Posts Tagged ‘80s toys’

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When it comes to X-Mas all my readers know I am more than a little sentimental. Whether its the music, the food, or the Christmas catalogues, we all know the selfish side of us love one thing…THE GIFTS!! The old saying goes “It is better to Give Than Receive..” we all know its pretty damn cool to receive as well! This December my family have a very important date planned to share a fun event and that on December 18th. The 18th and not the 25th you may ask? That’s not Christmas you say..whats so important about December 18th? I call it a Geeks Christmas as fans worldwide will finally go to theaters to watch the debut of Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens! Select members of our esteemed SBTU Crew have gathered around the Satellite Holo-tree and share our memories of a Galaxy Far Far Away… Pour Up some Egg Nog Heroes, and join us as we raise a Holiday Glass to Star Wars!

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Begin Transmission: Dec 16th 2015

As a child Star Wars was more than a movie. It occupied a large portion of my childhood through Movies, Comics, and our topic today the Original Toy-Line! Many an hour was spent playing with these little plastic toys and their very cool accessories and vehicles creating my own episodes of the Star Wars Saga! Well in 1977 the Kenner Toy Company was more than willing to fill kids wishes in the valued 4th Quarter and as the holiday season approached Star Wars was at a fever pitch. Kenner was primed to deliver a massive influx of cash towards their companies bottom line and win the Christmas season. They would be conquering heroes of the lucrative Toy Market…then it happened. The production team could not deliver the toys to market in time for the Golden Holiday Season. In an act of desperation Kenner created the Early Bird Package. Yes under the tree at Christmas Star Wars fans in 77 opened ……(Drum Roll Please!!) an ENVELOPE!!!??

 

 

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The STAR WARS EARLY BIRD CERTIFICATE PACKAGE (1977)

Kenner could not deliver the figures but to pad their losses they went for a “Made” money approach. Customers would be “promised” the action figures later in 1978 if they purchased the Early Bird Certificate Package. The package would include 4 items including a Certificate that you would have to mail in that was good for 4 Star Wars figures that would be mailed to your home between Feb. 1st 1978 – July 1st 1978.

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(Back) The Original Early Bird Set Did NOT Include Han Solo, Darth Vader, or C3-Po? The Original promised line up were Chebacca, Princess Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, and R2-D2

So you may ask what was a kid supposed to do with a stupid Early Bird Certificate? There were a series of steps involved.

  1. Open your Certificate Envelope.

 

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Fill out your Name and Address on BOTH portions of the Early Bird Certificate!

2. Tear Off Your Proof Of Purchase Card, write the date you mailed your Star Wars figures and store it in your records.

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3. Set Up your STAR WARS Display Diorama that is included in the set! I will admit. I was a sucker for displays and playset’s especially when it comes to STAR WARS toys! The Display set itself was cheap but pretty nice! Collectors still struggle to find these in great condition and that is part of the charm of being an Early Bird Customer!

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4. Next. Enjoy your enclosed set of STAR WARS Stickers! The detailing on the stickers were a little lackluster. It is clear that Kenner was struggling to rush something…anything, to market that Christmas in 77.

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Early Bird Star Wars Sticker Set included with Kenners Early Bird Package

Once you have mailed off your certificate…all you had to do now was….WAIT. Fortunately for Kenner they were able to meet the deadline and there were no further delays and the very FIRST STAR WARS FIGURES ARRIVED in Feburary of 1978!!

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The Original 4 STAR WARS Figures from 1978!

The Figures came shipped with a Thank You card, a white packaging tray and action figure stand tabs to insert into the base of the diorama display set included in the early bird package. As the saying goes “Good Things Come To Those Who Wait” applies to this situation as folks who were fortunate enough to purchase this Early Bird Package received possibly one of the most coveted Action Figure in the history of Action Figure Collecting! That figure would be the Double Telescoping Lightsaber Luke Skywalker. This figure is so rare that it was even featured on a recent episode of AMC’s Comic Book Men!

 

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As cool as it sounded have a lightsaber tip that extended much further than many other of the like models of that particular original Luke. However it was disheartening to know it was very poorly crafted and the tip itself often bent easily making your lightsaber look very stupid. Check poor Luke above.

Chewbacca Early Bird

 

Included in the early Bird set as well was a not quite as rare as the Luke mentioned above) was a unique Chewbacca with a Greenish tinted  molded Bow Blaster rifle was shipped with all early shipments of this set making it a very sought after variant! True fan boy collectors know that the early bird set with variant Luke and Chewie is a rare gem in the collecting universe!

Star Wars Original Collection

While I did NOT have the good fortune of buying the Early Bird Packages in 1977 (I was only 3!!) I did however have the complete set of original action figures and still boast 75% of them to this day! Nothing were quite like the original toys.Yes they had far less articulation than their modern day relatives but they represented a changing of the guard in the action figure industry. The figure market that was previously dominated by bigger versions of action toys like the old 12 inch G.I. Joe figures as well as the middle sized and super fun MEGO collections popular in that day were replaced with the official dawn of the 3 3/4 era action figures when Star Wars fever hit!

 

Original 1978 Star Wars Commercial

Of course I was a collector who on every possible allowable occasion  would get one of these gems at the store. I was too young to enjoy the Early Bird experience however, by the time the Empire Collection arrived this Hero was in full Star Wars Collecting Beast Mode!

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At this point in the 80s however, leaving your figures mint on card was not an option, so all of my toys were open and well played with especially the Star Wars originals! I had plenty of vehicles and play-sets to go along with my figures so I basically felt like I had my own galaxy! I had an X-Wing, Darth Vader Tie Fighter, the AT-AT Walker, Boba Fett’s Slave 1,and many more! As for Play-Sets, I was fortunate enough to acquire Hoth, Cloud City, Dagobah, Jabbas Palace and the Grand Daddy of them all The Millenium Falcon! Of course as discussed in a previous Satellite post about my favorite Christmas Gifts I also had The Death Star!! Overtime..things broke, pieces went missing, poorly conceived trades occurred and my collection slowly died.

Death Star Vintage Toys

My collecting twilight was in my adulthood just at the time that it was announced that the Prequel movies were being released. The much maligned Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace was on its way and fans worldwide were exploding with anticipation as I was! I began re-building my collection. eBay was in its infancy and many folks didnt truly know how to post auctions and occasionally  a seller would post something under a weird category and literally get zero interest. As was the case with an original Star Wars Action Figure collection. Like a speculative comics fan in the 90s who thought they would send their kids to college with their fortune they would amass after selling their collection I lucked into a carded original Star Wars Action figure set of 7 figures and bought them all for 10 dollars!! The figures were improperly categorized under “Dolls”and as a result I was able to jump start my collection!

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Random eBay Auction Where You Can Still Get Lots Of Vintage Star Wars Stuff!!

From there I regained a Millenium Falcon, a AT AT Walker, new models of Star Destroyers, X-Wings, Tie Fighters, I even completed my Marvel Comics Star Wars collection and added a horde of new mint on card action figures! I even built myself my own collection room and filled it with mostly Star Wars merchandise! The ultimate geek cave was born!

 

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I remain a true STAR WARS Geek to this day!

All would change one fateful day when I returned home from work and I entered my home through the downstairs entrance of my split level rental home. I noticed a piece of cardboard that looked like a toy package on the floor.I thought little of it as my kid always came away with a new toy when we visited the store and often would not wait until he actually got in the house to rip open his new toy! This was not out of character for our family so I did not give the packaging DNA evidence a second thought. As I walked the hallway to go upstairs to our main living space I noticed more packaging debris..that led to the closed door of my Toy room! I opened the door and to my complete horror ALL of my action figures were missing from the walls of the room..instead in the middle of the space was a mound of shredded packaging. My eyes surveyed the room as shock turned to anger and on my office desk where my Millenium Falcon usually proudly displayed was absent as well. The crown jewel had been stolen…I had a suspicion of what happened. This was not the work of an intruder..this type of carnage could only have come from a child..MY CHILD..my 3 year old son..who happened to be a big Star Wars fan and had his own great Phantom Menace action figure collection. As I gritted my teeth and exited the scene of the crime, I turned and stormed out of the room and headed upstairs where I heard the familiar chatter of my wife and children.As I walked up the stairs, inching savagely forward to the top level, one glance to the right I caught the culprit red handed!!

 

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There, in the middle of my living room was my 3 year old son proudly swooshing a fully loaded Millenium Falcon in the air with a giant smile on his face completely lost in play! I looked in the kitchen just off the living room area where my wife looked out and simply said “He got into your room…” that was it. My anger at this point was at a terrible boil and I turned again to somehow rescue the remnants of my collection as my son set the Falcon down on the living room table and grabbed more figures still enthralled with his own little universe and with that I was disarmed. A flashback of my younger self reminded me of the sheer joy of playing with my toys and seeing him having that same experience actually made me happy. I was suddenly at peace with the fact that my kid was enjoying the exact same toys that I grew up on and you know that changes a guy. Many years of Father-Son Star Wars play would result and at that exact moment I grew up. I was no longer that adult who beat the kids to the store to clean out the toy shelves so I could add a rare piece to the walls of my man cave. I appreciated what it meant to be a kid who loved Star Wars and really THAT is one of those moments where you just know “The kids (MY Kids in particular!) will be alright!”

