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Playing With Ourselves: Top 5 Latino Action Figures


In the 1970’s toy companies decided to diversify their products. By which I mean they painted their dolls black. African-American Barbie looked strikingly like White Barbie in blackface. The idea was that little Black girls should be able to play with dolls that looked like them, which is nice. Boy’s action figures took longer to catch on to the whole not-everyone-is-White thing. Apart from the Lando Calrissian action figure I had as a kid, the toy box was very W.A.S.P.y. These days there are a few Latino options for girls including a Latina Barbie and those horrible baby-whore Bratz dolls. But what can I buy my non-existent son Drunken Accident Tomas? Here are the top 5 Latino action figures I found.

Edward James Olmos as Admiral Adama from “Battlestar Gallactica”

The reimagining of “Battlestar Gallactica” was one of the best shows in recent memory. The main character was the dour Will Adama played by the great Edward James Olmos. Not only were there finally Latinos in space, but they were the boss. The action figure is kind of goofy-looking, though. They captured his terrible skin well enough, but he looks like an old constipated Ralph Macchio in swim goggles. Still, you can buy this figure and reenact scenes from “Stand and Deliver” with your old Gi-Joes. Get it here.

Crappy Mexican Wrestling Figures

Go to any flea market from Texas to California and you will find these plastic badboys. They are made from the finest carcinogenic plastic that Mexico has to offer. Thanks to Mexico’s lax enforcement of copyright laws, these figures are often painted like actual luchadors. Sure, their limbs don’t move and the edges of the plastic are sharp enough to sever a vein, but no toy is perfect. Just don’t put them in your mouth. Seriously, there is probably lead in the paint. Get them here.

Playmobil Mediterranean/Hispanic Family

Now something for the preschool crowd. Playmobil toys can usually be found in those small stores that sell wooden toys from Sweden and other stuff no one wants to play with. Playmobil toys display scenes from real life, like a vet’s office or airport security. It does kind of bother me that we can’t have our own little plastic family without sharing it with Mediterraneans, (Greeks? Italians?). The little boy is “gleaming the cube” on a skateboard, the little girl has a stick-horse, the mom has a purse, and the dad has a briefcase and a baseball cap. He is either the short stop for the Dodgers or he works at Burger King. We’re choose to believe the former. Get it here.

Machete

Oh yes, there is a Danny Trejo action figure. It’s one of those collectible figures that isn’t meant for kids, but rather for overweight guys that live in their mom’s basements. The figure is badass. Like the Olmos doll, they do a good job of capturing the ravages of acne on his face. The Machete figure looks a lot like Trejo, a rarity in movie tie-in toys. He comes with machetes, tattoos, and a bad attitude. Get it here.

Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa

Jimmy Smits played Bail Organa, Princess Leia’s adopted father, in the Star Wars prequels. You might not have noticed him what with all the Jar Jar Binksing and the destruction of childhood that was going on. He was one of the senators that opposed the rise of the Emperor by whining or whatever. The figure is wearing 18 layers of blue robes and has a raygun that looks like a hair dryer. He is also sporting a goatee that would make a mid-90’s barista cry. You can reenact episodes of “LA Law” with a Harry Hamlin action figure from the original “Clash of the Titans”. Get it here.

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