CLASH OF THE TITANS (MATTEL)
The incredible success of Star Wars and its associated merchandise was something that just about everyone was looking to cash in on in the late 70s/early 80s. Kenner had struck gold with their 3 ¾ inch line, leading to a number of imitators, hoping to get a slice of that success. Mattel tried a number of different lines, based on various sci-fi and fantasy properties of the time, each very clearly based on the Kenner aesthetic. One such line was Clash of the Titans, based on the 1981 film. The line was far from a smash success, and only managed to produce four basic figures and two larger creatures. Today, I’ll be looking at their figure of the film’s hero, Perseus.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Perseus was part of the first, and only, series of Clash of the Titans figures from 1981. The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall (making him pretty tall for the time) and has 5 points of articulation. While the sculpt was clearly designed to mimic the Kenner figures of the time, this figure is noticeably less sturdy than his Kenner compatriots. For a classic Greek hero, he sure is scrawny. The sculpt is okay overall, but there are a number of odd things going on with it. The legs/pelvis area is definitely pretty weird looking; in the movie, he’s wearing a long tunic sort of a thing, but here it’s been transformed into an odd, squared off diaper thing. And that’s not even addressing the fact that his legs don’t appear to actually connect to his torso. His torso sports a strap that abruptly ends at the hip. In the film, this strap is connected to his scabbard, but Mattel wanted to be able to have Perseus share his legs with Thallo, so there was no scabbard to be had. The head probably exhibits the best work of the sculpt, but it’s still not all there. I can kind of see Harry Hamlin in this sculpt, but he looks a bit exaggerated, and almost has a sinister, scheming air about him, which hardly seems right for the film’s hero. Perseus’s paint is faitlu basic. One shade of brown for his hair, boots, bracelets, and eyes, another for his strap, and a light beige for his tunic. It’s nothing amazing, but it’s all pretty clean. Plus, he got eyes, which means he fared far better than any of the humans from Mattel’s Battlestar Galactica line! Perseus was originally packed with a sword and his shield, the Aegis, but my figure doesn’t have those.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve actually never seen Clash of the Titans. I’ve seen clips from it, I’ve heard the soundtrack, but I’ve never seen the movie. However, I’m a bit of a Greek mythology geek, and I’m also a huge action figure geek (try not to be too shocked). So, when I found this guy in a box of loose figures at a flea market last month, I was actually kind of excited. As usual, it’s a Mattel product that’s nowhere near the competing product of the time in terms of quality, but I kind of have a soft spot for this figure. And one of these days I’ll get around to watching the movie…