The world is mourning Nelson Mandela as a Man of Action, and we’re certainly glad that the pioneering civil-rights figure enjoyed a long life after being freed from his stint in a South African prison. It’s going to make it hard to get a copy of the Talking 12″ Nelson Mandela Action Figure, though. That’s a shame. A lot of kids have learned about the importance of Nelson Mandela just as Christmas is coming. Those figures just became super rare. Any dad who wants to thrill his kid is going to have to kick more ass than Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle All The Way. [Image courtesy of a very cool Blaction collector, by the way.]
Of course, the death of Nelson Mandela gets us thinking about the man’s influence on action movies–because we are guys, and a lot of guys learned about South African apartheid through action movies. The most epic example is Lethal Weapon 2, where Mel Gibson and Danny Glover took on evil South Africans. Glover’s character of Roger Murtaugh spent a lot of this 1989 movie explaining the specifics of South Africa’s unfair practices to movie audiences.
The movie also cast character actor Kevin Tigar as a show of support after the veteran actor tried to lead a boycott of South African productions. (Peter Fonda once told us that only hurt the multiracial film crews of South Africa, though.) More importantly, there’s a scene where Murtaugh invokes the “one man, one vote” rule that was also part of the campaign by South African president F.W. de Klerk to end apartheid. Danny Glover didn’t have a hard time finding the passion for that speech. He had already portrayed Nelson Mandela in the 1987 HBO movie Mandela.
We’d also bring up the fine action movie from 1978 called The Wild Geese, which is about cool English actors kicking ass to save a Nelson Mandela-type figure–but, you know, that’s about a bunch of heroic fictional white guys, and this time of mourning is about the very real Nelson Mandela. We hope that Nelson Mandela got a copy of his own action figure. Especially since it’s a talking action figure, and Mandela certainly proved the power of words. And that action movies are okay, but action in real life is better.