Posts Tagged ‘Retro Gaming’

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Welcome Back Heroes!! Fans of this here little blog know that when it comes to vintage action figures we could debrief all day. I have gathered the team here today in the viewing chambers for a very niche pocket of the action figure universe known as Adventure People. Settle in Heroes..OUR Adventure begins NOW!

When you consider the fact that my childhood was defined by action figures of the 1980s you will quickly understand why today’s topic is so vital to our meeting today. Like many I was raised on the classics, Star Wars, G.I.Joe, Masters Of The Universe were among my absolute favorites. Like all great toy-lines of the day these miniatures occupied hours, days and weeks of my youth. All of my friends were onboard as well. We shared the same interest in all the aforementioned franchises all of which boasted their own motion pictures, cartoons , comic books, TV shows you name it!!

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One toy line that predated them all had no such media offspring and literally existed unearthed in several of my friends toy boxes waiting for me to discover them. As was such a story as with the 1975 Fisher Price Toy Collection The Adventure People! These particular toys as we would come to find out were soully responsible for adventures to come in distant barbaric planets, on battlefields across the world and in Galaxies Far Far Away…The very Genesis of our playtime in the 80s with action figures could not have occurred without these 3 ¾ inch trailblazers. Meet Fisher Prices Adventure People.

 

 

 

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Transmission Date: Feb 23 2019

I constantly talk about being raised in a small town with little shopping options. I think I have established that fact in my blog chronology. Whats little know is that for the first 4 years of my life I was born in a VERY small town of Harcourt NL Canada. It wasnt until I was 4 that I moved to Clarenville, NL where I would live out my childhood and have my main growing up experiences. The majority of my action figure purchases spawned from that glorious Christmas season. While I did very well over Xmas in super isolated Harcourt when I moved to Clarenville my fortunes multiplied. I remember several of my first Christmas’s at 75 Memorial Drive, one in particular my parents went shopping and not so secretly picked out many of my Christmas gifts while I was THERE!! By bringing me to a store called Lovelesses. They had a selection of everything there including a mini Toy “Department”. Exactly 4 shelves of them to be perfectly clear. As I pointed and ogled at some of these cool-ass toys in front of me I remember pointing out the Weeble Wobble Haunted House as well as The Weeble Wobble Clubhouse. Both items became childhood favorites that far outlived their expiration as being GI Joe and Star Wars play-sets long after the Weebles went to toy heaven. As a couple of side gifts I also pointed out the Fisher Price Adventure People. They were two seemingly harmless Divers in lime green swimwear. There was a guy and a girl..I thought they were cool and guess what they magically appeared under the Christmas tree on our first Christmas in our new home! Who would have guessed Santa had been blessed with clairvoyance?

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I had no idea or context at the time what these toys were. I just knew they were fun to play with in the bathtub and that’s all that mattered.As time passed and I was in primary school I happened upon a strange kid with quirky hair and a different kind of look. When I think back he resembled Carmine Infantino’s Luke Skywalker in the 70s Marvel Star Wars comic book. His name was Leslie Card. “Lezz” as we called him became fast friends with me and we hung out all the time as he lived just a two-minute walk from my house. Lezz came from a small town from the west coast of our island of Newfoundland and as a result had an assortment of “Different” toys! I had become a good enough friend that I was invited to one of his Birthday parties and it was one of the first times in his home. It was a Blackstar party and we watched a Blackstar VHS tape as the main event! How amazing is THAT!!

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After this I frequented his house especially in the summer. It was common to just hang out in his backyard and read comics in his camper that his parents had parked in the back of the house while sipping “Hires” Root Beer. As we grew tired of reading books like Royal Roy, The Amazing Spider Ham and Wally The Wizard one day we drifted inside his house to his basement. Inside its cavernous interior of his unfinished basement / laundry area I noticed a fine stash of toys in a series of storage bins. While Lezz didn’t have the socially acceptable toys of the Town of Clarenville he had something DIFFERENT!! The first thing that grabbed me was that he had Micronauts…and plenty of them!!

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Instead of He-Man toys he had Blackstar figures. There were no Go-Bots to be found but there were Shogun Warriors! This was like bizarro world for me! That being said there were a few common Star Wars toys for good measure but a few things always stood out were a fleet of vehicles…toys that I had not seen before but looked mighty cool and became playtime favorites.

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In this one box I uncovered a Sports Van, a Plane, an outdoors recreational vehicle and more. I had these to be Tonka Toys before but these were different!! These toys could fit our Star Wars figures inside them!! I had no idea what these toys were but I did note that they were very well made and colorful. We played with them all the time that summer mixing them seamlessly with our other favorite toy franchises…I would later find out that these belonged to the same family of toys as my two Divers. Remember kids these two Diver toys in particular would become VERY important to the layout of the entire Adventure People line! More on that later!

 

Fisher price had not been known for their action figures. Prior to this Fisher Price handled mainly young kids with their licensed lines for Sesame Street and other properties. Typically these toys were targeting pre-school children and you could spot a Fisher Price toy from a mile away. No matter where you went, schools, day cares, Doctors offices, you name it, they had some sort of Fisher Price toy looming in its fibres. The classic pop maker, and The Fisher Price Cash register were commonly found everywhere.

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For myself I was blessed to have had two of the coolest playsets, The Fisher Price Garage and the Sesame Street Playhouse!! Both of these sets were long time stalwarts of the Hero action figure play time sets. These always doubled for other things during play of course. The Clubhouse was always a Cobra Strong hold as it was incorporated into my main line playtime. I always imagined these item as something else and that was half the fun.

