Much like the movie business, the toy business is a fickle one, and things don't always go as planned. Over the years, many different toys have been shown off on the internet and at conventions like Toy Fair, never making it past that prototype stage and never finding their way onto our shelves. There's truly nothing more depressing than an awesome toy that was supposed to enter our lives but for whatever reason did not, and today I invite you to get depressed with me.
Today we present ten of the coolest toys that we can look at, but may never actually be able to touch and hold. If the pictures below ruin your day and leave your toy collection feeling sad and incomplete, don't say I didn't warn you!
Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 (Mezco)
Many companies over the years have put out various different Leatherface action figures, depicting him as he was seen in most of the films in both the original and reboot franchises. And yet, we've never gotten a Leatherface toy based on one of my personal favorite installments: the highly underrated and underappreciated Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3. Not only do I love the movie, but I also really dig the look of Leatherface in the film, and that badass rockstar chainsaw he wields. Even sadder than the fact that we've never gotten a Chainsaw 3 Leatherface toy is the fact that we came so close to getting our hands on one, with Mezco showing off this awesome figure at the 2010 Toy Fair. Unfortunately, he found himself stuck in the dreaded Toy Fair Hell.
Herbert West from Re-Animator (Amok Time)
Can you believe that we've never gotten a single Herbert West toy after all these years? Considering West is such an iconic character, it's actually quite shocking. Back in 2009, Executive Replicas whipped up this 12" version of West which was to be sold exclusively by distributor Amok Time, and released that same year. It was set to be a limited edition piece, with only 1,000 made, and a price tag of around $80. First the figure was pushed back to early 2010, and then it fell off the toy radar completely, reportedly due to a lack of interest in the prototype images. I've heard that Amok Time may eventually inject the toy with that vibrant green serum and bring it back to life sometime down the road, but for now the good doctor remains off of our shelves.
Samara from The Ring (NECA)
Way back in 2005, news broke that NECA was planning on releasing an action figure based on the US remake of The Ring, with concept art showing off an incredible box set that left all fans of the movie salivating. The set was to feature a figure of Samara along with two different display bases: a TV set and a well, the two things that Samara can most often be found emerging from.
Coolest of all, the figure was going to come apart at the waist, allowing us to either display her in front of the well or split her in half, and have her coming out of the TV. The hair was even going to be flexible, allowing those two different poses to really come to life. From what I've heard, NECA was unable to acquire the proper licensing to actually release the set, and that spelled the end of this awesome toy of everyone's favorite well-dweller. (On a related note, a Ringu vinyl figure was recently released in Japan, though the price tag of nearly $100 is enough to ward most collectors off.
SOTA Toys "Now Playing" Series 4
When we're talking about unreleased horror toys, it's impossible not to mention Series 4 of SOTA Toys' Now Playing line, the most infamous of all the horror toys that were never made. Founded by FX artist Jerry Macaluso, SOTA turned their attention to horror and cult movie toys with the Now Playing line, which was comprised of three series and featured all sorts of unique toys, including a Nazi demon from American Werewolf In London and Citizen Toxie himself, The Toxic Avenger. It was at the 2006 San Diego Comic Con that the fourth series of the line was debuted, an entire series that died along with the death of the line.
Why is this so depressing? Because Now Playing Series 4 was comprised of some of the coolest horror toys of all time. First up we've got that loveable little Leprechaun, which would've been his first and only toy to date. In addition to the base seen in the picture above, this Leprechaun figure was also going to come with an alternate head, with half of ole Lep's face melted off into a green goo. SOTA also showed off a Leprechaun bust at the '06 Comic Con, another awesome item that never saw release.
Series 3 of the Now Playing line included an incredible The Thing box set, which saw MacReady poised with a gun and ready to blow away that demon dog creature. Series 4 was going to include this very similar box set, only based on Tremors, and with Burt Gummer poised and ready to take out a giant Graboid. This set was also shown off at the 2006 Comic Con, but interestingly enough was gone from the line at the following year's event, replaced with a totally different but equally awesome box set...
Yep, we were this close to actually having toys of both David, in werewolf form, and a dead and torn-up Jack, from American Werewolf In London. Though SOTA toys did previously release the aforementioned Nazi demon and also a bust of the titular werewolf, these two toys didn't make it out of the Now Playing Series 4 implosion alive, and were never again seen after this picture was taken.
We round out the Now Playing Series 4 travesty with Herbert West's second appearance on this list. Another toy that was included in the line when it was shown off at the 2006 Comic Con, this one had also disappeared when the line was again shown the following year. This smaller scale version of West than the one mentioned above was going to include Dr. Hill's head in a tray, and even the infamous zombie cat, a real treat for Re-Animator fans that will forever taunt us with its beauty. 0-2 on the toy front, Dr. West!
SOTA Toys is still around today, but there are sadly no plans to ever resurrect the Now Playing line, which was also set to include a different Killer Klown than the ones they had previously released. Thankfully for us, Amok Time has recently been producing their own Killer Klowns from Outer Space toys, taking over where SOTA left off.
The Engineer from Hellraiser (NECA)
Though NECA's line of toys based on Hellraiser only lasted for three series, the original plan was to have it continue long beyond that, and include figures of pretty much every Cenobite and creature seen in each of the movies in the franchise. This prototype sculpt of The Engineer from the first film is all that remains of a planned box set that was to also include Kirsty Cotton, a character that ended up never getting released in any form by NECA (or any other company, for that matter). Just as planned future series of the Hellraiser line never came to fruition, neither did the Engineer/Kirsty box set, which would've likely been the coolest Hellraiser figures that NECA ever released. Sigh.
Zombie Ed from Shaun of the Dead (NECA)
Speaking of NECA: they made a couple different Shaun of the Dead toys around the time of the film's release, giving both Shaun and his best friend Ed the plastic treatment. Ed was packaged in a two-pack with Shaun, and the plan was to subsequently release Ed on his own, and in his zombie form, as part of Series 2 of their Cult Classics Hall of Fame line. The series ended up coming out, but Zombie Ed was not included. Oddly enough, a quick search on eBay turns up a bunch of these unproduced toys, Chinese knockoffs that look pretty damn close to the prototype above. Not sure what the story is with that, but they're there if ya want them!
Freddy Krueger "Monster Squirt" Water Gun (LJN)
We finish things off by going old school, all the way back to the glorious '80s. LJN made all sorts of fun horror toys in that decade, including a Freddy Krueger "squirt head" and Freddy and Jason "squirt balls," the latter of which also included squirt balls of two of their victims. In 1987 they planned on continuing the theme of turning vicious killers into kid-friendly squirt toys with these Freddy and Jason water guns. Dubbed the "Monster Squirt" assortment, Freddy made it to the prototype stage, while only concept art for the Jason gun was produced. From the looks of the vendor catalog image above, it appears as if Freddy's gun was supposed to shoot water from his mouth, while pushing down on Jason's arms would unleash a torrent of water from the head of his trusty axe. You've just gotta love the '80s!
Which of these toys would you most like to own? Do you know of any other awesome toys that were never produced? Drop a comment below and let us know!