stamped: 1991
Size: 4 3/4"
Price: I think I picked this dude up for something like $10 carded on eBay.
I love the sculpts of the Toxic Crusaders, as they exude everything that was fun about Playmates action figures of the early 90's. Bonehead follows suit: if you look closely, you'll discover subtle details that give the figure lots of character. He has a small arsenal attached to his boots including bone knives, a mini revolver, and a grenade. The textures of the mangled jacket and jeans are great, and his bone detailing works well.
The paint apps are limited to a few colors, but they're effective. It seems like more of the sculpting details are painted on Bonehead than on many TMNT figures from the same time period. And there's a splattering of glow-in-the-dark paint that hammers home his toxic waste origins. The only downside is that the sleeves of the jacket are a different hue than the body, but it's not enough to be particularly noticeable in person.
Bonehead sports points of articulation at the neck (swivel), shoulders (swivel), left bicep (swivel), waist (swivel), and hips (ball socket). While much of the articulation is reminiscent of the Playmates TMNT line, Bonehead (and other Toxic Crusaders) one-ups TMNT with waist articulation. Bonehead is not quite as limber as the Star Trek figures of the early 90's, but he has a nice range of movement.
The Toxic Crusaders were equipped with loads of fun accessories, and Bonehead is no exception. His radioactive gear includes (clockwise from top in the image above): Bone Blaster, Gaggin' Gas Mask, Acid Rain Maker, and Bone Blade (which was the Secret Toxic Weapon). The blaster and blade continue the fun bone motif and removable-masked figures are always a blast, so the gas mask is a welcome addition. The accessories also glow in the dark most sinisterly.
I don't remember exactly how much Bonehead cost (the eBay receipt went AWOL), but I think he was about $10 carded. Toxic Crusader fans often see Bonehead priced much higher, but I'm not sure if those prices are driven by buyers or sellers. Sure, I see some MOC Boneheads with a starting bid of $40, but I don't see many that sell at that price. Sellers might be driving the prices to an artificial high. Regardless, I'm sure that you, like me, can pick him up for a reasonable price if you're frosty.
The best action figure sculpting seems to tell a story, and Bonehead's detailing lets your imagination run wild. The tire tread on the back of his jacket might betray Bonehead's fate in life... maybe he was run over by a motorcycle and reanimated by toxic waste! And the bright color scheme is reminiscent of the highly saturated color templates that were so common in the early 90's. I love it; color schemes like this seem so much more toy-like to me.
And let's face it, glow in the dark zombies are awesome. But the GITD features are surprisingly sparse. I wish more of him was glow-able.
The Toxic Crusaders line is one of my favorite toy lines of all time, and with figures like Bonehead, it's easy to see why. Cool and imaginative sculpting details, an insanely saturated color scheme, and fun accessories all make this dude a winner. A few more tweaks, like more GITD features, would have made him a perfect figure. It's really too bad that Toxic Crusaders wasn't successful enough to see more waves. I would have loved to see what the toy line could have been.