Even before Gargoyles debuted on the Disney Afternoon programming block, Greg Weisman, the main creator of Gargoyles, and Kenner began talks for a new toy line. Both saw the potential for a successful series of toys from the concepts of the series. However, Kenner expressed concerns about the lack of vehicles present in the cartoon series. During the time, Kenner also felt that the two female leads, Elisa and Demona, may prove a problem for a toy line.
Thus, the toy line remained in production until 1995. During that time, Disney proved that they had a hit on their hands with the praise that their first two seasons received. So, fans hungered for Gargoyles merchandise, like toys. However, by the time that Kenner’s toy line came around, some of the Gargoyles fever had passed.
Still, Kenner created a successful toy line that lasted until 1997. They produced three series of toys by the time that they discontinued the toys. They also successfully created a playset and vehicles. So, Gargoyles fans had many toys to add to their collection.
Even though the Gargoyles property has been asleep over the decades, the fans still remember the series. Even Disney has remembered their successful series with hints within their recent DuckTales reboot. Recently, NECA announced that they are creating new toys, starting with Goliath. So, now is a perfect time to look back and remember the top ten toys from Kenner’s Gargoyles line.
Presenting the top ten toys and playsets from Kenner’s Gargoyles
10. Kenner’s Brooklyn (1995)
Brooklyn appeared in Kenner’s first series of Gargoyles toys, which they launched in 1995. Likewise, Brooklyn was among the first Gargoyles that viewers met in the series. He was a member of the iconic trio, which also included Broadway and Lexington. However, compared to the other two, Brooklyn displayed more leadership qualities.
In the packaging, Brooklyn’s wings and tail sat detached from the rest of the body. However, users could easily snap the wings and tail onto the gargoyle’s back. Meanwhile, the figure featured a lever, located on its back, which activated movement in its horns and mouth. Finally, this action figure came with a single accessory, a yellow sword.
Sadly, this toy suffered when it came to Brooklyn’s head. While the cartoon had a Brooklyn with a long snout, it was not out of proportion with the rest of his body. Meanwhile, the toy featured a head that appeared large in comparison to the rest of his body.
9. Kenner’s Elisa Maza (1996)
Appearing in the second series, Kenner released a single Elisa Maza action figure through the entire run of their toys. While many toys in Kenner’s toy line featured accessories that never showed up in the cartoon, they still often resembled the cartoon. Elisa, on the other hand, took on a look that she never had in the show.
Rather than Elisa’s iconic detective outfit, Kenner outfitted this action figure in a blue flight suit. Elisa also never wore a jet pack, let alone a rocket wing pack. However, Kenner saw it fit to create this machine for her. Thus, Elisa’s toy incarnation could fly through the air, like her allies. Unlike her Gargoyle friends, her wings could fold down in a relaxed position or spread out for flight.
This action figure also came with a pair of guns, which Elisa could wield. The rocket launcher then latched onto her back. With a press of the firing button, Elisa launched her rocket from her back.
8. Kenner’s Hudson (1995)
Another entry in Kenner’s first series of Gargoyles toys, Hudson accompanied the rest of the Manhattan Clan. Unlike Brooklyn and Elisa, Kenner created an accurate depiction of Goliath’s mentor with this toy. They even molded most of Hudson’s wrinkles and his scar into his face. All that the toy needed was a recliner chair to fully depict Hudson from the show.
As with all other Gargoyle figures, Hudson’s wings and tail sat detached from his body in the packaging. However, quick snaps fully constructed the aged warrior. Hudson also came with his large, curved sword. However, this accessory lacked any paint, so it stayed a monochromatic grey piece.
This toy also came with an action movement. To active his action, owners pressed his right leg toward his left leg. Then, the figure performed a “quick sword-slashing action”.
7. Kenner’s Lexington (1995)
Also released in the first series, Kenner created a Lexington action figure to help complete the Gargoyles’ trio. While unlisted, this series also included the final member of the trio, Broadway. All three of these Gargoyles were the youngest members of the Manhattan Clan. Meanwhile, Lexington quickly adapted to the technology of the modern world, becoming their de facto inventor and hacker.
Lexington’s accessory, a firing stinging crossbow, never appeared in his hands during the cartoon’s run. However, many background characters, including castle defenders and Vikings, used crossbows. Thus, Lexington likely held one at some point in his life. So, this accessory did not appear out of place on him. Unlike many of the other toys, Lexington’s action gimmick activated from a button on the crossbow. So, the body held no levers of triggers.
Unlike his fellow Gargoyles, Lexington’s webbing between his arms and legs came attached to the figure. His tail also remained attached to the rest of his body. So, owners did not need to construct their completed toy.
6. Kenner’s Rippin’ Rider Cycle (1995)
In 1995, Kenner released its first series of Gargoyles toys. Within this series, they created the Rippin’ Rider Cycle for the action figures to ride. This figure closely resembled the motorcycle that Brooklyn rode and quickly crashed in the first season. Likewise, the toy featured Brooklyn riding it on the box artwork.
Unlike the show’s motorcycle, Kenner gave this vehicle several accessories to add to its appeal. First, the toy featured a hidden rocket launcher, which became visible when the cycle popped a wheelie. Moreover, Kenner included a stone camouflage, that somewhat resembled a large skull. This camouflage latched onto the front of the cycle. Unfortunately, the package did not include any gargoyle figures, though any of the Gargoyles could ride it.
