Friday, August 16, 2013

These Bootlegs Are Made for Walkin'

And that's just what they'll do. One of these days these bootleg toys are gonna walk all over you...

This week's topic for the League is a tough one. The topic is:

Bootlegs, knockoffs, and third-party products.

Is there anything in my archival room that will suffice? Read on and find out...

Let's see, how do I begin... I don't like bootlegs, knockoffs, or third-party products when it comes to toys, or really anything else for that matter. I don't know why, but I just never got into them. I always felt like I was settling, like I couldn't get the real thing, so I settled for a lousy imitation. "I went to the dollar store and all I got was plastic poisoning from a cheap knock off." Ya know?

I remember once when Power Rangers were just becoming scarce in stores, my brother and I stumbled upon some really bad Power Ranger knock-offs at the dollar store. We got the pink and yellow rangers, and I just felt like it was so wrong. They had male chests. Trini and Kimberly had apparently pumped up on steroids. Of course, there were actual Bandai sanctioned Power Ranger toys that featured the girls with manly chests too. What could ya do? It was the 90's. Le sigh.

Anyways, we so desperately wanted to have something from all the mass hysteria that was ensuing over these damn Power Rangers. My brother would eventually move on to the real thing, but I somehow held onto my total rip off. The articulation was terrible. The plastic had a strange slimy feel to it, like I was somehow being exposed to radioactive properties. What was meant to be something fun and exciting was just such a let down. Here's the bootleg Pink Ranger:

I haven't always been a stuck up bitch regarding bootlegs and what-not. There have been times where I have felt a certain respect for a good bootleg or knock off. Take for instance Golden Girl released by Galoob back in the 80's. I know this may be hard to believe, but once upon a time there were a few toy lines in the pink aisle that were all about warrior women (Golden Girl, Goddess of Wonder...) She-Ra certainly paved the way for quite a few toy lines that wanted to cash in on all that sword wielding power.
Golden Girl was one of the lines that actually had some slight competition with She-Ra. (I say slight, but let's be real, there was only one She-Ra.) Anyways, Golden Girl was interesting, because the action dolls had rooted hair and cloth capes, but they were made more like a He-Man figure. They looked like warrior wrestlers. Check out some of the offerings from the line. (These photos and more Golden Girl info can be found on Ghost of the Doll.)
You've got Golden Girl, She-Ra's doppelganger.

Next up is Kimber Benton dressed as... Oh wait, this is Jade.

Prince Kroma with his krome chastity belt helped Golden Girl and her friends.

Dragon Queen was the main villain. (What a name, right?)

There were quite a few villains, including Moth Lady. (This is who I become in the future.)

And there was a male villain too by way of Ogra.
There were actually more characters, horses, fashions, and play sets. This was truly a knock off line of She-Ra, but it was all done in a very inventive way. I vividly recall this line in stores. There were a few times where I nearly added one or two to my collection back then. I just couldn't though. It was like Golden Girl was that bad girl that smoked cigarettes and used Xanax in the school bathroom. You wanted to hang out with her and be wild and crazy too, but you just knew it wouldn't end well. Know what I mean?
However, there would be a strange twist of fate that would grant me the presence of a Golden Girl in my life. A few years ago my dear friend Patrick had a surprise birthday gift for me. Now he was so proud because in his words, "I have found an awesome gift for you. I think I may have found the lost She-Ra doll you've been looking for."
I immediately thought of Glimmer, only it wasn't Glimmer. It was Golden Girl. "Where did you get this?" I asked full of curiosity. I mean, who has Golden Girl dolls for sale? His reply, "I went to a comic store looking for a She-Ra doll, and they said they had one She-Ra doll in store." I could only shake my head, "I love this. I truly do. But this isn't She-Ra. You were robbed. This is a She-Ra bootleg named Golden Girl." He thought I was making something up. We all had a good laugh and he couldn't believe that there was actually a few items for sale like She-Ra back in the day. This is when I realized that bootlegs and knock offs can actually be a really good thing. This loose Golden Girl gift was a reminder that at one point in history She-Ra was popular enough to have imitators. I miss those days. Now it seems like all that is left are people getting into fights over the inclusion of She-Ra items in the Masters of the Universe Classics line. (I admit, I do sometimes speak up a lil too much. Ya gotta love me though, right?)
So that is my take on bootlegs and such. Let's see what other members of the League are talkin about this week:
-Rich introduced me to some third party Super Heroes
-Jason is rediscovering when Street Hawk was a part of G.I. Joe
-Christopher shares in his bootleg collection
-The Goodwill Geek talks the father of all bootlegs
-Brian looks up in the air and finds... cardboard!
Be sure to check back at Cool and Collected for more member's topics and be sure to stop by Ghost of the Doll. That site is a treasure trove of girl's toys.
I hope all is well with you all, and as usual, I have some more fun stuff coming up. Take care!


  1. That Power Ranger sounds terrible to touch lol but those Golden Girls are actually kind of neat but am just wonder where is Betty White at because she was a Golden Girl right? : D

    1. Ha! There needs to be a Betty White character! lol This line was actually pretty neat, and I do regret not really having any. The line is actually still pretty inexpensive to collect. I have been toying around with the idea of getting some. And yeah, the Power Ranger is really gross to touch. lol

    2. You should get some of those Golden Girl figs Miss M it would be fun seeing you build up a collection of these.

    3. I'm actually really thinking about it John. I have always seen them and know enough about them that it would make sense for me to own some, but I just never have. I think that will be changing.

  2. Those Golden girls want to watch out because Garth Nadir is coming to town... to take them down.

    1. Ha! I've been meaning to comment on your Garth Nadir. My Internet has been acting up though from a bad storm we had yesterday. I read it over though, that is awesome.

