The Earthworm Jim franchise started as a video game on the Sega Genesis and Nintendo SNES platforms in 1994. A television cartoon followed shortly thereafter. The following year, Playmates Toys, along with Shiny Entertainment, released an action figure line based on the game and cartoon. The action figures were more closely related to the cartoon characters than the video game characters. The cartoon itself ran for two seasons. The game eventually ended up on the Nintendo Gameboy, Sega Master System, and Sega Game Gear platforms. It was even ported to the Windows PC.
Playmates Toys produced 8 character figures for the action figure line. There are 3 carded variations of Earthworm Jim himself as well as one version available only as a special mail in offer. There is also a vehicle. Playmates had planned on releasing a second wave of figures but that plan never materialized. Most of the figures are 5″ with the exception of a couple smaller characters.
The standard Earthworm Jim 5″ figure is shown above in his white super suit. He has a flexible and detachable worm head which is spring loaded and can be launched with the push of a button on his back.
The Battle Damage version of Earthworm Jim has more detail to the sculpt and a spring loaded chest plate. This figure is also 5″.
A third version is Earthworm Jim in a Special Deep Sea Mission Suit with a Water Gun. The game level, Down the Tubes, was the inspiration for this version. The sculpt detail for this 5″ figure is excellent.
Here’s a version of Earthworm Jim in a green supersuit as opposed to his normal white and blue suit. This version was available as a mail in offer. If you were able to complete the special edition level of the game at the “Hard” difficulty setting a unique phone number would be revealed that you could call to order the special version of Earthworm Jim. This version is fairly rare and sells for a round $100 in the unopened bag (12/2022). You can see current sales prices of this version on eBay HERE.
One variation of the Earthworm Jim action figure line were those issued by Taco Bell. These were given away as a promotion by Taco Bell in 1995 and 1996. They are slightly smaller than the Playmates action figures at 3 3/4″ and lack the level of detail that the original figures have. The Taco Bell figures are not hard to find, even in their original unopened plastic bags.
Princess What’s-Her-Name is Earthworm Jim’s main protagonist. Also a 5″ figure she comes with a number of accessories including a spring loaded bug launcher with discs, a ‘really intense’ insectoid gun, and her little sidekick Runt Zurb. Her name is a satire of the common game trope where female characters were created for no other reason than for the main male hero character to save.
Peter Puppy is one of Earthworm Jim’s sidekicks and the highly detailed sculpt comes with a couple accessories as well as a cute, pre-transformation version of Peter Puppy. The accessories include a Rabid Quick Fire Blaster, Side Arm Shield, and an Amazing “Fetch” Club.
Henchrat is one of Earthworm Jim’s nemesis characters. He comes from the Planet Heck and is accompanied by Evil the Cat. Henchrat is a 5″ figure while Evil the Cat is smaller. Accessories include the spring-loaded Cheese-squeeze Gun and Cheese Grenade, Double Cheese Shoulder Gun, and the Cut-the-Cheese Knife.
Bob the Killer Goldfish and #4. The Bob figure is a small goldfish in a bowl that is the evil mastermind while his henchman is #4, a huge cat. #4 is a 5″ figure. #4 has only a couple accessories: The Extra Crispy Worm Searing Gun, and the Wicked Worm Slicing Sword.
Psycrow, an Earthworm Jim nemesis, is a great figure. The sculpt detail on the arms is excellent and the bright colors make it standout. Plus, it’s a crow with a beer belly. He also has a number of accessories including a spring-loaded Blaster Gun, Handheld Worm-guttin’ Gun, Cruisin’ Jet Pack, and Super Sonar Sensitive Antenna. He has a sidekick as well, Major Mucus.
Here are the four smaller figures from the line. Evil the Cat, Bob the Goldfish, Major Mucus and PPUUPPY
Earthworm Jim’s Pocket Rocket was the only vehicle accessory that ever made it to market.
The Pocket Rocket has rotating wheels, moving turbo fan blades and can accommodate Earthworm Jim in the driver’s seat. The second wave of toys from Playmates was supposed to include the Crazed Cycle which was a motorcycle type vehicle. The Crazed Cycle would have been battery powered and shot a spring loaded worm spear from its worm head front ornament. Sadly, the second wave of toys were never produced and the Crazed Cycle never made it to market.
Overall, the Earthworm Jim action figure line is a great series to collect. There aren’t too many figures in the series and all are obtainable at reasonable prices. The boxed Pocket Rocket probably being the most expensive. And, there are enough variants to make it interesting.