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So just two days out from December 18th my family and I have a stack of movie tickets to Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens and that former 3 year old son is now 15 and cannot wait to see the newest Star Wars film. My wife is also a pretty darn big Disney fan who enjoys a yearly trek to Disney World in Orlando to attend Star Wars Weekends and gets just as excited as the boys to meet the characters! Her Facebook profile is of her wearing her Star Wars T-Shirt posing with Chewbacca! Hows that for geek love..how can you not love a woman like that!! Then on my other side is my latest child who is six and during his many visits to Disney has defeated Darth Vader twice and Darth Maul in his last outings at Jedi Academy Training at Disney World. He is a fan as well with a great Lego Star Wars collection plus the family inheritance of the remaining portions of our collection!! I feel I have become Ghost Obi-Wan, My 15 Year Old Son is now Jedi Luke, and my youngest Offspring is Finn!! Generations of Star Wars love…The Force Is Strong in our Family..My Wife has it..My Children have it…and by god..I STILL HAVE IT!!

 

Well this is where I stop and get off..it has been my honor to share the passion I have for a Galaxy Far Far Away and all the characters that I really love to this day. I hope that tonight you and your significant others turn on one of these movies and you enjoy it as much as a fanboy I once knew in the early 80s whose every minute held his Luke Skywalker figure close and imagination ran wild!

Transmission Ended..

For MORE Super-Hero Satellite Star Wars fun read all past Star Wars posts from yours Truly, The Charlton Hero! Enjoy!

Be sure to check out the rest of the Super Hero Satellites own Star Wars related posts!!

Star Wars Logo

May The Force Be With You!!

Star Wars: The Disney Menace

Star Wars: The Marvel Comics Years

Star Wars: A Caravan Of Ewoks

 SBTU Crawler

Longbox Graveyard: Star Wars Card Trader Enter The Galactic Graveyard Here..

The Retroist: The Force Was Strong With Star Wars Records Nobody Does Retro like Retroist!! CLICK HERE!!

Between The Pages: A long time ago in a bookstore far, far away….
Go Between The Pages..CLICK HERE!!
Son of Crapbox Of Cthullu: The Crappiest Comics In The Universe!! CLICK HERE!!

(Mystery V-Log) Cap N Cummings YOUTUBE Channel : My Personal Star Wars History Unveil The Mystery..CLICK HERE!!

Bronze Age Babies: Star Wars: Season of the Force
Visit the BRONZE AGE now CLICK HERE!!!

Superhero Satellite: Star Wars Episode 7: The Toys Awaken.
Hey..You are already here!!

In My Not So Humble Opinion:Star Wars Sketch Book In MY Opinion you should CLICK HERE!!

 

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Welcome Back Heroes..a huge thanks to everyone who joined us for the last round of Super-Blog Team Up.  Hopefully if you were new to The Super-Hero Satellite you like what you saw and will once again join our mighty crew to race back into the glorious 1980s for more Retro adventures. Satellite File: In 1981 Mattel Toy Company developed the first glimpse of the Masters Of the Universe Toy-line. Their plan however would blaze trails. It would be the first show based on a toy-line and TV series that would air in unison with each other.

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Begin Transmission: Feb. 20 2015

I may have been one of the biggest Masters Of the Universe in my home town. I had a great collection of figures, vehicles , Play-Sets and animals. I was a big He-Man fan and the He-Man and The Masters of the Universe animated series was a staple in my home. I digested all the MOTU as I could. I devoured the television animated series from Filmation. To this day when I see the scrolling Filmation logo and chime… it means He-Man! I loved the Masters of The Universe comic books from DC and Marvels STAR Imprint. The Marvel Masters Of The Universe title maybe the single best Masters title out there and was 100% faithful to the source material of the cartoon! Plus my figure collection could stand up to anyone else’s in my home town. I thought I knew it all about the original Masters Of The Universe collection. I knew about every character..episode or comic book. If there was a trivia competition I would have bet the farm on myself…To Clarify my knowledge stopped at the original series. After its cancellation in the late 80s I did not keep up my level of fanaticism for the newer updated series in the 90s-2000s.

 

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That said..I knew my stuff…that is until I heard of He-Ro: Son Of He-Man and The Masters Of The Universe?? You may as well wonder what I am talking about. After the cancellation of He-Man and The Masters Of the Universe Series a prequel(She-Ra: The Princess Of Power not forgotten either!!) was in production without He-man in the lead role! Confused? I think its time we fill our data banks with knowledge. He-Ro originated as the proposed lead character of a new series “The Powers Of Grayskull”. At the very end of the Masters Of The Universe toy-line a prototype action figure of a brand new character called He-Ro…who at this point was NOT meant to be He-Mans son..but rather a relative who was not the most powerful man in the universe like He-Man..but rather the most powerful WIZARD in the universe…weird huh?

 

 

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“Powers Of Grayskull” would be a direct prequel to the He-Man and The Masters Of the Universe series that in the mid eighties, had reached its life expectancy. He-Ro was a figure prototype created to showcase the new lead star of the show..the Wizard, He-Ro. Interestingly enough poor He-Ro had two specific origins both totally unrelated. The first of which was as a direct ancestor of He-Man. The Powers of Grayskull show itself would be based in “Preternia” the precursor to what would become Eternia….essentially it was its prehistoric predecessor. It promised to deliver the complete back story to He-Man and the entire Masters Of The Universe lineage. All He-Mans secrets would be revealed. Like He-man himself, He-Ro was the secret identity of the man known as “Gray” would hold his hand to his chest and utter the words “Magic & strength tempered by heart..I stand For Peace “ and would transform into the “Mightest Wizard In The Universe”..He-Ro!

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The line was cancelled before many of these properties went into the development stage. The 1987 Mattel Toy Catalog published pictures of the proposed toys from the “Powers of Grayskull” line, including an action figure of He-Ro. Three of the dinosaur toys from the line actually made it to stores, and the two “giant” action figures saw release as exclusives in Italy, but He-Ro was never released as a toy.

 

Powers Of Grayskull figures

Though much has been speculated concerning the character in the intervening years by fans of the He-Man franchise, He-Ro remains as much a mystery today as he was in 1987, when a perplexed He-Man was forced to ask, “But who is he?” The show died before it was green lit and the concept was seemingly aborted..that is until Lou Shiemer, the original shows producer ,took ownership in creating a brand new sequel a few years later that would be known as HE-RO: Son Of He-Man and The Masters Of The Universe.

 

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This time the rules changed. In fact everything about He-Ros origin was washed away and now He-Ro was now actually He-Mans adopted son rather than a descendant  and did NOT live in the Pre-Eternian age but rather after the events featured in the original Masters Of The Universe television cartoon series. As the story goes He-Ro was raised in the plush jungles of Eternia by an indigenous creature known as a She-Bearcat who found the child shivering in the jungle and took him in as her own and raised him until his teenage years. He-Ro who took on the skills and senses of his jungle family could not only speak english but could communicate to the animals as well. He had heightened senses of speed, and smell and took on the acrobatic skills of his jungle friends and could swing through the jungle like an Eternian Tarzan. His animal mother passed on, as a result orphaning He-Ro to the Jungle once again. Meanwhile Adam , who as we all know as He-Man, is  for-told of the boy who would one day take his place as the holder of the Power Sword of Grayskull. He-Man climbs aboard his friend Battle Cat Kringer and summons his trusty friends Man At Arms and Orko and heads off on a blind quest to find this folklore legend “The Lost Child Of The Jungle”.

 

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The Wild Child is No Myth..

 

 

He-Man, after the events of MOTU TV Series had defeated Skeletor and his army, had married Teela and now reigned over Eternia as King and Queen. History of Pre-Eternia and several other concepts post TV series were seemingly dropped from cannon.What is interesting is that Shiemer had written an actual ending to the original animated series in which He-man with the help of The Sorceress not only defeated Skeletor and his goons but vanquished him off of Eternia in a frozen state never to be seen or heard from again..

 

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The Original Ending To Masters Of The Universe.

 

 

 

That is until Skeletor discovered a way to free himself of the spell of the Sorceress and He-Man. He then gathers his original army and begins a march upon Grayskull but not before hearing the tale of the Boy would be the new Most Powerful Man In The Universe..He-Ro..or at this point, the Lost Boy. Was this a mere legend? Could this possibly be true?…Parties in both good and evil camps could not risk the other finding out. So a parallel search begins with Skeletor and his army of thugs hunting for the same mystery child that He-Man and friends are searching for!! This potentially mythical “Wild Child” was now the crux behind the power struggle for Eternia.

 

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The BOSS is Back..

 

 

Skeletor’s hordes included some familiar faces such as his heavy Beast-Man, Evil-Lyn, the aquatic warrior Mer-Man (Who appeared to have taken on one of the most dramatic look changes) and Trap-Jaw (who literally does not resemble the mold of the original character!) Many more would be involved (not pictured) Such as ToungeLashor, Odar (Like Skunk face??), Missle -Toe, Evermean (a plant-based villain) and a metal toothed character named Saw Tooth.

