Mad Max Action Figures and Toys
There was a line of Mad Max / Road Warrior action figures in release from N2 Toys around 2000. At the time, these were available from most online toy stores such as Action Figure Express, however these days most likely the easiest place to find them is on ebay. If anyone knows of an online store still selling these at a reasonable price though, please let me know.
Prototypes Series 1 figures, first displayed at the San Diego Comic Con International, August 1999.
Note that this picture above is of the prototype figures. The final mass produced figures may be different in some respects, although they look pretty much the same to me. Some more pictures from this original showing can be found in this Raving Toy Maniac article.
For the first run of figures there were 6 available, and they are: Max and dog, Max and Feral Kid, Wez, Humungous, the Gyro Captain and the Warrior Women. The pictures below from the Raving Toy Maniac site show these figures, photographed at Toy Fair 2000:
These figures are the first series, there was subsequently a Series 2 set of figures, I don't currently have these pictured here, but you could check out some images over at madmaxmodels.com. There was also a plan for vehicles, and 12" figures, these all never made it past the prototype stage. For pictures of the Interceptor, see below, and some further images can also be found at madmaxmodels, and in some of the links below. I realise some of these links are now outdated and broken - when I get a chance I'll post some of this stuff back directly on this web site, as it becomes more unavailable elsewhere.
To read more about the toys, take a look at the entertainment tomorrow site, they have an interview with Ron Hayes of N2Toys, the company making the figures. N2 Toys did also used to have information on their own web site, although this now appears to have closed down - I can only assume they unfortunately went out of business (if anyone knows, please let me know).
For those who bought cases of figures, I never saw an exact case breakdown for the first series of the figures, although Randy of Action Figure Times offered the following info on how the Matrix figures were distributed - I presume if you bought a case of Mad Max, they were distributed in a similar way:
"While I don't claim to know for sure, N2Toys is releasing the Mad Max figures with two Maxs(1 with Dog and 1 with The Feral Kid), Warrior Woman, Gyro Captain, Humongous and Wez. That makes six figures in their 12 figure case, which HOPEFULLY means that they will do two sets per case.
When N2Toys did The Matrix figures there were two case types; 1 had two sets per case and the other had 4 Neo, 3 Morpheus, 2 Trinity and one each of Switch, Cypher and Agent Smith. Using that logic, I would hazard a guess that the multiple figures would be Max, Wez and Humongous, with the others being one per case. Just a theory."
According to Action Figure Express, a case of 12" figures is to include 2 of each figure, although that isn't what they originally wrote before the figures were released - perhaps someone who has opened a case can confirm this? NB. As these were never ultimately released, I'm assuming no cases were made, and this theory is now redundant anyway...
There was a V8 interceptor in the planning stage for the above toy line - unfortunately it never made it to production. A couple of pictures of the prototype are included a picture below. The first picture is from the Action Figure Times site, where you can find some further information on the show where this was exhibited.
Courtesy of Randy (of ASK RANDY) from Action Figure Times
The second picture below is from Altered States Magazine, who posted some pictures from Toy Fair 2002. This is the only picture I've ever seen of the boxed vehicle. Apparently at the time they were also considering a Thunderdome toy line.
Note that the pictures above were prototypes - the final production vehicles may have been slightly different. The vehicle was originally due sometime mid-2001, and at one time this could be pre-ordered from Action Figure Express, at the price of US$28.95. Ultimately, this was never released. While browsing their site, I also found that Action Figure Times also had a (very small!) picture of a Gyro Copter vehicle that was displayed.
In addition to the above toy fair exhibits, the same page at Action Figure Times from one of the toy shows in 2001 shows a Road Warrior "Road Rage" slot car racing set. The pics are a bit small, does anyone know any more about this one? Again, I think this was never produced, but if anyone has further info, please contact me. A better picture of the Road Rage Slot Car set can be found at http://www.mastercollector.com/neat/toyfair01/importshow01/n2dal.html, thanks to Chris Maier for sending me this. The first two pictures below are from Action Figure Times, the last one is from master collector.
The only other figures I ever heard of was a line proposed by Warner Brothers back in 1996 when they were thinking of doing the TV series. Their original press release for these figures is as follows:
Warner Bros. Toys To Produce "Mad Max: The Road Warrior" Toys
Warner Bros. Toys has developed a toy line based on George Miller's Mad Max feature film trilogy and the upcoming Warner Bros. Domestic Television series. The collection based on the films will include action figures, vehicles and playsets and will be available at retail beginning first quarter 1997. In addition, a licensing program incorporating apparel, fashion accessories, interactive entertainment, publishing and novelties has been developed to complement the toy line.
I don't know how far any of this actually got, perhaps prototypes got made for some of these as well, but I never heard of any actually being displayed. If anyone does have any info on what happened with this merchandise, please contact me.
With the lack of official merchandise, there were a few imitations around. The only one of these I have any real information on so far is "Steel Monsters", made by Tonka. The figures I know about so far from this line certainly resemble the bad guys from Mad Max 2 (Road Warrior). The first figure is "Metal Face", who obviously resembles the Lord Humungus, including the metal face mask, and a similar amount of hair on the back of his head. The figure came with a car/jeep type vehicle with 2 guns coming out of the passenger side windsheild. The other figure I know about is "Punk", who resembles Wez. There were also some other vehicles, all sporting a similar amount of armour and weaponry. Below is a picture of the "Metal Face" figure.
The Metal Face figure has a copyright date of 1986, although the date on the vehicle is 1981. If anyone has any further information or pictures on "Steel Monsters" please let me know. I'm also obviously interested in any other information on imitation / bootleg / custom toys as well if anyone knows of any. Thanks!
A BIG thanks to Jon Gibbs for contributing the above info and pictures