Sunday, February 19, 2017

#778 BIONIC SIX – CHOPPER, DR. SCARAB, KLUNK, GLOVE, MADAME-O, MECHANIC (1986)


Today, I am presenting the last 6 figures, all of which are Dr. Scarab’s Evil Minions of Destruction, that is, the bad guys.

DR. SCARAB is the leader of an evil organization that wants to rule the world. He also has bionic powers and is able to detect bionic people using his monocle.
The figure came with a belt and a pair of pliers (missing).



GLOVE is one of the henchmen of Dr. Scarab and seems to have a superior status than the rest of the bunch. He has a glove that launch projectiles and beams.
The figure came with a gun that attached to his hand and a glove.



MADAME-O uses her weapon as an harp to produce sonic blasts. Seems to be very enigmatic, and despite looking young, apparently is an elder woman turned young by Dr. Scarab.
The figure came with a backpack and a rifle.



MECHANIC is the strong but not-very-intelligent guy. He uses many instruments and tools to attack, but deep in his heart, he is probably a good guy.
The figure came with a belt.



CHOPPER is another thug who is very keen on motorcyles. Does not appear very often.
The figure came with backpack and a small gun or cannon that attached to it.



KLUNK a creation of Dr. Scarab, is the strongest and most dangerous opponent that the bennetts will face. Seems to be made of glue, may engulf one person with his body. His weak point is that his intelligence is very low.
The figure came with a glove.



 
FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: CHOPPER, DR. SCARAB, KLUNK, GLOVE, MADAME-O, MECHANIC
  • Toy Line: Bionic Six
  • Year: 1986
  • Company: LJN (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: Around 8 cm

Saturday, February 18, 2017

#777 BIONIC SIX – JACK, HELEN, ERIC, MEGAN, J.D., BUNJI and F.L.U.F.F.I. (1986)


The Bionic Six toyline is a series of 3.75'' figures made of a mixture of plastic and die-cast parts by the American company LJN. This toy company is most famous for having produced many videogames in the late 80s for Nintendo NES and Game Boy, or the Thundercats action figure toyline from the 80s and also the WWF Superstars in the early to mid 80s. The company LJN does not exist anymore, but it merged and is now part of Acclaim Entertainment, still active in producing videogames.

The company LJN Toys Ltd. was founded by Jack Friedman in 1970. Originally it was based in New York (Manhattan) but later they moved the headquarters to Lyndhurst, New Jersey. The name comes from Norman J. Lewis (NJL => LJN), who was the stakeholder at the creation of the company, although later sold his participation to a Chinese investor. Norman J. Lewis had been previously the boss of Jack Friedman in the 60s.

The company strategy during the 80s led to producing many toys with license of popular movies and tv shows like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, E.T., Gremlins, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Back to the Future II, Nightmare on Elm Street or Magnum P.I.

This bet on movies attracted MCA Entertainment, which would buy LJN in 1985 to get more out of their film properties for merchandising, and also produce more videogames based on MCA´s properties. Only four years later and after bad financial results, MCA sells LJN to Acclaim Entertainment. The sell would be official by March 1990.

Acclaim would cancel the toy section of LJN and would use LJN as a second brand to produce more NEW videogames. At the time, Nintendo only allowed designer companies to release a certain number of games per year, so Acclaim with LJN would be allowed to release twice as many games each year. LJN is still property of Acclaim Ent.

After LJN closed, Jack Friedman continued involved in toy companies, and founded THQ and Jakks Pacific.

And now… back to the toys: the Bionic Six figures were sold between 1987 and 1989, and somewhat later in Spain. At the time, any figure in this size would sell ver well, and still today it is common to find some of these figures in bigger G.I.Joe lots.

Pic: The Cartoon Badlands

The feel of the figures is different from the Hasbro figures: they are heavy and when you first take them, cold. The have an articulation in the waist but it is not based in an O-Ring, it allows just turning it to one side or the other, the casts are all different. Those figures representing kids or women are thinner are shorter than other figures representing men, some villains are quite dick... and then there is F.L.U.F.F.I., which is a huge robot, maybe 3 or 4 times as heavy as the average figure. This is something I always missed in the Hasbro ARAH series, but probably Hasbro thought that the smallest figures would sell worse, and it was kind of easier to make all similar and the produce the same numbers of each figure, without any estimation if a figure would sell better or worse.

