Five Classic Toylines In Need Of A Modern Reboot

by Jay Cochran
March 17, 2017
Article By Pixel-Dan:

There’s an adage that says that popular trends always seem to pop back up every few years. That seems to be the case with many of the big toy properties of the 1980’s and 1990’s. Some of the biggest of those decades have never really gone away. Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are great examples of classic properties that have constantly reinvented themselves over and over to stay relevant, keeping the stores stocked with new product for kids and collectors alike.

But in an age where fans have grown up to become the people making the toys, we sometimes see the resurgence of cool toy lines that may not have had the same success as those larger properties, but still managed to make an impact on many of us when we were younger. A recent example that has me personally excited is the return of Bucky O’Hare from Boss Fight Studios. I love seeing some of these great characters and fun designs get a chance at new life.

With so many awesome toys coming out when I was a kid, I often like to sit and think about which ones I’d like to see make a comeback. Sounds like a great idea for one of those “Top Five” lists, doesn’t it?

Here are five classic toy lines that need a modern resurgence!

Five Classic Toylines In Need Of A Modern Reboot - M.A.S.K.

I’m starting off with the most obvious one. For the past several years, rumors have been circulating about the return of M.A.S.K. from Hasbro. Every February when New York Toy Fair rolls around, fans wait for Hasbro to announce the return of the masked crusaders who work overtime to fight crime. And so far, nothing. It doesn’t help anticipation knowing that a movie may even be on the way. That must mean new toys, right?

So the question is, how does Hasbro handle this line now? Personally, I always found the charm of the vintage line being the smaller, 2” action figures. Those tiny figures were unique, and allowed for a bunch of cool vehicles to be released for them. However, not too long ago Hasbro teased us by releasing Matt Trakker in their G.I. Joe toy line. Understandably, this got a lot of collectors wanting these characters in G.I. Joe scale and style. Whatever route is taken, I think we can all agree that a M.A.S.K. return in the toy aisles is long overdue.

Five Classic Toylines In Need Of A Modern Reboot - Crystar

You know what I love? Translucent toys. So a line where all of the good guys are crystal people, and therefore made of translucent plastic is impossible for me not to love! This series of action figures from Remco featured crystal warriors, lava men, wizards, and dragons! It’s a relatively small line that packs a pretty big punch when it comes to cool characters and sweet looking toys.

And you know, Crystar even had himself a run of Marvel Comics. So if we’re thinking about a new line of Crystar figures, how awesome would 6”, super articulated action figures be? Of course, the main character himself still has to be made of a cool translucent blue plastic to get the full effect. But I drool thinking about how great these could be if given the “Marvel Legends” treatment today. Heck, he’s been in Marvel Comics? At the very least can we get Crystar into that line?

Five Classic Toylines In Need Of A Modern Reboot - Food Fighters

Ok, I know this one is super weird and super niche, but hear me out. The original line from Mattel featured various foods like Hamburgers and Pizzas doing battle with Donuts and Pancakes. A literal “food fight,” it was the heroic Kitchen Commandos up against the Refrigerated Rejects. The concept is so over the time, and the action figures, while impressively sculpted, are even more bizarre than the name implies. But that’s what makes it so perfect, in my book.

I wouldn’t change anything about those original figures. So when I think about these coming back for today’s market, I can see it going one of two ways. Perhaps they can follow the route of the recent Madballs resurgence and aim directly at a niche collector market, with a company like Mondo or Kid Robot making insanely detailed vinyl figures of the characters.

But if you want to take the line main stream again, then mini figures are the way to do it. Mini figures, specifically of the blind bag variety, are huge among the kids these days. Walking down the toy aisles now, you’ll see a pretty popular line form Moose toys called “The Grossery Gang,” a line of minis all based on rotten foods that completely evokes everything weird and awesome about Food Fighters. I think if this route is taken, Food Fighters could really find a new life that’s possibly even more of a success than the first go around.

Five Classic Toylines In Need Of A Modern Reboot - Rock Lords

While most kids were enjoying their robots that turned into trucks, I was perfectly happy with my robots that turned into rocks. Make all the jokes you want, but I will stand by this line as being incredibly awesome. Sure, some of the rock modes and transformations were silly. But I genuinely love the robot modes on all of these figures.

So in a world where we’ve seen so many awesome “Masterpiece” updates of our favorites Transformers characters, seen the return of the Go-Bots, and even have all of these third party companies out there cranking out the stuff the big companies won’t touch, can someone explain to me why no one has given me some new Rock Lords?

And don’t give me that “Rock Lords aren’t cool” nonsense. Because they are cool! Well, except maybe for the Narlies.

Five Classic Toylines In Need Of A Modern Reboot - Sectaurs

If there is one line of action figures from the 80’s that I feel really deserves a lot more love than it got, its Sectaurs. Released by Coleco, Sectaurs featured a line of 6” insect-humanoids with large bug companions that they could ride! Incorporating a bit of puppetry, many of these companions allowed you to use your hand to become the insect’s legs. The toys were incredibly well sculpted and even had articulation that was a bit ahead of its time.

This is another one that I could see going one of two ways if a modern resurgence was to occur. My personal preference would be to see these guys done up very similar to Masters of the universe Classics, with updated sculpting and articulation, swappable parts, and awesome insect beasts to ride on. But I also wonder if it would make more sense to do them at the smaller 4” scale, allowing the larger beasts to be easier to produce and cheaper to buy. Oh man, either way I would be completely on board with a new line of Sectaurs action figures. I’m so excited by this idea that I’m a bit depressed that it’s not a reality yet!

I think that’s a pretty solid list of original toy properties that should make a comeback. I am fully aware that that my list is completely bias to what I personally want to see, but that’s just how these lists work right? And hey, maybe you agree with some of my choices or I reminded you of a toy line you had forgot about. But I’m willing to bet you definitely have your own list in mind, so let’s hear it! What toy properties would you like to see make a comeback?

Until next time!
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