I don’t think this would be headline news anywhere else but here. If you recall NBC’s “Manimal”, the TV show that kind of made a laughing stock of the network for a period in the 1980s. The show revolved around a crime fighter who just happened to be able to turn into animals.
So it was a lot like that video Yes did for “Owner of a lonely heart” but slightly longer. Each week, our hero would save the day by turning into a snake, panther or eagle. He could turn into other animals but the budget only let you see the aforementioned snake, panther or eagle transformations, which were well done but I digress.
The series got crushed in the ratings and only aired 8 episodes, so merchandise was out of the question, or so I’d thought. I’d heard rumors that a toy company did have the license but only recently came across them in person
More after the jump.
The biggest problem with merchandising Manimal other than it was quickly removed from airwaves wasthat the premise isn’t very “Toyetic”. He’s a guy and then he turns into an animal. So you’d either have to make a figure of a guy or a toy of a snake. Children could likely reenact the show just by reaching into their toy box and using their (dreaded by toymakers) imagination.
However rack toy legend Fleetwood Toys didn't let cancellation deter them and came up with a novel concept.
Make figures of him in mid transformation! Before you ask, this really is officially licensed stuff, that's the series logo and the packaging bears the 20th Century Fox copyright.
Of course, that's just a scan of a catalog, did the toys actually get released?Feast your eyes below:
It's my first Manimal inaction figure! I'm sure in the past I've seen these loose at toy shows and completely ignored them, not realizing their inherent greatness.
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There is two reasons this brings me joy, 1) it's something that if I'd found out about after my Rack Toys book was published would have upset me and 2) after six years I finally have a "Manimal" tag for the blog. I'm sure to use that plenty.