Welcome back heroes..it has been a while but all repair operations are almost complete on the Satellite. In the mean time our coordinates point to as usual the early eighties. This time its a time when technology was advancing and nothing was cooler than being BIONIC. Christmas of 1980s always brought an amazing yield of action figures..none as great as Steve Austin The Six Million Dollar Man! Aka The Bionic Man! These figures stick out for their stature as they were taller than your average Barbie Doll and built with a mold unlike anything used in the toy scene at that time. My first figure was of course The Bionic Man!
Transmission Date: July 15 2013
This toy was a ton of fun to play with and amazingly authentic! It was tricked out with all kinds of Bionic features. Steve Austin had a Bionic arm that with the press of a very awkward button on his back could lift heavy items..or at least the accessories bundled with him. I seem to remember something like a large plastic metal girder. As well The Bionic man had a Bionic eye with telescopic vision. You could peer through the back of the figures head and see what Steve Austin could see! Bionic Mans bionic arm came with a fake rubber fold up skin that concealed the circuitry hidden beneath! This toy kicked the crap out of any old large size G.I Joe at the time!
The original figure was sold in 1975 by Kenner and stood a very hulking 13″. A second model was released in 1977 due to safety concerns with small accessories included with the bionic arm portion of the toy. As well as the skin sleeve that covered Mr. Austins arm was know to degrade quickly something the company ever addressed and is rare to find intact in any loose versions of the toy in the secondary markets.
This rarely seen commercial was the tip of the iceberg for this awesome action figure line as accessories exploded into the market as the show caught fire on TV! The commercial featured the super rare space suit!
The Six Million Dollar Man also for those with a fat wallet could trick out the Bionic Man with accessory after accessory. Sadly I had none of these but looking back I see how limited my retailer actually was in my small town! Apparently the folks at the Chain Store had no idea when it came to bumping up selection in their toy isles! While I may not have had any helicopters or rescue vans for my Bionic Man he did not come alone under the Xmas Tree that morning my parents were gift buyers with good hindsight and did not leave the Bionic mans Nemesis Sasquatch at the Chain Store but wrapped his ass up and under the tree he went to continue his mortal combat with Steve Austin!
Sasquatch or Big Foot, call him what you will wreaked havoc and was a sure fire hit. Press a nicely concealed button on his lower abdominal area and his chest popped out to reveal his secret! You see this Big Foot wasnt real at all but yet another Bionic creation and the perfect bad guy for The Bionic Man! My Big Foot actually lasted much longer than my Bionic Man despite the fact that Big Foots limbs were connected with a crappy rubber band type of material! Fun fact: Big Foot was played by Andre The Giant of Pro Wrestling fame! Watch below at Andre’s Bionic man battle.
As much fun as it was to have two figures..after Xmas my trips to the store would always bring me to the Bionic Man section and it is here I discovered that there was much more fun to be had!
My next purchase would be Maskatron! He was a highly functional toy that could remove all his limbs and swap faces or masks to take on different identities..even Steve Austin himself! I loved this figure! How cool was it that this character could literally be three different characters. Although my memory is clouded on how I used him sadly my memories only manage to remember that I lost his parts and mask!
Maskatron was a heck of a lot less common that The Bionic Man in fact in my town he was on shelves for a very short time and it was tough luck for those who did not grab him while the iron was hot! Fortunately I was the only one in my circle who had this bad guy..in fact I may have been the only one in my group to even have Six Million Dollar Man toys!
Promotional art and ads were big in comic books in the 70s and 80s and Maskatron had one of the coolest comic book ads out there ! If this ad didnt want to make you buy this toy well I cant help you!
Hardcore fans got to send .50 cents to join the Bionic Action Club and receive a nifty membership certificate, Bionic Man Decal, and a signed picture of the Bionic Man autographed! Take a look below!
Now of course while I did not pick up Oscar Goldman figure I was delighted and horrified all at once the following year for Xmas to get my first DOLL under the tree. There was no hiding it either. My only saving grace was that at the same time I received my Gene Simmons KISS figure! So I was baddass for getting that ..but not so much for my BIONIC WOMAN figure/doll! I secretly loved this toy though! Jamie Sommers was the name of The Bionic Woman which was airing on TV at the time and was quite the hit! In some ways it was more popular and talked about than the Six Million Dollar Man in my town.
The Doll was not one to break out during playtime with your friends so Jamie and her nifty accessories spent a lot of time watching the action from the toy box and would reemerge when my friends left.
Yes..The Bionic Woman did not come with a cool robotic arm, nor a awesome bionic eye, but rather an amazing PURSE?? Yeah I know exactly what you are thinking. Its a wonder Jamie EVER made it out of the bottom of the toy box but damn it..that purse was pretty cool! Like her Male counter part Bionic Woman had her own version of a playset..and sexism be damned..it was a Bionic Beauty Salon?? I did not acquire the beauty Salon or would I ever admit to such but this would not fly in today’s PC world!
This toy was just weird..I have no idea of its purpose or reason for existing but anyway Bionic fans here is a look at the actual toy. Bizarre!
Accessories and vehicles were not common in my home town and I am kinda pissed about that looking back at all the things I could have tricked out my Bionic family with! Helicopters, Action Centers, and Salons I could have had it all! One this was for sure is that I have fond memories of these toys. I only have one surviving toy out of the lot and it happens to be a naked Steve Austin Bionic Man toy with broken arm but I am still a “have” than a “have not” in regards to these figures!
My current Bionic Man was purchased at a yard sale that my wife discovered years after the demise of my original. His classic red Bionic jump suit was replaced with a very Ken doll like Green Shirt and jeans..and no shoes? Savages I say!
Toys these days certainly do not carry the soul toys like the Bionic Man had. I might sound like an old miser but you cant create fun or imagination with poor characters, and over done articulation. Here’s to being Bionic! Back to work heroes..we still have work to get the Satellite back into orbit..till next time Heroes!
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