Legions of Power: I always begged my mom for these as a kid, but I never had any. The toys were really cool looking and I had a few issues of the comic. They had little G.I. Joe sized figures and big machines. If I remember right you could connect them all together which was definite bonus. If you don’t know what they are they are worth looking in to.
M.A.S.K.: I am not going to lie to you. This doesn’t belong on this list since a lot of people still remember M.A.S.K. but fuck you I love them so I am going to talk about them any way. O.K. first of all, M.A.S.K. was yet another series where you had small scale action figures, I believe they were a little over two inches and large vehicles. The reason I loved M.A.S.K. then, I love M.A.S.K. now and I continue to collect them is because first, the vehicles all had hidden surprises, cars and trucks and jeeps and motorcycles would change in to boats and jets and helicopters and tanks. The guys all had really believable names like Matt Tracker and Julio Lopez, and the helmets they wore all had their own names. M.A.S.K was based on a cartoon by the same name which by the way is still my favorite 80’s cartoon to this day. It is really hard for me to pick my over all favorite toy from M.A.S.K. because they were all so damn cool, but I think the Volcano was definitely a top one as well as the Rhino, The Jack Hammer, The Raven, The Stinger, The Bulldog, and The Manta. See, that is almost all of them. I think maybe there were ten toys I didn’t mention. I think the Stinger had some of the best features though. It had a hook arm in the trunk, a gun that came out of the windshield, tank treads and a smoke stack. I have to admit, the Manta was the first M.A.S.K. vehicle I ever owned so I will always have a special place for it, and I still think Vanessa Warfiield is hot. On a side note, the leader of V.E.N.O.M. (the bad guys) Miles Mayhem is one of my all time favorite action figures ever and I still have no idea why. He looks remarkably like Richard Riehle from Office Space though.
Mad Balls: No, not just a strange condition that happens when I shave my sack to quickly, Mad Balls were rubber balls about the size of baseballs that had these strange faces on them. I remember I had this green one with a big bloodshot eyeball and my cousin had a grotesque baseball. If I remember right they had a vehicle that was like a catapult, but I don’t remember what it was called and I haven’t seen it since. If any one has any info on it I would appreciate it greatly.
Mantech: I have been trying to find the name of this toy line forever. When I was a kid I had this guy that wore a yellow suit with this bad ass helmet and giant orange gun. I still have the guy itself but no helmet or gun. This is how I would describe it to vendors at toy shows. No wonder I never came up with anything. Any how after scanning the internet I found the name of the series was Mantech and the particular one I have is called Aquatech. <a href=www.virtualtoychest.com>Virtual Toy Chest</a> has a great article on them which is where I found the name at. The toys themselves had movable arms, legs and heads, and some really cool weapons. I am fairly certain the Star Trek people got the idea for the Borg from the bad guys though. As it turns out they were from a Marvel Comic of the same name. I now have a mission.
Max Steel and Roboforce: Robo warriors with suction cups on the bottom. I have one called S.O.T.A. that sits on my office window seal about to club Duke Nukem over the head. To be honest I don’t even remember a lot about this toy, but I will tell you someone who does…-RoG- from I-Mockery, and he has a great article on Roboforce you can read here
Mega Force: I had one of these toys called the Thunderwolf that kind of looked like an Osprey. It was like a plane/helicopter. To be totally honest I was never big in to vehicle toys that didn’t have an action figure with them. These are pretty cool toys though and they kind of look like vehicles from Command and Conquer
My Pet Monster: Kind of like My Buddy for people who didn’t grow up to be pedophiles. It was this kick ass stuffed monster that came in hand cuffs. My My pet monster went on many strange adventures with me, then when I moved to college I took him with me and always took him to parties. Sadly my dog destroyed him two years ago. I have been debating getting another one, but I just don’t know if it could ever be the same.
Ninja Assassin: These toys still look really really cool. They were ninjas that looked like the Grim Reaper and Lizard man. I think there was a werewolf and a few others. Worth looking in to if you just want a cool toy to keep you company.
