Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Action Figures Identification Tool with Pictures

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century logo

From the early decades of the 20th century, Buck Rogers rose to prominence as one of the premiere science fiction stories ever. It began as a comic strip created by Phillip Francis Nowlan in 1929. In the beginning, he was known as Anthony Rogers; however, his name was quickly changed to William “Buck” Rogers. From his inception, he was a 20th-century adventurer who found himself in the 25th century after waking from suspended animation.

With the help of newspaper syndicator John F. Dile, they developed the character. Meanwhile, editorial cartoonist Dick Calkins provided the illustrations for the science-fiction strip. By 1934, the comic strip was appearing in 287 newspapers across the united states and 160 international publications. The strip lasted for decades, changing artists and writers, before discontinuing in 1967. However, the strip had a brief revival from 1980 until 1983.

Buck Rogers first began appearing in comic books in the 1930s. The character was featured in 69 issues of the Famous Funnies by Eastern Color Printing. He later received a 6 issues series in the 1940s. He continued to sparsely appear in comic books until he once again received a full run that was based on the 1979 television series. This new series lasted from 1979 to 1989, even though it changed publishers from Gold Key to Whitman Publishing.

Buck Rogers was featured on the radio beginning in 1932. Like the infamous War of the Worlds broadcast, actors voiced the characters from the comics and books. These broadcasts lasted for years, though some years lacked any new broadcasts. The final broadcast of Buck Roger’s adventures aired in 1947.

Not long after the adventures of Buck Rogers hit the radio waves, the first toy for this franchise was created. The XZ-31 Rocket Pistol allowed children to reenact the exciting exploits of their favorite hero. In the years to come, Daisy produced several more rocket pistols and ray guns. This continued until 1952, when Daily released the Zooka, which resembled the current-day bazooka, and lost its exclusive license. At that time, companies like Norton-Honer joined in to produce even more ray guns.

The first instance of Buck Rogers on film was a ten-minute-long film for the World’s Fair in Chicago, which ran from 1933 to 1934. The character returned to become the focus of a 12-part serial film series produced by Universal Pictures in 1939.

Mego Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Buck Rogers

ABC aired the first television series that detailed the exploits of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century in 1950. 36 30-minute-long episodes aired during the series’ single season. With tough competition and a rotating cast, including three actors who played the title character, the series lost steam and concluded in January 1951.

Buck Rogers had his second chance on television in 1979, partially in response to the success of another space epic: Star Wars. Universal Studies once again produced the series and began with a pilot film that debuted in theaters in March 1979. By September, the full series was airing on television. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century became one of the most beloved renditions of the character. It aired on NBC for two seasons with a total of 37 episodes.

In this new series, Buck Rogers began as an astronaut who wound up frozen in his spaceship from a freak accident. The coolant managed to keep him in suspended animation. So, when his ship was discovered by the flagship of the Draconian Empire in 2491, they were able to reanimate Rogers. Princess Ardala helped introduce him to the new century before setting him on his way to earth.

After he reached Earth, he discovered that the planet was in the midst of a conflict with the Draconian Empire. There, he made allies with Wilma Deering, Dr. Huer, Dr. Theopolis, and Twiki. The battle for Earth’s history continued throughout the first season of the series.

Later, the second series shifted gears with a new production team to center its plot on exploration. This new series also saw the departure of several of the main characters from the first. In their place were new characters like Dr. Goodfellow and Hawk.

Along with this updated take on the franchise, Mego released a brand new line of action figures. Unlike most of their prior toys, Mego created a line of 3 ¾” scale action figures. This scale was created to directly compete against Kenner’s Star Wars. Unfortunately, this line was based on the pilot film, so many of the characters that later appeared in the television series were absent. This scale had figures of Buck Rogers, Wilma Deering, Twiki, Dr. Huer, Princess Ardala, Killer Kane, Tiger Man, Draco, and a Draconian Guard. Unlike other toys at this scale, these toys did not include any accessories or weapons.

Mego also produced a selection of 12” action figures, which they were more known for. Characters that appeared in this scale included Buck Rogers, Killer Kane, Draconian Guard, Dr. Huer, Draco, Tiger Man, and Tiki.

Aside from the action figures, Mego also created a selection of vehicles and a playset. Buck Rogers characters could ride in either the Draconian Maurarder, the Land Rover, the Laserscope Fighter, or the Star Fighter. Meanwhile, they could stage battles at the Star Fighter Command Center.

To bolster the toy line, Mego recycled some of their prior toys and redesigned them for Buck Rogers. Most notable was the Star Searcher vehicle, which originally came from the Micronauts toy line.

Elsewhere, Remco created an Official Utility Belt role-play toy. There was also a Starfighter vehicle created by Corgi. There were model kits produced by  Monogram as well as a board game from Milton Bradley.

TSR created a brand new Buck Rogers comic book series, Buck Rogers XXVC, which ran from 1990 to 1991. Then, Dynamite Entertainment released a 13-issue-long series in 2009. Buck Rogers moved to Hermes Press where it had a new series in 2012.

Buck Rogers returned to the toy aisle in 2009 thanks to Go Hero. Then, another line was produced by Zica Toys in 2011. Both of these toy lines celebrated the 1979 television series.

While plans for a new movie or a new series have been swirling, none of these projects have been realized. As of 2021, Skydance Studios had been working on creating a brand new series. Only the future would tell if there will ever be new Buck Rogers media.

How to use the Identification Tool to find your action figures and toy lines

Do you have any vintage toys you are trying to identify? Don’t know the name? No problem! We can help you out with this useful identification tool.

Using it is simple, you can easily search for any toy in your collection. For example, just type in “jet” in the figure name field and hit search. You’ll see all the toys that are jets. Otherwise, you can try “car” and select the color “blue” and a list of action figures with matching results.

Even if you know the name of your toy, but do not know its proper spelling, our tool will help you. For instance, you can type “Wheljck” and still find the results for various Wheeljack action figures.

We have an extensive list of toy lines from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s in our database. So, you can seek out Gi Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, Voltron, MOTU, and many more toylines here. You can even seek out Star Wars toys in your collection, including ones from the sublines like Droids or Ewoks. Some of our other prominent lines include, but are not limited to:

  • Ghostbusters
  • Hot Wheels Redlines
  • M.A.S.K.
  • Masters of the Universe
  • Power Rangers
  • Rough Riders
  • Street Sharks
  • Stompers
  • Super Powers
  • Voltron
  • WWF

Our tool will help you locate the basic information for each action figure and much more. For instance, you may discover whether or not your action figure came with a sticker sheet or instructions. Our identification tool also includes detailed information on which accessories and weapons were included with the toys. We will even help you determine the release date of your toys.

If you need additional help, please do not hesitate to contact us. It should also be noted that we also buy toys, as well as sell toys through our toy shop. Thank you for stopping on by.