 

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Skeletor’s army

 

Skeletor is first to actually find the Wild Child and begins poisoning his mind right away.  He tells him that He-Man and his friends being responsible for his mothers demise!!! Skeletor sets up shop on the top on the Mountains Of Fire (No Snake Mountain??) and sets a series of traps and obstacles in He-Mans path. Meanwhile Skeletor and the evil Sorceress Evil-Lyn have all but cast a spell over the Lost Child and are slowly weaning him to their dark intentions. He-Ro swears revenge on He-Man and his friends. He-Man and friends battle all of Skeletor’s hordes and manages to succeed in getting past the traps and enemies standing in the way of the child.

 

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“We Have The Power!!!”

 

 

Finally, an age-old rivalry is reborn as Skeletor and He-Man go to war one more time with the fate of the child hanging in the balance. Now aligned with Skeletor and his army, He-Ro finds out in short order that Skeletor is not what he says he is.  The Evil warrior brutally almost kills He-Ro’s bird friend, Craven while attempting to get to He-Man. The Wild Child lays his life on the line to defend He-Man and his friends and with all their forces combined, Skeletor and his army is driven away!! He-Man and the Eternian warriors return to his kingdom with the child. From there the boy is adopted by Adam and Teela and is named officially Dare. In an interesting note, by the age of 13 He-Ro is now resembling a hero he is able to seek the heroic transformation from Dare to He-Ro with the magical power sword bestowed to Adam years earlier. What is surprising is that only in circumstances of extreme situations He-Man and He-Ro cannot appear together..only one or the other can transform at a time. Only in dire times the dual transformations can occur as they share the power sword and repeating their individual transformation tagline and “We have the power!” .

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He-Ro would have lots of help defending his fathers Kingdom!

 

He-Ro, like He-Man in his prime was surrounded by a great supporting cast. Some familiar faces make up He-Ro’s new contingent of Eternian Defenders. He-Ro’s answer to He-Mans love interest Teela of course would be Kay-La. Like her mother she has an affection for strong men not weaklings like Dare. Joining the supporting cast would be Ram-Man, who was a carry over from the original MOTU cartoon. He is seen in a revised state here with improved armor. As an aside Ram-Man, was always one of my favorite original MOTU action figures!!

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Ram-Man, A crude but great figure from the original Masters Of The Universe line.

 

 

The cast included a couple of newer characters as well that would have been easy money for Mattel at the toy stores..Air bag and Forklift!! (Not so sure on the Air Bag name..but I digress.) With them as well would be a very “Metamorpho” (Editors note: Metamorpho is a classic DC comics Super-Hero) looking Man-E-Faces who like Ram-Man, was also a classic MOTU character re-imagined!! Of course old favorites like ORKO (Not pictured) would return as well!! This would be Eternia`s finest! So back to Dare and Kay-La..

He-ro Supporting cast

 

Dares love interest is very similar to He-Mans and Teelas, who, not coincidentally, was the Daughter of Man At Arms. Well looks like that runs in the family as Dare is paired with Kay-La, Man At Arms Niece to be taught the ways of the warrior. At first Kay-La thinks that this assignment is a pure inconvenience but grows to respect Dare. With a new cast of Heroes we are off to the races…this new version of He-Man was ready to hit the mass market…Toy companies would have had a new batch of MOTU to line the shelves of retailers all over the world..the classic Filmation Logo would have tinkled across the screen for another trip back to Eternia ..but it was not meant to be. The concept would go no further than Lou Shiemers “He-Ro and the Masters Of the Universe Bible”..and the project was permanently shelved when the production company DIC didnt express any further interest in developing the series. fans who want to read the complete details on this project by all means check out http://old.he-man.org/cartoon/exclusivefeatures/exclusive-heroseriesbible-intro.shtml for the complete production proposal!!

Our time on Eternia is almost done Heroes…it is time to head back to the iso-quarters of the Satellite and shut down the archives for a short time..until we return with the next installment of Super-Blog Team Up where we tackle…well..take a look for yourselves!!

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Take care Heroes..see you soon when the SBTU Returns for round 6!!

 

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End Transmission.

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Super-Blog Team Up has returned for its 5th installment bigger and better than ever. Multiple Blogs Unite Under One Banner, With One Topic, To Shatter the Blogosphere To Its Core! This time we have not only grown in size but rather have many more new ways to enjoy the S.B.T.U. through a plethora of multimedia, from our original Blog format, to V-Blog, to the Podcast arena..Super-Blog Team Up is back...this time we discuss Parallel Universes and Alternate Realities..The Super-Hero Satellite will be unleashing the multiple realities of Marvels STAR Comics line from 1984. The Satellite will go to familiar places such as Eternia (He-Mans home world as discussed in SBTU 4!!) to Thundaria, To The Moon Of Endor all the way to the Palace of Royal Roy..Strap in Heroes..its time to go back to a world created to print money and put smiles back on kids faces.Could these world possibly have ever truly ties into the Marvel Universe as we know it? The answer is YES!! So before Marvel relaunches this year..this is a celebration of a part of the old Marvel Universe that is often neglected..

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Welcome Back Heroes,

In 1984 I was just beginning my comic collecting venture and my collection was in its infancy. I had not yet come to terms with a defined favorites list outside of the usual suspects like Spider-Man, Batman and Archie. Every now and then something outside of these titles would rear its head in my collection as was the case with Harvey comics. Occasionally an issue of Ritchie Rich or Sad Sack and The Sarge would grace my book shelf and welcomed they were! Those not familiar with the comic publisher Harvey here is your 10 second catch up. In 1941 New York publisher Alfred Harvey created Harvey Comics, a company that found its legs in the licensing market. They were all about purchasing character rights from Paramount Pictures and Famous studios cartoon favorites such as Casper The Friendly Ghost, Mutt and Jeff and my personal favorite the comedy war book, Sad Sack to name a few. It would be their original characters that would be their eventual drawing card for years to come. Ritchie Rich, Hot Stuff, and Wendy The Witch would be among the company’s flagship books well upon till 1982. While the comics market itself was in flux, change was in the air as kids titles and things such as funny animal books, popularized in the 50s and 60s were out of vogue. The industry was preparing for a big change into books tailored for a more mature audience. The comics buying audience had seemingly moved on from kids books and was about to grew up as a result Harvey comics founder Alfred Harvey retired from publishing in 1982 and closed up shop behind him selling off some of Harvey’s properties. Marvel Comics expressed interest in buying up the rights to the Harvey properties and with talks sitting in limbo they decided to launch an entire brand separate from their own Marvel Universe proper..thus was born from the ashes of Harvey Comics..The Marvel STAR Comics Imprint!

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The STAR Comics Imprint model was not a new one..in fact it was the exact model devised by Harvey Comics in the 1940s. It would begin with the acquisition of licensed properties mainly from the exploding 1980s Cartoon Line Ups and Toyline’s at the time. (Satellite Cheap Plug..Read all about the Cartoon Explosion of the 80s as well as Hot toy properties of the 80s in link provided Super-Hero Satellite: R.I.P. Saturday Morning Cartoons.) The STAR line actually began with a One shot that parodied one of Marvels most popular titles, Marvel Tales. The Book, not yet under the STAR banner was the debut of the flagship character of the entire line..Peter Porker, The Spectacular SPIDER-HAM!!

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Marvel Tails acted as a test launch for the brand and was a trial run for the Spider-Ham character. One more licensed property would be used to launch the brand and one that would ironically not resurface after the launch… was popular 80s Cartoon show The Smurfs! These three apples high blue dwarf like creatures called Smurfs would officially be the first STAR imprint based property acquired by Marvel. (Smurfs never officially wore the STAR banner on its cover but were the first true grab for the imprint. The 1982-83 three issue Limited Series was directly based off of actual cartoon episodes as well as older foreign Smurfs publications. The importance of getting the Smurfs property cannot be understated..this would be the first of many HUGE acquisitions for the potential future of the STAR line.

Smurfs STAR

So it would begin in the July of 1984 (Cover Dated November 1984) STAR Comics would begin with yet another unusual title a 3 Issue Limited Series based on the Family Motion Picture The Muppets Take Manhattan.

STAR Comics Officially Debut!

It would officially debut the STAR Comics Imprint Logo in the Corner Box officially giving STAR Comics a beginning. It would be 5 months later that we would see what STAR Comics would actually look like! In an interesting choice of promotion, the original STAR Comics promos would feature their original characters over the upcoming licensed characters which would be Mammoth in scale! So the world was introduced to the likes of Planet Terry, Wally The Wizard, Top Dog. Spider-Ham also officially joined the fold as an ongoing character!

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Licensing up to this point had been a very profitable venture for Marvel with smash successes of the likes of GI Joe, Transformers, Smurfs and not so much with Starriors. (*Nothing wrong with Starriors gang!) A very unheralded toy and comic book! Starriors fans unite!! LOL..Okay forget that. Moving on..bottom line licensed properties made money so Marvel was willing to build an entire universe around it!!

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The line roared to life with a number of Hot properties five months later but stretched their debut over a two month period. Entry titles included Fraggle Rock, Heathcliff, Planet Terry and Strawberry Shortcake were released in the first month to a good reception. Month two launched The Ewoks, Get Along Gang, Muppet Babies, Royal Roy and Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham

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Month two launched The Ewoks, Get Along Gang, Muppet Babies, Royal Roy and…my personal favorite of all the STAR Original core titles..

