When it comes to the typical “group” or team in movies, comic books or cartoons, 4 seems to be the magic number. It’s not too little so that you get bored from seeing the same 1-3 characters all the time. And it’s not too much that each character’s personality shines through without having anyone overshadowed by anyone else. When it comes to toy collecting, one of the joys is being able to complete sets of characters. And teams of four are some of the easier and more satisfying sets to complete and display on the shelf. Here are some of my favorites.
1) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello & Michaelangelo
When the turtles hit it big in the late 80’s early 90’s I was pretty much done playing with toys, so as popular as they were, they never had that much nostalgic value for me. But I did enjoy the live action movies and to some extent, the really cheesy cartoon so when the opportunity came up for me to have all four turtles represented on my toyshelf in one fell swoop, I jumped at it. I got myself a boxed set of turtles figures produced by NECA. These guys were based off the original gritty turtles from the comic book and sported great articulation and detail. I found the set for sale from a vendor on eBay at a fair price and could not resist.
Since that first set, my turtle shelf has grown (This a reoccurring theme in my collecting habits, you start with four…but then….) to feature 3 more versions of the turtles, namely the highly detailed “classics” version based off the original cartoon, the turtles based of the current Nickelodeon cartoon and finally a little set of “Lego” turtles….ok so they’re actually knock-offs but they work for me as well. Throw in a couple April O’neils and a Splinter and I’d say we’ve got a pretty nice Turtle display.
2) Ghostbusters: Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler, Peter Venkman & Winston Zedmore
I think I decided to complete this foursome during a Transformers dry spell. Mattel started this collectors line a few years back and being a fan of the movies, I figured having all four main ghostbusters in plastic form would make for a great display piece (really ANY excuse to buy a toy is a good one). Although this line is pretty much dead, Mattel managed to churn out respectable number of characters aside from the main four before it died. To complement my ghostbusters I obviously had to get myself a Slimer, as well as the Keymaster and Gatekeeper. Walter Peck was on sale for a dirt cheap price…and I really only wanted the ghost containment unit display that he came with. And finally, I got myself a plastic Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man piggy bank (and yes I actually do use him to store my coins) to serve as the centrepiece of this collection.
Later on, when I got into minimates, I also completed a little set of the “Real Ghostbusters” as well…..you know the more colourful ones from that awesome 80’s cartoon.
3) The Beatles: John, Paul, George & Ringo
I am a HUGE Beatles fan and as a kid, I LOVED the Yellow Submarine animated movie. So when Todd Mcfarlane came out with his Yellow Submarine toyline, it was also a no brainer. They’re not so much action figures as they are semi-articulated statues, but they were once again, PERFECT for display. The great part was that each Beatle came with a secondary figure which definitely helped flesh out my display. I just added a couple more loose figures off eBay and I was all set….I just wished they also made a figure of the little sidekick Blue Meanie and the Blue meanie cat…oh well.
4) The Fantastic Four: Mr. Fantastic, The Invisible Woman, Human Torch & The Thing
Well this is probably one of the most obvious foursomes out there. They’re also one of my least favorites. For some reason, I never really got into the Fantastic Four. I read a few of their comics, watched whatever cartoons they had and the live action movies and none of them really did anyting for me. Of course I am a completist of sorts so big fan or not, my Marvel Universe collection had to have the Fantastic Four in it…so there ya go. I even threw in a Herbie the Robot and She-Hulk as honorary members.
Anyway there have been other foursomes I have been tempted to get. I almost got a Southpark set of Stan, Kyle, Cartman & Kenny…but I passed. I also passed with the A-Team who’s movie action figures were selling for peanuts after no one bought them. That wasn’t a shocker though since they all looked cheap and crappy, although they did have a cool van. Off the top of my head I really can’t think of any more foursomes. So for now, these four will have to do. There ya go! Four for Four!