Fisher Price Sesame Street Club House

 

The Parking Garage was an addictive toy that involved a multi level parking garage with a working elevator to the top floor. It boasted a ramp for cars to roll down to ground level and something so simple occupied my young mind for hours. Countless minutes spent mindlessly churning the elevator bringing my mini cars or ‘Dinkies” to the top floor and then rolling them down the ramp at a high-speed! These little cars which seated exactly one Fisher Price peg figure in its seat careened from the rampway of the garage across the kitchen floor to my delight. Mindless fun…but that was the trap of Fisher Price products. They were infinitely playable, incredibly sturdy and compact and stood the test of time while other toy lines often did not survive the rigors of the toy box.

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The Fisher Price figurines were iconic and unmistakable. They did not have 10,000 points of articulation…in fact the ONLY thing they could do was turn their heads! They had a peg like body with a shortened molded base to allow them to fit into their environments. The signature piece of them were the classic round head with painted face. Sometimes the heads had an accessories like a hat or a helmet which made them decipherable from others in the line. When I see these today I cant help but smile. They were incredibly basic, but that’s all 4-year-old me needed.

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Fisher Price however would not be content with simply letting their customer base walk away when they turned 6..they had to expand…they had to capture that lucrative 6-10 demographic that other companies like Hasbro and Mattel monopolized. Hence in 1975 Fisher Price unveiled a new brand of figures..a set that would change the way we play to this very day. It was here we were about see the beginning of the fall of the 12-inch giant toy..and things were about to get smaller..3 3/4 inch to be exact!!

Adventure People Store Display

 

Adventure People encapsulated a new shift towards action figures. Action figures and dolls mostly up to that point had been of the larger variety. G.I.Joe was a primary kids toy in the 60s and 70s with each figure looming in a 12 inch variety! The vehicles were equally as massive to fit this line. The Six Million Dollar Man line of figures debuting in 1975 as well continued on the 12 inch trend. For girls at the time Barbie was equally as sizable along with all her friends , vehicles and accessories. Big was the norm during this time so with Adventure People launching in its 3 3/4 format was considered radical at the time. The FOOLS!! No one would play with 3 3/4 inch figures…right??  Fisher Price was not known to dip its toes in the big boy toy market but maybe …just maybe kids of the 70s would want their adventures on a smaller more compact scale….and they would be RIGHT!!

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Meanwhile Kenner, the toy company known at the time for creating The Easy Bake Oven and The Spirograph was commissioned with the task of producing a line of figures for a new Science fiction movie that was by all accounts going to be popular…little did they know HOW popular. Mego another popular toy company of the day had recently declined the contract believing that this property would be a miss financially. They had already seen decline in general toy sales so taking a gamble at an unknown property was not a gamble worth taking. Besides this Star Wars thing was like all the other movie failures at the time right? That’s where up and comer Kenner came in, yet woefully unprepared to know the challenge that was ahead. The Christmas of 1977 would be a big challenge. There was pressure on to release a Star Wars toy line for the peak shopping season and demand for Star Wars was at a fever pitch. Kenner scrambled. Now you may ask..what does this have to do with Fisher Price Adventure People??

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Well when toy company designers rushed production of their figures there was no time to develop physical prototype molds as was typically done in the creation of a new line. Kenner associates instead took several Adventure People toys remodeled and repainted them into prototype Star Wars figure concepts to sell to the marketers for production. The Toys were green lit and the most successful line of action figures ever made was born…with a little nudge from the amazing Fisher Price Adventure people.

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The 3 3/4 inch action figure market exploded! Large scale toys such as Hasbro’s G.I.Joe, Mego toys and even The Six Million Dollar Man figures would all experience a sharp and sudden decline in the scale of their format. Some toys adapted with the times while others perished. On the surface level Adventure People were basic. None of the figures even had names. Which kind of worked out because pulling one of these very similar looking figures from the toy box and trying to differentiate them with a name could be a challenge for any 7-year-old. It was best off that we named them ourselves anyways! They were differentiated by their sex this group was strictly Male and female and also very super caucasian!?? The line not known for its diversity  DID include only one African American figure named “Male Pilot”(That had two variants) as well as a black female news reporter! They also had one very cool Native American male (Not pictured) as well but that was it! None o the three figures appeared as repaints later which was a little odd! I assume we will give them a pass for the times being what they were socially but this was certainly NOT the era of diversity in which we live in now.

 

They reused only a small number of individual molds to make their figures. By simply repainting them and adding accessories to make them “New” figures! Before everyone gets boo boo faced and accuses Fisher Price of  high crime, at the same time the beloved GI Joe 3 3/4 inch line did the same first when they launched . If you look closely at the GI Joe line you will notice that there was a great deal of head sharing going on. (Mind out of the gutters please we are talking plastic action figure heads people!!) Hawk, and Steeler share the same head mold. Clutch and Rock and Roll are the same guy with new hair and accessories!!! I noticed this with the Fisher Price gang as well! My Male Diver figure is also the most popular retread in the whole line as he moonlights as Male Swimmer, Male astronaut, Male TV Crew, Male Construction Worker, Space Commander, X-Ray Man…well you get the point!! No one even bothered to name them! There were other variants though few and far betwen like two female molds that played and a  host of different moldslike a race car driver, a cowboy, a Kayaker and a hang glider to name the most common assortment of Adventure People varities! All of these figures were built so they could easily be repainted and repurposed in another set! It was genius when you think of it!

