Back in the late 80s and early 90s, the formulated action movie was simple. Big bulky guys we could barely understand shooting down enemies or throwing down fists with a backdrop of huge explosions and practical stunts. And who were the cream of the crop action movie stars at this point in time? Well, there were 3. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and last but not least Jean-Claude Van Damme.And with a good action movie, toys based on the movie weren’t far behind. As far as I know, Schwarzenegger and Stallone have both had action figures that sold in the past. I think this may be the first time Van Damme has gotten the privilege. Enter Diamond Select Toys. Their new solicitation of Jean-Claude Van Damme as Frank Dux. In his break-out role as the lead in BloodSport. And the pictures look very promising.
“To honor you, shidoshi”
For some insight, the movie Bloodsport was a martial arts classic that was released in 1988. It was based on the “true story” of military veteran Frank Dux. At least, we were told it was a true story. Some new information has leaked putting to question the validity of that statement. but that’s a different story entirely.
The synopsis is about Frank Dux, played by Jean Claude Van Damme entering a secret fighting contest. This ultimate fighting style competition was held in Hong Kong and called The Kumite.The full-contact fighting contest was invite-only and pitched the best fighters against each other from all around the globe. This made for great fight scenes. The clashing of different styles was really fun to watch. Even if they were made-up styles for the movie. Some of the fight scenes were brutal as well, building up the tension for the final confrontation between Frank Dux and Chong Li. The badass martial arts antagonist. In my opinion, this is one of the top martial arts films to date. Not because of the acting which was sub-par or even the fight scenes which weren’t as technical as other martial arts films of the past. But because the premise of something like this existing was so enticing. Especially for me, a 13-year-old kid at the time.
From action star to action figure
The images Diamond Select Toys posted look to be an early prototype. The second head sculpt looks to be photoshopped in. So hopefully as time goes on, they will release some better photos. As I mentioned, there appears to be 2 head sculpts. A neutral expression and a Van Damme trademark “I just hit you with my entire chi force” expression. I love that they added this. It was probably the most memorable part of his performance. They did a great job capturing his likeness.It looks to be fully articulated. With double-jointed knees, double-jointed elbows, thigh swivels, ankle joints, torso, butterfly shoulders, and ball joints for the head. As far as accessories, the only thing they are currently showing is the extra head sculpt. A different set of hands would be a welcoming sight as well.
This is a nostalgic figure right up my alley. The price is excellent too! $24.99 USD. You can’t beat that. If you’re interested, pre-orders are up now at the following. I will be ordering mine now.
Diamond Select Toys
And if you haven’t watched Bloodsport yet, do yourself a favor, grab some popcorn and a drink, turn on Netflix and get ready for a campy 80s martial arts film like no other. I promise you’ll enjoy it!
“I didn’t mean to steal it”, The cheesy lines were great!