To coincide with the release of Bill & Ted's Bogus
Journey in the summer of 1991, Kenner put together a series of Bill & Ted action figures based
on the movie Excellent Adventure.
These action figures were set up so that if you squeezed the character's legs
together they would play the various instruments they could hold. Here are
the various figures and accessories which were made available for sale:
Bill S. Preston, Esq. (with guitar)
Ted "Theodore" Logan (with guitar)
Rufus (with keyboards and suitcase)
Genghis Khan (with club, sword and drums)
Billy the Kid (with guitar and lasso)
Abraham Lincoln (with keyboard & pull-off stovepipe hat
to reveal Wyld Stallyns logo and
Death (with scythe and guitar)
Telephone booth (with a snap back receiver
for capturing historical personages . . . you could pull out the phone receiver
and wrap it around a historical figure's arm then press a button on the top of
the booth and the line would snap back, dragging the figure into the
booth. When the line snapped back the antenna on top of the booth would
Speaker and cassette set (sold separately to use with figures to make them
play music . . . each action figure had a place in the back where an audio line
could be plugged in. By plugging in the figures to a cassette playing
using this item the characters could be made to play music when their legs were
squeezed together. Music on the cassette was all Bill & Ted-unrelated instrumentals with such titles as Rufus Riff, Rhythm guitar /
Lead guitar, Accidental Chord, etc.
ACTION FIGURES WHICH WERE IN
BUT NEVER PRODUCED OR RELEASED:
Wyld Stallyns Jam Session Two-Pack - while this item was actually produced it
was not widely distributed or made available to the public. Kenner
apparently did sell their stock to smaller distributors and sellers. The
includes Bill &
Ted dolls wearing tuxedos with shorts
(different than individual figures) plus a
speaker and cassette set.
Napoleon (with drums) - pictured on the back of the
Jam Session Two-Pack box, this action figure was never
produced to the best of our knowledge.
Boom Truck with Portable Sound Stage - also pictured on the
back of the Jam Session Two-Pack box this also never made it
onto the commercial market and was never produced en masse.
Historical Playset - There was only the briefest glimpse of this on an Entertainment
Tonight report about movie merchandise in the year 1991. At a toy
trade show a man was displaying various Bill & Ted items being licensed and
this was among the items, but it was never promoted or shown anywhere
else. The first photo shows a torture chamber with Death presiding, in the
second photo you can see Lincoln sitting in front of some stocks.
Most Excellent Motorcycles - Okay, we don't know where they got this idea
from, but this is another item shown briefly on that Entertainment Tonight report
that never seemed to make it into mass production. Apparently a little
chair could be set up between the two motorcycles, probably so historical
figures could ride between them or be "snatched up."
KENNER TOY FAIR
The bodacious Dr. Kent dude provided us
with these images from the Kenner Toy Fair catalogue when the Bill & Ted
toys were first offered up to buyers. These have really good photos of the
items which were never made available for sale! Most interesting is a
talking cruiser which we've never seen mentioned before (according to Dr. Kent,
this was simply a refurbished Knight Rider car!) There's also a much
better look at the medieval playset! We totally appreciate these pics!
THE UNAIRED KENNER COMMERCIAL
The Bill & Ted action figures were never promoted much, especially not on
television. I'm not aware of any commercials for the figures ever
airing. However, there was a commercial made to promote the
toys. After viewing it one comes to the conclusion it's probably best it
never aired, as the main catch phrase for the ad (and we are NOT kidding) is a
little boy saying enthusiastically "Squeezing their legs gets them
Sadly these action figures
seemed to be a somewhat misguided effort. It's highly unlikely that kids
would want to sit around and play with action figures of Bill & Ted . . .
they're more apt to want to role-play Bill & Ted themselves! Since the
characters are not prone to violence, the traditional action figure play would
not apply and I don't know anyone who would want to bother with the trouble of
hooking the toys up to their speakers to make them play music (the novelty gets
old fast and the figures would essentially be "tied down").
We're not sure what Kenner was thinking of with these toys, but they still
remain good collector's items and frankly they do look pretty darn excellent
sitting on a shelf, especially if you have the entire band assembled!
outstanding Judge dude on our Forums shared some excellent photos of prototypes
for the Bill & Ted Kenner figures, plus artwork, which he's collected.
You can view even more photos of the figures on his most bodacious website: