Contra retro video game heroes reimagined and crafted in plastic

At Top League, we love action figures and retro video games. So when the two crossover this well, it’s a revelation we’re compelled to share. 

While researching action figure production for Kapow Comics, we stumbled across a genuine eyebrow-raiser, casting the mind back several decades to the late 1980s – a time many regard as a golden era of gaming.

Following the success of their Contra arcade game, legendary Tokyo-based games developer Konami ported a version with the same title to the then hugely popular Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) home console.

The result was a pioneering 8-bit shoot’em up with the option to team up with a pal and take on the alien horde in a two player side-by-side, action-packed extravaganza.

The two playable heroes – one in decked in red, the other blue – were featured in all their pixellated glory on the title screen, strongly resembling two contemporary action movie greats.

Neglecting to secure an official use for their likeness, Konami, named these characters Bill and Lance.

While obfuscated by pixels, the portraits left little doubt in the minds of young gamers as to who these characters were meant to resemble.

Fast forward twenty years. Those children are now adult retro gamers and with their newfound independence and ability, they’ve taken it upon themselves to further their beloved childhood franchises. Along with the resurgence of retro gaming and ‘geek’ culture, the collection and customisation of action figures have become a prevelant hobby. 

The customisation of action figures involves adapting existing pieces to create something new and one intrepid collector has taken it upon himself to forge, through customisation, the Contra characters as he imagined they’d look.

Hats off to John Harmon at Mint Condition Custom for this awesome customisation.

“In collaborating with Kapow Comics, we’ve had the joy of turning our attention to scouting out the potential for creating action figure designs and sculpts for their initial release in their Double Snakes Universe,” commented Top League Managing Director Charlie Wythe.

“Bringing hobbies and work together is something we continuously strive to do a Top League, and action figures and video games are some of our keen interests.

“We’d love for you to join us on this journey, so strap in tight and let’s make it happen.”