 

Another peculiarity of this line were the hands. Each figure had a hand that fit onto some sort of vehicle or corresponding accessory. This was a neat feature as unlike other toy lines at the time when you placed a figure inside a vehicle they just sat there and could not grip the wheel merely sit. Not Adventure People..these figures were meant to drive,  work and heck even paddle a canoe down river and look the part! The coolest part of Adventure People however were the playsets and vehicles!! This is where play really began. Once you moved past the idea that your Mountain Climber, Male Swimmer and The Space Commander were the SAME toy then came the mega cool rides and you were over it!

 

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The awesome Daredevil Sport Van was one that was a common find in toy boxes around my town! The classic green color with motor cycle and kayak accessories made this toy a win! The wheels and general construction looked reminiscent of the Barbie campers of the day! These toys featured very basic but iconic paper sticker decals that made these vehicles stand out!

 

 

 

Fisher Price Deluxe sets often came with plenty of figures and extra accessories to play with. The complete Wilderness Patrol team was one of my favorites! One incredible accessory was the Pontoon Boat that paired with the Bush plane! But separate all the vehicles and you had a boat a plane and an all terrain vehicle! Hell they even stuck a Collie in this set for good measure!!

 

 

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The beauty of all these sets were they were super compatible with other figure sets of the day. Who would not have loved to have this super cool Rescue Truck for your GI Joe Medic Doc!! Come on you KNOW you would have!! How about Stalker and Gung Ho figures using all the cool Wilderness Patrol toys. These sets opened up new possibilities for your other toys that may have been collecting toy box dust!

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My favorite set of all the Adventure People line however was the amazing Space Collection. With Kenner cleaning up in toy stores with their Star Wars line and other lines like BattleStar Galactica trying to take a slice to the toy profit pie.  Fisher Price entered the fray with a solid entry into the game, Adventure People: Space

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Fisher Price as usual did not invest millions into making new molds for this new line of toys as with all other sets this crew was made up of repaints of the original Adventure People. Space Commander was Fisher Prices answer to Commander Adama of BattleStar fame but upon closer inspection he was merely our old friend Male Diver with a painted beard and flashy new red space duds with decals! Hang Glider Male transformed into Astro Knight! Race Car Driver became Clawtron Male! Heck Male and Female Diver became my favorite figures of the entire line with their new space garb complete with the see through green X-Ray Man and X-Ray Woman! They didnt even try to cover up the diving suits! They were literally clear green androids with robotic detailing and yellow dots literally painted over their eyes…and I loved them!!

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This set didn’t just rely on its figures!! Nooooo! It also bested anything on toyshelves at that time with simply incredible vehicles!! Enter: Alpha Probe!! An incredibly designed space ship with mini adventure ship and built-in and realistic space sounds and options!

 

 

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Alpha Probe was the center piece to the space collection and in scale one of the largest toys in the entire collection! As with everything else in the sets its was wildly compatible with the Popular Star Wars/ Gi Joe sets of the day and just looked damn cool in anyone’s collection!

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So your Adventure People could blast off to the stars for adventures beyond the imagination…but what happens when you get there?? They had that on lock too with more incredible set pieces, the first being the Alpha Star Space Exploration set. It came complete with the Alpha Star all terrain vehicle and full deep space exploration unit in tow! Throw in the figures, a mini explorer droid and a beast alien and this thing had it all! Oh and I didn’t mention it was motorized and could drive back and forth! These things were tough on batteries through so you would need a steady supply of D-Cell batteries to keep the action going!

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Then the Alpha Interceptor! This one was a bunch of modular toys in one. It was a “Build Your Own” sort of toy that you could build basically three types of toys out of! I have not seen one of these in real life but this thing looks incredible!!

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Now for kids on a budget Fisher Price also had you covered!! Fire Star 1 was a single vehicle black space ship that played well with your X-Wing and Tie Fighter battles in a Galaxy Far far Away!! It came with a connecting cable that attached to the vehicle and figure to give the illusion of weightlessness in space!! Yes that is good old reliable Male Diver as X-Ray Man inside the Astro-Suit!!

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Bottom line…Adventure People were much more than a juveniles toy. The cross compatibility alone made these toys favorites during playtime back in the day! While there was plenty of cop outs design wise these toys were incredibly well build and durable. If you look around out there in that corner closet or that down stairs storage area you just may rediscover these classics! That kids…is one to grow on!

 

Thanks for checking out the Super-Hero Satellite! Do us a favor and drop me a comment in the box below! If you would like to chat about this article or anything retro you can find me on Twitter @charlton_hero! Give me a follow!! You wont be sorry…at least not right away! Till Next Time Heroes!

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When a Collection Of The Worlds Best Bloggers Come Together To Protect The Blogosphere from The Depths Of Despair and Boredom. One Topic, One Mission, A Million Different Points Of View..Blogging Will NEVER Be The Same…Welcome To SUPER-BLOG TEAM-UP 4…TEAM UP TEAR DOWN.”

 

Begin Transmission

I remember the day I saw Superman and Spiderman teaming for the first time. It was monumental. Every comic fan at some point or another mulls over the thought of Dream Team Ups. What if Spiderman teamed With Superman, What if Batman teamed with Wolverine? Over the years DC and Marvel made a lot of these team ups happen and made them into a reality.  Super-Hero Satellite tackled one of those in the Official Super-Blog Team Up Prequel when Superman teamed with Captain Carrot and The Amazing Zoo Crew! DCs experimental run in the very early 80s saw a lot of team ups you would never dreamed of would happened. One of which I present to you today. Superman teams with 80s Iconic Toy Franchise The Masters Of The Universe! It did happen and boy do we have a lot of ground to cover..this topic could only be contained in the pages of the Super-Blog Team Up 4 ….TEAM UP TEAR DOWN!!

