Much ado has been made in recent years about the lack of female characters on the toy shelf with movies like AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON and STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS leading parents and collectors alike to ponder why the female leads aren’t being represented in the same way as the males. The same can often be said about horror movies that make the leap into the world of action figures, as iconic characters like Laurie Strode and Alice Hardy still haven’t been made into toys.
In any event, we’re not here today to ask questions and/or point fingers, but rather to celebrate the companies who HAVE turned female horror icons into action figures over the years. And since we’re currently in the midst of Women in Horror Month, an annual celebration of, well, women in horror, now seems like the perfect time to do just that.
Let’s look at some awesome toys, shall we?!
1) MRS. VOORHEES (FRIDAY THE 13TH) - NECA
At the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con, NECA released this exclusive two-pack of Pamela Voorhees and young Jason, paying tribute to both the 35th anniversary of the original FRIDAY THE 13TH and the unfortunate passing of actress Betsy Palmer. A decade prior, NECA put out a FRIDAY THE 13TH: Part 2 box set that also included Mrs. Voorhees and Sideshow Collectibles whipped up a 12″ figure of Jason’s vengeful mother around the same time. Mama would be proud.
2) BARBRA (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD) -AMOK TIME
George A. Romero changed the game in a big way with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and his human characters are as memorable as the film’s complete reinvention of zombies. Amok Time’s collector’s figure of Barbra (Judith O’Dea) gave the iconic female lead a fully colorized makeover, standing 12″ tall and coming complete with tailored clothing and a knife accessory. Years prior, the zombified Karen Cooper was also given her own figure, courtesy of Fearwerx.
3) ELLEN RIPLEY (ALIEN/ALIENS) - NECA
Badass final girl Ellen Ripley has been turned into a handful of toys over the years, though it wasn’t until NECA got approval from Sigourney Weaver herself that the character was given the action figure treatment she had long deserved. Series 4 of their ALIENS line included two different figures of Ripley from the original classic – one in a jumpsuit, the other in a spacesuit – and Series 5 brought her look from the first sequel to the toy shelf. This year’s eighth series will include a Ripley figure based on ALIEN 3.
4) JULIA COTTON (HELLRAISER 2) - NECA
There was a time when NECA delved deep into the HELLRAISER franchise, though oddly enough, a figure of Kirsty Cotton was never released. As for her villainous step-mother Julia (portrayed by Clare Higgins in both the original film and the first sequel), she found her way into Series 2 of NECA’s line. Based on HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER 2, the figure is wrapped in bandages that can be removed to expose her horrifying skinless body. Angelique and “Female Cenobite” also made it into the line.
5) NANCY THOMPSON (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET) - MEZCO
Mezco was responsible for releasing some of the most unique NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET toys of all, and they’re in fact the only company over the years to bring series protagonist Nancy Thompson to the toy shelf. In the second series of their Cinema of Fear line they released a diorama recreating the original film’s iconic bathtub nightmare scene, and even if it wasn’t quite the full-on action figure of Nancy we’d been waiting for, it sure was nice that Mezco finally gave her some collectible love.
6) DEBBIE STEVENS (ELM STREET: DREAM MASTER) - MEZCO
Speaking of Mezco, Cinema of Fear: Series 4 included a highly unexpected action figure of DREAM MASTER’S Debbie Stevens, recreating her incredibly gruesome death scene from the franchise’s fourth installment. The 7″ figure included Debbie’s human arms, her massive roach arms, and even the roach trap that Freddy ultimately crushed her inside of. Action figures of horror movie victims are rare to the point of being almost nonexistent, so this one was (and continues to be) pretty special.
7) CARRIE WHITE (CARRIE 2013) - NECA
Given how iconic the character has been for so many years, you’d think that Carrie White would’ve been turned into an action figure long before the 2013 remake came along. Alas, the character’s original incarnation (played by Sissy Spacek) was never given the toy treatment. But when the most recent remake did hit theaters, NECA released these two figures based on the new film, serving as “before” and “after” depictions of Chloe Grace Moretz in the role. Even if you hated the remake, you can always just pretend these are based on Brian De Palma’s far superior original!
8) MARION CRANE (PSYCHO) - MEZCO
Horror movie victims simply don’t get any more iconic than Marion Crane, who was shockingly butchered in the shower by Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO. A couple years back, Mezco turned both Crane and Bates into Living Dead Dolls, both toys specifically based on that unforgettable death scene. Marion came dressed only in a Bates Motel towel, and the clever packaging ensured that most fans would never take her out and find out what was underneath. Don’t be a pervert.
9) BABY FIREFLY (THE DEVIL'S REJECTS) - NECA
A company called SEG released a quartet of figures based on Rob Zombie’s HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES right around the time the movie came out, giving us our first toy of Sheri Moon Zombie as Baby Firefly. When THE DEVIL’S REJECTS came around, NECA acquired the license, and three more Baby figures were added to the mix. The standard version depicted Baby in a white shirt, while an alternate variant (packaged with Captain Spaulding) put her in red. For a special “Bloody Showdown” three pack, an entirely new figure of Baby was sculpted – based on the film’s climactic finale.
10) REGAN MACNEIL (THE EXORCIST) - NECA
We round out the list with a double dose of THE EXORCIST toys from NECA. First up was a figure of Regan MacNeil based on the infamous spider-walk scene, part of Cult Classics: Series 7, and more recently, the company released a box set that allows you to recreate Regan’s demonic possession. Not only is the figure’s head motorized so that it can spin 360 degrees, just like in the film, but the incredible display piece even plays a sample of the score. NECA also put out a Regan bobble-head several years back and Funko just added the demonic icon to their POP! vinyl line.
Other female horror icons you can display on your toy shelf include the titular BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, Sakado from THE RING, Amanda Young from the SAW franchise, Cherry Darling and Dr. Dakota Block from PLANET TERROR, and final girl Erin from the 2003 remake of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. Can you think of any others? Let us know!