Shang Tsung (1994 Mortal Kombat)
The news of a possible return of Kay-Bee toys reminds me of the defunct chain’s mall stores and the oddities often found within. A visit was equally likely to result in deep disappointment at finding the same-old same-old for ridiculous prices as it was shock and surprise at happening upon a rare or unusual item. KB is the place that yielded both my first Masters of the Universe figures and coloring book, as well as the Fires of Shandarr playset circa 1982. Man, the early 80s were chockablock with sword & sorcery gateway toys for kids, as I also picked up my first D&D Basic Set at the mall KB. Good times.
By the 90s however, Kay-Bee was known for its phones-baloney markdown and 3 for 1 sales. The discounts on Joe mold Mortal Kombat figures like Shang Tsung were a benefit for a destitute geek toy collector and college student like me. I don’t recall seeing the MK toys in other stores, although the movie-based figures made appearances at Toys R Us. Sometime I’ll have to relate the story of the mysterious TRU Parking Lot Arctic Guile figure.
Shang Tsung is a really nice figure, complete with a soft goods robe that actually fits, and doesn’t get in the way of play. He’s also the beneficiary of a newly sculpted head, one that’s full of personality. Though the figure isn’t an exacting replication of the video game character, he gets the job done, and is colorful as well as imposing.