Disqus for Friday The 13th: The Film Franchise




The Original Licensed Jason Voorhees Figures

Collectible figures are a huge market which generates big profits on an annual basis. At one time, only major cartoons and comic book characters were made into figures. As movies grew in popularity in the mid to late 1970's, figure creation expanded to film characters as well. The biggest change in this area was the release of Star Wars in 1977.

Merchandising as a major part of a film's revenue became reality using Star War's model for success. Throughout the 1980's to the present, major films release collectible figures of their film's characters to help promote and sell their motion picture. As for the Friday The 13th film franchise, Jason figures have now become the norm to own and collect. However, Jason as a figure was not always something that could be purchased an official license.

Left To Right (Kaiyodo 1987 kit, Screamin' 1988 kit, Screamin' 1993 Kit)

The first American license for Jason Voorhees was granted to Screamin' model kits in 1988 and offered a version of Jason that was not specific to any movie in the franchise. He wielded a simple machete and wore the trademark hockey mask for all of his adoring fans to witness. The model kit was vinyl and had to be painted, so there was a lot of work that went into displaying the final product.

However, this was not the first officially produced figure for Jason Voorhees. Kaiyodo produced a simple vinyl garage kit a year earlier in 1987 and featured Jason Voorhees raising the machete over his shoulder while holding a head in his other hand. The gag of this model is that the victim's head in his hand looks to be that of special effects legend Tom Savini. Below are images of the packaging for the model kit as well as the pieces that had to be assembled and the directions that were included.

In 1993, Screamin' teamed up with Kaiyodo to modify their 1987 design to release a Jason Goes To Hell figure for release. The change in the design had the head of Jason from Jason Goes To Hell added and Savini's head was excluded from the package.

It is interesting to see where Jason stood in terms of collecting at this period of time as these were the only three likenesses of Jason to purchase up until 1998. In that year, McFarlane released their own version of Jason from Jason Goes To Hell in the very first action figure form.

Take a look at the first series of images at the top of the story to see the progression of the first three figures to be released of the infamous Jason Voorhees!

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