“I want all of these. No, I want MORE than all of these.”
Ingenuity often comes from the most obvious places. People have liked meth, wolves, and oversized T-shirts for years, but it wasn’t until someone sat down and said, “Hey, let’s put three wolves on a KFC-stained T-shirt” that we collectively said, “Oh, of course” and bought a million shirts from The Mountain. We didn’t know that chocolate could be put into peanut butter, and vice versa, without a combination of divine intervention and mercy killings. So when we were told that Heroes in Action Toys made action figures of American presidents, we weren’t particularly impressed…until they clarified that the presidents were also monsters.
And we immediately wanted to buy all of them.
Yes, it seems so simple in retrospect, but it took a true genius to come up with monster versions of each American president, and it would be a disservice if we didn’t take you through each and every item on the catalog to show you how incredibly American this idea is. You’re welcome.
Heroes in Action Toys Presents: Presidential Monsters
Just looking at those toys up there makes us want to be kids again so we can hold something our parents love very dear hostage until they take us to Toys-R-Us and buy us the whole set. That’s right, dad, one wrong move and your precious golf clubs go right into the smelter. Don’t fuck with us.
Simply staring at them and appreciating their majesty is totally acceptable, but we don’t get the big bucks (read as, crossing our fingers hoping the company reads this and sends us some free product) for just that. We’ve got to go deeper.
BARACULA: The Barack Obama Vampire
We understand that there’s always a fine line you have to walk when representing the current president as a monster. People either will be obsessively vigilant to ensure that the highest power in the land is treated with respect, or they’re going to go Ted Nugent on you. Either way, you’ll either piss off people who like the president, or piss off people who are mad you didn’t turn the president into, we don’t know, Hellboy.
That’s why making Barack Obama a vampire works so well. It’ll appease the Obama haters (he sucks blood) but not in a particularly egregious or treacherous manner (so do all politicians. And Lawyers. And CEOs. And hair lice). But it’s also Dracula, and we’ve been told between obnoxious shrieks from teenagers that vampires are apparently sexy now? Maybe? Either way, historically, Dracula has always been referred to with the romantic descriptor of “a suave motherfucker.” If you’re going to turn the president into a vampire? At least make him a boss vampire.
ZOMBUSH: The George W. Bush Zombie
Listen, we know that Dubya was a bit of a hot topic as far as presidents go, and we get the joke behind this monster choice (“Need braaaains”) but we’re still going on the record to say this looks pretty badass. It’s only fair that Zombies and Vampires represent the most recent Republican and Democratic presidents, since statistically when the Right tends to “fear” vampires, while the Left tends to “fear” zombies. When Republicans are in power, Zombie films rule the day, while Vampire movies are all during Democratic regimes.
But that doesn’t matter. What matters is, no matter how you look at it, this toy would be so fun to play with. If The Walking Dead has taught us anything, it’s that you don’t need likable characters or an actual driving plot or particularly good writing to be a successful show everyone wants to be a zombie, so long as they’re just pretending. Don’t believe us? If a Super Bowl winner would go out of his way to be a Zombie, why wouldn’t a former president?
WOLF BILL: The Wolfman Bill Clinton
Okay so since Clinton was the biggest horn dog to take the office of President since LBJ, so we get why you’d make him into a Wolf Man. That’s pretty clever. But we love the fact that this comes with an accessory, and that it’s a saxophone. None of the other president action figures so far have gotten a toy to play with, but apparently you play one sax solo on one Arsenio Hall Show episode, and suddenly it’s part of your identity to the point that you’re even using it when you’re turned into a monster action figure that people initially mistake for “Wolf Blitzer.”
There’s a lot about this toy that confuses us, actually. First of all, is there any particular reason why his suit is tattered almost the exact same ways as the George Bush zombie? Also, why does Clinton have wolf legs, wolf tail, but perfectly human hands, and the only additional hair on his face are glorious Wolverine-style sideburns? Plus, is it just us or does it look like they gave him vampire teeth just like Baracula? Additionally baffling but totally awesome is the fact that, for whatever reason, Wolf Man Bill Clinton is still wearing his tie, but just chose to unbutton the top button like he’s a 13 year old kid who just got out of church service. Because Clinton totally was that kid.
