A series of posts I made on Instagram in the last few years, detailing various toys that never made it into production from the 1970s through today.
NOTE: The vast majority of these images were collected from eBay, auction houses, and forums or were sent to me over nearly 30 years of running a toy website. I've credited the ones I did not take where I could, but if anything is yours PLEASE reach out to me so I can give you full credit!
Zorro - Playmates Toys 1998
This is the first post in a series of unproduced toys from vintage toy lines. First up: the never-released second wave of Playmates’ Zorro action figures, based on the cartoon, from pics I shot at Toy Fair 1998! Including Lady Rawhide!
Gen 13 - Wildstorm Toys 1998
Second in a series of posts highlighting unproduced toys! Today we look at Gen 13 from Wildstorm Toys, also from Toy Fair ’98. Only one of these sculpts would actually make it to shelves, although the Fairchild that was made thankfully wasn’t the misguided “bra-less” version shown here.
I’m pretty sure this (and a few 12” dolls) would be the only things Wildstorm Toys ever actually made, too! (There was also a Grunge figure shown in an ad at the time, but he wasn't on display at Toy Fair.)
The Flash - Kenner Toys 1997
Third in a series of unproduced toys! The Flash, from Kenner’s Superman: The Animated Series, circa 1997. I first heard wind of this figure from a friend who worked with WB along with Supergirl and Metallo (both later released in Europe and later comic shops) and it was confirmed in a conversation with Paul Dini at SDCC 1997 who also mentioned a Dr. Fate and Etrigan and Gotham City Cops 3-pack with Bullock, Montoya, and Gordon in the works (!), none of which came to pass.
Years later, the great toy detective James Sawyer (@actionfeatures ) tipped me off to the prototype of his legs which I featured on my ToyOtter page around 2001, but the upper half was nowhere to be found. But, like everything else, at some point the Kenner internal photography of this guy hit the internet. Would have made a nice addition to a line that was canceled far too soon! Are there other sculpts out there we haven't seen?
Joker House - Kenner Toys 1994
Fourth in a series of unproduced toys! Another long defunct piece from the ToyOtter website, and continuing the Kenner DC Animated theme from yesterday, it’s the Joker’s House Playset! Kenner did an admirable job with their Batman: The Animated Series line back in the early 90s and they even had a big Batcave/Wayne Manor playset (in fact, that playset was originally planned for the first Dark Knight collection in 1990 before being used A LOT; swipe through to see pics of all the times it reappeared.)
But outside of the Jokermobile, the Clown Prince of Crime didn’t get the same kind of love…yet Kenner was definitely thinking about him as they made this mock-up internally of what details such a playset could entail. The finished product, of course, would have been much more involved, but this gives us a good look at the process involved in designing these. Would this have been a hot seller? We’ll never know. Ah ha ha ha ha ha…ha. As always, hat tip to James Sawyer @actionfeatures for uncovering this amazing find in the first place!
Golden Age Batmobile - Kenner Toys 1990s
Fifth in a series of unproduced toys! Today’s chapter: The Golden Age Batmobile! Another blast from the past from ToyOtter, there is conjecture this was to be an addition to the Kenner Batman: The Animated Series line, circa 1995. Made from the Kenner The Shadow Thundercab, the Retro-Batmobile was constructed in-house from the model shop at Hasbro - essentially it’s a proposal piece, not a prototype. It was shown around to see if there was an interest in producing it, but unfortunately, the proposal was shot down. Some of Kenner's Batman designers from the 90s have written me to say they have no memory of this ever being pitched in the late 1990s, so it's probable this was made earlier, maybe even right after the cab was in development in 1994.
It’s too bad, really; darned if the model shop didn't do a great job! The Retro-Batmobile would have maintained all the functionality of the old toy: an interior to accommodate 2 action figures, a trunk that would open up to reveal a firing mechanism of sorts, an engine hood that would flip over to launch missiles, and arms that would swing out from under the car to knock over opponents. As always, two thumbs up to James Sawyer @actionfeatures for the pics back in the day.