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Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham,,

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Of Particular Interest to me in the entire line were the original characters so for anyone wondering what original characters that the STAR line created..well look no further..Satellite pull up the STAR file on the video wall for our Heroes to observe!

The original titles had all were “inspired” more than anyone would care to admit, however Marvel really did their homework to capture the genre. Below we discuss the STAR Originals, what they were about, and what their inspiration was.

Spider-Ham

Spider-Ham: The title was a straight up parody of Marvels lead franchise player Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man. It was truly well done and the titled lampooned the real Amazing Spider-Man title very well but modified his origin like you would not expect. Peter Porker, you would expect to be a pig bitten by a Spider, but Marvel changed course and actually started Peter Porker as a SPIDER who bit an irradiated swine one, May Parker. (May of course was a parody of Aunt May in the core Spidey titles!) and transformed into a spider power pig himself! This would later be contradicted in Spider-Ham #6 when a flashback shows Peter being raised (As a pig NOT a Spider !!) by his Aunt May! This would never be clarified. The title had the full cast of characters to parody such a J. Jonah Jackal (J. Jonah Jameson), Mary Jane Water Buffalo (Mary Jane Watson), The Cravengers (The Avengers) The Punfisher (Punisher!), and The likes of The Hulk Bunny (The Hulk..duh!). The title was Bi- Monthly and notoriously lasted a mere 17 issues which was surprising to this writer as I always assumed that this would be STAR’s flagship title!It would be another anthropomorphic Funny Animal would fill that slot as longest running STAR title….Heathcliff the cat!  More on that later. Spider-Ham would not disappear though as he would return in a reprinted back-up story in Marvel Tales for several issues. Spider-Ham would go on to appear on an episode of Ultimate Spider-Man as well as a video game, fill in data.

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Planet Terry: The gimmick is that the name of the book is a play on words related to the word “Planetary” This familiar looking character was greatly visually inspired by Harvey Comics characters but was original all at once. Based in deep outer space, Terry as a child, was mistakenly launched from his parents spaceship into the outer reaches of space. His parents fearing the worst assumed that Terry and his space ship were done for and moved on with their lives. They were wrong. Terry and his spaceship, The “Space Warp”, actually survived intact and would begin a star spanning search to find his parents. Joined by a female Robot rescued from a junk heap named Robota and a large Lizard skinned alien Omnus. Terry scans planet after planet to find his parent but discovers that his journey will not be easy. In fact after only 12 issues Planet Terry was discontinued with STAR Comics and the character or the fate of his search was never revisited and remains one of comics lesser known incomplete story arcs. (Side Note: All Original STAR Characters would see print once again in the Marvel X-babies title in a brief updated appearance) Several hints and references to the Marvel Universe in the book indicated this title is happening in or parallel to the Marvel Universe proper of 1984-1985! The design of Planet Terry was directly imagined by former Harvey artist Lennie Herman who used a very familiar look Harvey Comics style look for the character. This was a deliberate as Marvel who had been in talks with Harvey Comics to buy out some of the existing Harvey properties after they closed their doors however as patience wore thin in negotiations, Marvel not willing to wait any longer, decided to create their own “Harveyesque” cast of original characters. This move that would get them in legal hot water out of the gate and almost doomed the STAR lineup from the get go..because of the next “Original” character..the notorious..

Royal Roy 6

Royal Roy: Lets be straight up..Royal Roy was a DIRECT carbon copy of Harvey’s Ritchie Rich The Poor Little Rich Boy character. Like his inspiration Ritchie, Roy was similarly surrounded by wealth. Ritchie had a girl friend named “Gloria Glad“..while Roy had her clone” Crystal Cleer“. Ritchie had “Mayda Munny” who always attempted too swoon him out of his wealth..Roy had the oddly similar “Lorna Loot!” the writing was on the wall for Royal Roy as Harvey Comics took legal action on Marvels STAR Imprint citing that the Royal Roy series was a copyright infringement on the Ritchie Rich property. As it was..Royal Roy lasted a mere 6 issues before the plug was quickly pulled. The idea of making an in-house version of Harvey’s properties was seemingly a bad idea..and Marvel found out the hard way.

Ritchie vs Roy

From money vaults to Magic, Dragons and Princesses in distress..

Wally 1

Wally The Wizard: This title lasted 12 issues and harkened back to the days to wizards and magic. It took the Harvey formula once again and tried to adopt some Disney tropes to introduce young wizard Wally! Using all the medieval classic stories from the Sword and The Stone to The Princess and The Frog, Wally The Wizard was one of the weaker entries to the line and never really seemed to catch fire. It told the story of Wizard Marlin (A play on Merlin!!) whose young adventurous apprentice Wally and his friends Conrad and Jay get into plenty of magical hijinks.

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Through battles with dragons, water monsters and his main antagonists Vastar the Vile and the Wicked Wizard ,this child wizard has his hands full!! Wally competes in tournaments, journeys to the top of mountains, and casts all the spells you can imagine. Wally’s one inspiration is Princess Penelope of whom Wally simply came to her rescue at every turn! This title had little to offer in the way of originality and was not on many people’s priority lists. This title is not terrible and for its target audience of 5-12 year old’s there was enough in here to keep pages turning. From The Penthouse, To The Castle all the way to the Dog House..The next Original STAR Title may have been its most original..even though its run was a tragic 14 issues…lets jump into The Secret Life Of..

Top Dog 1

Top Dog: From somewhat unoriginal ideas to one of STARs most unique properties..we get Top Dog , a uber- intelligent, talking dog who is also a former government intelligence agent and now Super Spy! Living and teaming up with his human confidant Joey Jordan. Joey swears to keep Top Dogs background and abilities a secret! The duo is a proverbial super team, ala Batman and Robin and go on many undercover spy adventures. As the series progresses we learn much more about Top Dog and his past life as government agent extraordinaire “Mr. X”!! Other characters crossed over with Top Dog like the afore-mentioned Royal Roy, and fellow talking anthropomorphic animal, Heathcliff The Cat!

Top Dog #10

Top Dog was an interesting case study as it is the one title that seems to legitimately fuse the original Marvel Universe directly to the STAR Universe. A direct crossover with Spider-Man (A costumed knockoff!!) in a story that actually contained the true blue, Peter Parker. Unlike Planet Terry..it not only teased a connection to Marvel Proper but was deliberate about it.  Amongst these adventures were several crossovers with other Star Comic characters such as Heathcliff and Royal Roy. The One story that involved a Spider-Man team-up way the crown Jewel of the series. Although it was actually an actor in a Spider-Man suit, the real Peter Parker does make an appearance. The series ran for fourteen issues after which, the character continued to make appearances in Heathcliff comic books (starting in issue #22) in both crossovers and backup stories. The ambiguity between STAR’s existence in the actual Marvel Universe is still a debate. Most however. discredit these comics as funny “What If” style stories that happened outside of cannon. Thats okay..it still does not take away the joy of STAR Comics. While we would be here for a while if we had to cover all comics produced in this line I will go through my personal top five titles outside of the STAR Originals! Satellite..pull archives..display TOP FIVE..

(Computer)Verifying…Checking..Displaying..

Ewoks 2

5. Ewoks: If one has read one of my all time favorite posts that I have ever written for this humble little blog you would appreciate my love for 1980s cartoons. Few did I enjoy more that tuning into the Droids-Ewok’s Hour. Ewok’s the Star Title continued the joy of the show and delved into new original storylines and the artwork remained consistent enough to make it feel like a good follow-up companion to the TV show. Ewoks would perform better than most STAR titles and lasted a total of 14 issues!

Check out The Super-Hero Satellites  super post on The Ewoks Television Movies!! Super-Hero Satellite: A Caravan Of Ewoks

Droids 1

4. Droids: The best Star Wars cartoon ever on TV! Droids packed a punch..but that didn’t translate on the printed page! Lasting only a mere 8 issues The Adventures of R2-D2 and C3P0 was one title that I loved grabbing on the shelf..however Star Wars fans did not flock to the shelves in as many numbers as Marvel would have would hoped. It continued original stories based on the Droids cartoon show but the biggest drawing card was the John Romita artwork! The series finished with a three issue continuing story that featured Darth Vader and was actually quite good! If you were a fan of the original Star Wars Marvel Series then do yourself a favor and grab Droids 6-8! You are welcome!

Karate Kommandos

3.Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos. When a group of kids and martial arts superstar Chuck Norris team up against the ninja terrorist organization known as VULTURE the result is..a Four issue STAR Comic series! That’s right..Four Issues. Matters are made worse when you discover that Marvel legend Steve Ditko was the artist during his dieing days as a Marvel Artist. The Comic Books based on The 1986 Ruby Spears cartoon show Chuck Norris Karate Kommando’s was also a very popular Toyline at the time..so how could it miss right? Ditko was not on his game and seemingly phoning it in with small odd jobs around Marvel who had not been giving this amazing artist any high-profile work. Sadly Karate Kommando’s was one of his last official Marvel works outside of his excellent Speedball series! The artwork was very loose and almost devoid of any intricate details and felt very dated. One can only speculate how much effort Ditko put forth given his Inevitable exit from the company a short time later. What was sad was that the TV series itself was only 5 episodes!! A show and comic that lived on in the hearts of comic book fans..well at least this one fan!

