Keanu Reeves Spoofs Classic Evel Knievel Action Figure in New Toy Story 4 Spot

Before Star Wars changed the action figure game, right around the time Mego was first making Marvel superheroes, real-life stuntman Evel Knievel was the basis for many popular boys’ toys. The must-have one was Ideal Toys’ stunt cycle, featuring a fully poseable Knievel who could be posed on his motorbike. Kids attached the bike to a base where they’d hand crank and then launch it once they’d suitably revved it up. In theory, it would then pop a wheelie or drive through an included “ring of fire.” In practice, since kids wouldn’t usually balance the figure on his seat with perfect equilibrium, it would usually fall sideways almost immediately.

Toy Story 4 features a thinly disguised spoof in its latest TV spot, highlighting new character Duke Caboom. But there’s a twist: while Knievel was an all-American boy from Montana, Duke Caboom imagines a Canadian version. He’s voiced by Canadian actor and action hero Keanu Reeves. Due to Reeves’ propensity for playing characters who say things like “whoa” and “dude,” fans often mistake the actor for Californian. Here, however, he brings his “Eh” game to a much broader great white north accent.

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With modern-style sculpting and articulation, Duke Caboom resembles a current toy more than the cloth-costumed classic Knievel. But his signature toy is just as disappointing as the original, failing to work anywhere near as awesomely as advertised. Check it out below:

Undoubtedly there will be new toys of Caboom. We hope Disney can engineer them with better balance than the inspiration.