Sorry, Barbie: 5 Action Figures For Gay Boys

REMINISCING — Not that there’s anything wrong with boys who play with Barbie, but even as kids, we knew that Ken wasn’t really our type. Like most boys, we loved our action figures, even though we concocted elaborate fantasies wherein Mumm-Ra and Skeletor teemed up to teach Lion-O a lesson or two about humility instead of doing whatever it is straight boys do with their toys. Here are our five favorite plastic strongmen.

Star Wars

While the rich kids got the ful out AT-AT playsets, we made do with just two figures: Han Solo and Bobba Fett. Because we were too young to understand that the two were mortal enemies, most of our Han-Bobba stories were of the bromance type: Han and Bobba explore the kitchen cabinets, Han and Boba take a trip through the grass jungles of Bckyrd, Han and Bobba have a sleepover at our best friend’s house and invite our rich pal’s Storm Troopers to a late night-orgy.

God, we had such a love affair with Prince Adam when we were young. Meek and bumbling (like us!), by the power of Grayskull he became a sexy loin-clothed hero who’d ride around on a green tiger all day. Still, it was the villains that really made He-Man so cool. The Skull Mountain playset came with a its own gargoyle-shaped microphone that we could use to call He-Man to his doom. Looking back, it was probably Evil Lyn who first turned us on to drag queens. We were also pretty tight with Kobra Khan and Stinkor, who came with his own scent, which only later did we learn was really patchouli oil. Who knew they were smoking reefer in Eternia?

How to say this in a way that won’t get a ton of angry comments? Thundercats will make you gay. Lion-O, a boy trapped in a lion-man’s body is the gayest superhero of all time. His best friend and mentor is a queeny fuzzball named Snarf, he hangs around with a bunch of feral royalty from another planet and, just like the Smurfs, only one of them is a woman. Unlike the Smurfs, Panthro, Tygra and WilyKat were smoking hot. And don’t get us started on Mumm-Ra, who (like most 80s villains) was an effete mincing queen. Maybe the subtle psychological conditioning was meant to turn us away from being gay, but it only succeeded in turning us off to evil undead demons.

Here’s the truth about our experience with the WWF figures: We thought they were creepy, but one of our friends loved them. It was all he ever talked about. He had the WWF wrestling ring and all the figures and would insist we play with them every time we went over to his house. In retrospect, we should have been clued in when he would keep yelling, “Pin the Hulkster! Pin him!” but at the time, we didn’t have a clue. In any event, the WWF line presaged the world famous gay “Billy” dolls by more than a decade.

Now, there’s nothing sexy about Voltron itself – the poor-man’s Transformer – but unlike the robots from Cybertron, Volrton was piloted by actual people. Captain Keith, Lance and Sven may all sound like names of people you’d meet at the Abbey, but in fact, these are all Voltron pilots. Plus, the whole Japanese aesthetic of Voltron appealed to our burgeoning design sense.

What were your favorite toys growing up? And did any of them turn you gay? I know, what a horribly offensive question. But really, which ones turned you gay?

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #gaychildhood #he-man #starwars stories and more


  • HerrDoktor

    Distinguo: Castle Grayskull and Snake Mountain.

    And what about the Sectaurs? Too buggy?

  • Coffee&Chicory

    spelling error that no Star Wars fan should make – *Bobbba* It’s Boba Fett. I’ll let this one slide.

  • Allen

    LOL! I had all of these toys growing up! This is AWESOME!

  • Nick

    How DARE you dis Voltron as the poor man’s Transformers? Japhy, if I can find any Voltron stickers on Facebook, you’re SO getting them!

  • flightoftheseabird

    I loved Thundercats. I always wondered how I turned out gay. Now I know. :) I saved all my UPC codes so I could send them away for my free Mum-Ra figure. Not the hunky demon one, but the pre-transformation one with red cloak. Good times, good times.

  • koalaboy

    Duke and Wetsuit from G.I. Joe used to always look for Atlantis in my bathtub.. and sometimes they would find it! WWF was always hot. I would have costumes made for my Macho Man Randy Savage. Thundercats and He-man were also faves of mine. I was in love with Prince Adam’s(?) action figure from She-ra! Hells yeah!

  • Darth Paul

    I was ALL about the He-Man when I was a kid. I made Mossman and Man-at-Arms 69…should’ve been a major clue to my preferences.

  • TJ

    This post made me think of my guilty pleasure: the catalog page at Gay super heroes with huge packages. OH MY! Warning: NSFW

  • Troy

    Growing up I convinced my younger sister to let me use her Easy Bake Oven as a tanning bed for my Luke Skywalker action figure. The results were not tantastic! My pretty boy from a galaxy far, far away ended up looking like Hutt poo! Boo hoo!

  • dgz

    i, too, was a thundercats ho. ;)

  • DaveO

    Latin America’s future homos are playing with Max Steel.

