Photo courtesy of Paramount PicturesG.I. Joe: Retaliation marks the second time the little plastic soldiers have become big, meaty killing machines on film. They follow a long tradition of toys-turned-movies, ranging from logical fare like TMNT to head-scratching adaptations like Battleship, which for some reason featured gigantic alien monsters, the iconic pegs as missiles, and Rihanna screaming while shooting guns while wet. Which was actually an improvement on the game. Which iconic toys from your past are next to hit the big screen? Here are a few ideas.
M.U.S.C.L.E Men: The Reckoning
The toy story: A series of tiny, interchangeable, inch-high pink men in wrestling get-ups.
Starring: Warwick Davis, Tony Cox, Peter Dinklage, and a truckload of HG
The movie: A troupe of underachieving dwarves submits to a secret government agency's bizarre tests to craft the perfect super-soldier: a soldier whose strength and agility are unparalleled, and whose small stature makes him the perfect covert operative. The result will create heroes, but in the depths of every psyche lurks a villain. A tiny, tiny villain.
The tagline: "The ultimate little pink smackdown.
Rock Lords: Rocked & Loaded
The toy story: Rock Lords were an offshoot of Gobots, except instead of transforming into helicopters, motorcycles, cars, and tanks, they transformed into… rocks.
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Chris Rock, '90s Charles S. Dutton
The movie: Deep in a forgotten mine in Appalachia, an ancient battle rages among the good and evil Rock Lords for control of the dark underworld. Then they all turn into rocks and just sit there for an hour or so.
The tagline: "Rocks will roll."
Lincoln Logs: The Lincolning
The toy story: A popular, woody alternative to LEGOs, w/ the titular logs forming nothing but log cabins and rectangular structures.
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewi
The movie: A hard-hitting environmental thriller in which a greedy logger (Day-Lewis) seeks to clear-cut Lincolnlandia… until a resourceful group of scrappy environmentalists "logs" tremendous time and unorthodox tactics to thwart his plans to line the forests with LEGO houses.
The Tagline: "Emancipate your expectations.
Stretch Armstrong: The Adventure Begins
The toy story: Stretch was a hyper-elastic, blonde-bouffanted dude with rubber for bones.
Starring: Dolph Lundgre
The movie: Initially, Taylor Lautner was supposed to be stretch, until casting agents realized abs don't stretch out well. This film finds supercop Stretch Armstrong (Lundgren) fending off a national security threat from Street Fighter II's Dhalsim, who has co-opted Stretch's abilities and added the dreaded "Yoga Flame"
Tagline: "Beware the long arm of the law."
The Rubik's Cube Theory
The toy story: That effing toy that made you feel like an idiot about your inability to make a monochromatic square.
Starring: Nicolas Cag
The movie: Cage stars as a master cryptographer who finds a mysterious cube that, when shifted into basic monochromatic color schemes, unlocks the mysteries of the universe… and the wrath of Hell itself. Then he freaks the eff out
The tagline: "What is the color of fate?
Enter the Spinja
The toy story: Spinjas were little tops shaped like ninjas, which fought it out in a little arena until they just kind of stopped spinning. G.I. Joe seems to have taken a cue from this.
Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bolo Yeung, Spinderella
The movie: Essentially a remake of Bloodsport, in which Van Damme enters a competition where spinning martial artists from all over the world compete to see who can twirl the longest without vomiting. Van Damme learns to spin with his eyes shut while doing the splits, thus decimating a vomit-spewing Chong Li. Forest Whitaker shows up for comic relief
The tagline: "Action so tough, it'll make your head spin."