Thursday, June 5, 2008

Knickerbocker The Lord of the Rings

In 1978, Ralph Bakshi brought the world his much-maligned animated version of The Lord of the Rings. In 1979, Knickerbocker (which made toy lines for movies) came out with action figures of six characters and two steeds from the movie. There was Frodo, Gandalf, Sam, Aragorn, Gollum, and a Ringwraith, it's horse, and the white horse Frodo rode to escape it.

Locally, they were available at Perry's, a department store at Oak Park Mall. Through a lot of persuasion (and downright begging) we were able to get Mom to buy us all that they had: all the figures and steeds except for Sam. We always hoped that they'd come out with more figures (at least Gimli and Legolas) but the film was never hugely popular and apparently most of the shelf space was hogged by the Star Wars franchise.

We've cherished these figures through the years. Gollum mysteriously "disappeared" after we allowed our sister and her visiting friend to play with a few figures, but Yen was able to replace him from a comic book store when he moved to Florida. The horses have lost three fragile hooves between them. The Nazgul has come apart and been put together again. And my niece chewed on the band of Gandalf's hat. But we have them still, the only LOTR action figures for many years, and we still have all their accessories.

These pictures are off eBay. Our toys are much more worn.

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