While everyone has their different ideas of what's fun, sometimes a toy is just a bad idea waiting to happen. The mere lack of articulation doesn't make a toy horrible, as that's just too common. It takes some real ingenuity to make you truly regret a purchase.
As a general note, Jeepers Media
specialize in showing the worst toys the world had to offer. In fact, most of the toys listed here have been featured by them.
: Merely being offensive in its subject matter is not enough to justify a work as So Bad It's Horrible. Hard as it is to imagine at times, there is a market for all types of deviancy (no matter how small a niche it is). It has to fail to appeal even to that niche
to qualify as this.
Examples (more-or-less in alphabetical order):
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- The limited edition of Bravely Default came with this figurine of Agnes for Europeans and Japanese. Her eyes are lopsided and the overall paint job is terrible. What made this worse was the fact that this figure was the reason they had to pay extra, even more than the American version. The Americans dodged the bullet with this one.
- From the realm of anime/visual novel figurines comes the bootleg of the Clayz figurine of Saber, from Fate/stay night. Its eyes are just black and blue dots on white circles (and the right eye doesn't even have an iris!), and its mouth is just a black line. This Alternative Character Interpretation has come to be known as "Sader" among fans, featuring in fanart, doujinshi, and even cosplay.
- Bootleg or knockoff toys are generally this until proven otherwise. Generally, the best you can hope for is that it'll at least be a passable substitute (or, like Sader, at least somewhat funny or unique in how much of a mess it is). It's considered extremely lucky to get your hands on a knockoff where all the joints still work, and the plastic is often so cheap that you can bend or break the toy just by squeezing it... spreading lots of tiny sharp choking hazards all over the floor...
- The G.I. Joe Extreme line. A decidedly Dark Age-inspired take on the G.I. Joe franchise, the figures were widely criticized for their non-existent articulation, bad character design with roided-out, veiny muscles and facial expressions that made them look constipated, and poor gimmicks. Not helping matter, the line went with a 5" scale, making it incompatible with figures from both G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and the predecessing Sgt Savage and his Screaming Eagles line (which was also suffered from the scale issue, but is otherwise considered to be decent). Extreme was a complete flop, lasting only two waves before being quietly canned.
- The Pokémon Excadrill figure on the right in this picture◊. It's supposed to be performing its Drill Run attack from the anime, but given that Excadrill is hiding its head and has essentially turned into a pointy featureless lozenge, it makes for an extremely boring figure.
- The first line of Resident Evil action figures from the early 2000's were, to put it charitably, very lazily made. For background, each pack came with 2 figures (except the Tyrant figure, but more on him in a bit), usually a larger character or monster, and a smaller mini-monster. The Chris figure's arms would fall off if you so much as looked at them funny, because the socket in the shoulders was larger than the ball joint in the torso. The molds for the dog zombie's skin (a feature of the dog was that if you pushed his head down, he'd "explode") were not cut properly, so the pieces fit awkwardly. The Tyrant figure boasted a "deadly claw swipe" action, which amounted to a rubber band in his torso that would frequently come undone while in the package, as well as a beating heart action which amounted to nothing more than a button which would pump red liquid into a transparent plastic heart. Thankfully, they company got their act together with the next line (based on Resident Evil 2), which was far and away the superior toy line. In fairness, however, it must be pointed out that the detail work on the monsters was top notch throughout the entire line, even the disastrous series 1.
- It should be noted that, among the older Resident Evil toys, these are the most common ones to find and are often the cheapest (Only the NECA line, which is the most recent, is more common and cheaper...and it's newer as well). Make of that what you will.
- Here's A few reviews of the figures on Amazon.com. Even the positive reviews point out that the toys have major flaws.
- Despite being a cherished and well-loved franchise, Transformers has made numerous mistakes throughout the years:
- Gold Plastic Syndrome. A number of Transformers toys made in the late 1980s and early 1990s were, in part or in whole, constructed with a kind of swirly plastic that crumbled quite quickly, especially on moving parts. Certain toys (like the reissue of Slingshot, various Pretenders and the Japanese exclusive Black Zarak) are known to shatter before they are taken out of the box. There are pictures of the effects of GPS in the article linked above. Thankfully, this has been fixed and that plastic is not used...mostly.
- Besides the GPS plastic, some translucent plastic variants are also known to break very easily. The Deluxe-sized movie Brawl figure had its inner gear mechanics made out of such plastic, which tended to shatter right at the figure's first transformation. On top of that, the posts that held its arms in place didn't match the shape of the holes they were supposed to peg into. Thankfully, the toy was released some time later in new colors, which fixed all of these issues.
- Unposeable "brick" Transformers. The Generation 1 toys can get away with it, but in later series, like most Armada and some Energon toys (especially the Powerlinked modes), they are atrocious — Wing Saber is literally a Flying Brick, and not in the good way. With today's toy technology, there just isn't an excuse for something with all the poseability of a cinderblock and whose transformation basically consists of lying the figure down, especially the larger and more expensive ones.
