Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Horsing Around With Action Figures

The PopCult Toybox

Last week I ran a preview of this photo essay, and as promised, this is our big, shot-on-location, collection of photos of Stevo’s Toys newly-reissued horses, which use the actual 50-plus-year-old molds for the original Marx Thunderbolt horse, the faithful steed of Johnny West. I belive the horses you’ll see today are offically named “Rowdy” and “Ringo,” but if you buy your own, you can call them whatever you want.

Our photos came out great.  If you want to see them slightly bigger, just click on the image. We shot these at an undisclosed location which was not nearly as rural as it may look. Behind us was a very busy highway, and to my left a truckstop/gas station. In fact, I was standing on pavement when I shot most of these pictures. It’s the magic of the camera.

However, it is not the magic of Photoshop. Of all these images, I only color-corrected one, and I only cropped a couple of them. The sun was shining and the weather was perfect and our only problem was a little bit of wind. It was a great day to get out and play with toys while you’re pretending to be working.

Steve sent me a couple of his new horses, and Mrs. PopCulteer and I headed out last Saturday morning to find a location and take advantage of the good light.

These are terrific 1/6 scale horses, perfect for any 12″ action figure (or fashion doll). You can order them HERE, and be sure to check out the rest of his site for other cool Western accesories for your 1/6 scale cowboys.

As I told you last week…

Six years ago I told you about my friend, Steve Corn, who bought the original molds for Johnny West’s horse, Thunderbolt, and put them back into production. You can see the full story of Steve’s quest for Thunderbolt HERE and HERE.

Steve sold out of his first run of white and black horses, and now he’s back with new horses, still made from the original molds, but this time in gray and dark brown. You can order these from Stevo’s Toys, and they are an absolute treat. the definitive horse for 1/6 action figures.

Now, let’s jump into the photos, complete with captions…

Rowdy and Ringo, fully kitted-out with red and white saddle and tack. You can order solid-color sets from Stevo’s Toys. For this photo shoot, I mixed and matched the two sets, switching the blanket and saddle bags.

Here they are, face-to-face. These horses just look fantastic with their complete gear (and without, too).

Here we have a salmon-bodied Jane West, astride her mount. These are the figures that this horse was made for, and they balance perfectly.

It’s always cool when the sky cooperates and you wind up with a glamour shot.

A closer look at Jane and Rowdy.

Here we have Johnny West (yes, for my Marx-collecting friends, that’s a Quick-Draw Johnny with a discolored torso), taking a ride on Ringo.

This is the action figure version of an aerial shot.

This is another great shot, even if I didn’t notice the trash on the ground in the background when I took the photo.

Jane and Johnny prepare to ride out and survey the wild frontier, if only they can figure out how to get off of that giant rock.

The saddle comes off so that Fighting Eagle can ride bareback, as was the custom in those days.

While I want to show off Stevo’s horses, I should point out that Fighting Eagle was a recent gift from my old friend, John “Sham Voodoo” Estep, who passed along his childhood toy, which completed my collection of 12″ Marx Action Figures released in the US back in the day.

Had to get a glamor shot of Fighting Eagle, too.

Despite the name, Fighting Eagle is quite friendly with Johnny West, even though he stole his wife’s horse. Here we see them meeting on the road, perhaps to share some firewater.

Yep. It was firewater. (Actually this was when the wind picked up and we decided to pack it in before any of the figures or horses got damaged) This is where we wrap up our photo essay, as we look at our cowboys, Indians and horses in the act of being blown over.



  1. Thomas Wheeler

    Outstanding photos and a good article. Impressive horses!

    • Lisa Barnes

      I’m just coming across this. I like the horses. My sister and I had a pair of them when we were kids ( back in the 60’s). We would put our Barbie dolls on them, not very well as the dolls legs didn’t bend. I had the Palamino, my sister had the black/white one with brown tack kits. I’m glad to see these being made again, maybe I’ll get one again.

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