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In 1981 action figures were my life. My toy case was filled with Star Wars, Bionic man, Micronauhts, and very soon a toy called He-man. A very simple sounding name for a hero as it was intended. Mattel, following the success of Star Wars trilogy sought to capture some market share in the figure market with a new line of toys “inspired” by Conan The Barbarian fame..unofficially of course. After battling off a lawsuit with the Conan people Mattel launched one of their most profitable and iconic toy lines in history The Masters Of the Universe collection.

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The Masters Of the Universe collection or MOTU for short, was a Mattel’s meal ticket back to the action figure market. He-Man and company exploded! Anyone who remembers this line of toys remembers a group of figures that were muscled up, action pose ready that were unlike anything out there at the time. I remember getting a great selection of these toys I believe for Christmas of 81. Boy did I get the motherload. In my first foray into the He-man toy line I received He-Man, Skeletor, Battle Cat, Panthro, Teela, Stratos, and Beast Man. Throw in Castle GreySkull, and The Battle Ram!!

Hows that for an intro!! So with the success of the toy line the next logical step was He-mans introduction to the small screen!! He-Man and the Masters of the Universe the animated series debuted on airwaves across the nation in 1983. The opening would be one that kids of the 80s would have engrained into their heads..Without further adieu..Satellite Bring up the video wall..He-Man and The Masters Of The Universe intro please!!

Everyone back on deck Heroes! The Masters of The Universe cartoon was a staple in my house. I have seen every episode probably 3-4 times each. I loved that show and its characters!! Click below to re watch this great series..that’s right, all in one click..that’s what we do.

Click HERE for The He-Man Universe Channel..

Outside of my play time in Eternia, the rest of my life was spent as a super comic nerd! If anyone asked me what my favorite comic book publisher was in the 1980s I would proudly say DC with great vigor!! I loved everything about them but what I loved was their Super-Heroes. They were always The Nintendo to The Sega, They were The Coke to The Pepsi, The DC Heavy was The Man Of Steel himself. No one was bigger and more recognizable than Superman. In saying that, DC used Superman at every stop to push other properties. Supes was guaranteed bank and the publisher knew that putting him in a book with anyone would instantly give that property instant cred in the eyes of comic book readers..like old Hero here! Superman teamed with everyone but the kitchen sink. DC even went so far as to team him with Captain Carrot and The Amazing Zoo Crew. The Folks at the Satellite pieced together a great Prequel..Check out the link below the picture below!!

Click HERE To Read The SBTU Prequel Capes and Carrots!

As Satellite readers hopefully who have read the Prequel DC tried something radically different in 1982 by giving Comic fans a real bang for their book with the DC Prevue inserts. As stated these inserts were standalone stories meant to introduce readership to new characters and concepts. The idea was to introduce the new hero or team inside the pages of a best-selling title to provide maximum visibility to this new potential break out concept. Superman was usually the anchor. DC did this twice with their latest acquistion..Matells Masters Of The Universe!! In the years prior to the World killing Crossover Crisis On Infinite Earths, DC was pretty liberal with their use of alternate realities, timelines, and worlds. It lead to a seamless insertion of the MOTU characters and worlds to simply become another “World” in the grand scale of the DCU in 1982! Yes Eternia was officially a reality in DC!!

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DC created a very unusual version of Eternia very different from the one seen on the Cartoon show a little later. Still seemingly set in medieval times This Eternia boasted over the top technology and mystifying magic all at once! Magic and Swordplay were the center of its concept. With Curt Swan, of long time Superman fame and legendary Comic Book penciller extraordinaire, took his stab at the Toy franchise and did a Masterful job of it. The characters were directly in line with the toy line visually but what was not carried over from the Comic book to the show was the language. Eternians talked like they were out of a Shakespeare novel. The verbage was very grandious. If you were a fan of the show you would know that He-man and friends did NOT talk like this!! Check out the panel below as He-Man, aka Prince Adam is challenged by a patron at the bar on Eternia who had just made fun of his sidekick Cringer (Battle Kat!) Whats unique about DC’s version of Eternia is that number one..He-Man is a drinker? When did you ever see bars on Eternia in the TV show? He-Man also refers to Teela as “woman” so it is decidedly male dominated planet as well. She-Ra would NOT stand for this!

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Gone as well is the famous Transformation scene thats featured on every show on the Cartoon version of He-Man and The Masters Of the Universe…we all know what I mean. On this page we see that the Sorceress is responsible He-Mans and Battle Kat’s transformation!! Gone is the famous “By The Power Of GraySkull” raise your sword and transform gimmick..

He-Man is simply turned into his more powerful self by the all-powerful Sorceress..

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At this point we meet the “Demonic Skeletor” Enemy of “Thy ” World?  Skeletor is seen with his right hand man Beast Man in front of the Mysterious Castle Grayskull! The Grayskull Playset  is undoubtedly the best play set in history! Okay maybe the Star Wars Death Star is better but this thing rocks people!! Believe! Skeletor and his sidekick discuss his need to unveil the secrets Of Castle GraySkull so he can rule the world with this knowledge! However one thing remains,…. to gain access to the Castle, Skeletor must have a power sword..which he does..but to gain entry you must have TWO!! The action figures themselves came bundled with a sword a piece for He-man and  and a piece for Skeletor. Both had flatbacks and for some reason the two could connect together and allow the holder of the two united swords access to the secrets of Grayskull..

