Toybox of the Damned: The World of M*A*S*H Toys

The brave men and women of the 4077th didn’t just save lives and crack wise - they also starred in a weird series of toy and game tie-ins.

M*A*S*H Action Figures

What kid wouldn’t want to recreate scenes of bloody operations and highly sexualized banter? They got their chance with a set of seven 3 and 3/4 inch figures from Tri-Star, with a special ‘Dress’ variant of Klinger. I bet that kids battled it out over the Father Mulcahey figure (who appears to be in blackface above). For some reason there was no Radar figure.

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Then there are these taller, clothed figures. It seems as if these two were the only ones produced for this line; Hot Lips Houlihan looks okay but Hawkeye looks kind of like young Sylvester Stallone.

M*A*S*H 4077th Base Playset

So you have your Tristar M*A*S*H figures (and accessories. There were jeeps and ambulances) - where are you going to play with them? Why on a huge plastic sheet printed to look like the environs of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, of course! The huge M*A*S*H 4077th playset unfolded to a whopping 16 feet (!) and included plastic figures, vehicles and hard plastic buildings that could be placed in marked spots on the set.

I had this thing, and I don’t even know what the hell you’re supposed to do with it. At this scale the playset loses all touch with M*A*S*H and sort of just becomes a generic army men base.

M*A*S*H The Boardgame

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Every TV show also got a board game back in the day. The M*A*S*H board game seems like a more reasonable tie-in; you’re Hawkeye, Klinger, BJ or Hot Lips trying to get a patient to the helicopter. You moved around the board in little plastic jeeps, and event cards or print on the spaces would help or hinder you as you went. According to the AfterMASH blog the game makes no mention or includes any image of characters beyond those four, which is unusual for tie-ins to the ensemble show.

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M*A*S*H Halloween Costumes

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I’ll let the horrifying image of the Klinger costume above do all the talking. There was a fairly identical Hawkeye one as well.

M*A*S*H The Video Game

The weirdest and the worst tie-in that I’ve found is the Atari 2600 game. An awful game, the Atari M*A*S*H game had little to do with the show. It has two basic levels - on one level you’re piloting a helicopter and picking up wounded and bringing them to base. Once you’ve done that you play a variation on Operation!, where you have to remove shrapnel from the soldier’s doughy bodies. The only thing that really makes this feel M*A*S*H-y is that the game calls you ‘Ferret Face’ when you hit the sides of the patient. Ferret Face is, of course, Hawkeye’s nickname for Major Burns.