I don´t know if this was also the case in the Bionic Six toyline, but my impression (maybe totally biased) is that the female figures are more difficult to find than the other ones.

Just a couple of notes more on the figures before we start with the analysis of each figure individually. The die-cast parts innovation may seem like a good idea, but the fact is that the figures, while playing with them, were hit, fell to the floor, got wet… and the metallic limbs or bodies started chipping (losing paint). Most used figures look very bad, it is difficult to find good looking figures like mine or in better condition. So, this toyline can be a headache for people looking for loose figures in pristine condition.
Also the articulations are not optimal, since the parts that joins together body and legs are made of plastic. These sometimes damage, think that the legs are metallic and quite heavy, and the part may be stretched if forced by pushing leg against body.

Additionally, as it happens with minoritary action figures toylines, the accessories are very very hard to find.

So, my objective today was to show the complete Bennett Family, that is, the Bionic Six plus the robot F.L.U.F.F.I. and in the next entry, I’ll do the same with the bad guys.

Each member of the family had, of course, his or her name, but also some nickname. I put both for completeness.

JACK BENNETT (BIONIC-1): He is the father and head of the family.  Had several bionic implants that allow x-ray vision, energy blasts and other attack and defense capabilities.
The figure came with: a oxygen tank backpack with swimming googles and a sea sled.


 

HELEN BENNETT (MOTHER-1): Wife of Jack. She also has some kind of superpowers. Sometimes she can anticipate what’s going to happen (like all mother do, right?) and telepathically communicate with other living creatures.
The figure came with a blue backpack (missing)


ERIC (SPORT-1): Son. Has electromagnetic powers, can attract or repel metallic objects.
The figure came with a baseball bat and a baseball glove.



MEGAN (ROCK-1): Daughter. Has interest in music and can emit sonic beams from the pads in her shoulders (see accessory)
The figure came with a red belt



J.D. (IQ): Adopted son. Has super strength and super intelligence.
The figure came with: a cowboy hat and two accessories that attached to his arms (missing)



BUNJIRO „BUNJI“ BENNETT (KARATE-1): Foster son. Skilled martial artist. Also possess some bionic tricks that give him extra agility and super fast reflexes.
The figure came with one gun that attachs to one arm.



F.L.U.F.F.I. Is a gorilla robot that lives with the Bennetts and helps them at home. It is the butler that a bionic family needs.
The figure came with no accessories.


FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: JACK, HELEN, ERIC, MEGAN, J.D., BUNJI and F.L.U.F.F.I.
  • Toy Line: Bionic Six
  • Year: 1986
  • Company: LJN (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: Around 8 cm

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

#776 CORGI JUNIORS – E TYPE JAGUAR 2+2 and SUPER STOCK CAR (1970 and 1973)


Like many other manufacturers, each cast made by Corgi for its Juniors subseries was released in several colours (or decorations). After one or more years, the car was painted in another colour and put into catalogue again. I do not have many “variants” for Corgi Juniors, except these two couples, so I decided to present them together, although one model is very different from the other one.



The first model is the E Type Jaguar 2+2, which was released with Nr.33B (the B means, that there was another 33 reference before). It was available first in yellow (33B) and then in blue (33B1). The car was available (both versions together) between 1970 and 1975. Note that each version has a different interior color.





The Jaguar has opening bonnet, and compared to other reproductions, and to the real car (which I could see during a trip in Ireland) is a bit too wide and a bit bulky.


The second one is the Super Stock Car, reference number Nr.75A. The yellow version came first (75A1) and the blue version seems to be later(75A2). This nice model was available between 1973 and 1975. Note that one of them is missing a few stickers, most notably one that simulates a frontal grill.





FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: E TYPE JAGUAR 2+2 and SUPER STOCK CAR
  • Scale: Around 1:64
  • Year: 1970 and 1973
  • Company: Corgi Juniors (Great Britain)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm
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