Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Arguably The Weirdest Pegwarmer Of All Time: Shannon Rutherford From Lost The Inaction Figure!

The Good: Great sculpt, Decent sound effect
The Bad: Completely inarticulate (unposable)
The Basics: A great likeness of Maggie Grace’s Shannon Rutherford from Lost, the Shannon figure is an overpriced inaction figure which is basically a chick in a bikini.

As a consumer, it always amuses me to see what ends up as a pegwarmer and what becomes the prized collectibles in any market. With toys, female characters are almost one of the surest ways to make money. In fact, it is a shocker when one does not. And yet, with the Lost Series 1 action figures, the figure of Shannon, a blonde in a bikini no less (!), was the Series’ resounding pegwarmer.


With the success of the first season of Lost (click here for my review!), McFarlane Toys quickly bought up the licensing rights for action figures and it produced a first series of six action figures which were supported by release parties worldwide featuring members of the cast. Shannon Rutherford, played by Maggie Grace, was immortalized in her bikini as seen in the pilot episode and first few episodes of the show (before the survivors of Oceanic 815 knew they would be on the island for quite some time).

The action figure, actually inaction figure, is cast in solid plastic and features the twentysomething in a bright orange bikini, which was not actually the color of the clothing she wore on the show. The skin tones are pretty monotonally cast, but the hair has an exceptional level of detailing with streaks of brown in with the blonde hair. Shannon lays on a multicolored blanket with a waterbottle embedded in the sand near her feet with her legs raised in a fairly provocative pose.

McFarlane gets away from the usual criticisms for detail by having Shannon’s eyes closed and the detailing on the figure’s finger and toe nails. McFarlane even includes the ties on the bikini bottom and this level of detailing was common in their 6” figure line.


Shannon comes with a play base which is her blanket on the sand with a backdrop of the crashed plane (and Boone, her brother) behind her. She lays on this patch of ground.

She also comes with the map of the island drawn by Rousseau which, one supposes, could be used as role-playing prop. Given that her hands are molded facing down, more accessories make little sense as she cannot hold them.


Shannon Rutherford is a terrible toy for play. The reason for this is simple she is designed to lay on her towels and do nothing. As such, she does not have any joints and is cast as one piece. She is an inaction figure (like, for example, a Smurf). She is clearly intended for display and not play. As a result, she is not much fun, but, truth be told, the Lost figure line is hampered by the fact that most of the figures are less-articulated and more like little semi-posable statues.

To make up for this, McFarlane toys, brought into prominence from the amazing sculpts they did for their Spawn figures, included a small, clip player. Powered by two AAA batteries, Shannon’s is a little black box that alternately says “What's a four-letter word for 'I don't care'?," "The plane had a black box, idiot. I'll eat on the rescue boat," and "You want my information: Name - Shannon Rutherford, age twenty, address - Craphole Island." The toy utilizes actual voice clips from the show, so it sounds exactly like Shannon . . . at least until the batteries begin to die. The batteries seem to last about two hundred hits, so there’s plenty of annoyed Shannon to go around before one needs to replace the batteries or the figure loses its novelty.


The Lost action figures are a tough concept to talk about the collectability of. After all, it is hard to say whether McFarlane picked the wrong characters to launch the line with or if the lack of posability killed interest in the toys or if it was just that Lost fans are not as predisposed toward merchandising. Lost is not Star Trek or Star Wars and getting right what will sell among a fanbase is a gamble. In my case, it was the lack of posability that drove me away from most Lost figures, despite how amazing the sculpts were.

Shannon, however, was vastly overproduced no matter how one looks at it. She was, as unlikely as it might seem, the pegwarmer of the series and she is probably the easiest Lost figure to find. This is because the Series 2 figures were underproduced and distributed and as such, Shannon is the least popular character made into an action figure and produced well-beyond demand.


The Lost Shannon figure is one that is easy to not recommend, despite it being relatively inexpensive (“relatively” being a relative term as one is still likely to shell out ten dollars or more even on clearance) and it being an amazing sculpt. My wife seems to think I am being lenient on this toy because it is a twiggy blonde in a bikini, but the truth is, because it can’t have balance issues (it is molded exclusively to lay down) and the sculpt is suitably impressive, it is only the low posability and collectability which drive this figure down. It might not be a tough call, but the Shannon figure can be passed by, even by fans of Lost.

For other action figures based upon popular media, please check out my reviews of:
Watchmen Kubricks Set B
Gorn Wacky Wobbler
12” Lando Calrissian doll


For other toy reviews, please check out my index page!

© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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