Saturday, November 10, 2012

Do you remember...

Recently my friend gave me a box of his childhood toys.
I would say he must have been pretty good with his toys when he was a child because most of them are in very good condition and with full accessories.

Like a little kid opening his presents on Christmas eve, I found so much gems in that box.
There were M.A.S.K, Starcom, Centurions & Thundercats. These toys really brought back my childhood memories and recently initiated my interest to try and re-collect some of these toys.

While I was busy searching for toys from M.A.S.K & Centurions, I also started to rediscover toy lines which were a part of my childhood but I have forgotten. These lines were not as prominent as Star Wars, He-Man or Centurions but were just as cool for me.

Sky Commanders

Sky Commanders was an animated television series made by Hanna-Barbera Productions. It premiered in July 1987 and lasted for thirteen episodes. It also spawned an action figure line from Kenner Toys.
Love the concept of the toy line even though it was so simple. Using the concept that if one point is higher than the other, the object will naturally go downwards...or something like that (ok I did not major in Science).

Strings were attached from one point (high) to another (low) causing a "slope" and the vehicle or figure can slide down.
If I am not wrong, I only got one figure from this line.
To make up for the lack of Sky Commanders toys, my cousins and I would make our own Sky Commanders toys by attaching our clothes pegs to our Star Wars figures.
We would than tie strings all over the room and than watch Luke slide down the strings with a clothes peg attached to him! Good old days!

Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light

It was originally a range of action figures from Hasbro, released in 1987.
The toyline was not a big success, which led to both the series and the comic being cancelled after a very short run. The figures had hologram stickers on both their chests and staffs.

What I love most about these characters were the magical powers each had on their Power Staff. In order to summon that power, each Visionary had a special line to say.
My friends and I would try to memorise all of the lines and recite them during the cartoons.

We even ended up doing a spin off by creating the Stationeries: Knights that could summon the power of Stationeries! If I did not remember wrongly, they were characters that could summon the scissors to fight with another characters who would summon tape! Pretty creative I must say. Wish I had kept the scrap book in which we had spent hours drawing our Stationery Knights on!


Madballs were a series of toy rubber balls created by AmToy, a subsidiary company of American Greetings in the mid-1980s. The toys were tennis ball-sized rubber or foam collectible bouncing balls with horrendous faces and designs

Boys being boys, we were intrigued by anything gross and this fitted the bill perfectly.
Loved the designs on them.

In early 2006, toy company Art Asylum announced that it had partnered with original rights holder American Greetings to revive the Madballs toys, with both classic characters and new designs. Toy company Basic Fun Inc. took up the task of producing/selling the Art Asylum re-designed Madballs.
As of November 2007 the toys began appearing in toy stores in the US.

They even came up with the Head-popping Madballs which comprised of a poseable figure plus ejectable/swappable head.

Rambo: The Force of Freedom

Rambo: The Force of Freedom is an animated series based on the character of John Rambo from the Rambo movies.
The cartoon ran for 65 episodes, and was produced by Ruby-Spears Enterprises and also spawned a toy line.

Did not collect this toyline but remembered playing with it...hmmmm


BraveStarr is an American space Western animated television series. The original episodes aired from September 1987 to February 1988 in syndication. In 1986, a year before the TV series premiered, Mattel released an action figure line.

I will always remember the packaging. They are so big and nice as the figures were large for the time at nearly 8" tall and came in a windowed box with artwork similar to that of their Masters of the Universe contemporaries. Nowadays the toys are so small...

Unique at that time was BraveStarr and Tex Hex which were packaged with a Laser Fire Backpack which shot infra-red beams and had "space-age" sound effects.

Bionic Six

Bionic Six is an American/Japanese animated television series from 1987. The title characters of the series are a family of machine-enhanced human beings possessing unique powers after being augmented with bionic technology.

The action figures were produced by LJN in 1986.
The figures and vehicles were made up of plastic but had die-cast metal for some of the figures and parts.

When it was first released, it gained some popularity in my school but quickly wane as fast as it rose. 

Chuck Norris

A toy line in 1985 by Kenner.
The figures also had pretty cool action features...perfect and interesting to engage a kid.
The reason why I remember this so vividly was because I used my own money to buy one figure. After buying the first figure, I decided I would collect the whole line using my own pocket money.
After that one figure, I quickly lost interest...LOL

The Karate Kommandos...that one figure!


Released in 1988 by Mattel, GUTS were 3 inch not articulated figures of the following sets:

Lazer Troopers
Jungle Fighters
Green Berets

I could only remember seeing Ninjas and Jungle Fighters selling in Singapore.
When Mattel released GUTS in 1988, I was around 12 years old. It was that age when I was moving out of toys but still had some space in my heart for some toy line.

GUTS was such a toyline. I got the Ninjas and Jungle Fighters.

They were actually pretty crappy toys with no articulation, bad paint ops and sculpt. Damn I miss them!

Crossbows and Catepults

Crossbows and Catapults is a game released in 1983.
In the game there were two sides, Vikings and Barbarians.
You had to build fortifications from plastic bricks then opposing players had to attempt to destroy each other's castle with rubber-band powered crossbows and catapults firing plastic disks.
In the most recent version launched in 2007, the two sides were Orcs and Knights

I was so in love with this game!
I remembered getting the main set for Christmas or a birthday and I was hooked!

The idea and concept is great and interesting, the design wonderful and packaging art delightful.
It is no wonder this game is still as popular and was re-launched in 2007.

This game was always at the back of my mind but I never really thought about it until this post.

What a wonderful journey down memory lane.
I am truly blessed to have experienced such a
wonderful childhood.


Kelvin Lok said...

So awesome! I played with most of these before. Especially fond memories of Sky Commanders and Crossbows & Catapults.

If you wanna sell any, I claim first dibs haha!

desmond said...

I love to own sky commanders but didnt have the ability to buy toys during childhood..some toys were given by my friend at that time..

Little Plastic Man said...

Kelvin - Sorry bro,I don't have any of the items...even though I really wish I had especially crossbows & catapults.
Des - U can always go get them now!!

LEon said...

I only have the Mad balls! It spill out water. Dunno it was original or not since I was a kid. LOL

cosmicbaby said...

damn... now u made me wanna go dig out my MOC Bionic Six Meg...

Little Plastic Man said...

Leon - Not sure it spits water....hehe
cosmicbaby - take photo take photo

Chris Mapp said...

Now that brings back some memories. I'm always wishing my friends will come across a long lost box of their toys that they don't want anymore.

Colbey Hopper said...

No love for Air Raiders?! Seriously though, great post. The 80's had lots of great toy lines, even if they were commerical failures.

Another one left off the list...Inhumanoids. No way that show could are on TV today!

Malcolm said...

Wow, I had a few sets of Crossbows and Catapults, I forgot what they were called until I read your post. I had tons of fun with those.
It was like Angry Birds before iPhone.
Thanks for posting it.

Little Plastic Man said...

Colbey - Air Raiders? Never heard of them...maybe it never came to Singapore..
Inhumanoids - Yes seen them but again either never came to Singapore or I totally missed them as a child...:)

Malcolm - LOL 80s Angry Birds!!!


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