The toy rights to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise have changed hands many times over the years, and ol' Leatherface has seen release from most of the major companies that we all love, including NECA, Mezco, Sideshow Collectibles and McFarlane. Of the seven films Leatherface has starred in, four of them have been given the toy treatment by those companies, with most of the focus being placed on his two different looks in his original outing. That said, we've gotten a few fun surprises over the years which offered an exciting break from the norm.
Needless to say, given the wealth of different toys to choose from, it was a bit difficult to cut this list down to only ten – a painstaking process I've spent a couple hours deliberating about. Though there are quite frankly more than ten Texas Chainsaw Massacre toys that diehard fans of the franchise should probably own, what you'll find below is what I consider to be the cream of the crop. Just know that I'm only leaving some awesome toys out because I've got no choice. That said, let's rev up those chainsaws and get on with it!
I think it's safe to say that most of these "must-own toys" lists will be kicked off with toys released by McFarlane – the company that gave us the very first high-quality toys of many of our favorite horror icons. This particular list is no exception, and though I feel a bit bad about not including their original 6" version of Leatherface – which for me was the first Leatherface toy I ever owned – I had to nix it in favor of their massive 18" version. Released in 2001, as part of Movie Maniacs Series 4, this biggie-sized Leatherface toy depicted the hulking brute in a vicious ready-to-strike pose, his clothing splattered in blood from a recent kill. Like McFarlane's other 18" Movie Maniacs toys, Leatherface was equipped with motion-activated sound, his trusty chainsaw starting up whenever you walked past him. Depending on whether you want him loose or in his original box, you can typically buy this figure nowadays for anywhere between $50-$100.
In 2004, McFarlane revisited Leatherface on the heels of the TCM remake, and put out another jumbo sized toy in Movie Maniacs Series 7, which turned out to unfortunately be the final series in the beloved line. The figure itself standing at over 12" tall, remake Leatherface came with an impressive base that brought the whole display piece to over 18" high, depicting Leatherface wielding his chainsaw in front of the gnarly pulley system on which he hoists his victims. This figure also came with a severed arm, and in a nice little touch, Leatherface's own right arm was removeable, with a bloody stump underneath that paid homage to the scene at the end of the film where Jessica Biel hacks it off with a cleaver. Definitely my favorite figure from the reboot, this one can be picked up for fairly cheap, both in and out of the packaging.
If there's one recent toy line that I wish had continued longer than it did, it's Mezco's "Screen Grabs," part of their Cinema of Fear brand. The line consisted of only two series, and with it Mezco brought some fun to the horror toy game by bringing iconic movie scenes to life, through the use of small scale dioramas. No doubt one of the most shocking and memorable scenes of all time, this Series 1 release recreated the first kill we ever saw Leatherface make – bludgeoning Kirk with a mallet. I loved the way the Screen Grabs dioramas brought our favorite horror flicks to life, and I again wish Mezco had gone further with the idea than they did. You can find this one on eBay for around 20 bucks.
I'm kinda-sorta cheating by including two toys in one here, but allow me to explain: released by Mezco, these two 12" deluxe figures were put out at the same time – the one pictured on the left available at all retailers, and the one on the right available exclusively through Mezco's online outlet, Mezco Direct. The former, of course, depicts Leatherface as he's seen throughout most of the original film, while the latter is based on his look during the dinner scene at the end, and I've gotta go ahead and consider these two figures the best we've seen, based on those two looks. NECA put out two similar looking toys in their Cult Classics line, but I'm more of a fan of Mezco's offerings when it comes to these. Both have recently been selling for around $60 apiece.
Sideshow Collectibles also gave some love to Leatherface's dinner outfit with this "Premium Format" statue that stood 19" tall and was limited to just 200 pieces worldwide. No doubt the most expensive and impressive Leatherface collectible ever produced, the figure was cast in high-quality polystone and his outfit reproduced in real fabric. The detail on this thing is absolutely incredible (right down to the cut on his leg), the closest you can get to actually having Leatherface hanging out in your room. As you'd probably expect given the quality and limited nature, these statues can nowadays be purchased for no less than a few hundred bucks... and often much more.
Mezco spiced up the monotonous world of Texas Chainsaw Massacre toys big time with a "Chop-Top" figure in Cinema of Fear Series 1, one of the most requested horror toys of all time. The first and only Chop-Top figure ever made, he came packaged with a slew of different accesories, including an alternate wig-wearing head, alternate hands and even the corpse he parades around in the 1986 sequel, which is actually the corpse of his and Leatherface's brother, the Hitchhiker (aka Nubbins Sawyer) from the original film. Though there's never a ton of them selling on eBay, you'll only have to pay about $20 to snag one.
Cinema of Fear Series 2 saw the release of another toy based on the second film in the franchise – this time allowing us to finally add the Leatherface seen in that movie to our collection. Given how much I loved his look in Part 2, this is one of my personal favorite Leatherface toys ever made, and in fact it's the only real action figure that's been released based on his appearance in the sequel (Mezco did also put out a plush version of Part 2 Leatherface, which almost made it onto this list). This Leatherface came not just with his chainsaw and a cleaver, but also L.G.'s face and even the electric knife he used to cut it off. This figure currently sells for upwards of $50.
The Chainsaw love continued in Series 3 of the Cinema of Fear line, with the addition of the aforementioned "Hitchhiker," the only character from the original franchise other than Leatherface and Chop-Top to get his own action figure.I gotta give serious props to Mezco for making this toy, because I quite frankly never in a million years expected any company ever would. The Hitchhiker came with all the accesories he carries around with him in the movie – including his sack, the razor he cuts Franklin's arm with, and the camera he uses to take his picture. Presumably because not all that many people cared to own a toy of the character, this figure can often be found selling for as low as a few bucks. In other words, we true fans benefit from a lack of mainstream interest!
The most unique Chainsaw collectibles were released by a company called Hawthorne Village, who make those miniature towns you've probably seen in craft stores. In 2004 they launched a line of villages inspired by iconic locations from horror movies, which they dubbed the "Hawthorne Village of Horror Classics." They released a whopping three pieces in honor of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, depicting the three most well known locations from the film: the gas station, Leatherface's house and the Hardesty home. No Chainsaw collection is truly complete without these three awesome display pieces, and the Hardesty House is particularly worthy of note because it actually included a miniature figurine of one of the most irritating characters in horror history, Franklin (seen above, in front of Leatherface's house). All three are pretty rare and sell for at least $100 a piece... if you can even find them.
I may get some hate for bumping off another awesome toy from the original films in favor of this one – based on the prequel to the 2003 remake – but I personally dug that film, even if it was ultimately nothing special or different. Regardless of how you feel about the movie, I don't think anyone will disagree that this box set from NECA is absolutely awesome, a highly gruesome plastic and rubber recreation of Eric's brutal skinning at the hands of a young Leatherface. It's definitely one of the more horrifying toys ever made, and that alone makes it a must-own piece. These typically sell for between $20-$60, depending on whether the set is loose or sealed.
Did I leave out any Texas Chainsaw Massacre toys that you feel no fan's collection is complete without? Comment below and let me know!