With Ben Grimm (AKA The Thing) now a major movie star, it’s funny to think that he used to be the subject of many a desperate tie-in to gain that devious dollar. You’d think these projects would be easy wins given the subject matter. With his cursed life and easy going/explosive rampage personality, Ben Grimm has always been one of my favorite Marvel Comics characters. Yet… these projects seemed to miss the mark.
In 1979, toy manufacturer ‘Fun Stuff’ developed the ever loving blue-eyed Thing into an inflatable toy… no it’s all true.
In addition, the character starred in his very own solo cartoon series. Great, right? Not so much. See, this version of the Thing was a teenager named Benji who used a magic ring turn into the Thing and fight crime… or do whatever he wanted, really. Fred and Barney from the Flintstones co-starred.
In 1994 the master of schlock filmmaker Roger Corman made a hasty Fantastic Four film in which the Thing was very similar to his inflatable toy persona from Fun Stuff.
Marvel Comics has created many colorful and charismatic characters over the years and these characters have been used to sell everything from breakfast cereal to toilet paper. They’ve been in children’s TV programs and big budget motion pictures. Some of them have been great, others… not so much.
In the very words of Aunt Petunia’s favorite nephew, Ben was robbed.