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Monday, October 14, 2019

Starcom was pretty rad


Starcom was a pretty neat short lived line of toys with a matching short lived cartoon. If you read off the list of companies involved it sounds more like an itinerary of presenters at a merchandising expo. Toys by Coleco, cartoon by DiC and distributed by Coca-Cola Telecommunications (sometimes big companies own other big companies), and developed with the help of the Young Astronauts Council to get kids interested in NASA. Under all that was actually a really neat bunch of space toys.

Starcom would fight the ill intended Shadow Force in another epic struggle of good vs evil. Toys were smaller space themed (like the name would suggest) vehicles with small scale figures. The figures has cool little guns that your mom would tell you would get sucked up by the vacuum cleaner. The figures were pretty dang cool with the NASA inspired good guys vs the evil sci fi fantasy inspired bad guys. Because things you find entertaining are bad in the eyes of things you find boring.

The most dominant play gimmick was the 'Magna Lock'. If this was a fan wiki, I'd make a bad joke about that. This is a fan blog, so I'll make a bad reference. The Magna Lock was a series of magnet plates on the vehicles and play sets as well as on the feet of the action figures. This was meant to simulate the gravity boots of the space explores as they fight in zero gravity. What happened more often was the figures got stuck on the refrigerator.

Starcom had a pretty short life, according to Wikipedia the cartoon only had 13 episodes. Also according to Wikipedia the line only lasted around two years, though it did get a second life when Mattel released the toys in Europe and Southeast Asia and was apparently pretty popular there. From my own memory, I remember liking the cartoon quite a bit. I'm sure I could find a few episodes on DVD thanks to budget releases as seems to be the home for old cartoons. Which isn't a bad thing,  video racks at discount stores have long been a staple of my entertainment.

I had a few of the toys, bought on clearance at Kay-Bee toys. Like a lot of oddball sci fi toys of mine, they'd find their way in a weird homogenized city made of such toys. They were the perfect scale to interact with my Transformers and often found themselves operating under the command of Hi-Q. Hi-Q was a fair leader who made sure everybody got their 15 minute break every 3 hours.

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