Monday, November 27, 2006

RETRO TOY FLASHBACK # 51: Gremlins Poseable Stripe Figure (LJN)

Straight from LJN (the company that also held the license to create toys from the movie Dune...), comes this 1984 retro-toy treasure: the Gremlins Poseable Stripe Figure. The very toothy and imposing Stripe stands at over a foot tall, has poseable limbs (and claws...), beady red eyes, and on his blue box is this legend: "WARNING: YOU MUST OBEY ALL MOGWAI RULES!"

Of course, this monstrous creature (the figure designed for ages 3 and up...) is from one of the most controversial genre blockbusters of 1984 (the same summer of Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.) Basically, Joe Dante's horror movie featured a lot of violence (like a suburban mother sparring with a violent Gremlin in her kitchen...) yet the film was still aimed at children....the market that had appreciated E.T. Steven Spielberg was the executive producer and his clout was such that the movie (along with Indiana Jones) got a new rating "PG-13" instead of R. Yep, the M.P.A.A. created an entirely new ratings classification just to stay on the director's good side...

Anyway, this is indeed the figure of the malevolent Stripe, leader of the nasty gremlins (or Mogwai). The side of the box reminds us of the dangers of owning Mogwai by reciting the movie's warning. To paraphrase: Keep 'em out of water; Keep 'em out of light (sunlight is fatal...), and don't feed these buggers after midnight.

On the back fo the box, there's a Gremlins "Proof of Purchase" worth three points, and an admonition to "collect the entire line of Gremlins toys from L.J.N." These include the: "3 piece collectible gift set; wind-up Gizmo and Stripe; small Poseable Gizmo; Bendable Stripe; Large Poseable Gizmo; Large Poseable Stripe" and "Stripe and Gizmo Water Hatchers." As for me, I had this bugger, the Bendable Stripe, and the Large poseable Gizmo. But this is the only one that I have the box for.

Also on the back of the box is an array of photos showing how a kid can "have fun making up your own Stripe costumes from accessories found at home." I'm sure Mom would appreciate you raiding her closet.

How do I get my fun from this Gremlin? Well, this little thing really scares my wife Kathryn (he's very lifelike, actually...), so occasionally, when she's not paying attention, I'll sneak into the kitchen and pose Stripe in the pantry, or inside one of the dish cabinets. Once, I posed him in her closet while she was dressing for work; when she wasn't suspecting it. Finally, she laid down the law and told me I was no longer allowed to display Stripe, and that I had to put him back in the box permanentlyy.

So now he sits safe in his box on one of the high display shelves in my office. I think tonight I might put him in Joel's crib...


  1. Anonymous11:32 AM

    Are you sure "Gremlins" was PG-13? I remember it being rated PG. (I was a child of the 80s, so I wouldn't have been allowed to see it otherwise.) Whatever the case, it's one of the great Christmas movies.... I watch it every year, alongside The Christmas Story and National Lampoon's... and Die Hard.

  2. Anonymous2:12 PM

    I found your link when I was listing it on Ebay. I have one for sale under this link, till 8-3108 I hope that you don't mind if I used your link to this page as part of my ad auction. If you want me to removed it, please contact me through eBay. Cool page by the way! :-)