9 Toylines from the ’80s Based on Unusual Gimmicks

My latest list up at Topless Robot. Big thanks to Power Pal and 1980s toys expert Ben Leach for helping come up with some of the items on this list.

9 Toylines from the ’80s Based on Unusual Gimmicks


Sightings > Rare Robo Force Figure “Tiltor” Unearthed


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  1. Harrig

    I don't even want to think about a toy called "Ring Raiders"

  2. I now know what to use as an engagement ring.

  3. I didn't list Starcom solely because I didn't think magnets were that unusual (or crappy) a gimmick.

    For a while I had M.A.S.K. on there, because that line's gimmick always seemed dumb to me (they're regular vehicles that sort-of turn into military-type vehicles!), but ended up cutting it because I decided it fit under the "transforming" gimmick, which was hardly unusual in the '80s.

  4. misterbigbo

    I'm pretty sure I had one of each, except for the Speclatron and Infaceables, which Little Bo would have instantly recognized as knock-off crap Bradlees wouldn't even carry. I friggin' loved the Sky commanders almost as much as Starcom; now those magnets and wind-up transformations were gimmicks!

  5. Fun list. I wonder what Robo Force would be like if not saddled with the horrifically misfiring gimmicks.The only one on this list that was new to me was Speculataron, or whatever that name was. Spectacularly crappy!

  6. Dead Man Walking

    Great article. Being that I was born in 1980, I'm always amazed on how many '80s (and '90s) toylines and cartoons I was completely unaware of. Other than Visionaries, Supernaturals, and maybe Air Raiders, I was completely unfamiliar with the existence of the other toy lines on the list. Well, I think I may have actually owned one Robo Force figure, but I had no idea what it was from.

    I also never knew about Bravestarr, Blackstarr, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, Centurions, Crystar, Power Lords, Lost World of the Warlord, et al.

    • Dead Man Walking

      I should note that my childhood was steeped in Masters of the Universe, Transformers, GI Joe, Dino Riders, Thundercats, Silverhawks, Gobots, Voltron, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. So I was deprived, just only familiar with the heavy hitters…and Gobots.

    • Dead Man Walking

      *wasn't deprived

  7. FabioKingAlphaMelros

    Aquaman in A VIEW OF THE OCEAN
    Aquaman, thu king of Atlantoast had to go tow the surface landd. Hwkman and Metammopho had usked him meat them at a newt bar in Cincinatti. They had gown there once befar and both got laid by too oozy chikkz. Aquiman secretly hopped for that two hippin far heem since Mara had gotten lumpoo after havng dumb booby. He get to bar and it smell of dingoes and cuckumbers. He see Hawkman having a 16 feet tall cup of alchohol while talking upp a blonde bamboo. “Hi! Merriest grootings Bird brain!” said Aquaman while eyeing the female, getting harder each nono-second he saw hair and wheel tanned skins. “I glad come you Arthu. Me buy you drink almost heafy as my dates chust.” The bimbow giggled as both supermen pimpyed and preened while sipping up whusky. “Bowth you so strong and honky” said bamboo while strumming her blonde her. Both of them a little drank sew they rent pinthouse near the beech to slope on. Hwkman fall sleep own coach while Aquaman make mauve on blondy. “You arc super prutty. More than Wandy Women!” “Tunk you. Kiss me herd.” Aquiman and the blonde bab lock lips and kiss wyle feelingg echothr’s boots. Then they stop. Blonde looks at the seventy seas outside window, enjoying the vew. The sght fall her with zo mulch happinest she take off bra and leep onto Aquaman. His hands pinch her al over while shhe take off pantz. Sweat pour over them as Aquaman licks her tummi. She scratches at Aquaman’s choots so viciously she ripe off the orang shells and all his clothes fell apurt. They enter ech other with furry infarnso of lust. It was like a tidil wafe crashing upon the rocky beaches of Borlovlia. They full off mor energy than a starm. They kiss while there arms squeez tho otters body. They on each other like gorilla on dwayne swansoon. “I larv this sew much!” scream Aquiman to new lova. He grab hair chest and play with purtz. She moaned as the light of the full moon twilkydd ofer them. The haet of thar wet moment was ruined when Hwkman wake up. Hawkmnn ws filed with rage wen he seee the Atloonnten in mid–sux with hiz hoor. “Athur! What thu heell!” Aquaman waglled eyebrro wike a snake:s tail and siad “She went rel man with the powah 2 giff her an okean view!” Hwkmon eyes like nwow of a buil kuz he want mor lay timee. Then sudnily door busted open. It was Elliot Stabler fom Law & Ordr: sVU! “What ur you do-ung inn me dahtah!” He shotted with raggge. “DADDY!!!” Skareem The bloond chikk “Wehutt you want noww!!!!??))” “I alreooudy found yo a man frend! I told Skott Pilgrumm you wood sleep with him. I will tak you tow him knoww!!!!” “NO!!! You mystt fite all my sevvenn evil superhero manfroondz!” Und wiff a snap o’ har fingarz ape-eared 5 otha zuperheoz. Lyon-0, Warr Maknine, Planatear Wheeler, Liggtningg MacKween, and Pabu the fire furrit all had arrived to arn hur luv bi beet’n upur dada! Elloit just gwiggld likc a clonwe and snapped his robotic hand “Behold like a swan it appurs and rianz fyre from blelww thu okean and so du moon says itz goodby and a dawn errupz on the girl of mee bulud!” A hellish portelle open uppin the wall and out came warriors of his own. They were Zak Efrom! George Clonny! Slenna Gomaz! Lrray tHe Cabla goy! Chuck NORRIS!!! Jhnnoy depppppppp! And Adum Sand1er! Their eyez al locked. The car has eyes too. They beggan to fight and then Ellot and Bamboo grant wesh and let them fightt! Aquaman eats Gomez out aganzt well. She like no no much. Cloony and Stacbler rip Pabu’s armz of lead apurt and tozz tham to Lray who beats Wheelr withut/! Deppppp is a prik headed lame boy so he slap War Machine with a towel of rose puddeng. Hye just stars in dasbelefi and Lyo-NO stabs Johnny to doom. The Red Car of Pixar rapes Adam but then stooppz and haz hart attuk. NORRIS goes to TV and watches STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE’S BERRY BITTY ADVENTURES on demand to spite Hawkman who is a brony who luvz Applejak perverslee! “BRILLIANT MOVE CHUCK” shouts Larry the Cabla goy who comes to watch toe. Hawkmon upzet cause hee thank pony shuld be only cartune? Only Aquamaon, Hwkman, War Maknen, and Lion-Yo remain as Stablerz surfying knights )SAVE for rapped Gomes, rapd Sandlar, and Efron who Wheller blasted when he fart camme in.( went to watch STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE’S BERRY BITTY ADVENTURES and live it up for the next 4 years togetther in the penthouse which was graet since Aquaman zoon befrendded them and gafe them a view of the ocean. ENDAGE

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