ThunderCats_Vol_1_1

2. Thundercats: This title despite what anyone says about the STAR line, it was a case study in how you do a licensed property based on a Thundercats Saturday Morning Cartoon and famous Toyline. Original fun stories that matched the joy of this excellent cartoon. Issue one will always register in my memory banks for its bombastic cover. It was one of STAR’s longest running books coming in at a very respectful 24 issue run over 3 years! The title would begin like many STAR books in Bi-Monthly format but after 8 issues it was deemed more popular than imagined and went monthly until its 24th issue! This one had it all..engaging storyline’s true to the source material, great artwork to match, and killer hard to resist covers! I ran to these books as a kid..even though sadly it would be much later before I got to see a full episode of the Cats! Due to my location in Canada Thundercats was not found on local cable in many markets during its original run! What is the deal Canada..seriously? Fortunately the YTV network and much later Teletoon gave us all the vintage ThunderCats we could handle! Great save!

MOTU1

1. Masters Of The Universe: Okay, so there were many He-Man related titles from many companies but this one nailed it! The cartoon was amazing and no title recreated the magic of the cartoon than this particular series. Original and faithful are the best words to describe this book. The cartoon built to sell toys gelled well with this great title. It was filled to the brim with all the a MOTU fans every wish. It had the most obscure characters featured..it was loaded with the amazing line of castles, vehicles and worlds of Masters Of the Universe. The final two issues of this issue series were the Death and Re-Birth of He-man and absolutely were the best books in this series. He-Man fans out there..if you do not have this series in your collection you should not call yourself a fan!

Other Titles in The STAR Collection:

Air Raiders (1987–1988; #1-2 under Star imprint, continued under Marvel imprint) Airlandia is in grave danger. The Evil Tyrants of Wind have taken over of the planet’s air supply. Cue the heroic  Air Raiders, the only ones brave enough to fight back against the evil tyrants. A war for the freedom of  Airlandia begins in these pages.

 

  • Animax (1986–1987) Warriors in Amimax gear battle to claim power in this lame duck series that lasted only 4 issues. Riding the coattails of Thundercats and He-Man this uninspired mess was thankfully as shortlived as the comics!

Bullwinkle and Rocky (1987–1989; #1-2 under Star imprint) A Moose and a Squirell who foil dastardly villains in globe-trotting adventures. Nuff said!?

Care Bears (1985–1989; #1-14 under Star imprint) I may or may not have enjoyed this show as a kid..CareBears Countdown 4-3-2-1~!!! What ever happened to Professor ColdHeart?

Unofficial STAR Title. Count Duckula was always positioned as a STAR title but never had the imprint on their covers.

  • Defenders of the Earth (1987) 1-4 Written by Stan Lee that pulled together many pulp heroes of newspaper strips and golden age comics! Flash Gordon, teams with The Phantom (Billy Zane!!) Mandrake The Magician and more. Based on the excellent cartoon of its day!

The Flintstone Kids (1987–1989; #1-4 under Star imprint) lasted 11 issues! One of the stronger runs for STAR Flintstones Kids was a HOT property at the time! Documented the Flintstones days as kids in Bedrock!

Foofur (1987–1988; #1-4 under Star imprint) Lasted on 6 issues. Comic book based on the 1980s Hanna Barbara cartoon of the adventures of Foofur, the giant blue dog.

Heathcliff’s Funhouse (1987–1988; #1-5 under Star imprint) Lasted 10 issues. Based on the classic Newspaper strip as well as 80s cartoon property. The Heathcliff character would be one of STARs only properties to have TWO titles! FunHouse lasted 10 issues!

  • Hugga Bunch 1986-87 (#1-6). 80s Toy Property makes its terrible comics debut. Comic featuring the adventures of the Hugga Bunch, who live in Huggaland and want to have fun and show everyone how happy hugs can make them. Yikes!

  • Inhumanoids 1987 (#1-4) A group of scientists, strapped inside high-tech suits of armor, explore the catacombs of the earth and discover that ancient evil creatures called the Inhumanoids lay in wait to rise up and conqueror mankind.

Madballs (1986–1988; #1-8 under Star imprint) When a Mad Scientist creates monster like balls and unleashes them on the earth you get the super fun MadBalls!

The Official Adaptation of the 1987 Masters Of The Universe Movie starring Dolph Lundgren. Yeah this movie was pretty bad..and the adaptation did not do anything to improve that image. All the same..it was He-Man on screen..how bad could it be!??

Meet Misty (1985 Marvel/Star Comics) #1-6 Its Stars Answer to Barbie and a nod to Archie’s Katy Keen. Meet Misty was a 6 issue mini series. Misty was an attempt to win over the teenage girl Barbie buying demographic.

Silverhawks (1987 Marvel/Star Comics) #1-7 Based on the TV series of the first super androids ,who come to the rescue as the galaxy is in trouble. Commander Stargazer calls Earth for help and Earth sends their new team, the SilverHawks, which consists of Quicksilver, the Copper Kid, Bluegrass, Steelheart and Steelwill, to battle the evil forces of Mon-Star. Not as great as it sounds. Great toys though!

 

 

Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light (1987; #1-2 under Star imprint Based on the very good animated series in 1987, as well as a very unique toy-line. Visionaries was a short-lived but fondly remembered property!

 

Prior to the final demise of the Star Comics imprint four more series were in development yet were never published..

  • “Commander USA”
  • Christy
  • Little Wizards
  • Young Astronauts

So the STAR Imprint now a distant memory and todays Marvel Universe (2015) on the verge of a world shattering Reboot of their universe, one will wonder if any of these worlds will ever be explored again.  Marvels use of licensed properties has always been a huge part of their business model, the question remains will there ever be room in the Marvel U again for simple fare such as what was offered by STAR! It was a simpler time and the Marvel Universe was a place not tied to a cinematic universe..or an ultimate universe..it was simply fun…and as a kid..thats all we cared about.

Satellite..punch in coordinates..we are headed to the outer reaches of the Blogosphere to meet the rest of the Super-Blog Team Up members..strap in..hold on tight…

FOLLOW THE REST OF THE SUPER-BLOG TEAM AS WE CONTINUE OUR JOURNEY TO PARALLEL UNIVERSES AND ALTERNATE REALITIES..Click the links below..and tell em Hero Sent ya!!

 

1.Amazing Spider-Talk / Chasing Amazing / Superior Spider-Talk

Spider-Man Reign

http://wp.me/p1wQNx-21n

http://wp.me/p1wQNx-21n

http://superiorspidertalk.com/category/podcasts/amazing-spider-talk-podcasts/

 

2. Between The Pages

A Tale Of Two Cities On The Edge Of Forever

http://betweenthepagesblog.typepad.com/between-the-pages-blog/2015/01/a-tale-of-two-cities-on-the-edge-of-forever.html

 

Bronze Age Babies

Things Are a Little Different Around Here…

 http://bronzeagebabies.blogspot.ca/2015/01/super-blog-team-up-things-are-little.html

 

3. Firestorm Fan

Firestorm on Infinite Earths — Countdown Arena

http://firestormfan.com/2015/01/28/sbtu-countdown-arena

 

4. Flodo’s Page

An Earth-1 / Earth-2 Team-Up Featuring Green Lantern

http://flodospage.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/the-ballad-of-two-green-lanterns.html

 

5. In My Not So Humble Opinion

The Many Worlds of Tesla Strong

https://benjaminherman.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/super-blog-team-up-5-the-many-worlds-of-tesla-strong/

 

6. The Legion of Super-Bloggers

Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes

http://legionofsuperbloggers.blogspot.com/2015/01/star-treklegion-of-super-heroes.html

 

7. Longbox Graveyard

X-Men #141 & 142: Days of Future Past

http://wp.me/p1yye7-2AY

 

8. The Marvel Super Heroes Podcast (i.e. part of Rolled Spine Podcast)

Epic Comics’ Doctor Zero

https://rolledspine.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/the-marvel-super-heroes-podcast-episode-029/

 

9. Mystery Vlog

Marvel & DC’s Secret Crossover: Avengers #85–86 (1st Squadron Supreme)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxVHXYjEgpE

 

10. Superhero Satellite

Marvel Comics’ Star Comics Line: Licensed Reality and Parallel Properties

http://wp.me/p2N3Qb-qZ

 

11. Ultraverse Network

Parallel Worlds: The Ultraverse Before and After Black September

http://ultraversepodcast.com/2015/01/sbtu-black-sept/

 

12.The Unspoken Decade

5 Batmen, 1 Superman, ZERO HOUR

http://theunspokendecade.com/2015/01/28/sbtu-presents-5-batmen-1-superman-zero-hour/

The Ghost in the Machine:Robocop Versus Terminator

http://theunspokendecade.com/2015/01/28/the-ghost-in-the-machine-robocop-versus-terminator-by-emily-scott/

 

CaptainPowerSHSHeader

 

*ATTENTION HEROES* The Satellite has sustained excessive battle damage on its latest journey into retro..our travels to 1987 has created a wormhole in the space-time continuum and we seem to be temporarily displaced. Ensign..bring up coordinates.

Ensign: It seems our coordinates have taken us not back in time Captain but rather years into the future..its 2147..and it appears we are being attacked by machines known as “Bio Dreads!!

