Posts Tagged ‘Action Figures’

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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.

Star Wars Early Bird Back

(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.

PofP Coupon

 

 

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.

Early Bird Stickers

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!

Impossible eBay Auction

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!!

 

Falcon

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! The Satellite is very pleased this month to indulge into something that three years ago when I started this thing, was intended to be one of my first topics. Every time I would begin to write I felt I wasnt doing it justice so I finally decided to jump into the fray. As we sit in the briefing room of the Satellite we must become acquainted with the art of war. This Satellite is about to touch down in 1980s Springfield..

SHS Computer

Computer: Captain, this destination is NOT recommended ..Springfield at this time is under occupation..

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Hero: *Smiles* That’s why we are going there computer…initiate landing sequence..

SHS Computer

Computer: Captain, my programming is telling me to inform you this is no ordinary threat that surrounds Springfield..its a terrorist organization known as COBRA!

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Hero: I have a feeling a few friends are about to show up to help rectify the situation…all together with me shout.. “YO JOE!!”

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From Toys to The Page…

I Was introduced to GI JOE initially by the 1982 Marvel comics series G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero. On the way to a summer camping trip on a stop over to a local Pharmacy (Thank You Budget Drug Mart) I scored me an issue of G.I. JOE #2 to take along for long trip ahead. I was hooked! G.I.JOE must have been huge in my home town cause those books were available EVERYWHERE! Not the usual suspects like convenience stores and pharmacies..these crept onto magazine racks in smokeshop’s in Woolco and coloring book racks at Dalfen’s! I could not wait for each issue to hit the stands! I grew up with Hawk, Stalker, Scarlett, Flash, ZAP, Breaker, Clutch, Rock N Roll, and Of course..Snake Eyes!! The Original Joe’s always had a special  place in my heart to the point that when newer Joe’s were introduced I rejected many of them up front if they replaced my originals in the comics!

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The marketing team at Hasbro were smart enough to realize that the more characters they created..more figures could be made and more stories could be written! As a G.I. JOE fan in the 80s we got super served!! Both toy shelves and comic book pages were lined with scores of new Joe’s every few months..but this was something different. The Toy company for the first time used the comic book as its creative foundation!  Many criticize “Toy Books” in the comics industry as being just a cheap money grab that are usually short-lived. Only a small handful were successful like Micronaughts, ROM and of course STAR WARS which all are remembered in high regard. It was the G.I. JOE comic that would forever set the pace for changing the game of the stereotypical “Toy Book” that not only surpassed its life expectancy and expectations but it became the flag bearer for all licensed titles to come.

Gi Joe 1 When you talk how important a comic is to a franchise there is no better example than the Larry Hama written Marvel Comic G.I. JOE : A Real American Hero. This book literally dictated the toy line and the cartoon. Larry Hama MADE G.I. JOE and anyone who is a fan owes this man a debt of gratitude. Hama, at the time was a struggling writer fighting to get a permanent paying writing post at Marvel. On one fateful day he pitched an idea about a splinter group of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents consisting of futuristic Super Soldiers known as “Fury Force”. As with other jobs Fury Force did not get the green light but before the concept was dropped Hasbro came knocking. They were a toy company looking to relaunch an old property from the past G.I. JOE. G.I. JOE was an army based 12″ action figure line that was very successful in the 50s and 60s. Hasbro had the property evaluated but decided to partner with Marvel to develop a back story for their concept..and so was born G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero..and finally a full-time paying writing gig for Larry Hama.

 

Cobra Command Logo

 

In the meantime Hasbro representatives held court with with Hama, Jim Shooter, Tom DeFalco, Archie Goodwin, and Nelson Yomtov to hash out the direction of their new G.I. JOE concept. It was actually Archie Goodwin who came up with the concept of G.I. JOE’s number one nemesis..C.O.B.R.A.! Hasbro had not factored this enemy force into their original plans. It would be a meeting that Hasbro felt represented what they considered good for this new property and a partnership was born. G.I. JOE rested on the very capable shoulders of Larry Hama who would take great pride in making it work. Faced with the task of bringing character’s to life Hama jumped in and wrote elaborate profiles for each original Joe..much of which made it to the actual packaging of the action figures in the form of classified dossiers for each toy!

 

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Suddenly characters like Scarlett Clutch, Hawk and Stalker had detailed histories. These were not your generic army men..each Joe had personality! Clutch the VAMP driver from the toy line was a womanizing hotshot with a big mouth, Snake Eyes was a silent but violent Ninja with a deep history and a romantic interest in Scarlet. To add an extra layer Hama wrote Snake-Eyes physically unable to tell her his affections due to a war injury that left him speechless. Each one of these characters were something special and were far from generic.