He-Man and Skeletor

Its time to take a break…We will be right back AFTER THESE MESSAGES..

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How cool are the He-man toys? I cannot describe the amount of joy these thing gave me..plus after I was done role playing  in Eternia, He-Man and gang made great additions to my wrestling figure federation I also ran from my bedroom floor. He-Man, more specifically Power Punch He-Man won the title many times! Okay while on the topic lets talk best original MOTU toys..here’s the

Satellites Top 5 Most Underrated MOTU Figures:

5. Ram Man:One of the very few figures that broke the He-Man mold. Ram Man was the Eternia’s version of the Juggernaut and wore a huge metal helmet that he used to smash through things. You push down on his head and his legs, which we based on a spring ,were physically joined together and did no contain any articulation. Press down on his head Ram Man squat to the ground touch him again he launched into action!!

4. Moss Man. The MOTU line used the same basic body mold over and over at will and in some cases the same figure altogether. Beast Man one of the original MOTU super-bad’s was turned green, stripped of his armor, and covered in green “moss’ like fur. A very unusual toy but friggin awesome. My Moss Man was stolen on a camping trip as a child when playing in all things..The woods. I guess his camouflage was just too good. I’ll find you one day Moss man!

3. Two Bad: The Conjoined twin alien heads which shared a torso. This was another figure that maintained a unique mold and was very cool. The toy had great double punching power and two great alien heads! I played the death out of Two Bad and feel he’s a must have in any MOTU collection!

2.Extendar: The Armor covered Knight in the MOTU collection. Extendar was a silver armor covered classic Knight Of The Round Table style of figure. His uniqueness however was in the fact that his head arms, waist, torso, and legs all extended to make Extendar a giant. He was a highly touted figure in the collection as he toiled playing double duty in my imaginary wrestling figure collection!

1. Fakor. Okay okay..its was He-Man painted blue. Literally that’s all Fakor was. He was a  Robot He-Man clone That Skeletor created to infiltrate He-Mans inner circle. No one would notice if He-Man was Blue now would they? Even so, I loved Fakor during his short run in my collection as he was an early victim to the arms and leg figure exchange..He-Man figure collectors know what that means!

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WELCOME BACK HEROES!! Back to our story..Beast Man and Skeletor converse on how they are going to break into Castle Grayskull. Outside the Grayskull, Skeletor talks about the need of having both halves of the Power Sword to open the castle. Beast Man notices Skeletor only has one half, but he tries to use it to open Grayskull anyways. The result? The opening to a great inter-dimensional worm hole in clouds form that opens on Earth!! The impact of Skeletor,s assault was so great, its effects were felt on Earth.!! As with Superman..he has a history of falling into such portals …and today would be no different..

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Superman is transported to Eternia in short order. He was investigating the giant cloud/portal and as always he is sucked in like a tractor beam and lands with a Thud directly in front of Castle GraySkull. Thelingering foes Skeletor and Beast Man look on like they have just seen Santa Clause!. The unusual part of this is not only how passive the Eternian’s are with Superman’s grand entrance but how non-chalant Superman is by being transported to yet another dimension. Apparently no big deal for the Man Of Steel.

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Skeletor knows that this is not cool and quickly figures out that this guy in Blue spandex falling from the sky is his enemy!! Not giving any time for Superman to recover or gain his bearings Skeletor goes on the attack on this Other Worlder. Both spend a moment to mock each other as Skeletor calls Superman a `Strangely Garbed Foe while Superman sees Skeletor as a Skull faced clown with the Over Grown pocket Knife. Ahhh The 80s!!

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The fight is on as Skeletor tries to slice Superman in half but to know avail as Supes batters the Eternian with a barrage of body shots. Beast Man joins the fray and is dispatched easily in ultra 80s fashion as Superman simply takes him on a loop de loop  and dumps him handily on the ground. Skeletor resorts to the magic of his half of the power sword and forces Superman to be blown off in the distance. Waiting on hill observing the disruption is He-Man himself on his gentle steed Battle Kat!

Superman vs skeletor sand.

He-Man rushes to Supermans aid recognizing him from ancient Eternian lore. This goes to show that the DC Universe was always a part of DCs elaborate Multiverse of the 80s Pre Crisis. With Introductions out of the way, He-man and Superman are soon joined by Man at Arms riding the Wind Raider!

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Okay, its pointless product knowledge time. The Wind Raider was one of the first and best MOTU Vehicles and makes a very early appearance here.MOTU toys were always emblazoned with deluxe painted artwork as seen on the Wind Raider box art!! Note the original Wind Raider was mean for a single figure. So in this case the Comic book had it right!!

                                                                      Original Wind Raider plus He-Man!!

A great footnote here The Wind Raider like the Toy is a single passenger Vehicle however in the original He-Man and the Masters Of the Universe Television Show The Winder raider is a much larger capacity vehicle.

 Pause for ONE TO GROW ON.. Take It AWAY MR T!!

Now Back To The Show..

The Triple Threat of He-Man, Superman, and Teela’s father Duncan, aka Man At Arms (Where is Duncan..has he abandoned his friends??) go after Skeletor. He-man swings for the fences with his battle-axe but not before Skeletor uses the magic of his half  power sword to cast a hypnotic spell on Superman. Skeletor turns Supes on his own team instantly and the battle of the century begins..He-man vs Superman..one on one for the inter-dimensional title. Superman attacks first stopping He-Man assault on Skeletor but The Most Powerful Man In the Universe easily turns the tide employing The Giant Swing into a power bomb!!

