Despite having only 17 episodes, the 1960’s psychedelic spy series The Prisoner has had a pretty big impact on my life.
I first got into the Patrick McGoohan-starring series in high school when my friends Gary and Ethan introduced it to me. We devoured it and constantly quoted the eccentric series as we rode the school bus every morning. At the end of our travels, a quick, “Be Seeing You” soon replaced a simple, “Later.”
A few other friends were shockingly into this obscure series which made it seem like a whole Secret Society unto itself. If you grew up in the ’60s, sure you heard of it. But if you were my age, it seemed incredibly rare to find another person who not only heard of The Prisoner, but loved it like I did.
Fast forward to 1990 when I went off to college at SUNY Binghamton in upstate NY. I clearly remember walking around the Freshman suite on the first floor (my roommates and I were in the Freshman suite on the 2nd floor). We said hi to these other students who had just begun a brand new stage of life. I was fairly shy and a bit nervous meeting new people. But I said the standard hellos and did the basic small talk.
And then I saw it.
On a bookshelf mixed in with a bunch of geeky, sci-fi VHS tapes. There was a tape with a handmade label on the side. Sketched out in a Sharpie were two words: The Prisoner.
I did a double take.
Then another. (Is that a triple take? Or a quadruple take?)
“Um… who’s Prisoner tape is this?” I asked.
A few seconds later, this guy named Dave said, “That’s mine.”
And the rest is history. Dave and I became fast friends and still refer to each other as Number 2 and Number 6. In fact, we spent five weeks backpacking through Europe together and shared one of the coolest moments of our lives. We were in London looking to stay at a charming bed and breakfast. We had reservations and gave our names. The English woman at the front desk greeted us warmly and told us to just wait a minute while she got our room ready.
So we sat on a comfy couch in England. Just waiting. I’m sure we were joking around about being just like The Prisoner in London at this point.
Suddenly, with the most charming British accent, the woman came out, approached us and said, “Your room is ready, Number 6.”
We both looked at each other and laughed.
Okay, so she probably wasn’t referring to the show at all, and we were indeed in room #6, but just hearing that phrase uttered at us in a British accent was a supreme highlight.
All of that is just to show you how much of a Prisoner fan I am. And why I devour any merchandise I can of the show, which mainly consists of DVDs and books.
Wandering Planet Toys Enters the Village
Clearly I’m not the only obsessed fan. It pretty much comes with the territory I imagine.
Because a bunch of super awesome toy freaks named Gavin Hignight and Chris “Doc” Wyatt went ahead and really one-upped me big time. Through their toy company Wandering Planet Toys, they put up a Kickstarter for The Prisoner Action Figure.
Say what now?!?
Yes, finally an action figure of my favorite TV character ever!
I rarely do Kickstarters but couldn’t resist this one. Not only did they succeed in their Kickstarter goals, but all of these figures are officially licensed from ITV Studios.
It may’ve taken quite some time for the figure to actually get manufactured and delivered to their warehouses for shipping, but I am now the proud owner of a Number 6 action figure!
I’m seriously impressed with the likeness on this number. (Pun intended.) Usually movie or TV-based action figures can have a pretty wonky look to their faces. Especially if it’s a figure coming from a pretty new, unknown company. But Wandering Planet Toys perfectly nailed McGoohan’s expression with their Prisoner action figure!
The head is nicely articulated too. It doesn’t just turn from left to right but is on a swivel so it can also move up and down and get in that perfect quizzical side tilt. If only the eyebrows were articulated too!
The paint job is really strong too, bringing the TV show’s technicolor style to the real world. Even the little #6 button on his lapel is nicely done. I’ve often seen similar details downplayed (like the yellow smiley face button on The Comedian, that’s just a yellow circle), but you can easily make out the penny-farthing bicycle and the red 6!
The overall articulation is quite nice too. Yes, I’m extremely spoiled by all those amazing Marvel Legends figures that have had 16 points of articulation (POA) and more recently 30+ articulation points. Yeah, Spider-Man can pretty much get into any pose you can imagine these days.
The standard Prisoner action figure does beat the average 5 POA, by sporting seven points of articulation:
- Neck (1)
- Shoulders (2)
- Wrists (2)
- Legs (2)
My biggest request would be to add articulation at the elbows as well, so you can properly put Number 6’s hand up to his eye for a classic Be Seeing You moment.
The Prisoner Action Figure Line
Wandering Planet Toys offered up a variety of figures beyond the Standard Number 6.
They’re all based on various episodes of the show with Number 6 wearing slightly altered outfits.
Personally, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get my very own Rover, so I splurged for the Rover Clamshell resealable package.
I love the Number 6 figure itself, but the fact I can store my very own Secret Agent Man inside Rover is just a real added bonus!
And then there’s the two-packs based on two of the best episodes from The Prisoner: Free for All and The Schizoid Man. In the former, Number 6 runs for office as the new Number Two, while the latter (my favorite of them all) sees Number 6 and the identical-looking Number 12 as they compete to prove who the real Number 6 is.
I love the fact that Wandering Planet is clearly building a lineup based on pure fan adoration. Best of all, they’ve already announced they are working hard on a second wave of Prisoner action figures!
Here’s hoping for a Living in Harmony Number 6 doled up in western gear.
Be Seeing You!