Posts Tagged ‘Saturday Morning cartoons’

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*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

 

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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!!

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

 

THE POWERJET-XT-7

PowerJet XT-7 collage

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

The redheaded stepchild of Power Jets..

LORD DREADS PHANTOM STRIKER..!!??

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

The Whole Collection looked great when presented together!!

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

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

The Blastpak 1200?

Scout figure

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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http://newwavetraders.com/

Check out their Captain power Collection here!!

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

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

 

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Welcome back Heroes. Today we are gathered in the Satellite briefing room for information regarding our next mission into days gone by. One of the small joys of being a kid in the 80s for me was getting to spend as much time as I wanted at a comic book spinner rack! I would love walking to the store with my hefty 20 dollar allowance and blowing every cent on a fat bag of comics, which, in my buying prime, were 65-75 cents each!! So I came out with everything I wanted. I hit Pharmacies, Drug Stores,  Grocery Stores and the occasional comic book store / Kiosk in my hunt of comic book treasures! One thing that always heightened that experience were Team – Up Issues! Marvel Team Up and Marvel 2 in 1 saw Spider-Man and The Thing team up with almost every famous Marvel hero at the time.  The thrill of seeing Spider-Man team with Captain Britain, Or The Thing and The Hulk were a fan boys wet dream!!I was a DC guy mainly in the 80s so while Spider Man and The Thing were teaming with Marvels best I was loving DCs versions of Team Ups. Batman and SuperMan were the Worlds Finest. DC marched their two biggest heavy hitters to team up with every major DC character in two classic titles created to explore the team dynamic!! DC Comics Presents featured Superman teamed with everyone but the kitchen sink. Brave and the Bold Teamed Bat-Man with everyone you could name INCLUDING the kitchen sink. DC reached for everyone you could think of from a team up such as A-Listers like Green Lantern to Z-Listers like Ambush Bug. Just when you thought there was no one else for The Man Of Steel To Team-Up with then came…THIS!!

 

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Begin Transmission: Aug.11.2014

That’s right…Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew. First some context is needed here. The era was the 1980s, DC had yet to streamline its massive continuity with its Crisis Event hence there was still room for `Funny Animal characters in its history..such as Captain Carrot and The Zoo Crew. Funny Animal comic books and newspaper strips had pretty much been a staple of the 50s and 60s but only small traces of those days in comics history still lingered in the comics medium of the early 1980s. Saturday Morning cartoons had retained a certain element of the talking funny animals on TV. Scooby Doo was a runaway hit, There were the Muppets, there was Mighty Mouse, and there were Disney’s Mickey and Friends. Harvey Comics still in its final days of publishing continued on the trend of funny animals books. DC not being one to buck a trend followed suit with what would be their final attempt at a Funny Animal book. Even the term “Funny Animal Book” carried a negative connotation even in the free for all early 80s. One of Comicdoms Godfathers, Roy Thomas along with Scott Shaw created The Captain and His Zoo Crew and Unleashed them onto the world in a special 16 page insert preview (Or Prevue as DC coined it!) inside the pages of the very popular Team Book New Teen Titans #16 in Feb. of 1982!

 

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DC was experimenting with new titles at the time and were introducing new characters and concepts in various titles with 16 page previews wedged in the middle of their more high-profile books to provide maximum visibility to new properties! Such classic titles like Dial H For Hero, Arak Son Of Thunder, Night Force, Atari Force, Masters Of The Universe, Mask, Blue Devil, Amethyst, Flash Force 2000?? (Huh?), and Bat-Man and The Outsiders. (Damnit..thats when comics were comics..sigh..) Of course the most unusual title in the mix was Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew!