- Toys over-laden with intrusive gimmicks are generally detested. While these are meant to cater to a younger crowd, when a figure has so many things going on that these detract from the transformation, articulation, and aesthetics, even they may repelled by it. Such a figure is the infamous Side Swipe from the 2003 Transformers Armada line — featuring a boring (though passable) car-mode, a Mini-Con "catapult" that doesn't normally work, and a hideous robot-mode◊ with excess vehicle-bits hanging off everywhere (including the aforementioned catapult on his butt), the posability of a brick, and the exciting Mini-Con activated action-feature of raising its right arm, which you can do manually. Toy-reviewer TJ Omega once did a breakdown on the figure, coming to the conclusion that its head was the only part not to have any detracting design faults.
- And the many Asian and German bootlegs/knockoffs. Such as Woodblockformers, anyone?
- Hasbro has announced a new wave of Deluxe Transformers (the 6 inch toys sold for approximately $13) made from upsized Legion figures (their budget line of simplified figures that sell for $5). Not only are the figures less detailed and screen-accurate than regular Deluxe Transformers, they actually have less articulation than the already limited Legion figures. It doesn't help that upscaling figure is very common practice among knockoff makers. These toys hit non-US buyers even harder, as the standard price for Deluxes can reach up to $30 or more in certain countries, so they get even less for their buck.
- The Titanium series was one of the franchise's first efforts at a collector-focused line, promising obscure characters, little intrusive gimmickry, and the return of the much-loved die-cast metal construction. However, its development was outsourced to a branch of Hasbro that normally made metal statues, and consequently, many of their early figures basically were metal statues. The "collector-quality" paint washes were uneven and ugly, the articulation ranged from average to bizarre, with unusually small ranges of motion, and they cost fifteen bucks despite being the same size as a ten-dollar Deluxe-class. Transformations usually consisted of lying the figure down, with exposed hands and arms being the norm - check out Optimal Optimus's "car mode,◊" or War Within Megatron's "tank.◊" The most infamous feature of the line, however, resulted from the metal itself. Not only did the metal weigh down joints, it also tended to wear down the softer plastic, creating figures that were, at best, floppy, and at worst, fell to pieces◊ in a stiff breeze. Keep in mind that this line ran during the same year as the Classics line, often considered to be one of the best Transformers lines ever. The line picked up as time went on, but by the arrival of fairly decent figures like Cheetor or The Fallen, the damage had been done.
- The Built to Rule line was a failed early attempt at re-imagining the Transformers brand as LEGO-like construction toys. Although the toys had to be taken apart to transform, they did have an inner armature of sorts called the "Trans-Skeleton" that could be folded up to act as a base for the vehicle modes or folded out to become a robot. Sadly, the idea to have these Transformers retain some actual transforming was one of the reasons why the line failed, as these Trans-Skeletons were horribly proportioned, with the figures having giant, junky midsections and minuscule, barely movable arms and oddly placed, spindly legs. The toys hardly looked anything like their actual transforming counterparts, and had masses of cluttered excess pieces stuck onto them in random places, or worse, left out pieces even if they could easily have been fitted into the toys — resulting in some truly ugly figures which were over-designed in some places and bare to the Trans-Skeleton in others. The line ran for a single year, with its second series (which was a drastic improvement) only receiving a limited release. Hasbro released Kre-O, their new foray into the world of constructible Transformers 8 years later, to great success this time.
- The beast mode of Beast Machines Silverbolt◊'s was so laughable-looking, Hasbro themselves packaged the figure in robot-mode, even though the other similar-sized toys came packaged in their alternate-mode. That's meant to be a condor, by the way, a humanoid condor with clawed legs dangling in front of its wings, and a tubular robot-head coming out of its rear — this is especially strange, since the tiny head could easily have been concealed within the spacious torso, with the samurai bun-styled hairpiece blending in with the tail feathers in bird mode. The wings detach and split to form the tiniest, most pathetic sword imaginable, which the figure can't hold up due to its weight and to the arm joint having next to no friction. The wings can be put onto the robot's back for storage, but only upside-down. They could be folded up to look like a samurai robe, but they always stress against the legs due to being pre-bent. One of the main reasons why the figure is often regarded as one of the worst-ever Transformers is that Silverbolt never received another toy in the line, so the only physical representation of the cartoon's towering, awesome-looking warrior◊ is this measly, garish red-blue freak who's smaller than all the other Maximals despite being the tallest in the show. The Japanese version was at least somewhat accurate in its colors. Rumor has it the figure was originally meant to be a gryphon, which would explain why it has four legs as a condor.
- Most of the figures reviewed and comically ridiculed by TJ Omega's Plastic Addict series are borderline examples that aren't bad enough to fit onto this page. But some, like the entries on his top 5 worst-ever list are (all the usual suspects are present: Titanium, Built To Rule, intrusive gimmicks, faulty materials, and just plain shoddy design). Likewise, most of the Animorphs tie-in toys released under the Transformers banner are generally despised, as they are badly designed in both of their modes: ugly animals with human-bits sticking out and vice-versa. Transforming robots that incorporate animal-parts into their designs can get away with this, but feathers, talons, claws and such look decidedly off on a human.
- An official product, Mok-Kos◊, or what fans called "Evil God Kos-Mos", from the special edition version of Xenosaga: Episode II. Notable failures include badly sculpted face and an incredibly awkward pose that cannot be altered. The only cool thing about it was the motorcycle it came with.