  3. I love bootleg toys in that they make me laugh cuz they have bootleg packaging as well. It's not enough with the awkward figure, they have weird, and sometimes terrible box art illustrations to go with it. Long live the dollar store and the Spade Rangers!

    1. I know! The illustrations are always the best on these! When I used to work at a dollar store I'd always geek out over all the really funny bootlegs and knock offs we'd get in. There was this one Snow White doll knock off that looked evil. It was so bad, yet oh so good. lol I hope you are doing well!

  4. omg that fake power ranger looks some one took a gobot body and put a helmet on her. and the ogre figure looks like a bootleg kraven figure and that prince kroma looks like a rejected ken playing flash gordon .you really should try and add that line to your collection miss m.

    1. Oh that fake Power Ranger is just a mess. lol I don't even know what to think about it. As for Golden Girl, yes, the more and more I think about this line the more I want to add a few to my collection. I really could kick myself for never getting anything sooner. I've known of the line's existence since I was little, but the more I learn about it, the more I am just so intrigued. lol I feel so dumb. lol

  5. Hi, you're website is awesome. I'm a big fan of everything 80's toy related too.
    I'm not so sure Golden Girl was a knockoff of She-Ra. Galoob had Golden Girl figures on shelves months before the Princess of Power held a loft her sword in any toy store. This was a discussion thread on about this very same topic.
    In this thread it a post shows the trademark dates for both lines are a mere month a part, Mattels being first of course.
    I wonder if this scenario is similar to the Jem/Barbie and the Rockers story. Maybe Mattel caught wind of Galoobs female version of the masters of the universe and decided to shut it down with by creating she-ra as a piggy back to the line. With Mattel's existing relationship with filmation and their expertise regarding marketing toward young girls they were able to inundate young girls with POP. that was the one reason I read that Golden Girl possibly failed, no tie in with a cartoon. Which was the cornerstone to any successful 80s toy.
    They are great figures though, would have been nice to see how they could have competed with mattel.

    1. Thank you so much for the comment! And I think my mind is totally officially blown! If Golden Girl came out before She-Ra, and Mattel just rushed it out, than it changes everything! I mean I know on some level the lines are different, but there are some major similarities. Oh that darn Mattel. lol They were always doing that, that would make it very similar to Jem and Barbie and the Rockers.

      I had always hoped there was a cartoon to Golden Girl, because I do remember this line and feeling like it was interesting enough to have something more. As much as I love She-Ra, I do feel like Golden Girl certainly fits in more with He-Man, at least in terms of how the GG dolls were made. Thank you for that link! This is all so interesting now! I hope you enjoy this blog too!

  6. Actually, He-Man, at first, was kind of a knock off of Conan the Barbarian wasn't it? I think I remember hearing MOTU came out because they heard about the Conan movie with Arnold, but either they couldn't get the license or they deemed Conan too violent to be turned into a kids line. In any case, I think the early mini comics and supporting materials do reference He-Man as a barbarian. The prince Adam story came about later.
    And I remember always thinking that Thundarr the Barbarian looked like a He-Man rip off, but then when I got older I realized that Thundarr predated MOTU and that Jack Kirby Worked on it! Also Steve Gerber, the man who invented Howard the Duck worked on it. So it was not a rip off of He-Man. (but it did rip off Star Wars. Ookla the Monk a bit like Chewie? but, hell, it's not like She-ra didn't rip off Star Wars too.)
    Speaking of Howard the Duck and Betty White and Golden Girls. (or at least one commenter mentioned Betty White) I love the woman, and respect the fact that Hot in Cleveland had an episode that reunited the Mary Tyler Moore women, but, why is it that they film Captain America and the Avengers in Cleveland-but not Howard the Duck or Hot in Cleveland!? Both of those things are set in Cleveland but are filmed in, probably, L.A! Hot in Cleveland should be called "Not in Cleveland" really. Anyway, that's my gripe as a Cleveland/surrounding areas boy.

    1. See I've read different accounts on He-Man and Conan. I can't recall where I read this, but I could have sworn I read something that Mattel had already been in development with He-Man and that it happened to come out near the same time. I don't know now. I wish there was a way to interview all these people who were creating these things behind the scenes, because I have read so many different versions of events. I would love to know all the scoop. I do know that a lot of ideas for He-Man had been done before with other things, and that many of those previous properties did lead to He-man coming into existence. In fact, She-Ra was also based in part off an old Filmation show from the 70's, Isis something or another, at least from what I remember. I may need to double check on that. I know that She-Ra was going to have a name that was based more in Greek mythology, but they ended up with She-Ra because of rights issues. And I think a lot of toy lines and cartoons took from Star Wars in the early to mid 80's. I mean SW was such a big deal, that it created a bunch of similar looking shows. I mean I know some people get hung up on that stuff, I don't always do. I think it depends on how it is executed. I mean there are so many good things about certain shows and stuff, that if there is a way that a story can be told that takes an element from that story and expands upon it greatly, it can sometimes even create even more great things.

      I know some people want to think of He-Man as a purely barbarian based story, but if you look at everything that was included in the mythos, it has shades of everything thrown in for good measure. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, John Carter, Conan. There were just all kinds of elements and genres put into that toy line and consequently She-Ra. I mean She-Ra had far more mythological and creature based things with the line that I think was clearly borrowed from previous things before. I think that's why that line was so special, at least to me.

      And I know what you mean, I hate it when shows or movies take place in a setting that clearly is not really in that setting. Like I love the movie Urban Cowboy because it takes place in Houston, but there are scenes where it is like, "This is clearly not Houston. We don't have mountains in Houston." lol

  7. I can't even read your post because my eyes are welling up. I just got such a kick out of that "These bootlegs were made for walking" pun.