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Hamas first 10 issues would be your classic one and done sort of issues with Herb Trimpe manning the pencil duties and making Joe jump off the pages! Issue one for example featured two short stories. Operation : Lady Doomsday was the official story-line debut of the new and innovative G.I. JOE team in the pages of G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero Vol. 1 #1 in 1982. Some highlights of the first 10 issues were issue #2. As mentioned above the classic Joe’s Snake-Eyes, Scarlett, Stalker, and Breaker are sent to the North Pole on a recon mission where they meet  a special operative named Quinn who is having problems with the terrorist organization C.O.B.R.A.!!

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Issue four screamed to me on the shelves..one of my all time favorite G.I. JOE covers with a very simple group shot with Hawk in command leading the Joe’s into battle! This time the Joe’s REAL leader (Sorry DUKE fans) Hawk, along with Grunt (Who rarely ever appears in the pages of the book after this), and Snake-Eyes infiltrate a cult like military camp suspected of being funded by Cobras.

 

JOE 7

 

We were introduced in GI JOE #6 and #7 to a radical concept of a Russian version of G.I. JOE..the Oktober Guard who begin as bad guys only to join the Joe’s against a common enemy ..C.O.B.R.A. With the political Superpower race in the early 80s this concept of a Russian Military group being portrayed in a positive light was controversial for its time. Hama was given the keys to the kingdom and he made the absolute best of his situation. In these issues Stalker leads the Joe’s ( Scarlett, Clutch, Steeler, Grand Slam, and Breaker )on a mission into Afghanistan where they get into a three-way firefight with Cobra and the Oktober Guard. The teams set aside their differences and work together  to stop C.O.B.R.A. from getting control over a Top Secret weapon of Mass Destruction!

 

By issue six Hama continued to pump out great characters as we got our first two-part story..we begin to establish early signs of continuity. Larry was a military man himself and had served in Vietnam. As a result many of the character names and traits were said to have been based on those whom he served with as a tribute! Hama didnt stop at the toy-lines, instead he developed his own set of characters that existed in the G.I. JOE Hamaverse as it was dubbed. We meet Kwinn the massive Eskimo who has no love for Cobra, We meet Dr. Venom(Seemingly The Precursor to Dr. Mindbender) the evil genius behind Cobras experiments and technology. Believe it or not Cobras own femme fatale The Baroness, was a creation of Hama and team and was one character of which Hasbro created an action figure based on the comic book character!! Hama was one of the pioneers of showcasing strong women characters not only on the G.I. JOE team but for the bad guys as well! This fact attested to the strong female readership the title boasted during its run!

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No issue showcased this like GI JOE #9 The Diplomat which showcased Scarlett chasing down a Cobra agent who threatens the lives of thousands as the clock ticks in a fast paced manhunt that shows the girls could go equally as hard as the guys.

As great as the first 10 issues of the book were they were just scratching the surface of what this book would be. At this point G.I.Joe was a certified smash on the newstand and Marvel had another huge hit!! This was no “Toy” book this was a real comic that fans were passionate for..one that would only get better as time went on!

Cobra want you

The Rise of C.O.B.R.A.

The book would carry many central themes that would play out till the books end. First was the rise and self-destruction of C.O.B.R.A.! The origins of Cobra Command and their mission lay in the beginnings of a down on his luck sales man in the town of Springfield. This man hell-bent on making money builds a pyramid scheme that would eventually move from a capital building project to a massive bid for world domination. The elusive Cobra Commander would start from nothing but using his salesmanship to rally a small band of individuals  into a Nazi like cult of industrial terrorists who would begin a war on U.S. soil. Many of Cobras early missions surrounded them trying desperately to arm themselves with weapons of mass destruction only to be turned away at every turn by the Joe’s.

 

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Cobra Commander would go on to build his inner circle with three main unsavory characters. Early on we would be introduced to a weapons manufacturing organization nicknamed M.A.R.S. ran by the silver masked renegade named Destro. Not far behind was the sexy but deadly Baroness the director of central intelligence for C.O.B.R.A. and Destro’s love interest. To fill out his upper brass came the chameleon like Zartan. A master of disguise able to change his identity to perfectly match those he chooses to impersonate. There would be many more added to the mix but these three usual suspects would assist the Commander in all his deadly plans.

