When I was young, I used to love coming home from school and checking out the adventures of the Transformers, G.I. Joe and lesser luminaries such as Jayce & the Wheeled Warriors.  (They were pretty awful.  Seriously, feel free to Google it.  I’ll wait…)  The fact that I could go to my local TG&Y and Duckwalls and purchase the plastic representations of my cartoon pals was, to my mind, nothing but a bonus.  These days, the things that entertain kids like my Widget have a lot more scrutiny applied to them, with the expectation that there be some educational component involved, rather than base marketing concerns (which in a way is sort of a shame.)  At least I can comfort myself in knowing that kids like myself who grew up wanting to buy Metroplex can get a Superman t-shirt, a replica Green Lantern ring or even my own sonic screwdriver, which in turn begs a query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) just realized, what’s Kitty Pryde doing in there?  Also, we’re asking: What properties, seemingly designed to just “sell toys”, do you nonetheless love?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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17 Comments

  1. December 22, 2013 at 11:31 am — Reply

    Ye olde Transformers

    • December 22, 2013 at 11:53 am — Reply

      The Transformers marketing machine was were pretty rad. Do you remember the Go-Bots?

      • December 22, 2013 at 6:41 pm — Reply

        I’m still not sure how I feel that Gobotron was retconned as an alternate timeline’s version of Cybertron.
        http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Gobotron

        • December 23, 2013 at 12:22 am — Reply

          Wow! I was not aware of that! Thanks for posting the link – today I learned something new.

      • December 23, 2013 at 9:48 am — Reply

        I sure do remember Go-Bots. I also remember M.A.S.K., which were vehicles that transformed, but weren’t alive.

  2. December 22, 2013 at 11:52 am — Reply

    The Super Powers Collection from Kenner – all the way. This was probably the MOST influential property which got me hooked on DC comics from a really young age. It wasn’t just action figures, the Super Powers marketing blitz included comic books, coloring books, stickers, lunch boxes, model kits, puffy stickers, play-doh set… just about anything that would appeal to a child between the ages of 2 to 14. Well played, DC comics, well played.

  3. December 22, 2013 at 11:59 am — Reply

    Transformers. Shocking I know :}

  4. Kirby
    December 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm — Reply

    Transformers and pokemon.

  5. Rob
    December 22, 2013 at 5:16 pm — Reply

    Marvel UK used to publish a book called Spider-man and Zoids (and if you remember Zoids congratulations you to are old) as the name implies it reprinted Spider-man stories with a Zoids based comic as a backup story just to bump up the page count and sell some clockwork robots. It should have been disposable filler but somehow the creators never got the memo instead they produced a dark and complex tale of waring alien races, a marooned prison ship, unwitting cyborgs and what it really means to be human all a which was way awesomer (at least to my impressionable 11 year old self) than what was supposed to be an extended toy advert had any right to be.

    I’m sometimes tempted try and find a copy but I’m sure it could never be as cool as I remember it.

  6. clubberlang6
    December 22, 2013 at 6:23 pm — Reply

    I like he-man Masters of the Universe

  7. December 22, 2013 at 6:58 pm — Reply

    Ha! I just found some of my old Wheeled Warriors toys in the back room of my grandpa’s house earlier in the year in an old box of my toys from when they used to babysit me as a kid.

    I suppose the top of my list should be Transformers, obviously, or else I wouldn’t have a Decepticon themed wheelchair (sadly it doesn’t transform…. yet).

    He-Man appealed to me for the fantasy setting, and even though the toons are pretty cheesy now, I still enjoy watching it for nostalgia.

    I can blame my love of catgirls on Thundercats.

    I’m not sure if Super Sentai counts. Considering it is sponsored by Bandai, the company that makes most of the Super Sentai toys, I’m going to just assume it does.

    I’m also going to assume Digimon counts. It was based on the old Tamogatchi-like thing (and not Pokemon like it is mistakenly believed), which is pretty much what every toy Digivice from each season is.

  8. Oldcomicfan
    December 23, 2013 at 4:36 am — Reply

    It was food, not toys. When I was a kid, Post ran a lot of cartoons based off their cereal mascots, which were totally contrived to sell their sugary cereals. Sugar Bear fought against Granny Goodwich, Linus the Lionhearted and his friends were characters based off the animal shapes of Crispy Critters, etc. and these were so obnoxious that the FCC finally banned the use of television shows as commercials aimed at kids which is why your later Transformers and GI Joe programs never directly mentioned the toys they were designed to sell. Speaking of which, your Snake-Eyes and such are NOT real G.I. Joes. The real G.I. Joes were large dolls made by Hasbro in the 60s, which represented real soldiers, sailors and pilots, and had a TON of neat accessories, including jeeps, M1 rifles, etc. and were about the coolest thing ever, not a lot of cheap Japanese nondescript superhero action figures. Just as Matthew choses to pretend the 3 Star Wars prequels don’t exist, I chose to pretend your craptastic faux GI Joes and related comics and cartoon shows also don’t exist.

    If I had to choose a toy instead of cereal, though, I’d have to go with the Lost In Space robot toys from the late 60s or the Corgi dicast James Bond car with the ejector seat, bullet proof shield, etc., neither of which my parents ever bought me (because it would have taken actual effort on their parts to go out and buy them) but I still wish I had gotten.

  9. December 23, 2013 at 9:56 am — Reply

    Does anyone else recall the show that had rock monsters that transformed from rocks into monsters? I tried google, but I can’t remember enough about it to find it. I had a few of those toys anyhow.

  10. Rich P
    December 23, 2013 at 10:29 pm — Reply

    You said it in the title Secret Wars. ‘Nuff said.

  11. Hannah Jones
    December 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm — Reply

    Transformers: Beast Wars, I don’t know if I’m ever not going to love that show.

    Pokemon, because, as I’ve told many, the day I meet a single man who lights up when I say something is “Super Effective!” I may actually marry him.

    Digimon, say what you will, Digimon is still cool!

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