5. Kenner’s Xanatos with Steel Clan Battle Armor (1996)
In series two, Kenner released the second version of Xanatos, this time donning his iconic red Steel Clan battle armor. This battle exoframe showed up early in the series, during the episode titled “The Edge”. However, the original Xanatos action figure gave him a grey battle armor, which he never used.
In many ways, this series 2 toy was a rerelease of the series 1 Xanatos toy. The Xanatos figure itself remained untouched in the second version. However, Kenner repainted the armor to make it red now. Without the armor, Xanatos red a black battle suit that featured grey accents and tubing. Unfortunately, Kenner gave Xanatos black hair instead of his brown hair.
Once Xanatos equipped his battle armor, he gained an appearance similar to Goliath, though red. Unlike the show, the toy’s wings did not hold layers that spread outward like wings. Kenner advertised these wings as poseable; however, they limited the movement to rotating back and forth. So, his wings did not spread out. Where the cartoon Xanatos wore his armor, akin to Iron Man, the toy’s armor snaps onto the inner figure.
Outside of the armor, this toy comes with no added action gimmicks nor accessories, which is a small shame. The cartoon’s armor came equipped with laser weapons that popped out of the forearms. However, the toy has no such weapons.
Still, this version of Xanatos is one of the rarer action figures from Kenner’s Gargoyles toy line.
4. Kenner’s Demona (1995)
Despite Kenner’s concerns about the only female Gargoyle being evil, they released Demona in the first series. This toy closely resembled Goliath’s former Angel of the Night. Unfortunately, her dual-toned red hair with black roots was unfeasible in the toy’s plastic. So, her pure red hair became the largest difference between the toy and the cartoon.
Unlike many of the other Gargoyles figures, Demona required no construction to complete the action figure. Both her tail and wings came attached to her body. This likely occurred because her wings held her action feature. By squeezing together Demona’s knees, her wings flapped. Meanwhile, Gargoyles rarely flapped their wings in the cartoon since they could not fly, only glide.
Demona came with a firing stungun accessory. To fire the weapon’s projectile, owners pressed down on the firing button on the top of the gun. Notably, Demona rarely used non-deadly weaponry like a stungun.
3. Kenner’s Hard-Wired Coldstone (1996)
In the third series, Kenner launched the Hard-Wired subline for the Gargoyles toys. Each of these figures included detailing that resembled technology. However, one toy within this series required no extra embellishments, Coldstone, for he already was a cyborg Gargoyle. Thus, while other Hard-Wired action figures barely resembled their show counterparts, Coldstone closely resembled his on-screen appearance.
However, there was one element that never appeared in the cartoon, a monitor in his chest which showed whether he was good or evil. To activate this monitor, users pushed a lever on Coldstone’s back to activate a slot-machine effect that flipped through several icons. Each of these images reflected one of the four personalities that controlled Coldstone’s body.
Coldstone’s action figure featured a second action gimmick in his right arm. This time, an orange missile hid within the arm. To unveil and fire the missile, owners raised the arm so that the shoulder guard pressed down on a hidden button. Once the arm rose high enough, the missile fired.
Finally, Coldstone featured two orange blades on the back of his wings’ claws. While these blades held no action gimmick, they could rotate to be either more visible or hidden.
2. Kenner’s Castle Playset (1996)
Rather than recreating Xanatos’ Eyrie Building or Castle Wyvern in full, Kenner opted to create a foldable playset that mimicked the walls of the Gargoyles’ ancient home. However, this playset did not accurately portray any of the castle walls as shown in the cartoon. Instead, Kenner took liberties to create a castle with gargoyle imagery.
This playset folded in and out, expanding to supply additional play possibilities. Thus, a latch on the side of the castle walls kept the playset closed for storage. Once the castle opened, several weapons and gates became available.
On top of the castle, the playset featured a mobile missile launcher. Meanwhile, the gate for the castle’s prison cell could hook to the second level to expand the available space for toys to stand on. This cell also hid an action gimmick, which popped open a segment of the castle wall to knock foes away. Meanwhile, the front gate slid open and closed, with a locking mechanism. Finally, the castle featured a rotating wall that provided a secret entrance.
Inside the castle, the playset featured several images from the show on the rotating wall. Meanwhile, the castle came with many weapons, including a sword and two axes. There were also handcuffs to bind prisoners with.
1. Kenner’s Ultimate Goliath (1996)
No list of Gargoyles toys would be complete without at least one action figure of the leader of the Manhattan Clan, Goliath. Kenner created several Goliath action figures, often with multiple Goliath figures popping up in each series. However, most had gimmicks, accessories, and paint jobs that did not reflect the cartoon. However, when Kenner created the Ultimate Goliath for the second series, they created a cartoon-accurate toy.
This toy featured a fifteen-inch wingspan, making it the largest Gargoyle toy from Kenner. Given that the wings did not flare out, this left the wingspan measuring a resting position. Thus, this figure was absolutely gigantic in comparison to the rest of the toys.
Aside from the toy’s size and accurate appearance, the Ultimate Goliath offered little to owners. This toy held no accessories nor action gimmicks. For collectors that prefer a toy with action, the Power Wing Goliath supplies the greatest movement for the character, since its wings flare out.
What are your favorite action figures from Kenner’s Gargoyles toy line?
We have shared with you our picks for the top ten toys from Kenner’s Gargoyles line. Now, we would like to hear your thoughts. Do you agree with the toys that we have listed? Would you have picked different toys from the toy line instead? Also, are you looking forward to seeing new Gargoyles toys in the future?
Do you have old and used Disney’s Gargoyles toys from Kenner?
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