Saturday, October 28, 2023

The ABCs of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Dr. Hyde from Rambo: The Force of Freedom by Coleco

   Wow! Now that we've successfully gone through all of The ABCs of 31 Days of Toy Terror, I guess we can just go home now, right? As if! We've still got a little under a week left and I'm planning to fill it with as many terrifying toys as I can. Today I'm really excited to show off a particularly rare figure from my collection that I've had in my possession since originally procuring it at a Toys 'R Us as a kid: Dr. Hyde from Coleco's Rambo: The Force of Freedom. Military based cartoons and toylines had a surge in popularity thanks to Hasbro's G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and Coleco's Rambo toyline was one of the best. If there is still a vintage action figure line that needs to be revived, it's between Rambo and Hasbro's C.O.P.S. for me. I loved both of those lines as a kid and still have them.

   Dr. Hyde is a creepy character who was part of the second series of figures. He even appeared in the accompanying animated series, too. A dishonorably discharged army surgeon convicted of war crimes, Dr. Hyde's face was reconstructed after an undisclosed accident, or possibly just due to him experimenting on himself. Now enclosed in a dome that enhances his vision and toting around oxygen tanks, Dr. Hyde is a cybernetic warrior for the evil S.A.V.A.G.E. and an enemy of Rambo. Let's take a look at Dr. Hyde after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 6 7/8ths

Articulation: Hinged knees, balljointed hips, balljointed shoulders, hinged elbows, and swivel wrists.

Accessories: Rifle, pistol, hip holster, backpack, 2 straps, battery cover, and file card.

Year of Release: 1987

Original Retail Price: $5.50- $8

The Positives:

* As I mentioned in the intro, this is my original childhood Dr. Hyde. I remember my mom buying him and Snakebite at a Toys 'R Us for me when I was pretty young, so I've had him for at least 35 or 36 years. From the neck (or what's left of it) down, Dr. Hyde doesn't look too out there. He's wearing a green, long sleeved military style shirt that's unbuttoned part of the way down and some khaki pants with cargo pockets. At a little under 7 inches the Rambo figures were larger than most toylines of the time so there tended to be a bit more detail on things like the clothing, which has plenty of folds, wrinkles, and such. He's also sporting a control panel of sorts on his stomach, but we'll look at that more closely shortly.  

* Here's Dr. Hyde's dome. It's a simple dome, though tinted so you can't really see into it. The bottom is sealed by a metal collar which looks like it extends down into his torso pretty far. How much of this guy is cybernetic?

* Push that control panel on Dr. Hyde's chest and his head lights up to reveal his hideously scarred visage. Wow! That's terrifying! He looks almost zombie like, or kind of like Kroenen from Hellboy. 

* Here's a look at his head from the other side, showing off more of his face.

There are variant of this figure produced by Glasslite in Argentina and Jocsa in Argentina where the dome is clear and the face is visible with no light up feature.

* The control panel looks cool and it serves as the button to light up Dr. Hyde's face.

* Dr. Hyde doesn't have a swivel head like most other Rambo figures but he does have the rest of the standard articulation for the line. These guys moved nicely, almost like larger ARAH G.I. Joe figures but without the o-ring waist. Dr. Hyde does have swivel wrists, though, so he can more easily hold his weapons. 

* The Rambo line had some of the most realistic accessories of the day and each figure included a plastic file card detailing them. I don't have mine any more, but it was a neat piece.

* I do still have Dr. Hyde's AK-47, though. He carried Russian weapons and this 7.62 assault rifle was a staple of 1980s villains. The detail is incredible on this; Coleco's accessories were incredible in this line. 

* Dr. Hyde's sidearm is listed as a Stechkin pistol, though I'm not sure that I fully see the resemblance. It's a great pistol, though, with nice detail. Back in the late 1990s I loved Duke Nukem and loved the Duke Nukem action figure by Resaurus. I was thrilled to discover the Rambo weapons worked perfectly for him and so I hollowed out some of the trigger guards. I had o much fun with Duke that I don't regret it, though. I still have him. Maybe I'll review him someday. 

* Dr. Hyde's backpack is a gas mixer, presumably designed to provide him an oxygen blend since he can't breathe well, especially with his dome on. It's held on by two rubbery straps, though I'm missing one of them. 

* Mine's missing, but when the figure is new it came with a holster for the pistol that slid into the slot on Hyde's left hip. 

* The AK-47 also fits into a slot on the side of the backpack, allowing Dr. Hyde to have all of his weapons stowed away so his hands are free for more nefarious uses. 
   Coleco's Rambo: The Force of Freedom toyline is definitely an underappreciated toyline of the 1980s and Dr. Hyde is one of the best figures in the line. He's a really unusual and uncommon figure in the line but he's just so darn cool. I'm really glad that I still have mine! While I do have many of the accessories from the original line, a lot of my figures did break or experienced missing limbs along the way. Not this guy, though. Dr. Hyde is an Epic figure and a great, obscure part of 1980s toy collecting. 31 Days of Toy Terror is always a fun time to show off some unusual stuff and Dr. Hyde is certainly unusual. 

This is the first figure of Dr. Hyde I've reviewed. 


  1. The light up head is fantastic. Need more of that in toys.

  2. The clear-dome variant with no light-up mechanism was also sold in Brazil.


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