Carrot PreviewI choose to talk about Captain Carrot because this book was an absolute favorite of mine. I loved parody comics. I frequently bought magazines like MAD Magazine and Cracked and loved that style of humor..just the style Cap and his Gang were projecting! There was a local Hardware store in my hometown called Handy Andy’s that carried comics on its magazine rack and didn’t update them frequently or rotate them so it was quite common for several issues of a title would stay on the shelf en mass. Their lack of rotation landed me Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew #5-#8. I was hooked! I loved DC Comics Team Books so titles Like Legion Of SuperHeroes and of course The Justice League Of America of which Captain Carrot and his crew were inspired by! On to the team and their inspirations..Captain Carrot was “Inspired” by SuperMan, Pig-Iron by Frankenstein,and The Thing, Yankee Poodle was a combination of Captain America and Wonder Woman. Rubber Duck was clearly Plastic Man. Alley Kat Abra was Zatanna, and FastBack was The Flash. The Zoo Crew Were an anthropomorphic JLA!! (Yes for the Zoo Crew aficionados there were another group of JLA Animal Heroes in the Captain Carrot Universe called Justa Lotta Animals…J.L.A…get it? More on them later!)

 

 

As discussed, the concept behind the DC Prevue inserts was to introduce the characters to a captive audience on popular books. No bigger book in that day than New Teen Titans. DC went the extra mile with The Zoo Crew however by pairing them directly with The Man Of Steel. Yes the first appearance of Captain Carrot and his Zoo Crew were in a Team Up Story!! How and why did such an event happen? Well..I am glad you asked..synopsis time!

Metropolis was experiencing an epidemic where citizens were acting like primates for no apparent reason. Superman deduced that it was the planet Pluto of which was emitting energy rays causing said effect on the people of earth. Upon investigating  the incident Superman is transported to an alternate earth know as Earth-C!!  (After Crisis it is determined that Earth -C is not a part of the Multiverse but rather a Alternate Dimension! Great backdoor DC!) Superman encountered a number of Animal inhabitants who as a result of being struck by radiated fragmented meteor! The creation of these beings were all as a result of Superman’s efforts..so in actuality it is Superman himself that is responsible for the genesis of The Cap and his entire altered animal world! After dispatching some low-level Animal criminals Superman teams with Rodney Roger Rabbit..(Copyright Check!!) aka Captain Carrot! Hell don’t let me tell ya all about it..Satellite..bring up Comic Archive..GENERATE. Now Heroes ..Enjoy!

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The result of this initial team up was almost a two year run for a “Funny Animal” book and in March 1982 Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew #1 hit the stands! It was an instant hit with my circle of fans! The very end of the prevue DC introduced the Zoo Crew as all over the world Animals were being infected with super powers as a result of this mysterious Meteorite fragments! The Superman team -Up continued into the very first issue of Cap and The Zoo Crew! Superman and the team discover the sinister mastermind behind all these strange occurrences…JLA heavy..STARRO!! Starro for those who have no idea what I am talking about was a giant galactically intelligent Star Fish hell bent on de-evolutionizing  the human race! Of course the first villain of the zoo crew would be DCs Galactic Star Fish! Very appropriate! The team fought valiantly to defeat Starro but it wasnt until the team came together as a fighting unit!

 

After dispatching the giant fish Superman and the Zoo Crew thanked each other and the Man of Steel returned to his own dimension and the Zoo Crew became the official protectors of Earth – C! DC had the most unusual Super Team in the world with the Zoo Crew and I was hooked. I regret not getting every issue in the series but my unreliable comic shops did not carry every title so Carrot was one that didnt get great representation on the shelves! The issues I did have left a mark on me and I can proudly remember buying each issue! This could easily be the next great DC Cartoon series!! You listening DC…Zoo Crew in 2015..Get On it!!

 

 

 

 

In summary DCès attempt to use the Man Of Steel as a pole vault technique to launch a new series in the 80s was a recipe for success. Carrot lasted 20 issues and even returned for another mini series (The 3 issue Oz – Wonderland War!) shortly after cancellation.The Mini series alas was not my favorite Captain Carrot Story and I cannot in good faith recommend it to Satellite Readers. The Story centers on a villain called The Nome King who enslaves the world of OZ. It is up to the Zoo Crew to assist the storied land. Not satisfied with his conquest of OZ The Nome King then attempts to overthrow Wonderland..what ensues is an all out classic fairy tale cross over that should be a good read but does not work well in the context of a Captain Carrot comic. On a POSITIVE, THE ARTWORK INSIDE THIS 3 ISSUE DOUBLE SIZED MINI SERIES IS EXCELLENT!!