THE RONMY: The Ronald Reagan Mummy
When Lenin died, the Soviets actually mummified him and put him on display. Motionless and impotent. So while it’s strange to give similar treatment to the man who was running the country when we groin punched the Soviets into a bunch of fragmented rapidly shrinking economies, we at least made him a Mummy that doesn’t take any shit from anyone, and spends his time haunting you with his pet cobra in tow.
We’d actually love to see a movie with Ron as The Mummy. And by that, we mean to say, we just had some of our staffers sit down and write a screenplay for a movie with Ronald Reagan as a mummy. Here’s a brief synopsis—Abbot and Costello go into a pyramid where they see Reagan, make a trickle-down economics joke, and he comes to life, chases them, and the whole thing ends with him taking apart the Berlin Wall piece-by-piece. Yeah. That’s be pretty sweet, actually. We’d totally watch that movie, even if it was in black and white.
MONSTER FROM THE WATERGATE LAGOON: The Richard Nixon Swamp Thing with a forced not-even-quite-a-pun
Yeah, yeah, we’ll get to the actual monster here in a second, but let’s start with the name. Really? The Monster from the Watergate Lagoon? You know puns are supposed to actually sound like the words, right? “Black” and “Watergate” have about as much in common as “Mormon” and “Kegger.” No, that’s not actually fair, because “Mormon” and “Kegger” at least have the same amount of syllables. Goddamn it. We were super stoked about this series, and we really like this action figure, but we’re having a really hard getting past the name. Ugh. Hire a goddamn copywriter. Jesus.
As for the figure itself, Nixon here’s got the same tattered suit design as all the rest. Honestly we’re pretty sure they just take the same tattered suit, change the color for each president, and then change the length of them (except for Obama of course, that sumbitch be dapper). Dubya and Clinton have regular length, Reagan looks like he’s rolling one pant leg up so it doesn’t get caught in the gear shift of his mummy bike, and Nixon here looks like someone trying on a pair of pants they used to wear in grade school. This is also both the least and most recognizable of all of the presidents, as they really left nothing human about Nixon in his features, yet it still looks 100% like Nixon. As far as that goes, well done, though it’s sort of cheating since Nixon has always sort of looked like a fish anyway.
Unrelated, but are we crazy for thinking this toy be the best toy in the world if it came with a panda bear as its accessory? That can’t just be us, right?
PHANTOM OF THE WHITE HOUSE: A, uh, whatever the Phantom of the Opera was version of JFK, only with a full face, a full mask, and another bad pun
This one confuses the hell out of us. Can’t you find a famous monster who just, bones chicks left and right? The Phantom of the White House is by far the laziest, because it’s pretty clear that they either don’t know what the Phantom of the Opera looks like, or they’re actively trying to avoid some specific copyright issue. They made JFK pale, put him in a cape (hey, no frayed suit this time though) and gave him what looks like a Loki mask. That’s it. Listen, we don’t know much about the Phantom of the Opera, because it’s a musical written by a British dude based off a French novel, but we’re pretty sure that the Phantom of the Opera was supposed to be disfigured, and tends to have, you know, half a mask. And also has nothing to do with JFK.
Now you might say, “Well, it would be borderline criminal to mar the face of one of our more handsome presidents.” That’s true. That’s also yet another reason why it makes no sense to make JFK the Phantom of the fucking Opera!
Okay. We’re done venting. But this one kinda pisses us off. Don’t buy this one, it’s stupid.
LINCOLNSTEIN: The Abraham Lincoln Frankenstein
A nice little touch about this one is that, instead of having bolts in his neck, they put the bolts in Lincoln’s top hat, which is crumpled for good effect. This one might actually be our favorites, because it gives us the mental image of some mad scientist piecing Lincoln back together and turning him to life, only for Linconstein (which is a better pun than the alternate “Frankenlincoln”) to freak out upon seeing fire, hunt after John Wilkes Booth’s co-conspirators, and then accidentally throw a girl into the pond and drown her (woah there, shit just got dark).
Aesthetically, this one just looks the coolest, partially because Lincoln sort of looked like a monster compared to everyone else anyway. He was a giant (for the time) lanky guy who was widely considered to be ugly but mesmerizing. Sort of like a living monster made out of parts of dead people. Either way, if the good folks at Heroes in Action Toys are reading this, feel free to send one over. We want to put this on the desk of every member of our staff.