The Original Licensed Jason Voorhees Figure For The Franchise

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 became a major part of a film's revenue thanks to Star War's model for success. Throughout the 1980's until 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 franchise, Jason Voorhees figures have now become the norm to own and collect, however, Jason as a figure was not something that was easily found to be purchased on an official license.

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 (That model kit will be featured here soon). 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 licensed figure for Jason Voorhees. Kaiyodo produced a similar 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 kit is that the victim's head in his hand looks to be that of special effects legend Tom Savini.

Checkout the packaging for the model kit as well as the pieces that had to be assembled using the directions (pictured at the top of the story) that were included.

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

It is interesting to see where the character of Jason stood in terms of collecting in the mid to late 1980's. In 1998, McFarlane Toys released the first official action figure of Jason, which represented Jason Goes To Hell.
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