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“I wouldn’t let my own children play with those toys”: Sylvester Stallone’s Hatred Grew Against Rambo Series And Its Merch As He Felt Powerless

Sylvester Stallone was completely against the idea of Rambo being advertised to kids with the animated series and toys

Sylvester Stallone’s Hatred Grew Against Rambo Series And Its Merch As He Felt Powerless


  • Rambo and Rocky were two of the biggest franchises in the world of action, led by Sylvester Stallone
  • But the actor hated the idea of Rambo being shown to kids as even he considered the movies to be too violent
  • Stallone was against the idea of the Rambo animated series and the toys made on the character

If you were a young adult in the mid-1980s and the ’90s, you may already know what action stars were in the golden era of action films. The most popular names that will be at the tip of many people’s tounges will be stars like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Known as the faces of some of the most intense action films, they had a large influence on the audience.

Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone

While Schwarzenegger had the Terminator franchise, Stallone was the face of the Rocky and  Rambo series of films. While he may be the iconic Vietnam veteran in the latter franchise, the decision to create an animated series with the character and the subsequent release of merch was something that the star was totally against from the beginning.

Sylvester Stallone Hated The Rambo Animated Series And Merch For Kids

Sylvester Stallone as John J. Rambo in a still from the Rambo franchise
Sylvester Stallone as John J. Rambo in a still from the Rambo franchise

For the longest time in the film industry, on one end, he had the Rocky franchise that was created with righteous violence in mind, Sylvester Stallone also had the iconic Rambo series of films, which were filled to the brim with visceral carnage. And with the release of 1985’s Rambo: First Blood Part Two, the franchise found its popularity grow among the younger generation.

Therefore, seeing as the G.I Joe series was a hit among this demographic, the producers of the film decided to create a similar line of merch and an animated series to go along with the main franchise in 1986 titled Rambo: The Force of Freedom.

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Although the series was a hit with the kids, the Creed star was not a fan of the show along with the toys that they made. In an interview with The Chicago Tribune, Stallone revealed that while he did make a profit in the sale of the toys, he was against the propagation of his character to children, especially considering just how raw and violent the film series was.

This was only made more infuriating because even if he wanted to stop it, he couldn’t do so because he didn’t have any right to dictate what happened with this endeavor. He said:


‘It’s not for kids. The movie was not supposed to be for little kids, and I wouldn`t let my own children play with those toys. First of all, that isn`t Rambo, but, more important, they tell me I can`t stop them because it’s not me their using; it’s a likeness of a character I played and don`t own.”

While the animated show only aired for two seasons, the influence of the show drove young kids to seek out the true Rambo, hopefully, when they were old enough.

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Why Was Rambo Not For Kids?

Sylvester Stallone in and as Rambo
Sylvester Stallone in and as Rambo

As mentioned before, Rocky was a series of films that was created with the tastes of the general public in mind, and featured action related to the martial art of boxing. But when it came to Rambo, those films catered toward the hardcore action aficionados who loved rooted, realistic, and visceral bloodbaths packed in the form of an action flick.

While Rocky witnessed a lot of blood, it was mostly related to the injuries that boxers receive when they are in the ring with their opponents, Rambo was the kind of man that would leave no one alive on the battlefield. Basically, if you were breathing and in one piece, the titular protagonist would ensure that you become a corpse with a few limbs missing after he gets his hands on you.

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Rambo: First Blood, streaming on Paramount+.

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Written by Deepak

Deepak Bisht is a writer at FandomWire who has vast expertise in films of many genres, a hardcore anime nerd along with two years of writing experience.
After completing his Bachelor's in Business Administration, he became part of the company in hopes of providing accurate, informative, and exciting articles to the world.
Apart from his contributions to FandomWire, the rest of his time is spent either reading quality works of literature, listening to vintage music, or playing any video games he can get his hands on.