Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Review: Visionaries

It is a time when big hair is BIG.  When plasma balls are exciting and ridiculously expensive. When holograms are taking over the world. It is the time of the Visionaries!

It's the 80s and you're after a new gimmick. Holograms are proving to be a big hit. 3D without glasses! How awesome is that?! It's not long before Hasbro rolls out Visionaries and Tonka has Supernaturals.

Considering the line is based completely on a gimmick (because no other toy line is, obviously), the storyline for Visionaries isn't half bad. Sure, a few of the details in the cartoon are a little...suspect because they have to fit with what accessories, etc, come with the toys, but generally the idea of a society losing all its technology and regressing back to magic is pretty interesting.

The figures themselves are incredibly well articulated for an 80s line. More importantly they come with the most child-demanded accessory for any toy: removable helmets!

There is a bit of a problem with getting these guys to stand up. I know of more than one person who's resorted to blu-tak to get the things to stand up for display. Getting them to hold their staffs is another problem since - oddly - their hands aren't really shaped to grip them.

There were four vehicles released for the line - one small & one large each for the baddies & goodies. These are pretty basic, but they do have a bunch of holograms all over them to make up for it.

One of the problems these days is the state of the holograms. Quite a few of the figures around have either lost the sticker from their chests, or the hologram isn't quite as hologrammy as it once was.

Also worth noting: drop figure on lump of metal & you will break figure's crotch. Ouch.

The toyline only lasted one year - 1987. The initial release of 12 figures was never followed up by the second wave of 18. The comic lasted 6 issues before being cancelled and the cartoon ended after 13 episodes (along with every other cartoon made by Sunbow as it lost its contract).

I was fortunate to buy almost a complete set of Visionaries figures at Memorabilia earlier this year for not very much money. On ebay, individual figures seem to be listed at around ~£20 each which is a bit pricey.

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