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Superman no selling He-Mans attack goes toe to toe with He-Man in a slugfest. Looks like DC will not look bad in comparison to Matell and He-Man is driven to the ground with a solid Superman upper cut ending the `Battle Of The Century only seconds into the fight. Winner is Superman..and DC. With He-Man out..and Man At Arms nowhere to be seen,,Skeletor commands the Man Of Steel to open the doors to Castle GreySkull and reveal its secrets to him at once! With fists raised Superman roars towards the gates of GraySkull..

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Superman still fighting his hypnosis, cannot stop Skeletor’s spell, but comes up with a plan on the fly. If only the Man Of Steel can distract Skeletor long enough to utilize his heat vision to create a Molten barricade around Skeletor and block the spell of Skeletor. That’s right Superman melts rocks to form a rock cocoon around the evil one. Superman is able to stop his spell just in time as not to impact The Castle!  Skeletor bursts free of his confinement in Molten rock and swears he will cast yet another spell on Superman. This time Superman is ready for Skeletor’s magic and He-man (who has already forgiven and understood why Superman attacked him,) returns to watch the fray. Superman apparently has a plan to lift Skeletor out of harms way. Exactly where was Superman taking him?

Superman stops Skeletor

With Skeletor having been to this dance once to often, he pulls the old disappearing act. Superman still taken aback from the events of what just happened has no time to chat with his new friends as he notices a Time Space warp in space with his Super Vision and has to hustle so he can get back home to earth and bids a quick fare the well to his Medieval friends. Final page

In summary:  You could not have done this Team-Up any quicker. The whole story while really cool, is mega rushed. Superman literally falls from the sky, has a light tussle with Skeletor,and even He-Man , gets hypnotized , stops Skeletor and rushes back to Earth in a wormhole. The whole time,  He-Man and friends act like it’s any other day. Love the vintage Curt Swan art. Mr. Swan is one of my all time definitive Superman artists, so I was pumped to see him do the cross over. Swan has a real grasp on He-Man and friends. His inspiration is directly from the Matell Toy line as is seen with the depictions of Man At Arms, Skeletor and Beast Man. Hilariously the depiction of Eternia as an old world Shakespearean society is pretty far off in what we see later in the Animated Series and subsequent spinoffs, and Movies. The Eternian dialect is pretty entertaining as seen in these pages. I am glad they made the change to everyday linguistics in the animated show. The declaration and focus on the 2 halves of the Power Swords is also a storyline not often referenced in the Animated Series. He-man himself does not perform the transformation or do the whole “I have The Power” bit. That’s key…say what you want. Having the Sorceress simply transform Prince Adam and Cringer is just not cutting it People!!  Overall, the excitement this book created at the time was all the hype I needed as a bright-eyed 8-year-old comic book fanatic! The kid in me still gives this story a thumbs up..the adult in hindsight gives it a “Where the hell is the story??”  As well I leave you all with one final question..exactly what was the point of putting Man At Arms in the story with The Wind raider when he did not even show up in the battle?? Hmmmm…

Hope you have enjoyed this stay on Eternia, setting Coordinates for our next mission. Heroes strap in..Super-Blog Team Up continues…plenty more to read as Team Up Tear Down continues all over the Blogosphere..please read and follow all the blogs below..you will not be disappointed! Super-Blog Team Up…Unite!!

SBTU Contunies

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1.Super-Hero Satellite: Super Man and The Masters Of the Universe http://wp.me/p2N3Qb-nT

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2.LongBox GraveYard: Thing / Thing http://wp.me/p1yye7-2vP 

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3.Superior Spider-talk:
Spider-Man and the Coming of Razorback!? http://www.superiorspidertalk.com/spider-man-and-the-coming-of-razorback  

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4. The Daily Rios: New Teen Titans/DNAgents http://thedailyrios.com/ 

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5. The Middle Spaces:  Super Hegemonic Team-up! Spider-Man, Daredevil & ‘The Death of Jean DeWolfe
: http://themiddlespaces.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/super-hegemonic-team-up/  

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6. Chasing Amazing: Spider-man/Spider-man 2099 Across the Spider-Verse: A Once in a Timeline Team-Up http://wp.me/p1wQNx-1N5

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7. Vic Sage/Retroist: Doctor Doom/Doctor Strange http://www.retroist.com/ *COMING SOON*

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8. Fantastiverse: Superman/Spider-man http://fantastiverse.com/ *COMING SOON*

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9. Mystery V-Log The Avengers #1 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL6G3GZ0yhXkR1vl6BCPegw *COMING SOON*

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10. In My Not So Humble Opinion: Conan /Solomon Kane
http://benjaminherman.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/super-blog-team-up-4-conan-the-barbarian-and-solomon-kane/

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11. The Unspoken Decade: Punisher/Archie: Two Wrongs Making a Right:  Punisher Meets Archie!!

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12. Flodos Page: Green Lantern and the Little Green Man  http://flodospage.blogspot.ca/  *COMING SOON*

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13. Between The Pages:  World’s Finest Couple: Lois Lane and Bruce Wayne  http://betweenthepagesblog.typepad.com/between-the-pages-blog/2014/09/worlds-finest-couple-lois-lane-and-bruce-wayne.html *UPDATED* 

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14. BronzeAge Babies: When Friends Like These ARE Your Enemies (FF/Doom, Batman/Joker, Warlock/Thanos, and Cap/Red Skull), http://bronzeagebabies.blogspot.ca/

If you liked these /SBTU covers and artwork, you will LOVE the great Mashups of The SuperTeam Family. The site that takes Comic Book cover team ups to the next level!! The Teen Titans & DNAgents cover was inspired by one post of that sites great work! So I give full credit to the fie folks at STF for the inspiration! Click here to visit THE SUPER TEAM FAMILY Website!

