Sightings > Power Lords coming back – and no one told me, dammit? [UPDATED]

I am personally offended that whoever or whatever is apparently trying to bring back Power Lords sent an email to ItsAllTrue.net and not me. I was a huge Power Lords fan as a kid and, if I weren’t so lazy, I’m sure I would have made a much bigger deal out of this than NoisyDvL5 (no offense to Noisy, but even he admits he never had any of these as a kid). For heaven’s sake, the mention of Power Lords has been in my “bio card” at the bottom of the page for what, five years?

For those who don’t know, Power Lords was a short-lived toy line in the early 1980s. They were produced by Revell, a company mostly known for model kits; these was one of their first and only ventures into toy-making.

This was the best press pic I could find. My apologies.

The toyline’s story focused on Adam Power, a guy who could change from a human with very 1970s-looking hair to a blue-skinned alien dude – but who cares about him? What was awesome about Power Lords were the aliens. They were based on designs by Wayne Barlowe, the famous sf/fantasy artist and designer whose work was the basis for the Power Lords. (NoisyDvL5 already did the work of digging up some concept art for Power Lords on Barlow’s site. Thanks Noisy!)

Power Pal Ben Leach wrote the (currently) definitive history of Power Lords in ToyFare #130, which includes an interview with Barlowe. While the toy line wasn’t successful, it managed to have a two waves of toys, a three-issue miniseries from DC Comics, a videogame for the Odyssey system, a board game and a coloring book. One thing that was great about the toys was that for the time – and hell, even compared to many toys these days – they were super-articulated. One figure, Arkus, had nineteen points of articulation.

Anyway, the only thing anyone knows right now is there is a website, powerlordsreturn.com, with a “return” date of 12-21-12.

So, what’s happening? The original toys were developed by Barlowe in concert with two fellows named Ned Strongin and Len Mayem, who then brought the concept to Revell for production. Sadly, Mr. Strongin, who also co-invented the board game Connect 4passed away last year. But a quick trademark search reveals that Jeanne Strongin and Michael Strongin of “Ned Strongin Creative Services,” applied for the trademark to the name Power Lords for “Collectable toy figures; Play sets for action figures; Toy action figures and accessories” back in May of this year.

Who are the Strongins working with? I’m not sure, though I have a couple of suspects in mind. I do know Eric Treadaway of the Four Horsemen is a big fan of the Power Lords; as I recall, they looked into getting the license at one point, though I believe it fell through. So what’s the story behind this comeback? And most importantly, why wasn’t I notified?

Seriously people, totally miffed I didn’t get this email too. Ned Strongin Creative Services, you have made a weak and powerless enemy. (NOTE TO NSCS: I am totally joking. Please contact me at your earliest convenience and I will shill for your toy line like a 1950s Fuller Brush salesman.)

UPDATE: I received the following missive just a little while ago:

Dear Mr. Ghostal,

I apologize for not being able to send you the e-mail I sent to itsalltrue.net on 10-11-12. I was just about to send you the e-mail when Arkus attacked and knocked the dish off the top of Volcan Rock, causing me to lose internet access. My internet access came back this morning and I was able to read the wonderful article you had written about the return of Power Lords.

Regards,

Adam Power

That’s better. Thank you, Adam Power. And I for my part apologize for implying you weren’t as cool-looking as the aliens in my above article.

Comments now closed (9)

  • Awesome. These were the hands down creepiest toys of the 80s. My mom would only let me get two of them as she thought they were too much of a “bad trip”!

    The hipster vinyl guys have been biting these designs for almost a decade. Glad to see they’ll have to find something new to rip off.

    Can’t wait to get these creepy new guys!

  • I used to have an Arkus as a kid. I even took a picture of it last night, unaware of this announcement!

    Well, I took a picture of a newer Arkus that wasn't broken in several places.

  • A dude that turns into a blue guy in space?James Cameron's Avatar is actually Powerlords the movie?

  • I do hope they involve Wayne Barlowe in the line if they decide to make any new designs, because it would be a crime to not let the man who created those awesome alien designs.

  • This is really cool news and Poe, I have to say the best part of this was your Fuller Brush salesman comment. I literally LOL'd.

  • i loved that purple bug guy and dog head monster as a kid. it wasn't until much later i even figured out what they were from, but they were some of my earliest toys. at one point the dog guy's head fell off and i replaced it with a random robot head that somehow plugged into the hole. worked nicely.

  • Really REALLY excited about this!!! Talk about a line that was ahead of its time in my opinion!
    I agree it'd be awesome if Wayne was involved somehow.

  • I was mad that Adam hadn't sent me a message either. But then I remembered I had my intergalactic translator off, and the e-mail had gone to the spam folder.

    Anyway, color me excited about this. Real excited. I'm hoping for 3 3/4 figures. My only fear is that Hasbro picked it up. I wouldn't want to see these characters done in current Hasbro style.

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