Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future: Look at me now, this is the greatest…The GREATEST toy ever made. Ever! The Captain Power toys were based on a TV. show by the same name. They were about the same size as G.I. Joes and a little less articulate. The vehicles were huge and the base was a behemoth. The toys were well detailed and extremely rugged, I still have a bunch of them all over my office. So what makes they toy so cool? Well first of all the show they were based on was not a cartoon, but rather a live action show shot against a blue screen then made to look like it was in a VR world. Second, you could buy the shows on VHS Tapes, nothing new and exciting here right? Wrong. There was a device you hooked up to your VCR so when you played with the toys while watching the tape, you could use the toys to…are you ready…INTERACT WITH THE SHOW. You could fire at the bad guys, get shot at by them, and if they scored a hit you got ejected from the vehicle. It was great.
Centurions: Ace McCloud, Jake Rockwell and Max Ray. Air Land AND Sea. Man you gotta love those names. Anyhow, yet again a toy line from a Cartoon of the same name. The Centurions figures were great, over all my only complaint was that how they were constructed made them a bit fragile. I have yet to see a Centurions figure that lived in a toy box and is still completely in tact. The thing that was so great about the figures is that aside from the head, they were covered in these little holes that you could attach things too. Ace had air and space themed stuff. Things with wings and bombs and rockets. Jake had stuff like canons, tank treads, mech walker legs, and Max had water stuff like torpedoes and flippers and such. You could buy all different kits for the three of them, and the missiles were all spring loaded so they really fired which is always a plus. The bad guys were a little lame because they were basically half a body half a robot, and all you could really do is take of the robot half and swap it with a different one. Not that cool. I still love the Centurions toys though, here is a tip. Don’t put Max in the water, Though he is themed that way he isn’t meant to go there, he will just fill up with water and not be able to drain it back out.
Chuck Norris and the Karate Kommandos: For as much popularity as Chuck has been gaining lately I am really pissed off that these toys aren’t getting more mention. I am also really pissed that the 5 part cartoon they are based on hasn’t resurfaced, but that is another story. Anyhow, at the time these toys came out they were the most articulate toys I had ever seen. For my sixth birthday, I was still obsessed with The Karate Kid and Chuck Norris, and all things Karate, so my mom went out and got every Chuck Norris toy they had. It really wasn’t a huge undertaking because I believe there were only eight toys including the Karate Corvette. The thing that was great about these toys were that they were made from a very thick plastic. I remember one time I was playing up in my neighbor’s tree fort which was a good 12 feet off the ground and I dropped Reed Smith out of the fort right on to a rock. Aside from a paint chip he was in perfect shape, and he still stands proudly atop my monitor to this day. The articulation points were perhaps the coolest thing. They were tight enough that the figure could stand on his own, but lose enough that if you used the action points it would easily do a kick or a chop without being all jerky. The Karate Corvette was a total mullet ride, but for a little kid it was bad ass. You know what, screw that, I still want one. It hade blades and swords and shit coming out of it from secret locations, and a catapult on the back, that thing is the shit.
Commando: Yes that’s right. Toys based on the movie Commando only not completely since they bad guys were all made up. The toys all look like fat unemployed teamsters. It was very very bad. I think I would rather have a Bugman from Insectia.
Crash Dummies: These toys were really cool for a little kid that liked to destroy stuff because you could wreck the shit out of these things then just put them back together. They were really cool but all the parts would end up getting lost. They gave the Crash Dummies villains though and eventually made a cartoon out of it. Lame.
Crossbows and Catapults: This was the greatest game ever made. Seriously, I would sell my right testicle for all of the sets including the pirate sets. What you would do is build this plastic spring loaded castle, and if you had all the expansions like I did, you would build the Mott and Bailey, the rock encampments, and the small fort. Then you would set up your soldiers and all your land pieces and then your weapons, crossbows, catapults and cannons. Your opponent would to the same, and then the two of you would fire the spring loaded or rubberband powered weapons at each others’ structures. The weapons fired these orange plastic balls that when they collided with stress point on the structures would cause the springs inside it to make it explode. You could also be a total masochist like me and just fire into a mass of enemy troops and send them flying. I never had the Pirate set because it came out later as a separate game, but I love pirates and I don’t see how you could go wrong. One day I will own all of the sets again, and I will lock myself in my apartment playing this game in my under ware while eating peanut butter sandwiches.
Crystar: I think I had one or two of these when I was a kid. I don’t have any now that is for sure and I am not really saddened by that. These were pretty crappy toys based on a comic of the same name. A lot of repainting the same mold to get a new character and stupid shit like that. One plus is that the evil wizard’s robe was cloth. I always dig when toys do that.
