Have you ever laid awake at night, thinking to yourself… I wonder where Bucky O’Hare action figures came from? Okay, probably not, but we’re going to take a closer look anyway. (If you actually have thought that, I like you, and we should be friends)
The Origin of Bucky O’Hare Action Figures
In order to know the answer, we have to start back in 1978 when comic writers Larry Hama and Michael Golden first dreamed up the green space rabbit. If those names sound familiar to you, it’s probably for good reason… right? Larry Hama’s resume is impressive to say the least, having worked on a number of classic Marvel comics. Hama is best known for his work on GI Joe, both the comic as well as many of the file cards found on the cardback for the popular GI Joe action figure line. Michael Golden’s resume is awe-inspiring as well, having illustrated for a huge variety of some impressive comics including DC’s Batman, Superman, Marvel’s Avengers, Fantastic Four, Howard the Duck, Crystar, Micronauts, and Star Wars, just to name a few.
TV and Video Games
Bucky’s popularity came after the wild success of Playmates Toys Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, when companies were looking for more anthropomorphic ideas that could ride the wave of success created by the Ninja Turtles. Bucky made his first television appearance in 1991, which ended shortly after in 1992.
The video game company Konami also published an NES game as well as and arcade game, solely dedicated to the space rabbit. If you’re also a video game collector, you probably already know that the game is fairly tough to find and even commands a pretty decent premium in today’s market!
The Original Bucky O’Hare Action Figures
Following the popular trend of merchandising efforts of the 90s, the TV series was seen as an excellent opportunity to sell toys to kids. Hasbro picked up the line and released the first wave of figures in 1991. Unfortunately, the line was cancelled before anything more than the first wave of action figures were released. Fortunately for collectors of today, the first wave consisted of 10 figures and 2 vehicles.
While the toy line didn’t make it past wave 1, many of the planned characters for future waves were already in the works. It’s obvious that Hasbro had high hopes for the series, as there were 2 additional waves planned, which would have brought a significant number of figures and vehicles into stores. The later waves never saw the retail light, but many prototypes have surfaced, giving us a better glimpse into what might have been. Make sure to read all the way to the end, as we’ve got photos of a couple unreleased figures to share with you!
The Recent Resurgence of Bucky O’Hare Action Figures
Boss Fight Studio brought to Bucky back to life in 2017, releasing a classic styled Bucky and Jenny figure (she wasn’t produced in the original line, but was found fully mocked up and nearly production ready). As I mentioned on our Bucky O’Hare podcast – these were my favorite toys released in 2017. The detail, articulation, packaging, you name it… they’re awesome. Take my word for it. Just look at them! Luckily for us, Boss Fight Studio has announced a follow-up wave that will include Dead-Eye Duck, and a fresh take on both Bucky and Jenny. While you’re there, check out the holiday version of Bucky… seriously. It’s amazing.
Visual Guide to Bucky O’Hare Action Figures
The part you’ve all been waiting for! Let’s take a closer look at each of the figures released by Hasbro in 1991.
The Good Guys
He’s everyone’s favorite green space rabbit. What else needs to be said?
His Filecard: Bucky made his mark in the United Animals of the Aniverse Space Service battling giant cybor spiders during the Great Clone Uprising on Rigel II. He was awarded the Bronze Fur Ball with Zinc Palms for his role in subduing the Mutant Weasel of the Vegan Slug Lords. Bucky is a Knight Commander of the Most Secret and Glorious Galactic Order of the Silver Carrot which grants him a lifetime’s supply of vintage, purple colored Vegalain III carrots. A true Aniverse delicacy.
Bucky can be found standing on the bridge of the Righteous Indignation looking at danger head-on, the stench of hot ions in the air, and the sight of Toad laser pulses reflecting off his goggles. He’s not just some rabbit who looks good under fire. His crew doesn’t follow him because of his bubbling personality or because he shoots a man laser blaster. They follow him for his ability to take charge of a desperate situation and turn it around in his favor. Now that’s a real leader!
His Filecard: As Chief Gunner’s Mate of the S.P.A.C.E. frigate Righteous Indignation, Dead-Eye commands the main M.A.S.E.R. cannon turret and is in charge of boarding parties and other special events. He is a swashbuckling veteran that is entitle to wear numerous decorations for gallantry, including the Space Gunnery and invective Medal and the Oak Leaf Cluster for Vituperative Vehemence.
Dead-Eye Duck was expelled from the notorious space roving pirate clan known as the “Corsair Canards of Canopus III” for believing in fair-play and the intrinsic dignity of all sentient protoplasm. He honed his M.A.S.E.R. gunnery skills as a feisty, black drake for hire mercenary on a Betelgeusian Banana Runner during the Great Clone Uprising. He later perfected his unique four-handed, quick-draw technique battling Post-Adolescent Android Tortoises in the Weasel Warrens of the Sleazoid planet, Sludge.
Willy Du Witt
His Filecard: Willy DuWitt is a 10 year old scientific genius from an alternate space-time continuum known as San Francisco. In the Aniverse, Willy’s outward appearance is that of a partially shaven Beteigeusian Berserker Baboon, even though he has none of their alarmingly anti-social habits and seems to be quite competent in the field of warp drive repair and photon accelerator maintenance. Aiding him in his Aniverse adventures are his everyday Earth toys and possessions.
During a recon mission into the core of a Toad Magma Tanker, this interim Engineering Officer (union membership pending), demonstrated exceptional valor at great personal risk in destroying an attacking mammal-seeking Void-Droid. This made possible the eventful saving of an entire alternate universe from impending Toad domination. For his valor, he received the coveted Bronze Fur Ball medal.
