23 Awesome '80s Action Figures That Should Be Movies

From Action Force to Zoids... All figures sold separately

M.U.S.C.L.E

The Toy: Highly collectable (236 figures in total) range of 2-inch tall fleshy wrestling figurines.

Sounds boring, right? Wrong! M.U.S.C.L.E. are mutant wrestlers from space, and they'll 'ave you, no sweat.

Possible Plot: Frankly, a concept this nutzoid needs to be a Troma-style exploitation flick.

Let's keep the storyline’s USP and have an evil collector discovering the tiny aliens and keeping them prisoner - only to discover there’s a whole army out to kick some ass.

Yeah, OK, it sounds like Small Soldiers meets Gremlins . Now, where’s Joe Dante’s number?

Gobots

The Toy: What your parents bought you for your birthday...

...even when you expressly told them to get Transformers.

Possible Plot: It’s safe to say that 1986’s GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords isn’t screaming out for a sequel. Time for a reboot.

One which reveals exactly why the planet GoBotron is populated by robots that look like late-20th century Earth vehicles. Clue: it’s a colony planet that went horribly wrong when the evil Renegades slaughtered the humans.

Now the goodie Guardians need to find the last surviving humans to put things right.

Inhumanoids

The Toy: Seriously warped-looking (and impressively durable) creatures, dwarfing over the standard-size heroes.

Just in case you missed 'em, they also had glow-in-the-dark parts.

Possible Plot: The premise is (ahem) rock solid, as volcanic activity awakens mutant creatures buried for millenia in the Earth’s core.

Hero geologists (!) Earth Corps must discover the secrets of pre-history, as they stumble upon a millenia-old battle between Inhumanoids and sentient trees.

Madelman 2050

The Toy: G.I. Joe -style soldiers from Spain with a difference: the hero toys have magnets.

Gimmicky, sure, but it enables them to reveal the presence of alien infiltrators beneath their enemies' disguised human faces.

Possible Plot: The Terrestrial Commandos must protect Earth from militant invaders the Zarkons.

Trouble is, the pesky aliens look and sound just like us...unless the Commandos can devise a means of identifying them.

Micro Machines

The Toy: The ultimate down-sizing – intricate bonsai models of automobiles, planes and other vehicles.

So prestigious back in the way that even James Bond got Micro’d.

Possible Plot: Let’s run with with the spy motif. A crack team of secret agents are investigating crimes in a car warehouse even the evil scientist responsible shrinks the whole factory.

Now the diminutive agents have to save the day with only a fleet of pencil-sharpener sized vehicles to assist them.

Thundercats

The Toy: Fur-less felines wielding the usual array of swords (or, in Pathro’s case, nun-chucks!). Also, their eyes lit up.

But the real ace up the sleeve's range was that the ace cartoon series. Altogether now: "snarf snarf snarf!"

Possible Plot: The iconic TV cartoon begat a feature-length Thundercats Ho: The Movie in 1986, and a CGI reboot was mooted in the late Noughties.

But the success of Avatar surely makes mo-cap essential to tell this tale of exiled cat-creatures taking on the threat of Mumm’Ra, the Ever-Living.

Zoids

The Toy: Wind-up mechanical life-forms which trundle along in a variety of animal shapes, most memorably dinosaurs.

According to the backstory, Zoids hail from the planet Zi. Actually, they were created in Japan.

Possible Plot: The elaborate Zoidverse has it that the warring Helic Republic and Zenebas Empire created the Zoids (mecha shell, “techno-organic” core) as their armies. Which still sounds an amazing pitch.

Essentially, we're looking at a Transformers / Jurassic Park mash-up. But please – just for once – don’t bring them to Earth. We want full-on interplanetary mecha-carnage.

BraveStarr

The Toy: Chunky cowboy figures...with a twist.

This Wild West is in space, the baddies are mutant aliens, Marshall BraveStarr fires laser guns, and his horse Thirty/Thirty can talk and walk on two legs.

Possible Plot: A cheapo cash-in film was released in 1988, fleshing out the cartoon series’ Space Western plotlines.

Today, there’s no reason its combo of trad and mad couldn’t make for a Pirates of the Caribbean -style genre mash-up with BraveStarr as the wisecracking Sheriff trying to bring law 'n' order to mentalist mutant outlaws.

Power Lords

The Toy: The Transformers craze also influenced conventional humanoid figures.

Here, heroes and villains alike have alter-egos that can be revealed by spinning their faces around.

Possible Plot: The explanation for these changeroos is that hero Adam Power - when he implants the cosmic Power Jewel in his forehead - becomes blue-skinned, red-veined Lord Power.

Yet when everybody has similar strengths, things are going to get confusing. Cue an action-movie farce where nobody is quite sure who anybody is.

Starcom

The Toy: Gadget geek heaven.

The figures were no great shakes, but MagnaLock magnetics and wind-up technology enabled enormous moving parts and interactivity.

Possible Plot: The short-lived TV series was a generic affair; a shame when the toys provided such possibilities.

For sake of argument, let’s rebrand Starcom as terraformers, whose hi-tech spacesuits are able to control and move machinery and materials...until they unearth an ancient evil.