Most Requested Figures: The Rocketeer

Sometimes as toy collectors, we can look across our displays and only see the toys that aren’t there. They are the missing figures. The characters toy companies never got around to, never thought were important enough, or worse – the figures companies felt the need to show us at comicon in the “We’re Never Gonna Make These” case. Saturdays are for these figures…

Up until now, we’ve limited our figure requests to additional figures in current toylines. We prefer not getting our hopes up, so we prefer to make reasonable requests. Well, not this week.

I thought of this a couple days ago, looked into it, got a little irritated about it, and decided it would be this week’s feature. This character has seen some product in toyform. He’s got a 12″ Medicom under his belt. He’s got a Kubrick. He’s got a a vinyl collectible doll that looks like a big cosbaby. I’ve seen a statue of him, but there’s no real “action figure” to his name. One company thought to ask and got a very unfortunate answer once. But, despite that lack of toyness, despite that unfortunate answer, I think this can be done and I think it’s well past time too. Fans need a 6-7″, articulated Rocketeer.

The Rocketeer is most known for his ’91 film of the same name. Though, he’s much older than that. He was created by Dave Stevens in the early 80s and had a handful of comic appearances to his belt well before the movie came to theatres. Stevens was inspired by the 30s and 40s serials and did an amazing job of crafting a character that fit into the era so well. The look, in particular, has captured more than a few of our imaginations, but we still don’t have a toy to show for it. Sadly, I believe the Rocketeer’s main claim to fame, the film, has been preventing the reality of a Rocketeer figure in the last twenty years.

Supposedly, the Rocketeer was intended to be more of a franchise film than a one-off movie, but as it often does, the box office saw a quick end to that. The film debuted at 4th place on its opening weekend (behind Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, City Slickers, and Dying Young). It would go on to to earn more than it cost in domestic sales, leaving international sales and rental money as gravy, but Disney was done with the notion of it being a franchise and that was that.

Normally, Disney being done with something licensed may not be a deathknell, but in this case, Disney owns the Rocketeer outright. Similar to how we won’t be seeing anything new coming out of the now Disney-owned Crossgen material, the Rocketeer is Disney’s to keep from us.

But, I did tell you above about one company that had the thought to throw some Rocketeer fans a bone? That would be Toy Biz/Marvel Toys with the Legendary Comic Book Heroes line. At AFI’s Behind the Plastic Panel last year, some of the former Marvel Toys staff showed what they had planned had LCBH been able to continue. Among them was a slide of the Rocketeer in Marvel Legends form. Now, this wasn’t something they would have done, but just wanted to do. They tried their best to get a response from Disney, and when Disney did answer, they wanted millions for it. Check out that AFI’s Behind the Plastic Panel Coverage for specifics. Make sure to take a look at that 8th video, around the three minute mark, for a look at that proposed Rocketeer figure.

Even though Marvel Toys has since met their corporate-mandated demise, I think Disney can still get this done. What I want to see is something similar to their Indiana Jones release from last year, though it wouldn’t hurt if they did it a little better. Exclusivity wouldn’t be an issue because park exclusives can generally be ordered through Disney’s own mail-order business.

But, I don’t know what it would it take to convince Disney there’s a market for the Rocketeer. Maybe a larger line with some of the other characters done in that style? A better Indiana Jones? Captain Jack Sparrow? Tron? Judge Doom? Mary Poppins? Okay, I might be stretching it on some of those – but a Disney Legends line might be cool now that I think about it.

So what say you, readers? Is the Rocketeer a figure worth making or just another character we should put behind us?

33 thoughts on “Most Requested Figures: The Rocketeer

  1. dude, going back and looking at the AFI panel and that TB rocketeer proto, i almost cried… TOY BIZ!!!!!!!! man i miss those MFers!

    1. I didn’t know a lot of the indy characters, but those guys brought forth a ton of great figures.

      It’s a shame to know that their demise was mandated. Stupid move on Marvel’s part.

  2. Yeah, this is pretty sad stuff. In my personal wish list (Nexus, Magnus the robot fighter, Sam and Max, Rocketeer) Rocketeer is definately the one I may never actually see.

    On the other hand, Shocker Toys or some such toy company may be low profile enough to convince Disney to maybe try it out as a low-cost merchandising experiment?

  3. That’s a big NO on Shocker. Those are ugly toys. I don’t want a mangled Rocketeer like that awful Dick Tracy from SDCC.

    1. Shhh. I’m trying not to think about that.

      On the other hand, if the Ghostbusters and He-man franchises go alright (and there’s every indication they will) Mattel can maybe do it’s own thing with Disney’s heroes.

      1. LOL. We have to think about it. Those are some fugly and easily broken toys. I’d almost rather not have one than have a Shocker one.

        A Mattel Disney Legends line could be cool.

  4. Who runs Disney? Dr. Evil?

    “I will give you the Rocketeer… for one MILLION dollars!!”


  5. I would LOVE a Rocketeer figure. Even more than that, I would love Big Guy and Rust figures. Perhaps, with our powers combined . . .

  6. I’ve been wanting one of these for twenty years. I can’t believe Disney views it as a failure AND wants that much money for it.

  7. Yes, I would have loved to have a Rocketeer action figure.
    And maybe a “Betty”… and his pal.
    What’s with Disney???

    Dave Stevens did a wonderful job on these characters and as action figures they would have “rocked”… ah, “rocketed”!!

  8. With today’s Disney-Marvel merger, I wonder if there’s a chance this figure will be made now.

  9. That was an idiot move on Disney’s part.

    Maybe today’s news will help this little project of yours along.

  10. What an odd coincidence that you posted this and then the next day Disney actually bought Marvel. Who knows what the future holds for Marvel and/or Disney characters in figure form?

  11. Conversation on sketch card forum:

    Now knowing how tightly Disney keeps their properties watched on Ebay I wonder if they will do that with Marvel characters now too….

    My eBay account has just been suspended because of the Marvel PSCs I had up there. Ouch, that hurts! Sad

    I doubt that’s why. It wouldn’t effect something that way that fast.

    eBay pinpointed all the auctions with ‘Marvel’ in the title as the offenders.
    And added –

    “The rights owner or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the rights owner, Marvel Entertainment, Inc., notified eBay that this listing violates intellectual property rights. When eBay receives a report of this type of violation, we remove the listing to comply with the law.”

    Apparently, the sketch artists were right to be worried about whether they would be affected by the Disney thing.

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