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Toys and memories for every '80s baby to share with their current babies.
Matt Harvey · 10 days ago
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Tigersharks was a cartoon short featured during a short-lived TV series called The Comic-Strip in 1987. The premise of the show (and the toys), surrounds a group of humanoid heroes that can change into marine-human hybrids by using a super scientific Fish Tank. The action figures were manufactured by LJN and could swap between human and super fish form via a mechanism that involved chest flaps and arm rotations.
2. The Bionic Six
The Bionic Six was another product of 1987 and LJN. The Bionic Six followed the adventures of a family enhanced with “bionic technology” that imbued each member of the family with specific super abilities! The action figures were made of die-cast steel and featured transparent limbs where the character was “enhanced”. These figures were super heavy and I remember checking for them on every trip to the local Toys "R" Us.
3. Rock Lords
Rock Lords was a spin-off of another series that we’ll talk about later called Gobots. These strange transforming toys were made by Tonka and were rocks … that turned into robot heroes and villains. I don’t recall ever seeing the cartoon, but I for sure owned the gold-plated rock that turned into a robot named “Nuggit”.
4. Super Naturals
Super Naturals were super cool action figures made by Tonka that featured holograms! There were two basic types of figures in this line: one was a traditional action figure build that featured removable chest armor, which revealed the character's hologram persona. The other was just a hooded torso with a removable coat. Each character in the line (figures and torsos) had two aspects of their personality that were revealed by changing the angle you viewed them from.
5. Visionaries: Knights of Magical Light
When all of the technology in the world ceases to work due to the EMP-like effect of three suns aligning, the inhabitants of the fictional world of Prysmos are forced to rely on ancient magic to become Visionaries: Knights of Magical Light! Each character was tied to an animal totem that gave them unique abilities. Each also had a sweet hologram of their animal on their chest armor!
From the genius duo of Rankin/Bass (Thundercats, Tigersharks) comes the cosmic adventures of the space police force known as the SilverHawks! The heroes in this series were part-human and part-bionic, featuring underarm wings and bird accessories that aligned with their personalities. My favorites were Bluegrass with his guitar-bird accessory, Sideman, and the evil, shapeshifting Mo-Lec-U-Lar!
Bravestarr followed the sci-fi/ western adventures of Marshal Bravestarr and his battles with the evil Tex-Hex! Marshal Bravestarr had the magical ability to call upon spirit animals to enhance his vision (eagle), hearing (wolf), strength (bear) and speed (puma)! This toy line featured the whole cast of characters including his robo-horse deputy named Thirty/Thirty and his rogues gallery featuring the zombie cowboy Tex-Hex!
Mobile Armored Strike Kommand or M.A.S.K. was the ‘80s dream hybrid of G.I Joe and Transformers! This toy line featured action figures (with removable helmets), transforming vehicles and action-ready play sets! The good guys of M.A.S.K battled against the evil organization V.E.N.O.M (Vicious Evil Network Of Mayhem) and I remember being obsessed with these toys.
Gobots were vehicles that transformed into sentient robots much like the better known Transformers line and were released by Tonka a year before Hasbro launched its now famous line of Autobots and Decepticons. Just like Transformers, there were good guys, known as the Guardians, and bad guys, called the Renegades, to connect the toys to a familiar narrative that kids loved!
10. Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future
Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future was a post-apocalyptic television series that featured live actors and computer animation. The show followed the adventures of Captain Power as he and his battalion of rebels fought against the evil Lord Dread for the fate of an Earth taken over by artificial intelligence. The toy line that was released by Mattel featured action figures and vehicles that interacted with segments from the show using light gun technology like that of the Nintendo Power Gun. This is the first time I remember toys interacting directly with my TV and it blew my mind.
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