These new detailed Popeye action figures take inspiration directly from the original comics

Olive Oyl, Bluto and even baby Swee’Pea come to life in their original designs.

Boss Fight Studios

Read to Me

Creating action figures from two-dimensional drawings is an art all its own – especially when the drawings are comic strips that only really show the characters from side angles. But Boss Fight Studios was up for the challenge.

The company has a new line of incredibly detailed Popeye action figures inspired by the famous Sailor Man’s original appearance in comic strips. Cartoonist E.C. Segar created the character for his Thimble Theatre comics back in 1929. Popeye was so popular he started appearing in animated theatrical shorts in the 1930s and eventually became the beloved cartoon character we know today.

Boss Fight Studios Art Director Andrew Franks spoke to The Pop Insider in February about the inspiration and challenges when designing these figures. “The first thing we wanted to do was to make sure these were the best, most authentic versions of these characters that have ever been done in toy form.” While plenty of other Popeye toys have been sold over the years, Franks noted that most of the other merchandise has been more influenced by the animated Popeye rather than the original comic strip. Of the other toys, he said, “There’s been a lot, and there have been some great ones, but we know we wanted to take a different design direction than some of those had taken.”

The hard part about that approach is trying to create a three-dimensional sculpture from a comic strip sketch that only ever shows certain angles. Popeye’s instantly recognizable squint and jaw were always seen in profile – never straight on – not unlike other famous characters. “It’s sort of equivalent to the way Mickey Mouse’s ears work. Where, if you watch the way the character turns his head, the ears sort of magically migrate. They don’t actually turn in three dimensions,” Franks said.

Image: Boss Fight StudiosThe entire collection includes baby Swee'Pea and Olive's brother, Castor Oyl.


A toy, on the other hand, has to work from every angle. Boss Fight Studios found a way to marry the early design of Popeye with a 3D sculpture that can move and work like an action figure should. The comics also provided inspiration for which characters to include in the collection. Popeye’s love Olive Oyl and his nemesis Bluto have their own figures, of course, but so does Olive’s brother, Castor Oyl, who was an important character all the way back in the Thimble Theater days. Castor even comes with the beloved animals Bernice the Whiffle Hen and Eugene the Jeep. As Franks put it, “Being able to have this representation of a character who is actually quite important to the history of the stories, and to be able to pack in with him two magical creatures that are very important to quite a few of the storylines was really exciting as well.”

The Popeye figure comes with interchangeable hands and faces, a removable hat and his famous spinach can. Olive Oyl comes with baby Swee’Pea and Bluto also has a removable hat and hands. The figures cost $34.99 each and are available for preorder now.

Watch Popeye and Pink Panther's Party on MeTV!

One Full Hour

Saturdays at 7 AM

*available in most MeTV markets
 
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

44 Comments

Post a comment
Runeshaper 2 months ago
I preordered the whole set at BBTS. They look GREAT!!!
Markholl68 3 months ago
Yeah, and where's Alice the Goon?
Markholl68 3 months ago
Ok, Wimpy should really be a part of this set, right? Especially when Castor Oyl is in the mix....just sayin....
CraigGustafson 3 months ago
Where's Wimpy's mustache?
And in the comics, Popeye wasn't bald. When he took his hat off, he had a red brush-cut.
Yes, I'm being picky. But they want $34.99 for these.
Delmo CraigGustafson 3 months ago
That's not Wimpy, that's Olive's brother Castor Oyl.
HulkFan02 3 months ago
Dang, those figures get old on its time
CraigGustafson HulkFan02 3 months ago
In English, please.
HulkFan02 CraigGustafson 3 months ago
I'm in English
LoveMETV22 3 months ago
Did Wimpy ever get his hamburger that he would gladly pay for on Tuesday?
justjeff 3 months ago
$34.99 EACH???????? Well, blow me down!
Jimo 3 months ago
I am who I am......oh olive!
Andybandit 3 months ago
Cute Popeye action figures. I would pay $34.00 for the whole thing, but not $34.00 for each one separately. Too expensive for me.
LoveMETV22 Andybandit 3 months ago
At that price they can stay in its original wrapping.
Sway 3 months ago
Would have loved these when I was a kid. More fun than my Popeye Colorforms.
Michael 3 months ago
Are they "action figures" or dolls? In this age, would people really play with them like GI Joe or Major Matt Mason, or trolls? Or do they sit on a shelf as decoration?