  • Pretzels for Pyros

    I loved me some She-Ra action figures. Coupled with my too-fab Freestyle-loving ’80s babysitter, I was a sure-fire homo from the word go.

  • Chapmabe

    Silverhawks. And yes, they totally turned me gay.

  • Mike.C

    Steve Austin 6 Million Dollar Man action figure with Karate chop hand and Bionic eye that you could look through. Definitely.

  • myrios123

    He-man, Silverhawks, and Thundercats for sure. I loved GI Joe action figures, but always rooted for Cobra, the bad guys had better uniforms.

  • Carsen Tyler

    What no Doctor Who, X-men, or Star Trek toys? Grew up on PBS and Sci-fi and my dad was a geek before he had a midlife crisis and became an ubercatholic. He bought me action figures when my mom was worried by the fact that I would rather dismatle the barbies and eat the care bears that play with them. I used to make Cyclops and Gambit make ou and it would be a secret from jean Grey. My dad never opened the Doctor Who toys, so I would put the boxes of the The Doctor and The Master together and pretend that they were trying to figure a way out so that they can run away together and happily travel though out time and space and have little time tots. I used to make Captain Kirk and Spock make out too. Let’s just say my grandparents thought it was funny, and my parents thought it was disturbing behaviour so then they took away my action figures, and that was when I was four. I am twenty now, and I have been buying a ton of action figures to make up for lost time. Funny because I get nostalgic for the toys that were taken away with my cousin and he found that if he removes the foam padding from his Wolverine costume from when he was ten he can still fit in it, so for last years comic-con he was yellowspandez! Wolverine. And it was hilarious.

  • GayBobVT

    Growing up I didn’t care for G.I. Joe – but I did have a Johnny West doll. Lots of camping out under the star fantasies… hmm, what was his Indian friend’s name?

  • Codswallop

    How could you forget Big Jim, Mattel’s answer to GI Joe? Before your time? No excuse!

    First of all, Big Jim’s bicep would flex when you bent his arm, plus he even came with a STUDDED METALLIC BAND you could put around his arm and that would pop off when he flexed his muscle! Such a little gym-bunny show-off, that one!

    And you know how GI Joe and Ken all had flat, smooth groins? Not Big Jim! His groin was like an orange plastic pair of jockey shorts with a bit of bulge, hinting that if you could just figure out how to get them off he might still be “anatomically correct” under there.


    My Big Jim doll was somewhat of a slut. The poor thing was FOREVER getting “interrogated” in the nude by the GI Joes in the Command Headquarters and he LIKED IT! The smell of road-house whiskey on their breath, all that dirty touching… Oh. Sorry. That was Margaret White in “Carrie,” not Big Jim. Same difference.

  • Aaron


    Yes! I only collected the bad guy GI Joes, because they had way better outfits! Dr. Mindbender had a black velvet cape, couldn’t be bothered to wear a shirt and had purple pants. The Baroness was head to toe black leather, Destro had a silver head, Serpentor had that awesome snake costume…and then my favorite those sexy British twins. Can’t recall their names at the moment though…

    And what gay kid in the ’80’s didn’t love He-Man?

    Speaking of Silver Hawks…I some how managed to pop my water bed with one of those guys. He got lodged under the mattress and one of his arms punctured it. My parents were pissed. Oh, the 80’s…

  • GayBobVT

    Sorry Carsen… Johnny WEST[img][/img]

  • Shark

    Street Fighter turned me gay.

  • Jude

    I loved BraveStarr. Man that horse had a big gun. And the native american cowboy, with the strength of a bear… nice.

  • Gonzo


    Tomax and Xamot, totally turned me gay too.

  • Scott

    @Carsen Tyler: Star Trek was WHERE IT WAS AT! Oh god, I had so many Trek figures, it’s not even funny. My mom would make me costumes and we’d go to the conventions. I remember one time she made me a Bajoran earring. Bajoran earrings, for those who do not know, are always worn on the right ear. I wore it around the neighborhood and got teased by my friends who said that only gay guys wear earrings in their right ear. So I’m going to say that turned me gay.

  • Woof

    Oh come on Silver Hawks were just a rip off of the old G Force cartoon!

  • Dan

    Wolverine and Cyclops. I was overjoyed when Hugh Jackman was named “Sexiest Man of the Year” in 2008, because he validated all my naughty fantasies about large hairy men from my childhood.

  • Brendan D.

    My Stretch Armstrong lost its clothes right out of the package and never found them again. Funny, considering I don’t go for the body-builder type. Though come to think of it, I did get a kick out of tying him in knots around himself… I guess it was more about the fact that he was his own bondage gear!

    Of course, there was also the off-shoot Vac-Man, teaching young kids all across America about the dangers of penis-pump abuse. We never did get all the PVC pellets out of the rug…

  • ????

    ??? ??? ???? ??? ????? ??? ?????? ??? ????? ?? ???? ?????? ????? ????? ??????? ???? ????? ??? 0543990571

Comments are closed.