"Aren't you a bit old for playing with Dolls?"
"Aw mom you're just jealous it's the Beastie Boys!"
I remember I first heard the rumours that there was going to be a set of Promo Only Beastie Boys action figures released back in early to mid 1998. Theories and ideas were whispered to one another, "they're going to be just like G.I. Joe", "they're promo only and you won't be able to get them in the stores", "they're getting released in Japan only". This last statement pricked my ears more than any other as I had already planned a holiday to Japan. As you could imagine I searched high and low, speaking in my very basic stunted japanese, but the search was to no avail (well I did find 2x copies of the japanese pressed Brass Monkey 7" - but that's another story).
Fast forward a few years and what pops up on EBay? The figures! It was true! The figures were real! They really did exceed any expectations as they looked excellent, had cool outfits and came in a metal sardine tin.
Limited to 1,000 copies (although some sources do say 200), the figures were created by Nigo - the mastermind behind the Bathing Ape (BAPE) clothing / design / music empire. They were released by Bathing Ape, Grand Royal, Medicom and Toy McCoy.
They were available through the Grand Royal website for a time, and they also auctioned a few through EBay. The price tag was always pretty hefty at US$1000, though with the proceeds going to the Milarepa Fund, it helped to justify the decision for some people. Grand Royal also held a competition where you had to answer a small quiz and the winner would win a set of figures and therefore not have to fork out the big money.
"Drunken Praying Mantis Style"
So what did you get for your money?
The whole set weighs around 12lbs (5.5kgs).
- Three action figures, 11.5" (30cm) tall. (One of AdRock, MCA and Mike D)
- A display stand for each figure
- A casual outfit (pants, shirt and shoes) for each figure
- An Intergalactic style outfit (jumpsuit, gloves, helmet, safety vest and boots) for each figure. These outfits were sealed in plastic bags.
- A sardine tin to hold all the figures
Interview: The following is an extract from a conversation at the end of the book "Pass The Mic : Beastie Boys 1991-1996" by Ari Marcopoulos.
Mike D: In fact, you can take the abs from the Beastie Boys action figures.
MCA: Oh, do they have 'em?
Mike D: The action figures? Oh yeah, they got mad six-packs.
Ari: They are Beastie Boys action figures.
Mike D: Yeah, you want a pair? I got like 18 in my closet.
MCA: Pair? Are you calling me out?
Mike D: I have 18 sets of them in my closet.
MCA: I have an idea for a video: we should just make a litte Super-8 movie of us blowing those things up and burning 'em.
AdRock: I just want to light them and throw them.
Ari: Why are you so aggressive these days?
MCA: I was just having flashbacks from my youth of blowing up G.I. Joes.
To read an interview with Nigo about these figures and to see what else he has produced, continue onto the next section.