Over the Top: Don’t think about this for more than 8 seconds or your eyes will start to bleed and your head will explode, but the arm wrestling movie “Over the Top” had it’s own action figures. They were worse than anything you could imagine. There were way too many characters named John. I will admit it though, I still have John Grizzly
Power Lords: Kind of He-Manesque toys. They did have some really cool figures, but they had just as many shit balls. The big thing was the leader Adam Power; he could turn around to switch from regular Adam to Adam Power. I still really dig Griptogg
Rocky: In god’s name stop making toys based on Sylvester Stallone movies. Stop.
Rat Fink: Based on the Characters of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. I hat Rat Fink and my cousin had a few of the other ones. These were some pretty cool toys to look at but in all honesty, they didn’t do much.
Sky Commanders: This was another one of my favorite toys from the 80’s. These were a series of action figures and vehicles that you connected to strings that you could put across an area and they would slide back and fourth on the strings. My cousin and my neighbor and I would replace the string that was given with the toys with kite string to make them go really far. One of my greatest memories from child hood is my dad freaking out when he got home from work because the three of us set up all of our Sky Commander toys and the basement was just an impossible mess of string to get through. It was great and I still love the toys.
Spinjas: This was really more of a game than a series of action figures. I still have some of the Spinjas, but I don’t have the game itself. Cool idea I guess. They were basically tops shaped like ninjas that would knock in to one another.
Supernaturals: When I was a kid there was a great store in my town that was very much like Value City. They would go in and buy out other stores and then sell off all the crap at really cheap prices. One thing they bought out a lot of was toy stores. They would get these toys, usually stuff regular stores couldn’t give away, and sell them at an extremely low price. It was great for me because my mom would come home with an entire run of action figures and only have spent about six dollars. On such example is the reason why I have a complete set of Supernaturals toys. The Supernaturals were like Tonka’s knock off of the visionaries. They were action figures built around a central section of the head and torso that had a green holographic sticker on it. One way you would see the human form turn it in another angle and you’ll see the Supernatural form. There were actually quite a few of these guys. I have the Knight, the Indian, the big lion thing, and the Grim Reaper dude, the Black Knight, the Snake Dude and the Midget. The snake dude doesn’t have his cool rubber head piece anymore, the Indians feathers are still there but they are ripped and the night…well I am pretty sure the hole in his chest is from me executing him with a B.B. gun. These weren’t the best toys ever made, but I still dig them.
Starcom: I had three of these things, a white one, a black one and a tan tank with two missels on it. It was based on a cartoon by the same name. The had little motors in them that would wind up as you moved the parts, then you would push a button and it would take on a different shape. The ships and little dudes had magnets on them. They were really cool.
Tron: Yup, this movie had toys based on it too. I love the movie Tron. I really do, but the toys…well there is a reason they were forgotten. Let’s leave it that way.
Visionaries: I have been waiting to talk about these guys since I started writing this, basically because Cindarr has been laying on the floor looking at me the whole time. They are standard 80’s Hasbro toys. Basically just like G.I. Joe or C.O.P.S. in their design, then on their chest they have an emblem with a holographic sticker on it that shows their power. They were kind of like knights of the Round Table on another planet. They had some pretty cool vehicles to go with them.
Wizzers: Battling tops kind of like Spinjas, except they were shaped like tops and you ran the tip on the ground or off a wall to start it instead of using a launcher. I think mine was yellow, or maybe green with a number like 52 on the side. My wizzer died when a hair got wrapped around the metal rod that the rubber tip was connected too. I hear tale these things are still being made.
Zoids: Billions of pieces which you put together and then you had a big space dinosaur. It had a wind up motor and could move around. I had a T-Rex. I built the head and part of the upper body before I lost complete and total interest in it. I still like Legos better.
Zybots: You know for as much as everyone rips on Go Bots…these things should have it worse. They were knock offs of Go Bots. Not even transformers, Go Bots. These were really really dumb.
Well that about wraps it up. I hoped you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. If you want to read anymore about some of the toys featured check these great resources.
In the 80’s