The interesting thing about Cobra Command as a group would be the inner turmoil. It was a terrorist organization always on the verge of Civil War. The key players in the organization were never able to trust each other which lead to many interesting stories. Cobra Commander would always be leery of Destro and the fact that he was the provider of weapons to Cobra and thus yielded a lot of power and influence. The two would butt heads many times and like an old married couple they would break up and reunite many times. To make matters worse Baroness was romantically involved with Destro so Cobra Commander could never truly trust her either. It would be Zartan that often proved to be the glue that secretly kept C.O.B.R.A. together. Zartan was instrumental in allowing Cobra their greatest victories over G.I. JOE. He helped them by infiltrating the Joe’s very headquarters and stealing secret intel that would be key to C.O.B.R.A.s mission. The unique dynamic between the central players would prove to be one of Hamas most exciting tools in his tool box when writing C.O.B.R.A.

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The Snake Eyes /Storm Shadow Dynamic.

I cannot recommend G.I. JOE #21 enough. Its dubbed “The Silent Issue” and its a simple story of Snake-Eyes attempting to rescue a kidnapped Scarlett from the clutches of C.O.B.R.A. and Storm Shadow in a castle. Not one word outside of the Title of the story “Silent Interlude” exists in this story and it a master piece of story telling!! It also tells us that no words are needed as the writer has given you all you need to know about these characters and you are completely absorbed in this collection of silent panels. Storm Shadow and Snake-Eyes were bona-fide stars in this book and their story is probably the most important one we see in the book!

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One of the most exciting things about G.I.JOE was Snake-Eyes. Clearly the most popular of all the Joe’s, the Silent Ninja Snake-Eyes would be written with high intrigue as his origin was a mystery that haunted readers during the early issues. Slowly Hama twisted the knife slowly revealing Snake-Eyes Story but not giving away the whole story. Snake-Eyes was a truly tragic character. Snake -Eyes would often run military missions with his close comrades Stalker and the man who would become C.O.B.R.A’s number one assassin..Storm Shadow!! A terrible accident would occur where Snake-Eyes would be horribly disfigured in a Helicopter accident on one tour of duty and left for dead. Ignoring orders Storm Shadow would come to his rescue and bring Snake-Eyes back to safety and out of the war zone. Snake-Eyes underwent serious facial reconstructive surgery to repair the damage to his face and heal his wounds of war but would never look normal again. To make matter worse upon his return home he was told that his parents were killed in a car accident leaving him with nothing.

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Snake-Eyes did not give up..in fact he accepts an offer to study the ninja arts with Storm Shadow’s family, the Arashikage Clan. Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow became brothers, battling for the attention the Hard Master. Snake Eyes was touted to take over the Arashikage clan in favor of Storm Shadow. Snake-Eyes turned down the offer noting the issues it would cause with his brother. It would be Zartan—on the direction Cobra Commander, who believed the Joe was responsible for the death of his brother—sent an order for the death of Snake-Eyes. Zartan using an arrow he stole from Storm Shadow mistakenly struck and killed the Hard Master. The Clan was officially dissolved and Storm Shadow and Snake-Eyes would from that point on be blood enemies  as Storm Shadow was now believe responsible for the death of the Hard Master. Upon returning to America the Sword brothers would be recruited by opposite military factions, Snake Eyes became a Joe and Storm Shadow donning a White Ninja uniform would join C.O.B.R.A.s ranks and were now blood rivals. This was truly better than I can do justice to describing it. Their respect for each other never goes from the book and Hama takes advantage of that every time these two characters are on the page..Good friends…fierce enemies..this relationship is pure magic in this book!!

 

The Revolving Door

Finally one of the most important themes in the book is The Revolving Door. The title essentially was still a “Toy Book”. The main focus of the book was a 24 page advertisement for the Hasbro Toy-line. Larry Hama did such a great job of writing it seemed the toy-line was based on the comic not vice versa! The reality was that Hasbro had to sell toys and as tastes changed the toys changed to meet the times. New characters, vehicles, play-sets all were developed that also had to appear at some point in the pages of the comic book for better or worse. As a result the cast often rotated. The Original 13 Joe’s that I loved so much did not make it 20 issues before they were replaced with new fresh Joe’s that Kids were buying on the Toy shelves. Main Stays like Snake-Eyes, Stalker, Scarlett and others remained but many were replaced…even their fearless leader Hawk.

