Gay action figures! There’s more than you would might expect. Some are out and proud while others are still in denial. This list features ten of my favorite ambiguously gay figures. In some cases I chose these based on the unintentional innuendo of the figure, while others have more to do with the character represented. Regardless, none of these should be taken too seriously. Without further delay, here are the top ten ambiguously gay action figures:
I honestly know very little about Kamandi, but when I first saw this figure I thought it was bisexual Coley from John Blackburn’s erotic comic series. Kamandi is clad in nothing but a pair of daisy dukes and cowboy boots, giving him the appearance of a redneck rent boy who is down on his luck. The blond locks are flawless though, so I’m guessing he spends all his trick money on hair care products.
How can a transforming robot be gay? Just think of Knight Rider’s KITT and you’re halfway there. Transformers fans blame his reputed sexuality on his snotty voice or the character’s obsession with his own appearance. For me it’s the lofty flying car mode, the “flaming” design on his hood, and that his best friend is hot Hispanic boy named Raul. Theirs is a forbidden love.
Whether it’s the lavender tights or the pink vest his animated counterpart always wore, Prince Adam has long been accused of being light in his Eternian loafers. The cartoon series never bothered establishing a romantic relationship for Adam, and the subplot of the secret identity Adam is desperate to keep from his parents only adds to the mounting evidence. The only people Adam confides in are Man-At-Arms (a middle aged bachelor with a handlebar mustache) Orko ( a socially awkward fairy) and the Sorceress (an aging hag). But as Queen Marlena points out in the cartoon, “A mother always knows her own son…”
Masters of the Universe’s sister show, Princess of Power, is about as pink as it gets. Bow, the only male figure in the entire line, is a minstrel who favors golden sports bra armor that’s engraved with a heart. I have to admit, it’s a look he manages to pull of with surprisingly well. On the vintage packaging, Bow is described as being “She-ra’s special friend.” He might be a shoulder for her to cry on when those daddy issues with Hordak resurface, but I suspect he’s mostly there to get close to her hotty of a brother, Prince Adam.
This one is so obvious that I feel almost guilty for chosing it. The innuendo between Batman and Robin has been toned down in recent years, but there remains something a little bit odd about the long line of young lads that Batman takes under his wing. I can understand the first Robin. Bruce had a real thing for Dick, but since he left, Batman keeps replacing him with other young men that just happen to look exactly the same. Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and now Damien. Breaking up can be hard to do, but I think it’s time to move on Batman.
I’m not sure what sort of sailor Shipwreck is supposed to be. The style of his uniform is decades out of date for it to be Navy, not to mention that the colors are wrong. More than likely, Shipwreck put together this powerful ensemble himself. The anchor tattoo is so generic that it’s daring, and the parrot as a fashion accessory is both eye-catching and the perfect icebreaker. Looking the way he does, Shipwreck is guaranteed to instantly own any dock-side bar he strolls into.
There was a time when almost every superhero had a young male companion. The thinking was that the target audience, made up of preadolescent boys, would relate to the teenage sidekick and experience the thrill of fighting crime alongside their favorite hero. From a marketing point of view, it made sense. These days it just seems creepy. Or hot. I can’t decide which. Regardless, Aqualad was no worse than most such sidekicks, until this set of figures came along. Apparently his favorite form of travel is via a geyser of water to the crotch. His mentor, Aquaman, can swim through the water like a torpedo, and yet here he chooses to parade himself atop the ocean with the help of a very embarrassed seahorse. Just because you’ve got it, doesn’t mean you should flaunt it, boys!
Ah, the original Muppet odd couple, and I do mean couple since they’ve been sharing the same bedroom ever since Sesame Street first hit the airwaves. Every Bert and Ernie sketch plays out like a modern sitcom dealing with the ups and downs of a marriage way past the honeymoon stage. Sesame Street has always been progressive, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see these two tying the knot come the day that gay marriage is legalized in the US. What should be against the law is the lack of decent Sesame Street figures out there. Palisades Toys got the license but went out of business before anything but Super Grover was produced. Such a shame.
Not many people who saw the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy made it through without raising an eyebrow at Sam’s level of dedication for Frodo. There was a whole lot of love and tears involved, not to mention the constant servitude. Be it friendship or unrequited love, Sam and Frodo were an awesome team and their chemistry together was unforgettable. The figures produced for the three films range from great to masterpiece quality. For these reasons and more, these two happy hobbits deserve to be number two on this list.
Barbie’s estranged husband is the king of ambiguously gay action figures. Sure he’s considered a doll, but the difference is negligible. Ken’s story is a common one. He’s pretty, needs money, and has an aversion to hard work. What most decent gays in his shoes would do, is to find themselves a sugar daddy. Problem solved. But in the bizarre Twilight Zone world that Ken lives in, every high paying occupation is worked by Barbie. She’s both doctor and nurse, lawyer, dentist, president, and veterinarian. If there’s a position of the smallest esteem, then Barbie already has it monopolized. Ken can either suffer the grunge work that’s left over, or put on that fake plastic smile of his, squeeze his eyes together really tight, and take that elevator up to Barbie’s bedroom.
That’s it for our characters and toys of questionable orientation. Tune in later this week for the top ten list of figures and toys that really are based on gay characters or people.