Defenders of the Earth: This was Flash Gordon and the Phantom. That is all I am going to say about it. Shhh. That’s it.
Defenders of the Planets: These are just He-Man knock offs that the kid who always smelled like pee owned. These are really really really bad. It would be like if you shoved a He-Man toy right up your ass, let it up there for 8 years or so, shit it back out and put it in a box. Nobody will want it no matter how much it resembles He-Man. How Sparkle Toys didn’t get sued for this is way beyond my ability to comprehend. Honestly, forget I even mentioned it because it violates the rule of not being a direct rip off.
Demolition Derbies: I had two of these as a kid. They were cars with a section that would flip over and look dented. They were really kind of boring. Eventually I strapped model rocket engines to tem and raced them up the road. One was run over by oncoming traffic. The other I eventually probably smashed with a rock.
Dino Riders: This was an extremely cool toy series. The toys were these little humanoids and these giant dinosaurs covered in weapons. The toys were really well detailed and painted beautifully. I think my favorite toy was the bad guy’s T-Rex. It was such a bad ass figure I can’t even describe. The good guy’s diplodocus was pretty cool too, but the t-rex just ruled ass.
Dino Saucers: The Dinosaucers was a cool cartoon, but to be completely honest I wasn’t the biggest fan of the toys. They were kind of bulky for no good reason. They weren’t very posable and the weapons looked like shit. I wouldn’t say they were bad toys, but I wouldn’t lose sleep over not having any.
Fireball Island: Ah, another great game of the 80’s. It was a board game, but in 3-d. You got to run around this island and try to get off before the lava got ya. If memory serves me correctly, the lava was orange balls as well.
Food Fighters: I love this Idea. They were food items that were given faces and arms and legs. They were dressed up as members of the armed forces and came with little weapons and back packs. The names were really cheesy which I love, and they were an all around good time. You couldn’t pose them very well, but come on, they are food fighters. They are just plain great.
Galaxy Rangers: Space cowboys. Literally. There was a black one and a white one. They had robot horses and jet packs. I had the black one but I lost him somewhere along the way. I still have his gleaming horse though. Cool toys, kind of remind me of Star Wars toys in cowboy hats.
Galaxy Warriors: I had a few of these when I was a kid. I only have one or two now. I don’t really remember there deal if they had a back-story or anything and I don’t think they were a cartoon tie in. They were kind of like He Man figures only die cast. Not bad I guess. The silver guy looks pretty cool. The other one I have looks like a bird dude. He isn’t too bad.
Guardians: My neighbor was big into these things growing up. He loved that toy. It was like a robotic Minotaur with wings. As I researched them to get the name I found out there was also a bug one and some kind of surf board. It has a little guy that is supposed to ride on its back, but I don’t remember him having the guy. The figure for the dude looks like Prince Valium from Spaceballs. The whole thing looks a little stupid to me, but hey if that’s what you’re into.
Go Bots: Everybody rips on the Go Bots for being Transformers knock offs and I am getting tired of it. Sure they were pretty much carbon copies, sure the good guy leader’s name was Leader One. But he was a fighter jet, and the bad guy leader was a motorcycle. Don’t get me wrong, I love Optimus and Megatron, but come on, a big rig and a laser gun? I still think the Go Bots are great toys that never got the credit the deserve. I am not saying they are better than Transformers, but admit it. They ARE better then Beast Wars.
Immortals of Change: This one and the Next one may sound the same but they aren’t Do I care about either one of them. No, Will I ever own one? No. Do I recommend you get one? No. The Immortals of change were little guys with artillery weapons that shot foam disks. Big deal.
The Inhumanoids: Overall on a scale of 1 to 10 theses guys were about a 4. They didn’t suck completely, but they weren’t the most amazing things either. You could move the arms and legs, but that was a bout it. The skeleton guy was pretty cool but some of the others were just hunks of plastic. They are cool to have sitting around to look at, and I wouldn’t want to get rid of them, but they aren’t the most exciting thing to play with.
Karate Kid: Though the movie was popular, very few people remember the action figures. These things are a paradox for they rule and suck at the same time. On one hand you have the fact that they weren’t very articulate and they had over sized heads. On the other hand, the fact that they were made out of thick plastic and could take a beating, they actually sort of resembled the characters they were based on which was rare for action figures in the 80’s modeled after real people, their clothing was made out of real cloth, they all came with some sort of cool break away accessory and they all had exciting tri action. Unfortunately I only have a few of these left, I have the gold Daniel, the Navy Kreese and the Yellow Chozen. I would love to have all the other ones again and perhaps some day I will. It is good to have goals. I remember they had some pretty cool playsets, but I never owned any, and I really doubt I could find any in complete sets any more.