When it comes to the world of action figures, quality tends to be a major factor in the value or worth of the figure. Over the years fans have seen thousands of their favorite fictional characters turned into plastic and sold on store shelves around the world. Considering so many action figures are produced on an annual basis for hundreds of different properties it shouldn't come as a surprise that many of them don't quite hit the mark. Now, we're going to be talking about bad action figures but it will mostly be through the lens of aesthetic accuracy.
As with most things, the higher priced the action figure, the more detailed the figure is and the more effort and attention to detail is put into producing a product that's a spitting image of the original character. Kids are often left to the mercy of their parents which means they're often stuck with the figures their parents can afford or find for them. This means that if you weren't selecting the exact action figure yourself chances are you might have ended up with one of the figures on this list. The cool thing with action figures from the past is that many of the rarer ones carry significant value despite how ugly they were. Let's now take a look at 25 ridiculously bad action figures that actually existed. We'll be looking at everything from 80s cartoons to modern-day superheroes.
22 Scarlet Witch
With Scarlet Witch's popularity growing exponentially over the past 5 years thanks in large part to her introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe you would assume her toys would be treated with even the baseline level of craftsmanship.
Unfortunately for Elizabeth Olsen, it seems like this Scarlet Witch action figure was someone else entirely.
Not only did they pair a long neck with an equally long face, they somehow managed to make the connection between her shoulders and arms seem as unrealistic as possible. Maybe she can manipulate reality in a way that makes this toy partially authentic.
You would think that an action figure of the Incredible Hulk would probably be the easiest thing to make while at the same time being the hardest character to screw up. Heck, for the most part, he's essentially one giant muscle with some purple pants and dark brown hair. It turns out that by leaving the entire figure green while only coloring his ripped pants you can, in fact, manage to make an awful Hulk toy. The muscles on the figure are also a little too defined for the character. The Hulk has always resembled the physique of the World's Strongest Man as opposed to a professional bodybuilder.
20 Qui-Gon Jinn
Though the Star Wars prequels are largely seen as the forgotten times of the franchise, they did bring fans the introduction of Qui-Gon Jinn as well as Darth Maul. These two characters instantly became fan favorites and are often seen as the only reason to go back and watch Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Now, Jinn was played by Liam Neeson, an actor with a bigger head and noticeably rounder face. This action figure bears a closer resemblance to the image of Jesus or possibly Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye than it does Qui-Gon Jinn.
When people look at Superman they're used to seeing a country boy face and haircut with the body of Adonis. Superman has one of the most iconic superhero outfits and his body is often used as a reference for what people aspire to achieve when training and bodybuilding.
When you're making an action figure of Superman, his body and costume should probably both be areas of importance.
They put all of their efforts into the head and decided to make his costume look like Chucky's shirt from the Rugrats. It also looks this Superman might have purchased one too many hot dogs on the corner outside of the Daily Planet.
18 Crazy Clown Mikey
Sometimes when it came to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles they would ditch a theme for the entire crew and instead make a line featuring each of the turtles in a different outfit or costume. It seems that this time around Mikey drew the short straw and had to dress up as 'Crazy Clown Mikey.' It's a well-established notion that a large percentage of people are either afraid of clowns, find them uncomfortable, or just think the whole look is gross. If you're the friend in the group or the sibling in the house that got stuck with Mikey in this line, it's your fault for choosing Mikey over Donatello.
17 TMNT (Mutant Masters '97)
It was hard to find a kid in the late 80s and early 90s who wasn't obsessed with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Power Rangers. Heck, most kids were equally obsessed with both. The last thing kids were begging for was a combination of the two, however. The Mutant Masters line in 1997 features the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles morphed into what looked like Power Rangers versions of each of the members. Though some of the other toys we've mentioned for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were weird or unsettling, at least they still partially resembled them. Someone take this experiment back to the lab where they belong.
16 Wonder Woman
Just like Superman represents a traditional portrayal of masculine fitness, Wonder Woman tends to be a symbol of female empowerment and independence. Patty Jenkins along with Gal Gadot managed to remove a lot of the unnecessary objectification and portrayed a woman who was powerful and intelligent enough to save people on her own. She showcased that women don't always need a man to save them, and just as often men could use a strong female in their life. This action figure manages to showcase what looks to be a Mr. Mime in Wonder Woman cosplay.
One of the worst things to happen to you as a child is to come home after a long day of learning at school to find your favorite toys in pieces thanks to your hungry and curious dog. Imagine getting your hands on a Batman toy that arguably looks like it was regurgitated by your dog while still in its packaging.
At least you wouldn't have to worry about it getting damaged, I guess.
Though Bruce Wayne is known as a billionaire playboy we rarely see him sporting a strong tan. It seems that this toy goes for the Miami Beach fake tan look and runs with it. Apparently, Mr. Wayne doesn't have time for sunlight, so he fakes it at the cheapest tanning beds in Gotham.
14 Casey Jones
Casey Jones wasn't only a friend of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, he was arguably the groups #1 enforcer. With his hockey stick and mask, he wanted to strike fear into the hearts of criminals everywhere and just do his part. When kids who love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would beg their parents for action figures they would often ask for one of Casey Jones. The primary reason for this was because he looked cool. It's hard to look cool when you're rocking pastel sweats and a hoodie. He looks like he's ready to attend an aerobics class, not fight crime.
13 Lex Luthor
A skinny bald guy with strong eyebrows and an even stronger conviction. Lex Luthor isn't a complicated character design at all. When finding an actor to portray the iconic Superman villain it's about the acting ability, voice, and presence.
When it comes to an action figure of the mad genius it seems like you would have to go out of your way to screw it up.
