"Don't give me no back talk sucka!" Galoob's The A-team
When I was 9 years old, there was one man in the world I loved more than any other. His name is Mr. T. I had the cereal, the figures, a custom Cabbage Patch type doll, the sheets, a tent, and a whole slew of other merchandise that was available at the time. He has since grown into a mythical legend to me and I was lucky enough to meet this wonderful man back in 2000 at a Mall event for TV Land. I smiled from ear to ear when I got my moment with Mr. T. Looking back on all the merchandise of the time and thinking about how crappy that new movie was, I thought it was time to rediscover the wonderful 6" line of A-team action figures by Galoob.
For a great history of the company, check out this site Lewis Galoob Toy Inc.
As one of their 1st action figure licenses, Galoob tackled
the ever popular comic book style A-team TV show.
The show was going strong in 1983 when the first of the 6" toys was released.
Here is a great commercial for them from Europe.
I can remember going to the old Lionel Playworld and pickup a set of figures way back in '83. I don't think these were very hard to get back when they were 1st released and hung on the shelves for quite a long time. I think this attributes to the fact that their are so many carded version of these figures that are widely available on the internet today.
The line consists of 9 figures, 2 vehicles, and 1 playset.
There are 5 good guys
and 4 bad guys.
There are also variants of the figures that
were sold overseas with different paint decos.
The figures are a bit cartoony, bulky and have limiting articulation,
but they have a unique charm and I just can't get enough of them.
Let's start with the main man Hannibal. I have always loved George Peppard from his movies and great shows like "Banacek." But, in the A-team he let all of his hammy glory come to the forefront. He always seemed a bit too old for me to be in such and elite team, but I loved everyone of his perfect plans.
Hannibal came with one of two heads.
The more common is the one on the left with
the generic, not so accurate, sculpt.
The one on the right is a little harder to come by, but shows
Galoob's attention to detail in changing the head during
production to look more like Mr. Peppard.
He comes with various weapons and equipment
ready to use in his next big scheme.
My only complaint would be that he did not come with
any of the cool disguises that he used so often in the show.
That would really had made this figure stand
out from the generic into the fantastic!
There is a Euro Variant figure with different colors,
but I haven't seen one up for sale in a long time.
Next is our crazy friend Howling Mad Murdock.
I have many a Dwight Schultz action figure between his time with
the A-team and the various Star Trek series, but this is my favorite.
I love the rye look in his eye that he could do something nuts at any moment.
He has a pretty good face sculpt for the time right down to his sly grin.
He comes with a ton more gear to fool around with and piss of B.A.
The variant on him has a yellow jacket and gray pants.
This was only released overseas and can be a bear to find.
1 of the vehicles for the line was made for Mr. Murdock.
It is the Combat Attack Gyrocopter.
The copter comes with a Murdock figure of it's own
and you can press a button on the middle
of the copter and make the propeller spin.
There are also 2 bombs that can be dropped via the lever at the bottom of the seat.
Here is Face.
The good looking rogue that secured all of the
A-team's gear when they were out on a mission.
He was played perfectly by the ever charming Dirk Benedict.
The figure is a decent representation of what Face
would have looked like with a few extra pounds on him.
The Euro variant has an inconspicuous orange
jacket for all of the teams stealth missions.
The head sculpt does capture Dirk's irresistible smile.
This man needs no introduction...
This was one of my favorite figures growing up and
is an excellent representation of Mr. T's image at the time.
This B.A. Baracus figure is the gem of the line.
The sculptors at Galoob must have paid extra attention to this little guy.
He comes with a ton of tools and a seriously bad attitude.
His hand are even balled into a fist ready to punch
out any sucka that gets in his way.
This is one of the figures I have kept in my room for most of my life.
If you get 1 figure from this line...you know what has to be.
B.A. also gets his own vehicle.
The Off Road Attack Cycle.
This is his rugged 3-wheeler with a trailer that
holds a repeat action Flame Disk Shooter.
I don't quite remember anything like this from the show,
but it is a cool accessory to the line nonetheless.
The last member of the team in the plucky reporter Amy Allen.
Amy joined the team in the pilot episode when she hired the boys to find a reporter who had been kidnapped in Mexico.
Melinda Culea stayed with the boys for a bunch of episodes, but she fought with producers to make her more than the "girl in distress" and they promptly wrote her off the show.
At least she got herself a figure...sort of.
The Amy figure is the bad egg in the carton. Her head sculpt did not come out to well and it looks like they A-team has befriended some sort of mutated Kristy Mcnichol.
Well...you can't have an action based figure line without some Bad Guys.
Since the show was episodic, there were very few recurring villains.
It looks to me that Galoob took a look at the bad guys from season 1 of the show and created some great generic figures for the A-team to battle against.
The Bad Guys are even less articulated than
the A-team and they share all of the same accessories.
My favorite of the bunch is Viper. He orange feathered
mullet just screams 80s bad guy.
He is even wearing a classy yellow and green outfit
to display his toughness for all to see.
He comes with the same accessories as Face and a sweet Uzi.
This bald one eyed badass is Python. He looks to be the muscle of the group.
His orange mustache just squeals righteous indignation.
His mother must not have raised him very well.
He comes with all the same stuff as B.A.,
including his tool chest filled with instruments of evil!
Rattler is the evil Native American who was abused
by the system and is taking out his revenge on the world!
Rattler has a great generic native head sculpt is equipped
with Murdock's gear and a handy grappling hook.
with Murdock's gear and a handy grappling hook.
The last of the Bad Guys is Cobra.
He look to be based on the villan from the pilot episode
played by the great character actor, Sergio Calderon.
He looks ready to assault the world with all of Hannibal's gear.
Now to the prize piece in this short lived line.
The A-team Command Center Playset.
The playset had limited release around the world and is very scarce today.
The one I have is not complete, but they go for a ton
on the secondary market complete with the box.
It is, without a doubt, one of the rarest action figure playsets of the 1980's.
It comes with a ton of accessories. A computer console, a meeting table with barrels as chairs, a work table for B.A., a ladder to the escape hatch on the roof, an elevator, a cot to catch some shut eye, boxes of supplies, etc.
It took me years to get one and I still don't have it complete.
It is very fragile and you should probably not let any children play with it.
This is probably why it did make it out into the mass market.
The final word on this line..
If you are a child of the 80s..there will always be a special place in your heart for Mr. T and the A-team. This is a property that seems to have good legs and should carry on entertaining the multitudes for decades to come. The figures are a mixed bag and have plenty of sculpting and articulation issues. There is very limited posing you can do with them and it very difficult to get any dynamic scenes going with these guys in any of my toys displays. But, to their credit, Galoob took a chance on their 1st licensed figure line and came up with a nostalgic winner! The toys are cartoony, but fun! Their barrel chests cry out to the heroism and hedonism of the bombastic "Me" Decade. These will sit on the shelf very well next to my Rambo and Commando figures of the bygone era of the Vietnam Vet soldiering the world with retribution using their unique militaristic talents.
Oh, how I miss those days...