Female Action Figures: Hits and Missed Opportunities

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NoOneofConsequence
Posts: 207
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:11 pm
Location: Beyond Thunder River

Re: Female Action Figures: Hits and Missed Opportunities

Post by NoOneofConsequence »

Picking up where I left off before work, family stuff, and holidays distracted me.

We've talked ThunderCats and SilverHawks, so the natural follow up is TigerSharks.

TigerSharks debuted in 1987, mostly shown as part of The Comic Strip, a show made up of four shows shown in short form. All together, the TigerSharks' shorts added up to only 26 full episodes. The titular characters are human explorers who've come to the aquatic world of Water-O (wah-tare-oh), and use a transformation tank on their ship (the SARK) to morph into half human/half aquatic forms. They end up becoming the protectors of Water-O and its native Waterians from two rival crews of space pirates.

Following the same formula as Rankin/Bass's other shows, the main team had its old guy, leader, strong guy, skilled, and female member. That female member was Octavia, whose aquatic form was, naturally, an octopus. And, also naturally, her transformation kept her humanoid body, only turning her head into an octopus with the tentacles forming her "hair". Octavia is apparently the Captain of the SARK, as well as the communication tech and strategist.

Like ThunderCats, the team also had its two junior members, a brother and sister pair named Bronc and Angel. Angel is a research assistant (and presumably intern), and turns into a human-angelfish hybrid.

The only female villain among the two pirate crews was a woman with a samurai motif going on, and there seems to be some confusion as to what her name is. Wikipedia lists her as "Soulmate" while the ThunderCats wiki lists her as "Mankiller".

Sadly, none of these characters ever got action figures. TigerSharks only got a very brief release of 8 figures, all of which go for huge prices on the secondary market.
What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)
NoOneofConsequence
Posts: 207
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:11 pm
Location: Beyond Thunder River

Re: Female Action Figures: Hits and Missed Opportunities

Post by NoOneofConsequence »

So, one of the biggest TV hits of the early 80s was The A-Team. The show ran from 1983 to 1987, and would be one of the few brands to have figure lines in two different scales at the same time.

Galoob made both lines, one in 3.75" scale which used an 0-ring design simian to GI Joe (and a number of other lines). These came in a four pack of all four members of the A-Team, and a second four pack with a set of bad guys invented for the line. They were literally called "The Bad Guys" ("They came to challenge the A-Team") and given the names Cobra, Viper, Python, and Rattler. Which sounds like some guys who really wanted to join GI Joe's villain team. There were also vehicles, with the Face figure coming with his Corvette and BA coming with his van. Hannibal came, strangely, with a "patrol boat", and Murdock with a fighter jet. Then there was a "camp set" which also came with all four members.

The 3.75" scale figures were weird in that they all wore these single color cover alls. The other scale line, done in 6 inch, looked much more like their TV counterparts. They also made six inch versions of The Bad Guys. And, they made the sole female figure for the entire thing. Amy Amanda Allen, the reporter who tagged along with the A-Team during their first season and a half. Allen only came with "reporter gear" - a film camera and other items. She also has what is often regarded as one of the single worst head sculpts in all of action figure history. (None of the Galoob head sculpts are really great, but the Amy Allen one is just especially terrible, with her head jutting far too forward on her neck, with her hair almost going directly into her neck.)

In the middle of season two of the show, Allen was replaced (with little explanation beyond "being on foreign correspondent duty") by a similar female reporter character, Tawnia Baker. Baker never received an action figure, but given what happened with Allen, that might be for the best.

At the end of season four, the A-Team gained another fifth female member, Tia (no official last name ever given that I can find), the half-Vietnamese daughter of one of the A-Team's enemies, Gen. Fulbright. Tia was played by actress Tia Carrere, who had signed on to be on General Hospital when The A-Team's renewal for a fifth season were uncertain. So Tia just vanished with no explanation.

During the final season, when the team was blackmailed into working for Robert Vaughn's Robert Stockwell, Stockwell had an assistant, Carla, for the first half of the season. She was mainly his secretary and personal assistant, never doing much in the field. But, she's one of the reoccurring female characters in the A-Team's orbit.

Neither character ever had a chance of getting a figure, as the Galoob line had ended before their appearance.
What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)
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