Bringing up Shields..activate Satellite Tactical Systems ...It seems the damage sustained will not keep us in orbit long..we need to land Earthside and find the one human who can help us.. Dr. Stuart Gordon Power. Sending a team down to locate the Doctor and get the technology to repair our hull..take care Heroes..Suit up…POWER ON!!

Transmission Date: Oct 24 2014

 

CaptainPowerSHS

 

In 1987 our version of the future was your regular idea of flying cars and robots. The world had advanced as far as 8 Bit graphics on a Nintendo system in your living room so the flying car and robot society were only alive in our biggest fantasies. Yours truly was a big fan of “The Future” so Movies like Back To the Future, Star Wars, RoboCop, and Terminator were enough to fuel this 13 year olds mind. So in 1987 when I caught wind of Mattel’s new line of Futuristic action figures called Captain Power and The Soldiers Of the Future I could hardly wait! I had bins of figures from GI Joe, Star Wars and Go-Bots that these new toys would be a much welcomed addition to the collection. I had gotten my first taste of this new line of Toys on the back of my favorite literary companion..The Comic Book.

The Toyline and commercials teased that the Toys would be interactive like nothing else ever seen. With select toys from the line, many proud owners could play along with a VHS tape bundled with the Toy and could purchase others to continue the fun. The big drawing card however was the kids could play along with the Television series!! Thats right. If you owned the Captain Power X17 Power Jet or its arch nemesis The Phantom Striker you could engage with the television by shooting at glowing markers on the screen. The catch was..THE TV SHOT BACK!!  Certain parts of the show especially the end credits enemies fired bright blasts at the viewer that triggered the sensors on your toy and your toy “EXPLODED”…well at least your action figure in the cockpit would be ejected! This was revolutionary and I wanted these toys!! I had to find out all about this show! As mentioned many times on this blog..Canadian TV networks did not carry many U.S. shows but us Canadians finally hit gold as Captain Power was actually a Canadian made series!! Saturday Afternoons on NTV The Cap and his Soldiers of the Future aired!!

 

So it would be in the afternoons of 1987 I managed to tune into Captain Power and the Soldiers Of The Future a series created by Gary Goddard/ Tony Christopher for LandMark Entertainment Group. The series itself actually went two seasons for a total of 22 episodes which in its day was pretty remarkable in the waning days of Saturday Morning cartoons. The show was a visual spectacle that meshed live action with some of the earliest computer generated animation!! The result was ground breaking!!

“Captain Power And The Soldiers Of The Future Earth, 2147. The legacy of the Metal Wars, where man fought machines—and machines won. Bio-Dreads—monstrous creations that hunt down human survivors…and digitize them. Volcania, center of the Bio-Dread Empire; stronghold and fortress of Lord Dread , feared ruler of this new order. But from the fires of the Metal Wars arose a new breed of warrior, born and trained to bring down Lord Dread and his Bio-Dread Empire. They were “Soldiers Of The Future”–mankind’s last hope.”

 

Yes a show set in the future about a group of futuristic soldiers fighting a dark enemy who use sophisticated machinery to take over earth!! Great idea right!! Sure was..however it may have been over the heads of its audience at the time. The Saturday Morning generation was still alive and well and kids still rose from their bed early to catch a virtuoso of cartoons for almost 7 hours on the Week. While we dug into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Alvin and The Chipmunks NTV gave us the post apocalyptic Captain Power.

 

 

It was not standard Saturday Morning uplifting fare..instead we got a dark, brooding violent futuristic drama. The reaction was mixed even at times downright HOSTILE. Many kids who flocked to toys stores gathered around the screen and played along with the show loved the product! However parents groups sought to get Cap and friends off the screen ASAP! The violence on the show was pretty excessive for what people were used to at the time. My thoughts? It was perfect! The insertion of CGI really added a layer of novelty to the show. Computer Animation was in its infancy and seeing animated characters and effects blasting back at you on my 32 inch TV was epic!

 DreadEmpire

 No great Sci-Fi show can be considered great unless it has a great foil..a BadGuy! Lord Dread fit the bill! He was Captain Powers version of Darth Vader! Part machine..full fledged madman Dread literally attempted to merge himself with technology in his quest to take over the world like any good Superbad would do! In my own opinion the casting for Dread was curious as I always felt he simply looked like the proverbial Old man!  Most scenes with Dread were mostly non action scenes of Dread in his chair giving morbid speeches and cursing Captain Power for foiling his latest efforts of world domination. Dread action figure looked far superior to the live action version. Check out the pic above as the Bio Dread Empire looked great in their action figure likenesses as well!!

 

But Dr. Power's closest associate, Dr. Lyman Taggart(David Hemblen), became impatient with the slow pace of the project and hooked himself up to the system, bringing the supercomputer to operational status. With the new opportunities offered by the human-machine combination, Taggart becomes obsessed with the precision and "perfection" of machines and convinces himself that merging human consciousness with mechanical bodies is the next step in human evolution. OverMind achieves self-awareness and shares Taggart's beliefs as they take over Bio-Mech armies throughout the world and attack humanity in a conflict known as the Metal Wars.

Former college of Dr. Power closest associate, Dr. Lyman Taggart(David Hemblen), became impatient with the slow pace of the project and hooked himself up to the system, bringing the supercomputer to operational status.
With the new opportunities offered by the human-machine combination, Taggart becomes obsessed with the precision and “perfection” of machines and convinces himself that merging human consciousness with mechanical bodies is the next step in human evolution. OverMind achieves self-awareness and shares Taggart’s beliefs as they take over Bio-Mech armies throughout the world and attack humanity in a conflict known as the Metal Wars. (Credit Wikipedia)

 

The shows superbads Lord Dread had 2 completely CGI counterparts the first of which was called SOARON who was a “An arrogant, crafty and intellectual warrior whose total confidence in his flying skills is completely justified. Merciless and cruel by nature, Soaron – who stands just under 7 feet tall – enjoys the sport of war and is fond of playing cat and mouse with enemies.Soaron has a mainframe designed for speed,agility and firepower. His arsenal includes the Digitizer, Photon Blasters, Reflexor Missilesand Implosion Bombs. Soaron can deploy enough firepower to destroy a small city !” (Credit: http://www.captainpower.tv/soaron.html) Soaron was the Winged Bird Like Sky Sentry who was the most prominent of the two CGI henchmen however if you had the toy his blasts were very bright making certain his shots connected with your ship in some form or fashion!

 

Soaron-solo

 

Both Soaron and Blastaar worked together, but dis not see eye to eye despite their programming. Soaron the higher powered of the two often reminded Blastaar of his inferior build there was a clear rivalry between the two. As action figures both were standout parts of the collection and had some of the most unusual molds of the bunch! More over these characters represent a very early look into CGI as we would come to know it today! Many may site these as crude examples of animation but in 1987 this was THE FUTURE!!

Blastarr

Back to the show itself…it lasted one single season as mentioned before, landed a very handsome 22 episodes before ceasing production. The airings on my local television network NTV were not consistent and the time slot changed several times during its run even moving the show to 6:30 evenings. The shows production was seemingly doomed from the start as parents groups lobbied for the shows cancellation due to its gritty violent nature. Looking back this was truly not normal Saturday Morning Cartoon suitable. Most of the shows had an alarming amount of warfare, laser fights and even a death of a core character Corporal Jennifer Pilot Chase in the final episode of the show! Satellite Video screen please..show our viewers the archival footage..

 

 

 

 

There were adult themes everywhere and what  was intriguing was the series had mapped out a second season , one that would never see production and its a shame. The mystery second Season according to head writer of the show in an interview would have seen the Captain relinquish his leadership to Hawk only to go on a revenge mission to avenge the death of Jennifer Chase! Several new characters would have been introduced to the show including a new female to replace Pilot named Chris “Ranger” O’Connor, who was to be a new love interest for the Tank Character. Another character who had been introduced earlier in an episode of the show was set to join the team an appropriately named Chip “TNT” Morrow.

 

The series even had a planned ending in which Captain Power and Lord Dread (Who sees the error in his ways!) both agree that Overmind, the controlling force over all Bio-Dread tech has a hidden agenda that involves even the destruction of Dread himself. Uneasy allies come together to save humanity once and for all and end the wars! Sounds too good! Sadly it was not meant to be, ratings sharply declined and the toy fad died fairly quickly. With no episodes left to run and production of the interactive VHS tapes over with the Toyline fell apart as well. The show which attempted to capture two audiences both young and old had done an incredible job of NOT  garnering either! The show, as mentioned earlier was lobbied against so many kids were simply not allowed to watch. As for the parents or adults, statistics showed what was obvious to us all in that few adults want to watch a show that kids used toys to play along with. Captain Power was a show that literally managed to alienate both target audiences! The shows production costs had ballooned to 1 Million dollars per episode which did not compute with networks who fueled their Saturday Morning Line Ups with cheap animated cartoon shows that produced a much more cost-effective yield. The times in the 80s, plus its target audience was all wrong and Captain Power would abruptly go offline. Captain Power was one of those shows that many remember however due to the fact it was so different from anything on TV at the time. and many collectors are still on the hunt for Captain Power memorabilia! We here at the Satellite love toys as you know..so lets all take a look at the backbone to the show..the awesome friggin toyline! First the core characters..The Soldiers Of the Future!!