Why does this Lex Luthor figure look like it's actually a Kingpin figure at first glance? The illustration on the packaging has a bigger torso and broader shoulders which are hallmarks of Kingpin, not Lex Luthor.
When Arnold Schwarzenegger first appeared onscreen as the Terminator fans were terrified. The 80s action hero was able to come off as physically impossible and really displayed a presence of invulnerability. This action figure looks less like Arnold and more like a King of the Hill character cosplaying as the Terminator. It manages to take the physique of a Mr. Olympia competitor and morphed it into that of an NFL kicker. This doesn't look like a technological killing machine, it looks like the guy you hire to fix your computer that's full of malware and viruses.
If you partner with the NBA to make figures of their best players you should know going in that some of them are going to require more material. This Shaq figure not only looks nothing like the Lakers legend but manages to take one of the largest human beings on the planet and make him the same stature and body shape as your middle school track coach. Not only did they not bother to get his face right, but they also didn't even care if he was the same skin tone. You could get away with a knockoff Byron Scott figure, but did they not think fans of Shaq would realize this figure looks nothing like him?
10 Green Arrow
When it comes to the world of DC Comics there are few heroes who match Batman's level of stoicism. Green Arrow, though seen as an idiot joker at times, is also seen as an intimidating vigilante. When a character has a costume design that features a hood it's important that the headpiece flows into the rest of the outfit seamlessly and doesn't feel out of place at all. Another key factor is making sure it's actually part of the outfit, instead of looking like a weird hat like in this action figure. They didn't even bother to try and make it look accurate.
When you're a group of characters as ongoing and beloved as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you know at some point the variations in costumes is going to have some hits and misses. If you're old enough you'll remember there was a time when the rarest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures were the original forms with no special costumes or accessories. Not only is this line sporting the iconic pizza shooters, they decided that the four turtles should also have eyes that resemble those from the scariest seen in the Beetlejuice film. Thanks for all of the nightmares and night terrors that ensued from obtaining these freaks.
Earlier we talked about the Incredible Hulk and how he's both the easiest and hardest figure to nail due to his very unique physique. This toy manages to make him look like the world's most fit neanderthal. If I were Lou Ferrigno I'd be upset that they went out of their way to use my likeness while at the same time making the toy totally unrecognizable. They managed to give him fully colored jeans but decided that giving him shoes or simply not coloring his feet and leaving them green was too much effort. Instead, we have the first Hulk toy that's wearing denim footsy pajamas.
Cyclops is the leader of the X-Men and one of the more popular mutants in the group. He's known for his passion and ability to lead, as well as his relationship with Jean Grey. One trait that Scott Summers has never carried is an enormous barrel chest that looks like something out of Rob Liefeld's imagination. Rob Liefeld, the creator of Deadpool and much more, is known for his weird art-style in which he never draws the feet of the characters while at the same time creating the beefiest versions of characters you've ever seen. He's responsible for turning Captain America into a thicc boy.
In the 80s RoboCop became the obsession of teen boys across the country. They were as interesting as they were terrified at the idea of a character like RoboCop. When you're that young there are very few things that can deter you from your core belief in something.
This action figure is exactly one of those things.
When a kid's mind is running wild when thinking about everything RoboCop could do the last thing they want to see is a bobble-head version of their favorite annihilation machine. It looks like the type of toy that was left in the sun or under a heat lamp for too long.
An over-sized cape made out of trash bags? Check. Weird ostrich legs that look really awkward and out of place? Yup. Arguably the worst attempt at the Batman logo you've ever seen? Well, it looks like we have a winner. Not only did they manage to completely gloss over the details that would make this action figure look even remotely authentic, they decided that trash bags would make the perfect cape. The ongoing notion is that knockoff toys are quickly produced and tend to gloss over quality concerns in exchange for high volume and quick sales. This seemed like a focused effort to make the worst Batman toy imaginable.
4 J. Jonah Jameson
Have you ever wanted an action figure of J. Jonah Jameson from the Spider-Man cartoon? What if he looked like he was a 10-year-old trying on his father's work clothes? If you answered yes to the second question then look no further. This action figure manages to take one of Spider-Man's funniest and equally infuriating characters and transforms him into a harmless child trying to play adult dress-up. If Jameson himself saw this figure he'd probably accuse Spider-Man of tampering at the manufacturing company in order to personally ruin his public image.
Your eyes do not deceive you. Believe it or not, the action figure pictured above is supposed to be that of everyone's favorite New York-based web shooter, Spider-Man. If there are any superheroes that the average person would know the costume colors for it would be Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man. Everyone knows that Batman rocks the yellow, grey, and black color scheme whereas the other two sport a combination of red and blue, though Superman also features a dash of yellow. Apparently, this company felt that it was easier to just make Spider-Man various shades of red.
Ezio Auditore isn't only one of the fiercest and deadliest fictional assassins of all-time, but he's arguably the face of the entire Assassin's Creed franchise created and developed by Ubisoft.
When it comes to company or franchise mascots it's important to focus on the likeness and details so you create a product your fans actually want to purchase.
Not only does this figure not resemble Ezio, but they also make him look like a paranoid nutcase. It's a real shame because his outfit is really identical to his iconic wardrobe, but it's paired with a face you wish you could hide in the shadows.
When thinking about the Hulk there are many words or phrases that come to mind in relation to the green colossus. Some of these words include incredible, strong, immense, intimidating, powerful, and physically imposing.
This toy manages to take all of those descriptors and apply the exact opposite in every way.
It seems that this company felt it was a clever idea to purchase a ton of unused Gumby toys and simply paint over them in hopes of cashing in on the Avengers and Marvel Cinematic Universe craze. The worst part is that I kind of want one as an ugly keepsake.