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I remember some of the biggest changes such as when Duke officially took over leadership of the Joe’s over Hawk. The Rock and Roll’s and Breaker’s of the world were cashed in favor of fan favorites Road Block and Gung Ho. Steeler and Zap were replaced with Sgt. Slaughter and Shipwreck. Even Duke and Scarlett were put on the back burner for Flint and Lady Jaye. Every time however Hama made us invest in these newcomers and I loved them. The Aforementioned Duke to Flint switch was exceptionally tough for me to swallow. I had began to accept Duke as the Flagship Joe only to have Hasbro sneak Flint (Very temporarily) in that role…I didnt buy it. Sorry Flint..you suck..and your Lady Jaye too!

 

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C.O.B.R.A. was NOT Immune either. Replacements were all over the board. Storm Shadow was momentarily phased out for FireFly, Dr. Venom was killed off to be replaced with Dr. Mindbender. Even Cobra Commander at two separate times was unseated from Command of his own army. Once by Mindbender’s science project the very dumb Serpentor and was even once “Killed off ” and replaced by one of his own Crimson Guardsman Fred. Anyone remember the awful New Cobra Commander suit?

 Joe 59

Yikes. All in all the main cast were rotated back into the mix and the replacements took their rightful backseat. It would be the changes and rotations that would essentially begin the slow death of the title. As Hasbro began going off the deep end with new creations and variations on new characters the book began to feel less special and began to show signs of it being a “Toy Book”. C.O.B.R.A. brought in horrible characters like Boa (Cobras Boxer) , Croc Master (Cobra needed a Crocodile Handler apparently??) and the ultra stupid C.O.B.R.A Accountant,Raptor the teams very own Bird Man? Like every good project the G.I.Joe series suffered in this writers opinion due to a lack of creative direction on Hasbro’s design team who served Larry Hama a plate of crap to attempt to make a steak dinner but to no avail. The title of the book changed in its dying days in a last-minute hail mary to rejuvenate the title by having the book named after Snake- Eyes…and here it comes…Ninja Force!!!??

SNAKEYES JOE 135

 

Yes even Snake-Eyes who now led the title was saddle bagged with a neon  colored  Ninja team who simply fought neon colored foes in a spectacular heap of awfulness. As much as I hated it..the book I loved simply did not exist anymore. I kept buying though..no longer with the same vigor..if I missed an issue or two it was okay. Finally someone with good sense (Hama!!) stopped the Ninja Force experiment dead in its neon tracks…then it got WORSE. In a gimmick to save the book that s when Marvel went to the crossover well and Transformers appeared in a story arc with Snake-Eyes and the Joe’s teaming up with C.O.B.R.A. to cause havoc.

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I will give credit where credit is due..Hama attempted to go back to his roots with GI Joe in 145 with a return to many of the original team members but declining toy sales created desperation in new character development. Horrible concepts like GI JOE’s S.T.A.R. Brigadewere introduced…yes Joe’s special Space task force arrived sadly in the pages of the book. S.T.A.R. Brigade made Ninja Force seem like an Alan Moore project in comparison. The End was near…

JOE 146

 

The End…

Then IT happened. Long before the days of the internet there was no good way accessible to me to read up on future happenings in titles..so as I picked up G.I. JOE number 155 off the newstand a wave of sadness hit me as the caption on the top of the cover yelled “This is it..The FINAL Issue of G.I.JOE A Real American Hero. I was on my way to a friend’s house on my bicycle and that day at “Butlers Grocetreria” I collected  the Final issue of G.I. Joe. The only time I had ever felt like this was at the cancellation of the Marvel Star Wars title in 1986. Part of my childhood was killed off and I knew at that moment I would never collect comics with the same passion again..which remained true for many years. The book was more to be that 24 pages of throwaway action it represented every ounce of joy I had discovering the comic, and the action figures as a kid. It was a memory of the sheer adrenaline rush I had when the original mini series debuted on TV…it was a huge cache of memories that I kept alive with that one comic!!

 

GI Joe Last issue

 

I have a passion for the things I collected growing up but these particular comics gave me so many memories of what it meant to be a comic kid back then. Many kids these days wont have that same rush you get rotating that spinner rack and seeing that new issue of your favorite title for the first time and rushing home to see what great story was inside. Thank you to Larry Hama for making this simple Toy-line into a fond childhood memory. So as we head back into orbit I can’t help by throw my fist in the air alongside my comrades and yell a hearty “YO JOE”!!

 

Till Next time Heroes!!

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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..!!??

Review_Captain_Power_Phantom_Striker_1

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!

imterlocker

 

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!

 

 

88MattelCat

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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spaceages satellite

 

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!!