I have a Jerry Garcia doll, but I don't playwith it. (It was a gift, somebody knew someone involved in the design.)

MrsPhilHarris 3 months ago
I want a Eugene the Jeep.
LoveMETV22 MrsPhilHarris 3 months ago
Did Eugene ever get assigned an animal type or is he just a mysterious creature?
LoveMETV22 LoveMETV22 3 months ago
Anyone? Anyone?
MrsPhilHarris LoveMETV22 3 months ago
He was a mysterious creature. What he was I don’t know. 🤔
There was a story that the Jeep was named after Eugene. They have never been able to figure it out for sure, though.
I can guarantee Eugene will be mounted in a few vintage and new Jeeps.
RedSamRackham LoveMETV22 3 months ago
* Eugene the Jeep a unique dog like no other inspired invention of the Jeep. a car like no other! ☺
LoveMETV22 3 months ago
I guess the very detailed article on how their built "must"? justify the price tag. Makes me want to run out and buy one.
harlow1313 3 months ago
When are they going to have a Gomer Pyle Set? (let me know what you think)

Oh, wait, that's Moriyah's job. My apologies.
Load previous comments
LoveMETV22 MrsPhilHarris 3 months ago
That is hilarious.
justjeff LoveMETV22 3 months ago
No worries about puns. But Cole Oyl ws Olive's father, and Nana Oyl was her mother... If you doubt me, do the homework!
harlow1313 LoveMETV22 3 months ago
The exotic European, Oyl of Olay.

There was a TV show about Karma, entitled "My Name is Oyl."
LoveMETV22 justjeff 3 months ago
I trust your info, you know your stuff.
cmurf1960 3 months ago
Love these, but the price is a bit steep. Maybe if there were a discount for buying them as a set. Also, where is Wimpy? And the Popeye nephews, Peepeye, Pipeye, Poopeye, and Pupeye. Oh, and Poopdeck Pappy, too.
MrsPhilHarris cmurf1960 3 months ago
Isn’t that Wimpy in the picture?
justjeff cmurf1960 3 months ago
The nephews were introduced in the 1940s, so they wouldn't match the time period for these characters...
Delmo MrsPhilHarris 3 months ago
That's Castor Oyl, Olive's brother.
MrsPhilHarris Delmo 3 months ago
You are right. That is Olive’s brother Castor.
Dario 3 months ago
I'd buy all of them for the bargain price of $34.99 instead buying them individually at that price. 👍👍👍👍👍 😁😁😁😁😁
Agreed, once upon a time I loved Popeye, but as time went by I outgrew it. I don't dislike Popeye, just don't care as much as I did in earlier years, so that's more than I want to pay for a collection of toys.

I was born in 1963 and learned of Popeye during the period when Bluto was called "Brutus". Naturally I was confused when I saw Popeye a few years later at my cousin's house and heard him called "Bluto", and I thought we'd been hearing the name wrong in my preschool years (my 1918-born dad called him Brutus too, but maybe that was to avoid confusing us kids). I've seen some recent articles that explain the temporary name change so now it all makes sense.
He was called "Bluto" Paramount began the Popeye cartoon series in 1933; it was "Brutus" in the comic strip version in order to avoid copyright problems with Paramount.
It wasn't the beginning of tv, but things were still settling out in the sixties. So here we had some local shows for kids. The Mickey Mouse Club was strong, only as an adult did I realize we were getting reruns.

And lots of old material that had originated as movies. Cartoons, "Our Gang", Laurel and Hardy and so on. So much of it seemed in bad shape, or at least bad transfer.
justjeff Dario 3 months ago
King Features changed the name to Brutus because they thought Paramount had an exclusive copyright on the name Bluto. It turned out they didn't...
OldTVfanatic Dario 3 months ago
No, in the original comic strip he was called Bluto. The Brutus controversy happened due to a misunderstanding of the prevailing copyright laws regarding the old Fleischer cartoons.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?