I Had That! #39: Dune Action Figures

Long-time readers will know how much I unflinchingly adore David Lynch’s Dune. A lot. Possibly too much. When it came out in 1984 I fell for the movie, even though I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. I read the book, I convinced a teacher to let me do a book report on it, and I bought the toys.

Yes, toys.

In a moment of cinematic hubris companies such as LJN lined up to make toys based on an overlong, baffling, PG-13, kid-unfriendly movie with weird clunky technology. Fortunately, they did it in a way that was 100% on point with the movie itself: bizarrely.

The figures were 6″ tall, putting them out of scale with most other action figures at the time (and requiring that any accessories would have to be huge.) Although the initial (and only) lineup wasn’t too strange — Paul, Feyd, Baron Harkonnen, Stilgar, Beast Rabban (the most huh? entry of the bunch), and a Sardaukar Trooper — there were some odd details. Paul is in his Atreides dress uniform, an outfit he’s wearing when NOT interacting with any of the other included characters. It’s tempting to say that, well, they already had Stilgar and thus didn’t want two dudes in stillsuits, but Rabban and Feyd are practically the same character. Feyd comes with a knife, sure, but also the cat-thing that is given to Thufir late in the movie. Huh? There’s no Thufir figure, so this accessory is pointless and weird. Can you imagine a kid trying to puzzle this thing out?

I was getting a bit too old for action figures, and by this time I was into my Doctor Who knockoff world anyway, and these just didn’t fit in. I got Paul, Feyd, and Stilgar, but passed on the others. The rest of the world did too, and they vanished off shelves (but not discount bins) not long after they appeared.

I also didn’t grab any of the other toys, though I’d kill for one of these:

“Ages 5 and up” is what that box says and what five-year-old wouldn’t want a big ribbed worm to play with? No one who has this ever takes a photo of it with the action figures, so I’ve no idea just how out of scale this thing is.

I’m surprised that one of these nostalgic retro-toy companies hasn’t taken this license on, to be honest.

When did I get it? They came out in 1984 and that’s when I got them.

Do I still have it? I’m honestly surprised I don’t. I’ve no idea what I did with them.

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