Front and back of a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers trading card. While there was a full trading card set produced for the first series of the show, this card is unnumbered, suggesting it might have been a promotional pack-in of some kind.
I had forgotten how much the costumes created for the American-produced action footage looked like they had neck-braces. The Blue Ranger suit is particularly awkward here.
The final four robots - Sharkkan, Sumilidon, Tentaclam and Totalizer - from the “Medabots A to Z” feature on the first ADV Films Medabots DVD. A take-apart PVC of Sharkkan was sold in Hasbro’s Medabots toyline, but I don’t think Tentaclam or Totalizer ever received merchandise. Sumilidon, meanwhile, had toys in a few different scales, being as he was the Medabot partner of Ikki’s rich rival Koji.
For some reason, I’m inordinately amused by Sharkkan’s partner being listed as “A Boy at the Beach.” That’s just a few steps from being “Some Kid,” “Whoever,” or “That Guy Over There.”
The next four robots - Neutranurse, Peppercat, Phoenix and Samurai - from the “Medabots A to Z” feature on the first ADV Films Medabots DVD. Both Phoenix and Samurai received small, take-apart PVCs in Hasbro’s main Medabots toyline; though Peppercat never had one of those, her model’s predecessor, Magentacat, received a figure in Takara’s version of the line. For whatever reason, the Magentacat figure was never sold in the West (maybe to avoid consumer confusion?), but Peppercat herself did receive what I think was a Hasbro-initialized 5” action figure later on in the line’s life-cycle. Meanwhile, so far as I am aware, Neutranurse’s only merchandise was a Taco Bell kids meal giveaway clamp-shell case.
At some point, I realized that the three lead female robots on Medabots were modeled on a Japanese schoolgirl, a nurse, and a catgirl. In the face of what might have been a cringe-worthy series with characters defined by stereotypical gender roles, I have to say I found Medabots to be funny, intelligent, and respectful of its characters, no matter their gender. (At least until the series decided to jettison all its side-characters with nary a callback in the follow-up season, anyway…)
The next four robots - Digmole, Gloomeg, Megaphant, and series star Metabee - from the “Medabots A to Z” feature on the first ADV Films Medabots DVD. Metabee had more merchandise than you could shake a metaphorical and/or literal stick at (on either side of the ocean), but I don’t think the other three ever had plastic representation.
Sidestory: When Transformers: Armada was starting up, a handful of fans were hoping that High Wire’s relationship with Rad would mirror that of the sass-talking Metabee and his hapless owner Ikki, based largely on the fact High Wire and Metabee had sorta-similar eyes. This hope was quashed almost immediately by the revelation that Mini-Cons could only beep. (Hope was then quashed further by the sub-par quality of the Armada dub in general.)
The first four robots - Banisher, Blackram, Brass and the inexplicably-named Dr. Bokchoy - from the “Medabots A to Z” feature on the first ADV Films Medabots DVD. Of the four, I think only Blackram had a figure in Hasbro’s Medabots toyline, despite Brass being the partner of the show’s lead female character. (I don’t know if Brass had merchandise in Japan, but the fact I ran into a knockoff action figure of her while trying to figure out whether she did suggests so.)
Amusingly enough - given my fandom of choice - the creator of Fighting Foodons, Naoto Tsushima, would go on to write and illustrate a number of well-received Transformers manga. None of them have featured cooking battles or catgirls, though.
Original Digimon Tamers artwork showing Takato and Guilmon merging into Gallantmon via the power of Calumon. Images saved from a now-defunct Fox Kids website gallery, circa 2002. I think I saved these specifically because official Digimon artwork done by Western artists tends to be rare, though it does seem like part of the image is missing.
Before the Hasbro/Kenner conglomerate purchased rival toymaker Galoob, they attempted to compete with Galoob’s MicroMachines via their own series of miniature figures, vehicles and playsets, collectively known as MicroVerse. Since Kenner held the Batman license at the time, they produced a few MicroVerse sets related to Batman: The Animated Series / The Adventures of Batman and Robin, including this tiny rogues gallery pack. Each figurine is roughly the size of a fingertip.
Personal photo taken in 2005, though I think the set itself was released concurrently with the show. Also: KB Toys “clearance” sticker!
Defenders of Dynatron City was a LucasArts project that, as far as I can tell, was dead on arrival. It produced a handful of comics, a single animated pilot episode, and a mediocre NES game I could maybe sometimes get to the second level of. I don’t know anything about its development beyond those facts, but the reason I didn’t completely disregard the property to the dustbin of history was sparked, of all things, by childhood frustration.
As a kid living on Guam, I saw ads for the pilot’s special Fox Kids airing a few times, and got super excited because ANIMATED SUPERHEROES I’D NEVER SEEN BEFORE! However, due to the time delays and schedule shuffling inherent in watching TV on a Pacific island in the 1990s, I never actually SAW the pilot, despite looking for it in the local schedules. Many years after the fact, my memories of this annoyance led to me tracking down the show’s release on VHS tape (though I can no longer remember where I got it from).
This was probably not worth the effort, but I must admit the non-CG animation in the pilot is surprisingly nice, having been done by the same studio that animated “Heart of Ice” for Batman: The Animated Series. Plus, it was written by Bob Forward, of Beast Wars story editing fame, and features the voices of Gary Owens, Tim Curry and… Whoopi Goldberg? Huh. Anyway, you can watch the whole thing at Veoh.