In 1981, United Artists helped produce a brand new take on classic Greek mythology. With Desmond Davis at the helm, Clash of the Titans presented a novel take on the tale of Perseus. Even though they based the story on the myths, they took several liberties and added brand new characters. Still, this film starring Harry Hamlin became a treasured hit.
Common for the era, the movie heavily relied on stop-motion animation to pull off most of its special effects. Ray Harryhausen was the artist that worked on these stop-motion sequences to bring creatures like the scorpion, medusa, and many others to the screen.
Perseus was the son of Zeus and the daughter of King Acrisius, Danaë. Since her father had heard a prophecy that her son would cause his demise, she was banished along with her son. As they floated off into the ocean, Zeus ordered the destruction of her homeland, Argos, through the Kraken, the final living titan. Thus, Perseus grew up on the island of Seriphos.
As an adult, Perseus began his adventure in Jappa, where he confronted the cursed Calibos, captured Pegasus, and freed Princess Andromeda from Calibos’s curse. Assisting his son in his trials, Zues gifted him with a helmet made by Athena, a magical sword from Aphrodite, and a shield from Hera.
Resentful of the loss of the princess, Calibos pled for his mother, Thetis, to help him take revenge on Joppa. It helped his cause that the queen of Jappa, Cassiopeia, slighted Thetis by proclaiming Andromeda to be more beautiful. So, Thetis demanded the sacrifice of Andromeda to the Kraken to quell her anger and prevent the destruction of Jappa.
At the behest of Zeus, Athena helped Perseus on his journey once more by having Hephaestus build a mechanical owl. This owl led Perseus and his followers to the Stygian Witches, where he learned that the gorgon Medusa was the key to defeating the Kraken. From there, he set out to behead Medusa and use her petrifying gaze against the Kraken.
In preparation for the film’s release, Mattel released a small line of toys. This line consisted of four different action figures: Perseus, Calibos, Charon, and Thallo. Most of these action figures came with a sword, all of which shared the same mold. However, both Perseus and Thallo came with a shield accessory as well. These toys fell in line with the popular 3 ¾” standard scale that had begun in the late 70s. Most of these figures had 5 points of articulation, except for the robed Charon who only had 4.
There was also a toy of Pegasus, which Persues, or any of the other figures, could ride. Finally, there was a massive 15” figure of the Kraken.
While most of these toys were sold separately, Mattel did produce a single set for the line. It was possible to purchase a gift set that included both Pegasus and the action figure of Perseus.
A brand new wave of Clash of the Titans merchandise appeared in 2006. This time, Gentle Giant was creating the collectibles. They first made a small series of static figures, Medusa, Kraken, and Calibos, which were a part of their Creatures of Ray Harryhausen series.
Gentle Giant also created a 3-piece mini-bust set which included Calibos, the Kraken, and Medusa. This was a San Diego Comic-Con limited edition with only 500 produced. They came with a certificate of authenticity which indicated the production number.
TidalWave Productions paid tribute to the 1981 film by creating a 4-issue comic book series in 2007. This series, the Wrath of the Titans, was a sequel to the film which was set 5 years later.
Later, Clash of the Titans returned to theaters in 2010 with a 3-D remake. Directed by Louis Lettier and starring Travis Beacham, the film not only used modern special effects but made several changes to the plot. For instance, Hades was the main antagonizing god, rather than Thetis.
This led to the story’s sequel, Wrath of the Titans, to also be produced by Warner Bros. Pictures. The 2nd 3-D film in the franchise was directed by Johnathan Liebesman. This time, Sam Worthington took on the role of Perseus. This time around, Perseus faced off against new foes like a Chimera, three cyclopes, and a Minotaur. At the end of his journey, Perseus faced off against Ares and then Kronos.
In the wake of these new films, new merchandise came out to celebrate the Clash of the Titans. Before the movie came out, NECA obtained the license to create toys for the brand. This led to two different variations of Perseus produced by them. One of these toys had battle damage while the other was a standard figure.
Then, Hot Toys produced a masterpiece-tier action figure for Perseus from the reboot movie. This 1/6th scale toy was released in 2010. It has multiple accessories including two swords, a shield, a bag, Medusa’s head, and a display stand. Since Hot Toys does not mold the clothing onto most of their toys, Perseus had removable clothing as well. His armor included a tunic, shorts, a skirt, chest armor, 2 gauntlets, and 2 shin guards.
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