 

SUPER BLOG TEAM UP RETURNS JANUARY 2015

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SATELLITE Extra: Remember that 1987 Masters Of The Universe Movie starring Dolph Lundgren? No? Then check out the trailer!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJrs1ZWFKag

 

Ahhh…hell its Super Blog Team Up..Heres the entire movie..Tell Em Hero sent ya!

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Click Here To Watch The 1987 Masters Of the Universe Movie!

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Welcome back Satellite subscribers! Time to get your Hero on as today we jump into the center of an Alien invasion! The Alien hordes of the notorious Red Falcon have taken over an island in South America! Fortunately we have the called in the best two damn commandos the word has ever seen..Bill “Mad Dog” Rizer and Lance “Scorpion” Bean. Time to lock em down!! Aboard the Satellite Heli shuttle we have no time to waste..we have to stop the Red Falcon  before they take over the world!

 

Begin Transmission: March 19 2014

This game spoke to me one Christmas as it sat on the shelves of our local Woolco. That X-Mas morning it would be mine!

Of course..if you are not a retro gamer and havent figured it out yet..we are talking about the 1987 NES Video game Contra..It was 1980 something and in a sea of wrapping paper I was nowhere to be found as I was frantically hooking up my brand new NES Entertainment system to my sweet 13 inch color TV in my bedroom! That morning I was bestowed , Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, NES Pro Wrestling, Super Mario Bros (Free with system!) and of course..CONTRA!! Only a couple of months earlier after creating my Xmas wish list I had noticed this game on the locked display cabinets of our local Woolco store. The case itself spoke to me and t was no trouble to see why. First a bit of context.

There was no bigger action hero then “Arnold” in the 1980s! Predator was a huge hit for Schwarzenegger and would be the inspiration for games like Contra!

The 1980s were a time of an action movie explosion. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was on top of the world with huge hits such as Terminator and Running man. Predator would become yet another huge win for Arnold and would directly influence many sci-fi movies afterwards. The over the top Austrian known for his witty one liners such as “Ill be back” was the king of Hollywood and would remain as such well into the 90s as well.Arnold would become the inspiration for the Player one character in Contra..Bill “Mad Dog” Rizer. Hot on his heels would be another character would be making waves on the same fast track as Arnold…a guy named Stallone!

Rambo would be Stallone’s second HUGE character that he would be known for and one of my personal faves of the 80s! Rambo 2 was a frequent guest in my VCR!

Sylvester Stallone, better know in the 1980s as Rocky Balboa of the Rocky movie film franchise struck pay dirt again with the character of John Rambo in the movie series First Blood! Like Arnold, Stallone was the ultimate commando fearless and unstoppable, Rambo was a high school boys idol. Hell every kid I knew had a Rambo “Survival Knife” strapped to their side for play. No parent in their right mind would intentionally hand a 13-year-old a hunting knife and tell them to go play! Bottom Line Rambo was hot and was the inspiration for the second player in the game we are discussing....Lance “Scorpion” Bean.

The game itself was VERY challenging. As you ran through the jungles of South America, through highly secure military compounds, though Waterfalls, ad finally directly into the heart of the Aliens lair doing so in the 3 men you were allotted was no fun. In fact…discouraging. This game sat on the “Last In Line” pile as I spent the early months of my NES gaming experience defeating Koopas in Super Marion Bros, Knocking Out Mike Tyson’s ass in Punch Out and proudly defeating Great Puma to with the VWA world title in NES Pro Wrestling. So with all the other conquered games laying in my wake one of my friends who did not have the luxury of an NES system decided we should tag team Contra. Surely our forces combined would whip this game in no time fast. Sadly the answer was no..the Red Falcons hordes were too much for Bill and Lance..that is until we got an advantage..

Nintendo Power changed the way we played video games..no longer a slave to 3 men..this book helped us destroy games like never before!

Nintendo Power magazine came on the fore front of many gamers libraries. Debuting in 1988 Nintendo Power was the premier and longest running video game magazine ever published lasting an extraordinary 24 years! It contained Reviews, teasers, comics, coupons, extras like stickers, posters, but most importantly..cheat codes!!

Nintendo Power provides the goods for the downfall of Red falcon and his Alien goons!

Yes the Konami Code as it would become know to gamers for then till today became an instant hit with Contra fans. First used in the game Gradius but popularized by Contra the pushing of the directional keys UP, UP, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left Right, B, A, Start at the title screen would unlock what Nintendo Power called the “Extra Life Command” and it was awesome! Soon after I learned how to execute the Konami Code Contra was done for. Many evenings after school myself and my good friend John Mckechnie (Where are you bro?) would begin our termination of the Contra Alien races. It was incredible! Level by level we whipped major 8 bit ass and the NES became a destination daily for us. Bill and Lance finally had the revenge we were looking for.

Contra the game was a simple run and shoot type of game. It was a classic 8 bit side scroller filled with challenging stages and enemies.!

Entering the base. The beginning of you Contra campaign!

Contra featured some of the best looking super bads in the 8 Bit world of the NES. The Giant Leaping Disk Throwing Alien that guards the door to the energy zone is one of the best in gaming history!

The Guard at the door using throwing disks to send you to an early grave!

The Base 1 Boss put you to the test!

Red Falcon had an abundance of mechanical technological contraptions sent to block passage to the lair!

