There was a prototype toy line for the X-rated epic film disaster Caligula (1979)

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In 1979, Penthouse founder Bob Guccione produced a big budget feature film about the Roman emperor Caligula starring Maclolm McDowell, Teresa Ann Savoy, Helen Mirren, Peter O’Toole, and John Gielgud. Scripted by Gore Vidal and filled with graphic sex and violence, it was a critical and box office disaster but has garnered cult acclaim over the years. (Original trailer below.) Now, archivist Thomas Negovan and Shadow of the Vampire director E. Elias Merhig have located all of the original footage and are recutting the film into a 40th anniversary edition titled Caligula MMXX. Over the course of their research, they found this bizarre TV commercial produced for a line of Caligula action figures that, of course, never made it into production. Negovan tells Dangerous Minds:

A company named Cinco Toys pitched Guccione, who never met a deal he didn’t like, on them getting a license to do a line of action figures. Star Wars action figures were making millions and apparently they pitched him pretty hard for this. Caligula‘s budget was twice that of Star Wars. They made a handful of prototypes for action figures. They even went so far as to make a spec TV commercial to woo Guccione to let them do this, which is extra insane. They made it like he (Guccione) would be (star) in the commercial himself and had someone do a VO as if they were Bob. And there it was on the shelf with the various drafts of the script. There was a 3/4” tape and a VHS of the same commercial with Cinco labels.

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