His Filecard: Troops in the Heavy Assault Brigade are recruited from the biggest, toughest, meanest species in the Aniverse. In the ranks are Arcturian Rabin Rhinos, Sirian Were-Grizzlies, and Denebain Fanged Mastadons, but the most feared troopers in the Space Marines have always been the Betelgeusian Berserker Baboons. Just haul them out, point them at the Toads, and get out of the way!
Bruiser is a no-nonsense kind of Berserker Baboon. While aboard a banana cruiser during the Great Clone Uprising, Bruiser was substituted for ammo when they ran out of missiles. They loaded Bruiser into the launch tube and fired him point-blank at the enemy craft. He smashed through their ray-shields and two layers of armor plated pressurized hull, rolled to a stop, brushed himself off, then kicked Toad butt! This action earned him the reputation as the “baddest baboon in the Aniverse.”
His Filecard: Commander Dogstar, hero of the Cyborg Spider Skirmishes and conqueror of the Titanic Toxic Ticks of Titan, fears no sentient organism, be they fanged, tentacled, or pseudopoed! Any thinking protoplasm who underestimates the prim, proper and somewhat near-sighted commander, with his impeccable olfactory system, is barking up the wrong deciduous plant.
Together with his ace-buddy and long-time galactic side-kick, Sergeant Phleekollar of the Space Marines, Commander Dogstar hounds the evildoers of the spaceways, sniffing out such miscreants as the Malicious Mail-Mites of Mercury and the Cantankerous Cats of Calypso. Unleashed during the Great Clone Uprising, Dogstar covered himself in glory, earning both the Blue Ribbon for conspicuous ferociousness and the Good Conduct and Obedience Badge for gallantry under fire.
The Bad Guys
His Filecard: On the day the Toads plugged in their master computer, it named itself KOMPLEX, declared itself Supreme Dictator, and then set out to conquer the Aniverse. Soon after, the immobile KOMPLEX cobbled together Toadborg to oversee his empire and to lead the Toad Battle Armadas.
Toadborg is a living Toad whose organic parts, excluding his pea-size brain, were replaced by mechanical and used electronic components. He is the perfect interface between KOMPLEX and his Toad minions, even if he has a tendency to eat flies when his batteries are low. This walking battle machine is completely encased in Toadium steel battle armor which can be fitted with an optional flight pack capable of warp speed, (once the catalytic converter has been disconnected). Basically, Toadborg is ambitious, seething with amphibian malevolence toward its creator and capable of jealousy, deceit, spite, and cronic heat rash.
Toad Air Marshall
His Filecard: The Toad Air Marshall is a graduate of Toad Point and seems to have quickly risen in rank as a direct result of his talent for blackmail and back-stabbing. For his most diabolical successes, he has been decorated with the Iron Toadstool First Class with Silver Swatters. Distinguished Pillaging Award with Bronze Larval Clusters, Legion of Malice and the Bad Conduct Medal.
From the Cyber-Punk, Fly Farms of Andromeda to the Phlegm Pits of Antares, the Toad Air Marshall strikes fear into the major circulatory organs of all who stand in the path of his mighty Toad Space Armada! Lounging in his luxuriously appointed cabin aboard his flagship, Toad Air Marshall directs the plundering of entire planetary systems while slurping up giant-size portions of maggot mousse!
Storm Toad Trooper
His Filecard: Legions of aggressive and mindless Storm Toad Troopers serves as the perfect grunts for the insane computer planet, Komplex. Their sole mission is to plunder the Aniverse of is raw materials in order to resupply and expand the memory banks of Komplex. For all their aggressive bravado, there is only one thing in the Aniverse that instills fears into the most cold hearted trooper… the Betelgeusian Berserker Baboon.
At one time, Toads were a rather harmless species, raised identically in Tad-Eat-Tad Swamp-Pit Nurseries, and when older, were only interested in acquiring more shoddily manufactured consumer goods than their neighbors. Now, because of their basic traits of greed and insensitivity, and their consistent viewing of obedience inducing Toad TV, they are drafted without question into Storm Trooper service. A Storm Toad’s primary desires are to conquer a planet, and then watch Toad TV while feasting on Larvae-Lite and Nouvelle Maggots.
His Filecard: Sleazosaurs are the hostile underachievers of the Aniverse. Although they have a relatively large brain-pan (roughly twice the size of the average Toad’s), they prefer to use their superior cogitative powers to formulate novel robberies and swindles instead of thinking up practical things for the betterment of their fellow creatures. If they can’t get what they want from you by wile or guile, they’ll simply shred you into tiny pieces with their razor-sharp teeth!
Luckily for the rest of sentient protoplasm, Sleazosaurs are impossible to organize into any sort of unified force since it is unlikely to keep them from stealing from each other. In fact, a Sleazosaur is most easily trapped using bait in the form of a Sleazosaur pocket. Sleazosaurs must constantly engage in criminal activity or their unstable genetic systems will degenerate into more primitive life forms, such as intergalactic lawyers and politicians. They are known to frequent radioactive Heavy Metal Clubs, Lizard lounges, and shopping mall parking lots.
Toad Double Bubble
As promised above, it’s time to take a look at some prototypes! Since many of the later waves were nearing production, Hasbro had prototypes created for many of the unproduced Bucky O’Hare action figures. Over the years these prototypes, along with others from the Wave 1 released figures, have found their way into collectors hands. I’ve been fortunate enough to stumble into a few of these pieces and am pleased to share them with you below!