This guy isn’t your typical fashion doll. Done on the 1:6 scale (the same scale Barbie uses) the Captain Action dolls were first introduced in the 1960’s by Ideal Toy Company, the same people who made Tammy. The idea behind Captain Action was to make an action figure that, through a change of costumes and a handy plastic mask, could become any of your favorite heroes: the Lone Ranger, Superman, or Batman. Each costume came with a highly detailed mask that made Captain Action really look like the hero he was portraying today. Last year a new company called Playing Mantis acquired the Captain Action name and likenesses. So far, the line has consisted of boxed doll and costume combinations. This particular combination has a Dr. Evil doll (Captain Action’s arch enemy) packaged wearing the Ming costume. If you’re interested in finding out more about these dolls, try visiting their website at (edit: Playing Mantis no longer has the rights to Captain Action. To see the new owner’s offerings, try (edit 2: as far as I can tell, Captain Action Enterprises still has the rights, but while the website is still active, it hasn’t been updated since 2016.)

The Doll

Yikes! Now this is a face even a mother might have trouble loving!  The Dr. Evil molds have the poor guy’s brains showing, which isn’t so obvious in the normal blue skin color (don’t ask) but looks really startling in flesh tones. He also features bulging, bloodshot eyes and an ominous expression.

This is a great body mold if you like to pose your dolls. Everything bends! There are joints at the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, knees, and ankles. With that said, this is a particularly unattractive body mold. Particularly worth mentioning are the bizarre ‘muscles’ on the rear, as they look more like strange silicon implants than anything else. No wonder action figures are starting to get equal time in the ‘toys cause bad body image’ articles…

Doll Scorecard
Face: A+ (for sheer ugliness)
Body: C-
Hair: n/a
Overall: B

The Outfit

This is a very strange outfit. The tights and jacket are made of the familiar stretch satin that Mattel is so fond of. The collar of the jacket is padded to help it stay up, which is a nice touch. However, the jacket doesn’t open in the back and I had to really tug it over his head to remove it- the fit was very tight! The strange white thing in the above picture appears to be padding for his gun belt. The best part of the outfit is the gorgeous cape… gold lame on the outside, fully lined with gold satin on the inside, and two great buttons and a gold cord to ‘fasten’ it with. A pair of boots with pointed shafts finishes the outfit.

Outfit Scorecard
Fabric: B
Style: B
Execution: B+
Overall: B

The Accessories

The cool accessories are the real reason to buy this set. In addition to the totally fabulous Ming the Merciless mask, there is a dragon encrusted fortune-teller’s ball, a dragon staff, a large pirate-style cutlass, a raygun with holster, and a belt to wear the holster on. The quality on all these pieces is just fabulous! The holster can be slid on and off the belt, and is made of a high-quality leather look vinyl. The staff has been painted so that each line of carving in the dragon figure is emphasized with a line of darker green paint. The fortune-teller’s ball is not plastic, but appears to be thin wood! Outstanding!

Accessories Scorecard
Concept: A-
Style: A-
Playability: A+
Overall: A

The Result

Dr. Evil ‘borrowed’ a uniform from Playmates’ 12 inch Star Trek: Insurrection Riker. Barbie thinks Ken’s Halloween mask is just terrific! Won’t she be surprised when it’s time to take the masks off…


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