Toy Biz pantone color guide for Captain America. Scan from an official Marvel guide to Toy Biz’s early action figure releases.
Ad for Milton Bradley’s Robotix building system. Scanned from an issue of G.I. Joe Magazine. Corporate synergy in action!
Toy Biz pantone color guides for Gambit and G. W. Bridge. The guide for Gambit has his uniform in X-Men “blue and gold” colors, a release that didn’t come out in proximity anywhere close to Bridge, I don’t think. Maybe it was planned as a redeco, canceled, then revived later on?
Scans from an official Marvel guide to Toy Biz’s early action figure releases.
Prototype-colors Astrotrain, from the 1985 Transformers pack-in catalog (large version).
The Deluxe Insecticons, from the 1985 Transformers pack-in catalog (large version).
So far as I’m aware, this small storybook is the very first piece of He-Man / Masters of the Universe tie-in fiction. It describes He-Man as being a mighty forest-dwelling tribesman who leaves his village to battle the forces of evil trying to access the secrets of Castle Grayskull… which, uh, he somehow knows exists despite being a forest-dwelling tribesman. Maybe he was also the village’s biggest gossip hound, I dunno.
This was a much more fantasy take on the He-Man mythos, as technology like the Battle Ram was left over from before Eternia was beset by the “Great Wars” - which were catastrophic enough to tear open a hole in reality(!) that pulled Skeletor to Eternia from another dimension. This set-up also gave He-Man no secret identity, which I am on record for thinking was a dumb creative decision in the first place. Sure, it was a way to add some tension to the animated series… but it just rings hollow to me, because nobody would’ve been hurt if his ID got out. By that point in the canon, Skeletor was gunning for He-Man’s family and friends anyway, by dint of them being the friggin’ Royal Family Of Eternia and the associated hangers-on.
"Gasp! He-Man is really the hated son of the hated king I hate! I must… hate them both even more now! Somehow! Nyeh!"
Also, I don’t get why the back of the storybook lists all the heights/lengths of the toys. That seems kind of weird?
Anyway. I had plans to scan the entire book, but my copy has two of the pages torn out. Turns out the entire thing is up at He-Man.org if you want to read it, though.
Despite the incredibly ’80s artwork on display here, this Care Bears coloring book was part of an early ’90s relaunch of the brand. I don’t know too much about this iteration, but it’s obvious enough the characters had their tummy symbols and fur colors slightly changed, and apparently it introduced Proud Heart Bear, who is… um, I guess a Care Bear superpatriot? He’s got a heart-shaped American flag on his stomach. I wouldn’t think the Care Bears would pick a favorite nation when it came to their stated mission of Keeping Kids From Feeling Sad, but whadda I know? (Does make me wonder how he’d get along with Colbert, mind.)
The story inside has a heavy environmentalism bent that was common for the era. Hilariously, though, it segues into this pro-Earth message by opening with the Care Bears accidentally landing in freeway traffic. But, fear not, there are no Care Vehicular Homicides - the bears just end up complaining about the pollution coming from the cars and go from there.
It’s an Aaron Archer interview at TFCon 2014 by Internet Personality Vangelus! The background noise gets overwhelming at points, but it still serves as a nice endcap to Aaron’s TFCon panel (posted here).
A.D.2045 THE ARMY OF THE UN HAS ATTACTED SUDDENLY BY ALIANS.THEY WANT TO OCCUPY THE EARTH’S ENERGY MINEFOR THEIR NEED.
BECAUSE THE WEAPONS OF THE ALIEN ARE STRONGER THEN THE ARMY OF THE UN, SO THE ARMY OF THE UN IS BEATING DEFEAT. IN THAT DANGER TIME, A GROUP OF YOUNG MEN WHO ARE POPULAR SINGERS COMPOSE THE SUPER SPACE ARMY TO SAVE THE WORLD
If I’m honest, I wasn’t expecting Batman: Knight Force Ninjas to be among anyone’s top choices for a creative outlet, but I suppose we all find passion in our own things. Come to think, I did own the Riddler from that line… and I can’t argue that the solid bright green Knight Star Batmobile didn’t stand out on a shelf. (Too bad those kinds of colors stopped seeing their way into Transformers after, like, 1994.)
Another bit that stood out to me: a note in the slideshow that Aaron brainstormed for Micronauts, the Kevin Smith Superman movie, and Saban’s Los Luchadores. The latter, in particular, reminded me that a friend once said the cast of Los Luchadores was at Toy Fair one year, even though the show didn’t have an accompanying toyline. I’d assumed they were at a Bandai booth, but if a Los Luchadores toyline was in consideration at Hasbro… huh. I wouldn’t have expected Saban to branch out with their partnerships, but I guess Kenner did handle the VR Troopers line…
Anyway, the video is a fascinating watch (or listen). I recommend giving it a go!