Kraken (1984 Action Force)
If you want some bad guys who put the 80’s Cobras to shame in the weirdness department, then look no further than Action Force, the UK cousin of sorts to GI Joe. The Red Shadows started as a faceless legion made up of repainted WWII Germans with new heads and became a veritable menagerie of odd and out-there figure and vehicle designs. Just the sort of thing I can really get behind.
Kraken was discovered by Red Shadows leader Baron Ironblood, frozen in a block of ice at the polar ice cap. As natural for a despotic evil leader, the Baron took him home and made an army of clones. He was the perfect addition to forces that included other wild characters like Muton and Skeletron. Kraken is a nutty concept that somehow turned out to be endearing and fun. You know, it’s the sort of thing that could only have happened in the 80’s.
His bio states, “A fearsome undersea creature. Strikes terror into the heart of anyone he encounters.” The head sculpt is not quite the menacing sea creature that his background makes him out to be. In fact, the end result appears to me as equal parts Creature from the Black Lagoon, Jar Jar Binks and stoned Muppet.
Sadly, my example of Kraken has seen better days. There’s only a slight ghost of the Red Shadows logo on his chest, and his black detail lines on his torso are long gone. The figure also originally came with a very cool trident gun and a stun net to paralyze enemy troops.