I have an action figure currently being molded by a local sculptor. I am tickled pink by this fact and can hardly contain my childlike glee as I think of the possibilities for an actual toyline based on a superhero I created. After having received jpegs from my sculptor of the proposed action figure, I immediately began to take inventory of my favorite black action figures that I got the opportunity to play with as a child. At one time I was the proud owner of Mego's Marvel Comics Falcon, and I have to say that I really enjoyed that toy. In fact, playing with that toy and of course teaming him up with Captain America, reminds me that Marvel was always quick to include some black folks in their comics and I guess that's why I have always been partial to Marvel. Captain America and The Falcon were Lethal Weapon before Danny Glover and Mel Gibson. Falcon's origin was garbage though, and his name initially was Snap Wilson or some such hooey...so when I was playing with him I modified his origin. Another cool black action figure was the African American GI Joe. And I'm not talking about the smaller line of GI Joes from the eighties, I'm talking about the big ones who had what seemed to be real hair and dog tags that you could pull and they would utter some command or battle cry. I remember taking him to show and tell in the first grade and another black kid named Tracy asked me if he could take him home to play with it. I never saw that GI Joe again. Upon finding out what I had done my father whipped my ass good and then told me I was too old to be playing with dolls anyway. I was highly upset because I knew that the chances of me finding another black action figure were slim to none. For some reason when I went to the department stores with my parents, I could never find the African American dolls. Looking back on this incident, I don't blame Tracy. My parents went out of the way to find toys that carried some ethnic significance so that I would have healthy self-esteem. Tracy's parents may not have been as proactive as mine in trying to find these kinds of products for him so he jacked mine. These two action figures represent the fine collection of African American based action figures that I owned during the course of my childhood. I intend to change things with my Lucius Hammer Action Figure. I hope that I influence a ton of people out there to get the action figures that they've been dreaming of for years out there on the market for themselves and the kids. Kids act out their own little adventures with these things and they are important. They are particularly effective when the kid that's playing with them can see a little glimmer of himself in that toy. Also...to Tracy, wherever you're at right now...keep my black GI Joe but be sure to buy your kids a Lucius Hammer figure when they hit the stores.
Labels: Black Action Figures