Bosses like the stage 3 Waterfall Boss were awesome in its day and a pleasure to destroy! Check out this cool deviant art version of this boss!

Nothing was cooler than coming face to face with the Red Falcon..but was terrified to know that even after killing this bad boy you still had to kill its heart!!

Scorpions be damned. Nothing will stop me with 30 men behind me from taking out the final boss of Stage 8 the very heart of the Red Falcon!

The fun of the game came in using the extra weapons that you could pick up along the way! You start the game with a rifle but there are many more weapons that made your game much more enjoyable.

  • Machine gun (rapid-fires repeatedly while the fire button is depressed)
  • Laser gun (fires one lazer bolt of energy at a time) Sometimes letharigic but incredibly powerful
  • Spreader (Spray) gun (fires five projectiles at once in an array that spreads apart as it travels away from the player) Best weapon in the game. Incredibly powerful and enjoyable to use!
  • Fireball gun (fires spining fire ball bullets)
  • Rapid fire (increases bullet velocity) This one can be added to a gun in use to make an existing gun faster. Deadly when combined with Spreader gun or Lazer!
  • Barrier (temporary invincibility)

Contra, even in its years of retirement as I grew into adulthood would always be played in my house whether it was on my old long lamented NES, emulators or on my Wii Virtual console. My son’s and I (5, and 13 years of age) have spent a lot of time recently playing this game and its sequels and even to this day it remains a favorite in the house. In a sad story during my university years my vast amount of Nintendo cartridges went missing! I accidentally discovered my collection at a used flea market type shop and had to call the police. Only the games I could prove were mine were returned and several games like Contra were stolen from me like a thief in the night. BASTARDS!! I know who you are!! LOL..but I digress.

Hope you have enjoyed your tour of Red Falcon Island..it has been my pleasure to be your guide. But we just blew up the heart of the Red Falcon..back to the Heli – Shuttle …this baby’s gonna BLOW!!

Later Heroes!!

 

End Transmission…

If You have enjoyed this blog contact me on Twitter @Charlton_Hero and join the conversation using #SuperHeroSatellite Thanks for reading!

Hey guys..this is just a teaser of the new feature on the Satellite called Flash Transmissions. These are quick and easily digestible posts that are quick and to the point on many retro topics. There are three so far and here’s a sample. Go to the home page and look for the “Flash Transmissions ” tab at the top for all the new material!

Get the cartridge..instant Wrestling Action!

Flash Transmissions #3: WCW Wrestling

No time to waste subscribers and Heroes on deck..the Time Stream is displaying short bursts of retro transmissions I believe we are somewhere in the 90s..lets observe. Take notes team..This is a sequel of sorts and due to popular demand we talk about another great Wrestling Game for The Nintendo Entertainment System..Strap in heroes we have little time!

Transmission date: Dec 4 2013

So growing up suck as it is. Birthday parties however did not suck. Birthdays were always a big deal. I got plenty of gifts,friends and family came over to celebrate me stepping up into manhood. Well in grade 10 all that ended cold. I remember the conversation vividly that I was too old for a birthday party and that this was the year it would change but I could still get a couple of small gifts but that was it. I am still a little shell shocked by that announcement some 25 years later..but I digress. I made the last gasp Birthday gift suggestion of a video game and a CD that I always wanted and by the good grace of god and availability at the local Woolco I got a Crash Test Dummies CD (The Superman Song was HOT at this time!) and this…

WCW Wrestling was my life blood back in the early 90s!

WCW Wrestling for the Nintendo Entertainment System was a fan boys dream!It was late October of 1990 and the NES was still HOT! We were on the virge of the Super NES but there was a last gasp breath for the NES. On this blog it is well documented that I am a HUGE wrestling fan and I loved WCW Wrestling..check the other posts you will see! I was a HUGE fan of NES Pro Wrestling and this was its grown up brother. It was originally a Japanese game called Super Star Pro Wrestling which made a lot of sense seeing the odd interpretations of the WCW wrestlers. It had two ground breaking features that the other wrestling games at the time for NES and SEGA struggled to perfect.

1.Finishing holds! You could perform Ric Flairs Neck Breaker! Huh? No Figure Four? Road Warrior Animals Power Slam, and Even Stings Scorpion Death Lock! This FINALLY felt like a true wrestling game! The game also for maed the debut of several wrestlers never seen in pixel format before!When you slapped your finishing move on your opponent the screen would flash and you would see your wrestler highlighted kicking ass!

The WCW Roster was great and was a good representation of its talent at the time!

2.You had a selectable move set. That`s right you could program the buttons and moves that your wrestler could execute! What!!

Select your moves for Ricky Steamboat. Yes this was legit!

The game play was fluid and challenging at times as well. Tag Team mode at times could be impossible…check out some classic action right now..

If you were good..you fought the WCW champion the mysterious WCW master who more than closely resembled Andre The Giants old Giant Machine gimmick from the old WWF!

However..I reached the pinnacle of wrestling..the `Top Of The Mountain`as the Nature Boy would say and learned to beat this over 500 pound monstrosity..check it out below as the Stinger puts the WCW Master away!

Oh No gang..The bell just wrang and as Bob Caudell would scream back in the 80s.. We are Outta time fans!!. Lets continue the WCW love on Twitter @charlton_hero follow the conversation at #SuperHeroSatellite..

Transmission ended.
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Check out the original and arguably the MOST popular Super-Hero Satellite Post about the Nintendo classic NES ProWrestling! Click the link below and enjoy!

A Winner Is You: The NES ProWrestling Story