aaron-archer-art:

Knightforce ninja riddler

Looking up photos of the toy (which came out as Tornado Blade Riddler), I forgot his spinning arm mechanism was made of gold plastic. I can’t remember where I put mine, but I hope it’s not the kind of gold-flecked plastic that’s susceptible to crumbling…

aaron-archer-art:

Knightforce ninja riddler

Looking up photos of the toy (which came out as Tornado Blade Riddler), I forgot his spinning arm mechanism was made of gold plastic. I can’t remember where I put mine, but I hope it’s not the kind of gold-flecked plastic that’s susceptible to crumbling

Remember Piggsburg Pigs? No? Well, nobody else does, either, but here it is - the early-80siest cartoon to come out of 1990.

Side 2 of a Bandai Mighty Morphin Power Rangers pack-in catalog from 1994 (side 1 is here). Got this with either the Auto-Morphin Green Ranger or the blue Thunder Bike, I think.

Power Rangers hit when I was growing up on Guam, a Pacific island that’s four hours off of Japan by airplane (and eight off Hawaii, for comparison’s sake). Japanese toys, trading cards, and other memorabilia in their original-language packaging frequently made the trip over. So did the country’s television programming, in the form of both NHK transmissions carried by the local cable company and probably-actually-illegal rental shops that loaned out shows systematically taped off Japanese TV. For me, though, there was a third option.

Early in middle school, I had a Nisei-or-Sansei friend (okay, he was my only friend) whose relatives still lived in Japan. These relatives would regularly send care packages to my friend’s family, including various giant robot toys and cassettes of Japanese-language children’s programming; they were presumably meant for my friend’s younger brother, but we ended up watching them together anyway. It was through these tapes that I first saw G Gundam, Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z… and Dairanger, the show that would be adapted for Power Rangers’ second season.

Do you know how weird that was? Living in the era before the widespread use of the Internet, knowing that the Thunderzords came from a show with an entirely different set of suits and main villains than what was airing on Fox Kids? Mostly, what that knowledge made me was annoyed: annoyed that Saban “messed up” Dairanger by not keeping any of its in-suit fight footage, which had the side effect of forcing the American episodes to focus more on the out-of-suit antics of the Ranger teens.

Nobody watched early Power Rangers for the leads’ acting!

Still… despite that dissatisfaction, I kept an affinity for David Yost’s Billy. A smart, nerdy kid in glasses who was nonetheless a superhero? There was something inarguably uplifting about that for me (see: the part above about having an “only friend”). Those feelings led to me getting the blue Thunder Bike from the second assortment of Power Rangers toys - which, um, didn’t end up featuring into the show. At all.

Barring some instances of “oh god nothing else is on,” I ended up quitting the franchise almost entirely thereafter, and wouldn’t return until around Lightspeed Rescue and Time Force.

Unproduced Beast Wars Neo (Ultra Class, roughly?) version of Unicron. Images taken from the Japanese patent office website.

28 plays

So I own this Disney Afternoon cassette tape, and transferred the music from it onto MP3 a while back. Here’s track 5, “Home is Where the Heart is”. The tune originated as a lullaby in the TaleSpin pilot movie, Plunder & Lightning, sung by Rebecca Cunningham’s actress Sally Struthers. It was excised when the movie was divided up for syndication… and for some reason the cassette/CD recording, while extended, uses a different vocalist. Dunno what’s up with that.

please don’t sue me, giant mega-corporation

Packaging art for an unmade Transformers: Generation 2 version of Mirage. The figure itself got at least as far as one painted prototype, although the proto is missing the alligator graphics.
Scanned from the excellent Transformers Vault book.

Packaging art for an unmade Transformers: Generation 2 version of Mirage. The figure itself got at least as far as one painted prototype, although the proto is missing the alligator graphics.

Scanned from the excellent Transformers Vault book.

A ridiculous exchange from the ridiculously-titled arcade game Aggressors of Dark Kombat. (The ninja, Fuuma, is a time-traveling refugee from World Heroes, another game by the same publisher.)

Toy Biz pantone color guides for unreleased X-Men and X-Factor versions of Havok. A different take on the X-Factor uniform came out in 1995 (after I’d already lost interest in Toy Biz’s Marvel range, which was around the Strong Guy wave), but a toy of Havok in his X-Men uniform wouldn’t be released until ToyFare magazine offered it as a mail-away exclusive circa 1998. That figure was apparently just a base body with a new head, but it’s not like Havok really needed more than that.

Final scans from an official Marvel guide to Toy Biz’s early action figure releases.

Toy Biz pantone color guide for Captain America. Scan from an official Marvel guide to Toy Biz’s early action figure releases.