It may not have been quite as pivotal as Star Trek and Star Wars, but The Last Starfighter was still one of the defining movies of my childhood. I was old enough when I saw it to be completely enthralled by the idea of being plucked out of my ordinary life and tasked with saving the galaxy, and still young enough that parts of it creeped the hell out of me. (I had nightmares about that shot of Alex’s Beta Unit pulling the sheet down to expose its pulsing, gape-eyed embryonic form.) But the one thing my Last Starfighter fixation needed to truly reach the next level was some toys. Sure, I reenacted the movie with my Star Wars guys every now and then, but it lacked that official stamp of approval. So these shots of prototype Last Starfighter action figures are a kick right square in the nostalgia for me.
In 1984, the original Star Wars trilogy had just wrapped and the toy line was an undisputed juggernaut, so it’s not surprising that 20th Century Fox would be eyeballing The Last Starfighter as a potential franchise starter. Marvel did a comics adaptation of the movie, and Atari worked on both arcade and home computer versions of a Last Starfighter game, but neither were released. Thankfully toymaker Galoob’s work left a more tangible legacy in the form of the proposed action figure line. Sadly, the Powers That Be didn’t give the toys a thumbs up, but at least we’ve got these pictures, courtesy of PlaidStallions.com. But seriously, I really want to know what happened to the prototypes.
They must be mine.
One intriguing little details is that the Starfighter action figures were going to be sold in packs of two, which would have been awesome for those of us who would have gladly saved up our allowance money.
The only disappointing thing about this little science fiction footnote — well, other than the fact that the toys were never released — is that we don’t have any pictures of a toy version of the Gunstar. (With thrilling Death Blossom action!)
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go poke around the local trailer parks to see if I can find any mysterious arcade games. Greetings, starfighter…