In my travels as a fledgling toy archaeologist, I run across a lot of weirdo action figures. Most of the time, they wind up coming home with me, which is why I reign over a vast plastic kingdom. Sure, Mr. Geeky V and I collect mainstream stuff like Masters of the Universe and Star Wars, but there’s something so alluring about stumbling upon an oddball. The world of knock-off and bootleg toys is a neverending supply of delight. Some are more mainstream, like toylines created by Remco, such as Conan or Warlord. Others, like these guys, are definitely on the fringes.
I’ll be honest. I don’t know anything about these guys other than that they’re 6″ scale Street Fighter figures. They have no markings on them, other than the standard “Made in China” marking you see on most crazy knock-off figures. I’ve heard them called “Street Heroes,” but I’ve taken to calling them the Pavement Pugilists. They have no accessories, but a couple of them have sculpted-on weapons, like knives and guns, because when you’re fighting in the street, apparently anything goes. Let’s meet the gang, shall we?
First up is Zonk-Grief. This fella is all business, down to his flesh-toned pants (which, if I’m being honest, are a little unsettling). When he’s not at the gym or shopping for furry red vests, he’s at the office. Or rather, he’s at an office. He sneaks into random offices of people on vacation. No one knows what he does, but they know he’s important because he carries a briefcase and wears a fedora, and yells a lot. Between you and me, I think he’s seen a few too many episodes of Mad Men at the gym, and now he’s starting to think he’s Don Draper.
Next we have Kir-Blanka. He’s so named because he looks like Jack Kirby’s interpretation of Blanka from Street Fighter (no relation). He was the first Pavement Pugilist to come live with us. Kir-Blanka loves his puppy, Roberta. When he’s not training for the next brawl and grimacing awkwardly for the camera, he spends his time walking Roberta. He rescued Roberta from the side of the road after a particularly tough brawl. She helps him with his anger issues, and he volunteers with her at adoption drives so everyone can see how fulfilling it is to adopt a rescue puppy. He even has a Facebook page for Roberta. It has over 700 likes, which makes Kir-Blanka feel like he’s more than just a pretty face.
It’s always nice to bring a toy home that has the collecting bug, too. Zen Blasters loves Star Wars (hence the last name he chose), and he’s commandeered my mini-figures. It gets annoying when he keeps asking if he looks like Luke Skywalker. Zen doesn’t have a lot going for him in the fighting arena. He has the power of being blond. Even his eye color is blond, which is odd. But I assure him, that yes, he looks just like Luke Skywalker. It makes him feel better, and thank goodness, because this cat is super awkward. Look at that smile.
Finally we have the newest member of the Pavement Pugilists, Droll-Slim. Unlike the other guys, who came from the local flea market, Droll-Slim came from a waterfront village in the mystical Bay of E. He’s a master of articulation-challenged yoga. Seriously. This guy can’t even turn his head. His power is the yoga spark. It’s about as menacing as it sounds. He’s inspired by the cinematic stylings of Jean Claude Van Damme, and whenever my tiny chairs go missing, I know where to find them. He gets a pass from me, though, because he has a skull necklace.
So there you have it–this awkward band of misfits is a fearsome foursome. OK, really more of a quirky quartet, but they wanted me to say that. They’re cool little guys, so I’ll humor them.
Have you ever seen these guys? Do you know what they’re actually called? Sound off in the comments!