Tuesday 4 February 2014


These two guys know all about unpopular action figures.
Hi everybody.

As many of you might already know, on Hoard World we strive to stay away from negativity as much as possible. If something sucks, some times it's best just to keep your mouth shut and move on.

That said, some times you can't shy away from the naked truth.

Welcome to a new series of features where we aim to look at some of the most unpopular toys of all time. These toys are not necessarily bad or even poorly made, people just seemed to not care when they were released.

Like, at all.

And years later, they are worth even less than what you would have paid for them on first release. Now, value appreciation is not always (nor should it be) an indicator of worth or popularity. Or even quality. And if you own any of this stuff and you love it - GOOD! That's what it's all about. That's the only thing that actually matters.

The interesting part for me, is always why? Why were they unpopular at the time? Often, on paper, these toys should be awesome.

To help me on this journey, I needed to look no further than my pals The Mighty Spector (surely one of the most unpopular Masters Of The Universe Classics action figures ever released; also a time traveler) and Lex Luthor. Lex is not always an unpopular figure in his own right, but he himself admits that his likeness was responsible for easily one of the biggest peg warmers of 1990 (and possibly all time).

This was a Lex Luthor figure that I can remember still seeing on toy shelves for years and years after the line (Toy Biz DC Superheroes) was dead.

This guy right here.
Picture credit: DoomKick
But now.....what we are actually here to look at!

I was searching on Amazon this morning for a DVD release of all the SNL Digital Shorts (wishful thinking I know), when I came across this.........

Released in 2000 by Creation Entertainment.
Picture Credit: Amazon (seller:  Seaside General Store)
Mind blown, I kept searching.

Lo and behold.....

Also released in 2000 by Creation Entertainment.
Picture Credit: Ebay (seller: all_time_toy_store)

I don't know if you know this about me, but I like to think that even if I don't own it, I certainly have some memory of it; especially if it's been released in my life time. Clearly, you can't keep track of everything, but given that SNL dolls combine two of my favourite things (comedy and toys), I'm  pretty flabbergasted that I had never seen them before.

But it didn't end there.

Oh no.

It got better.

You best believe they made 6" action figures as well.

Chris Rock's "Nat X" character by X-Toys.
Picture credit: Ebay (seller: all_time_toy_store) 

In the past, I assumed there had been merch and memorabilia, like figurines of the Hans And Franz characters (as portrayed by Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey), but these were usually few and far between. And quite rare to come across. Particularly on Hoard World.

Hans and Frans figurines.
Picture credit: Ebay (seller: thesarahshow)

But for the life of me, I had never seen dolls or action figures specifically branded with SNL.

I guess you could count stuff like The Coneheads toy line from the early 90s because the film was based on an SNL sketch. But I don't.

So you can understand that my entire world had fallen apart to learn that any of these existed! Not only existed, but produced and released in the first place, but then completely unpopular.

To pretty much everyone.

Toy Fans. SNL Fans. SNL Toy Fans.

14 years later, you can still pick a lot of these up for a wink and a smile.

Exhibit A for Nobody Cares About SNL Figures.
Picture credit: Listia

By the looks of things, these were all made for the 25th Anniversary of SNL back in 2000.

It appears that only two dolls (Gilda Radner's Roseanne Rosannadanna and John Belushi's Samurai Baker) and four 6" action figures were made. The dolls were produced by Creation Entertainment, who were also responsible for The Drew Carey Show dolls. The 6" action figures were produced by X-Toys who had previously released such beloved lines as Wing Commander and Wild Wild West movie figures. Ahem.

The four action figures were Molly Shannon as Mary Katherine Gallagher (this would be at the height of that character's fame with her Superstar SNL spin-off movie released in 1999), Chris Rock as Nat X, Adam Sandler as Goat Boy (for people interested in Adam Sandler action figures, however, we would get much better likenesses soon after with the only slightly more popular McFarlane's Little Nicky toy line) and finally, once again, John Belushi as The Samurai Baker.

Personally, I think they came with great props.
Picture credit: Ebay (seller: talinem)
Once again, the props. A two-mic podium. Great.
Picture source: Ebay (seller: primetoystore)

The action figures, in particular, you can still find floating around for pretty cheap (if not FREE).

Who's to say why these failed? Distribution? Character Choice? Absolutely No Demand?

Taking a look at these images, despite my love of the props they come with, the likenesses aren't that great overall. And to be honest, the figures themselves don't seem like the best quality, however they are largely indicative of the quality of their era. In the US market at least, aside from McFarlane and Mezco, there wasn't a heck of a lot of quality stuff coming out. Not by comparison to the years that followed.

I think the Gilda Radner likeness of her Roseannadanna character doll seems pretty spot on, though. And I have to admit that the idea of owning John Belushi as the Samurai Baker fills me with some kind of perverse thrill.

At the end of the day, however, SNL 25th anniversary or not, maybe it's just as simple as nobody wanted plastic representations of any of these characters.

The fact that almost 15 years later, I can still pick some of these up for $6 plus shipping seems like a good indicator.

We just weren't ready for them!

And apparently, still aren't.

yr pal,


Picture credit: Figure Realm

Stay tuned for Series 2!! NOT!
Picture credit: Figure Realm.


  1. I remember that these were kind of a big deal when they were first announced. ToyFare magazine had done some of their "dream line" columns about SNL stuff, so they heavily covered these things. While they came out during that period when anything could get an action figure, they really didn't have a target demographic. Rather than going for better sculpts like McFarlane as offering at the time, they eschewed themselves towards being true action feature based action figures. But what kid really wanted these? I was a big SNL fan (I would have been in 10th grade when these came out) but these just didn't appeal to me.

    Oh, and that Lex Luthor? He really and truly punches himself in the face. It's hilarious. He's supposed to uppercut; he punches himself in the face instead,

    1. Oh, I imagine in some circles they would have been a thing, but I don't think I ever saw them myself at the time, and I mustn't have been reading Toyfare at the time either. I'm fascinated by "good on paper" toy flops. I feel like the Big Trouble In Little China figures from 2002 are a similar type of noble failure to the SNL figures, except over time, their obscurity has increased their value and overall interest in them.

      As for Lex, he was the "Admiral Akbar" of Super Hero action figures at that time.

      Thanks for reading!