 

 

Captain Jonathan Power (Dunigan), Inventor of the incredible Power Suits, a One man war machine and natural leader of the team!

Major Matthew ‘Hawk’ Masterson (Peter MacNeill), The winged soldier who assisted the team in air strikes! Also if a second season had been issued would have taken the leadership position in the Soldiers of The Future!

Lieutenant Michael ‘Tank’ Ellis (Sven-Ole Thorsen), My personal favorite outside of the Captain. Tank was the muscle of the team. Ground assault unit.


Sergeant Robert ‘Scout’ Baker (Maurice Dean Wint), The “Breaker” (GI Joe Reference!!)  of the group..espionage and communications.

And Corporal Jennifer ‘Pilot’ Chase (Jessica Steen), tactical systems expert. and the only character to DIE officially in the final episode of the show!

My main concern with the figure line was that the figures themselves were not as durable as you would think. The pin connection used for joints were notorious for breaking so it was not uncommon in this time to have one or two Captain Power toys with a missing forearm.

The toys standout as they looked amazing compared to any figure on the shelves at the time in 1987. They toys fit directly in line with popular action toy-lines of the day such as GI Joe and Star Wars but had a unique design that just stood out! Each toy were suited up with a shiny plastic armor! The figures literally jumped out at you on their card! Each of them had a completely different design and didn’t rely on the clone moulds like GI Joe toys utilized as a cost cutting measure. Each one had awesome armor, were fully articulated (No swivel armed grip sadly!) and of course came with great weapons! My favorite was the gold armored Captain Jonathan Power toy..this one stood out like a gem in the collection with his flashy gold armor and seemingly a semi automatic weapon!!??! Of course what good was old John without his ride..Ladies and Gentlemen..

 

THE POWERJET-XT-7

PowerJet XT-7 collage

I loved the PowerJet XT-7 so much..it was my drawing card to the show honestly..I wanted to shoot the screen and defeat Lord Dread myself! If only Star Wars had X-Wings like this with an interactive Death Star…but alas I was left with the good Captain..In truth I would love to tell the readers of my enjoyment opening the XT-7..however I would never own one…Instead..I had THIS..

The redheaded stepchild of Power Jets..

LORD DREADS PHANTOM STRIKER..!!??

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Yes, the wonderful folks at our local retail store did not have a passion for replenishing stock at key holiday times leaving this bad boy in stock while everyone wanted the PowerJet. That said our household had a toy that could finally interact with the TV screen! Both ships had the EXACT same function so that alleviated some of the disappointment. I fondly remember stocking that black badass ship with its required batteries and waiting for the show to come on!! Of course it would be a couple of weeks before the show would air due to Captain Powers random schedule and holiday preemptions. So as it would the stars would align one Saturday afternoon and I slapped on the good Captain…..and it was horrible. The light sensor technology was the same style used on Nintendos light gun games of the day where bursts of light dictated your enjoyment and playability. So depending on a variety of factors from room lighting to the contrast on your TV the toy may or may not work. As well..you truly never ever got any true sense of victory as the show rolled on despite you hitting all targets dead on..yet your character somehow ended up on the floor very easily. It was like the game cheated. Large blasts from the show, usually from that cheap skate Soaron, would easily be considered a hit towards your ship with no way to dodge without covering up your sensor on your ship! Facts are facts though..the toy did what it was supposed to do..it was just very deceiving in its delivery. I want to be clear though..Captain Power toys were great..heres a few more!

The Power Energizer!! The Beacon of hope for Captain Power..basically it managed to shine a light through the good Captains chest. The central Power Battery for Cap! I had this as a kid..not sure really what I ever did with it!

 

The Trans-Field Base Station! Never had this in my collection but darn sure looks great! Lord Dread should be concerned!

 

The “Trans-Field base sets sure looked like they were pillaging you for every dime! Any Soldier Of the Future needs a gigantic Computer Station right in the middle of the Battle Field!

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Dread Fights back with the ultra cool INTERLOCKER!! If you didn’t have a show to watch you could battle your Captain power toys and blow each other to smithereens with toys like these..all light sensor enabled!!

 

The Captain power Power Base!! Had no idea this even existed. The stores in my area did not carry such a thing!! Seems cool though!

 

 

The Power Base exposed. Looks pretty cool plus has the interactive light cannon that the ships had so this Power Base looks like a winner! Anyone have this as a kid?

 

The Whole Collection looked great when presented together!!

Is it me or was the Bio-Dread army seriously misrepresented in the toy line?

Late entries in the line brought these very cool co-play toys and one smaller Cap vehicle! However many areas did not get these items shipped so many fans never saw these particular pieces!! Love Tanks blaster!!

The Blastpak 1200?

Scout figure

An addition to the team was Scout baker. This second series figure is one not often found in childhood collections and is in fact considered one of the most forgotten figures!

 

 

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If its obscure Captain Power merch you are looking for..there were none rarer than these toys. This pic is from a 1988 Toy catalog and featured some very rare Captain power Merchandise including the Sky Bike, Dread Commander and Dread Trooper, and Bio Dread tank!!

Captain Power merchandise expanded beyond the toyline…but just barely. It is one of the most fondly remembered toy lines to barely break the surface with extra merchandising outside of toys. There were Captain Power lunch boxes..comics, and of course a video game!

All hail the Captain Power Comic from Continuity Comics in the late 80s which featured probably the best Neal Adams art you will ever find in a licensed book!!

 

 

 

One would be remiss to forget the VHS collection that worked hand in hand with the Captain Power collection. These movies were filled not with an incredible story but mostly a lot of blasts and interactive material to play well with the vehicles!

 

One would not dare go to lunch without THIS awesome Captain Power Lunch Box!! I am sad to say I never had this gem!!

 

In the madness of the 80s technological revolution we were playing the NES or The Sega Master system..The Captain Power Video game never made it to those systems instead in a highly unusual move Captain Power was given to the dying Commodore 64 PC as a Video game? I am sad to report that not only is this game rare but boy did it suck..dont take my word for it..check it out!

This encapsulates the bulk of the Captain Power material that was ever made available and I must say I surprised myself with some of the merchandise that actually existed! If this is your first time seeing Captain Power in any form then you are in for a treat! For the long time fans I hope this whet your appetite for a good stroll through memory lane. A cool place to check out some of this merchandise is through friends of this blog, New Wave Traders! Mike and the folks there love to buy and sell all things Retro , so if you like toys video games, accessories, and other cool stuff like Captain Power merchandise just go and visit their website below! Tell em Hero Sent ya!

 

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http://newwavetraders.com/

Check out their Captain power Collection here!!

http://newwavetraders.com/captain-power.html

It appears our systems are back online team..Lord Dread is still at large but we will have to leave this mission in the hands of our friends the Soldiers Of the Future…its back to our time. Buckle in heroes..its time to go home..

 

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Welcome Back Satellite Subscribers!

All Heroes report to the briefing room, you are all about to get your flash memory sync on classic 80s toys..Today we got a rare one for you, Revells 1983 Action Figure LinePOWER LORDS!! Revell was a popular plastic model company who made its fortune off of model cars which up until 1980 was a very lucrative business in North America as well globally as well. The plastic model market first showed sign of drying up and thus the effects were felt on the company’s bottom line. Revell looked to expand outside of the model market and create new and exciting properties which would keep the company profitable. One of the waters they chose to test was The lucrative Action Figure market which was booming in the 1980s. The Result was Power Lords: The Extraterrestrial Warriors.

 

E.T. The Extraterrestrial had won audiences hearts at theaters in 1982 and so the buzzword in the early 90s was Extraterrestrial. Revell was a model company that made many models for lines such as Star wars and many sci-fi based themes so it only made sense to play in the science fiction toy pool. So came Power Lords. The story in a flash :

Adam Power an Earthling (A fact which is in dispute as the DC comic book series hails Adams planet of Origin as Toran!) is chosen to get the most powerful piece of cosmic bling this side of the infinite gauntlet..THE POWER JEWEL so he is able to ward off the intergalactic threat of the insectoid Arkus and his alien insectoid hordes! The Jewel gives Adam the power to transform himself into a powerful extraterrestrial, and joined by Shaya, The Queen Of Power and Sydot the Alien intellectual they are on a mission to save the world! Sounds amazing huh?

The actual promotional campaign for the toys was not great but Power Lords seemed to click with their target audience, The Saturday Morning Cartoon demographic..which was me! Damn right! Revell had high hopes for these toys and launched an advertising campaign in all the usual suspects like comic books and select TV spots! The actual commercials and ads said little about the actual origin of the characters and there was never an animated series to follow-up the toy line which was suicide in the 80s. If you were not on TV or the silver screen your concepts fell on deaf ears. Despite minimal promotion..Revell felt the early launch would be a success. Revell even published a document or media flow chart for potential sellers of the products and investors that dictated the “invasion” of the Power Lords brand on the toy market! If I was in a board room looking at these figures I would have thought this toy line was the second coming of Star Wars.