 

This was a special time. DC had a less serious approach to its continuity and embraced its silly past, and Superman or Batman could literally team with anyone! These days however such continuity has been all but erased however we know Captain Carrot still exists even in the NEW 52 as he was brought back in the ill-fated Threshold series as the space rabbit Captain K’Rot! It’s not my Cap but at least the leader of the Zoo Crew is still alive and well in some fashion.

 

 

 

So before we depart to other ends of the galaxy in search of retro 80s transmissions I just want to talk Zoo Crew one more time!! Who was your favorite? I was strictly an original Zoo Crew fan. Sorry Little Cheese and American Eagle but this guy keeps it old school! Sporting The Yellow and Red with a Carrot Emblazoned on the front of his suit Captain Carrot was the undisputed leader of the Zoo Crew!

 

Of Course The Captain may have been my favorite but I could not but hold a special place for the two-fisted ever loving Pig Iron! Cap was a comic book artist something I always wanted to be, but Pig Iron simply put bad guys on their asses!! Pig Iron was the reason I bought Zoo crew in the beginning! Look at a cover gallery of the best Zoo Crew issues and Pig Iron is always front and center! Frankenstein meets the Thing and BAM..Its Pig Iron!

No team is complete with out the magician character! Always wondered what a NEW 52 Zoo Crew Dark would be like? Hey DC its worth a shot! Alley-Kat-Abra would be a shoe in for that group! Doctor Strange meets his cat, meets Zatanna. Alley -Kat is a foundation member! As many of you know I am not a huge fan of the mystic arts in comics so Alley Kat was never on the top of my list for favorite Zoo Crew members but a lot of her inter-dimensional magic was heavily lifted from the great Steve Ditko run on Doctor Strange..and thats pretty damn cool.

I was always a Plastic Man fan, Rubber Duck filled the gap. Part Elongated man, Part Plastic man RubberDuck maintained the humor of Plastic man while bearing the sensibilities of old Ralph! Rubber Duck is the only member of the team who is a celebrity! His list of Funny Animal movies is great! His character is actually based on 70s and 80s celebrity Burt Reynolds. They even gave RubberDuck a celebrity buddy named after Reynolds real life best friend Dom Deluise! Thats attention to detail!

 

Fastback has probably my favorite look of all the Zoo crew even though he is underutilized in the comic. The more I think of it, if Flash inadvertently caused Flashpoint to create the goddamn horrible DC New 52 maybe Fastback is our only hope to reverse that mess! He is also the only Turtle who is just as cool or maybe far cooler than a certain group of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

 

 

Then there’s Yankee Poodle, based on 80s gossip writer  Rona Barrett , dimension’s Cs Rova Barkitt! After the incident with the meteor Barkitt gain the powers of magnetism and joined RubberDuck as he joined the Zoo Crew. Wonder Woman meets Captain America and you have Yankee Poodle. This character was more than filler but was also an antagonist for the other female character in the group Alley-Kat Abra!!

 

END TRANSMISSION..

 

 

 

WARNING HEROES…we are encountering a distress signal from the rest of The SUPER-BLOG TEAM UP gang…we need to immediately change course…For ETERNIA..Home of THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE...

 

SUPER-HERO SATELLITE and The All New..All Powerful SBTU returns for the next big Crossover Event on September 24 2014. Join the team for Team-Up Tear Down where, like the transmission post above we all jump into to explore the best, most unusual and peculiar Team Ups in Comics History,..This is one you Do NOT want to miss..

 

If you liked this post then by all means let us here at the Satellite know by leaving a comment. Maybe even follow me on Twitter @Charlton_Hero and join the Conversations at #SuperHeroSatellite and #SuperBlogTeamUp or #SBTU

 

Please Visit our Super Blog Team Up Hub Page for all previous editions of the Mighty Marching SBTU!! Click here!!  SUPER-BLOG TEAM UP HUB PAGE.

 

 

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Welcome Back Satellite Subscribers!

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

Power patroller

 

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

 

PowerLordsGen2 badguys

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

 

Powerlords mini playsets never produced

 

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

 

DC Powerlords comic collection

 

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

The description on the box reads..”

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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