Check out this 1980s Flash Gordon action figure rarity

Following up quickly on our coverage of NECA’s upcoming Flash Gordon movie-inspired action figures, here’s a treat for you – a rare sighting of the unique, pre-production hard copy figure of Galoob’s 1986 “Defenders of the Earth” figure.

Galoob’s catalogue promotion for the 1986 Defenders of the Earth range, via Ghost of the Doll
Galoob’s catalogue promotion for the 1986 Defenders of the Earth range, via Ghost of the Doll

Defenders of the Earth was a range of action figures and vehicles produced by Galoob in 1986, based on the 1985 cartoon series of the same name. The show itself was based on various 1950’s science fiction TV characters, including Flash Gordon, Mandrake the Magician, the Phantom and Ming the Merciless.

The figure featured in these photographs is you could buy in the shops: this is the pre-production hard copy figure which is either unique or close to it to downthetubes reader Gerald Edwards, who kindly shared these pictures with us, t

Galoob 1986 Defenders of the Earth Flash Gordon prototype figure. Image with thanks to Gerald Edwards

“This particular one was painted up and used for the illustrations on the backs of the action figure cards,” he tells us. “All the joints are pinned to check the manufacturing process and the figure is in resin, not plastic. The paint job is slightly different from the production item. Unusually, this also comes with a pre-production sword.

“It’s an iconic figure, as Flash Gordon vies with Buck Rogers as the first [widely licensed] spaceman, given that earlier space travellers, such as John Carter of Mars, did not have toys and other merchandise until much later.”

As part of the show’s 35th anniversary, National Entertainment Collectibles Association (NECA) produced variants of its King Features characters in the style and colours of the Defenders of the Earth.

NECA will launch figures based on the Flash Gordon film later this year, as we reported here – Flash Gordon, Ming the Merciless and Vultan.

Figure Realm: Defenders of the Earth (Galoob) Action Figure Checklist

Ghost of the Doll: Defenders of the Earth in the 1986 Galoob Catalogue

Wikipedia – Defenders of the Earth

Defenders of the Earth – Official Series Guide (via Wayback)

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