 

But were the toys any good? The answer in one mans opinion was yes and no. They were over-sized and didn’t play well with popular lines of the day such as GI Joe and Star Wars. Their uniqueness was a standout feature there was nothing on the market like them! Each toy had a unique action move that was triggered by depressing a button usually located on the lower back of the figure. Adam Power himself with a flick of his back-switch completed twisted his torso to become his unusual alien counterpart “Lord Power”. The figure itself was unusual because no matter what form you had Adam in, the other side of him was visually exposed on his backside! Adam resembled an incredibly alien like conjoined twin. (Thats not a knock on those kids,god bless them, that`s just what it looked like!) Others were less unusual, Shaylas hidden form was concealed by a hood and cape, Arkus wings flapped and Gripptogg simply turned his head to reveal another alien head!! You get the point! The molds were also made of very hard plastic with very little give plus the joint screws were not replaceable if one came loose so if a Power Lord broke..good luck to ya. My Adams arms met a cruel fate but were revived two more times thanks to the fine folks at Crazy Glue! The Crackle for Lego Movie fans!

Power Lords had some very basic vehicles like the Power Ship (Creative name!) and Trigore, The Creature Crusher which looked like some one threw up a lizard. Both toys were awkward and didn’t really play well as well it was a minor struggle getting the figures in or on these machines. These would improve in the next generation of Power Lord toys.No Toy Line would be complete in the 80s without a great play set! Masters Of The Universe had Castle GreySkull and Snake Mountain, G.I.Joe had the PITT and The U.S.S. Flagg..and Power Lords had Volcan Rock! A Volcano play set with computer technology that was simply great!! See for yourself!

 

 

 

Power Lords didn’t hit massive hysteria like peaks that Revell had predicted and was not on every lunch box and T-Shirt, but did manage a second wave of figures and vehicles. Wave two upped the caliber of Vehicles but the figures themselves did not continue the theme of the original line and adopted patterns often found in popular figure lines such as Masters Of the Universe. The Part man, Part Machine ,Beast Machines were VERY inspired shall we say. Check out Beast machine Savor and tell me that isn’t He-man!! So close that some one in creative should have been worries that the copyright cops were close on their heels!

 

As the line expanded so did the volume of vehicles and characters. Without the support of another comic book series or cartoon show, few fans (outside of diehard collectors ) recall the second generation of Power Lords and their newer bigger better and badder vehicles!

Power patroller

 

The Power Transporter and The Power Patroller were two very cool toys for the collection! The Transporter was actually a double for a carrying case which was all the rage in the era! If you had a serious collection like Star wars or GI Joe or even Barbie you had a carrying case or some sort! Power Lords were no exception. The transporter was a Spaceship case, slick white, which held up to 10 Power Lords!! Sadly only a prototype was ever made and it never saw official production! The Power Patroller presented a slick single glider style vehicle for Adam Power  who was one of the few Power Lords that could actually fit in this ship! Spyzor The Adam Crusher (Which was a horrible name). yet another disappointing vehicle for Arkus. The vehicles were a big upgrade however for the collection and far superior to the original Power Ship and Trigore!

 

PowerLordsGen2 badguys

Generation 2 featured obscure Power Lords , Bakatak, Tork, Drrench, and Disguyzor. Very Master Of The Universe like, these characters did not have the market penetration of the first wave but served to up the rogues gallery for Adam Power and his small group! In addition to the Beast Machines Adam Power was grossly outnumbered!! Sadly both versions of the second wave are not often referenced when discussing the Power Lords collection and were left off the 2013 Power Lords reissue.

 

Powerlords mini playsets never produced

 

Boulder Blaster, Trap Rock and The Exploder were also three very cool but unproduced mini playsets for the collection that was only ever shown in the Revell Toy catalog in 1984, Alas in 1984 Power Lords went away as quick as they came and these were the last of the toys produced at the time!! Power Lords however did carry on into other meduims…most notably the Comic Book World with DC comics launching a 3 issue mini series of the property of which I owned two issues! Thats right I have never finished that series and dreaded the fact that I had the opportunity to complete this collection several times in the past and passed up on the opportunity stupid like! So as my cheap plug..if any super fan of this little blog has an extra copy of the mini and would love to gift it to old Charlton Hero here I do accept gifts LOL!

 

DC Powerlords comic collection

 

The Power Lords franchise also found moderate fame in the gaming world with a reasonably rare board game!

The description on the box reads..”

You are Adam Power. Using the Power Gem, you become Lord Power, a being of supernatural strength!

“The evil dictator Arkus, and his monstrous servants, Raygoth, the Goon of Doom, and Gripptogg, the four fisted brute, have taken over a starbase near the edge of the galaxy. Arkus must be stopped. You must make your way through the space maze, acquire a secret weapon, and gather your allies. Shaya, the Queen of Power and Sydot, the Supreme do battle with Gripptogg and Raygoth and prepare for the ultimate conflict with the evil Arkus. Accept the challenge, fire up your power ship, and jump into hyperspace. Meet your enemies and drive them from the galaxy to win for all of us.”

 

 

I did not have the honor of buying or playing this gem of a board game so if anyone out there has a review on this thing by all means send it in on the comments section on this post! The board featured first generation Power Lords characters and some decent artwork. The picture of Adam Power on this board is pretty hilarious!

No collection is complete without a coloring book!! Notice how Adam looks different again in this artists depiction!

How about the Power Lords puzzle!! Seems Revell TRIED to make the most of this ill-fated toy-line!

The Coup de Gras of all Power Lords merchandise was The Power Lords: The Extraterrestrial Warriors video game for the Odyssey 2 video game console!!

The game got a mediocre review and upon reviewing the game play looks like a whole lot of Power Ship flying around killing a giant snake. Hmmm..Not the best. Perhaps a prototype that was unreleased for the Probe console and The Atari VCS would have been better. The Atari version was not much better and featured two alternating screens but basically was no wonder why it did not make an official release.

 

In 1984 Power Lords were benched. Revells big new property was a mere flicker in the scope of the universe. Power Lords however had a devoted following who kept the concept alive. In 2013 4 Horsemen Toys re-released the Power Lords line to great fan fare at SDCC in 2013. They and are currently available at the Four Horsemen Studios online store.

 

Climb on to your Power Patrollers Power Lords and lets re-engage on the deck of The Satellite. Our time in 1983 has been well served but we have other years to discuss so strap in tight..Till next time subscribers..This has been Super-Hero Satellite. Hope you have enjoyed the journey! By all means feel free to leave a comment below, or contact me on the Twitter  and use the #SuperHeroSatellite

 

 

 

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Flash Transmissions #4 Sectaurs: Warriors Of Symbion!

Transmission date: April 22 2014

 

Intercepting a faint transmission from a distant planet. Lock on target..destination the Insect Planet Symbion..Home of the Forgotten clan of Sectaurs..

“On the distant planet Symbion™, a genetic experiment fails. Frightening changes take place that cannot be stopped. The result—a world where insects grow to frightening proportions. A world where the inhabitants have taken on the awesome characteristics of insects. Where the noble citizens of the Shining Realm are locked in mortal combat with the denizens of the Dark Domain. Telepathically bonded (telebonded) in combat, Sectaur Warriors join with their insect companions in the ultimate battle for survival.” Credit Sectaurs.com

 

When you think of Coleco many instantly think of gaming. Well as a kid I remember a friend of mine who had a Colecovision console which I wanted badly. Coleco also manufactured many of my favorite childhood video games and were highly regarded for their efforts in the early 1980s hand held sports gaming market!. Anyone remember Donkey Kong and Ms. Pac-Man?? Coleco was behind the launch of these 80s classics! I was lucky enough as kid to have several Coleco Table top Video Games such as Donkey Kong, Frogger, and Galaxian! That’s another post for another day! The gaming Giant also had significant wins in the toy industry as well..such as it was with their profit explosion with the giant Cabbage Patch Kid craze Coleco also tested the lucrative boys toy market with one of the often forgotten Warriors of Symbion..The Sectaur’s! I had no idea what in the heck these things were as my only exposure to the toys was on a TV toy commercial which was enough to sell me on the line and as it was one awesome Christmas at my house was dedicated to Symbion’s best Warriors, The Sectaurs!!

 

My one Sectaur’s regret is that I never owned a Dargon figure!! One of my friends at the time had the fancy silver series 2 figure that I always secretly lusted after but alas I never acquired the central figure to the entire collection..instead I had the second stringers..Zak, Mantor, Pinsor..and No Dargon!! The toys themselves came in cool windowed packaging and the deluxe figures came with highly detailed fur covered insects that the Sectaur’s could ride on!!

The insects were mounted on a black glove that you could put on your hand and it was your fingers once inserted that would resemble the insects legs!! The insects design were very well done! In-fact if you were stumbling through a bin of old toys it would be the Sectaur’s insects that would stop the common man dead in his tracks. The deluxe sets were amazing and if any of my subscribers has one to give away (Shameless plug) Old Charlton Hero here will certainly help a brother out!

 

 

As with all cool toys of the day they also were backed by Marvel Comics and had a short but great Comic Book series! I collected several of the comic books but I was unfortunately not living in a community known as a hotbed for comic collecting and missed several issues that I later grabbed at a “Nice Price”! Issue #1 was like salt in the wounds with a full blown Dargon cover!! I still love this cover to this day and wonder would Sectaur’s last if released today? I guess we will never know..This writer says YES!

 

Satellite Extra: Even though this is a Flash Transmission not intended to be a long post..for the hell of it I will include all 5 episodes of The Sectaurs mini cartoon series!! Take care Heroes! Enjoy!!