Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Retro toybox: MANTECH: Robot Warriors
MANTECH Robot Warriors was a toy line produced in 1984 by the famous Remco toy company, makers of many classics to be discussed later.
The basic idea behind MANTECH is a familiar one: humans augmented with technology. In a similar fashion to the more famous Centurions, MANTECH featured interchangeable parts and weapons. The difference is that all their parts were interchangable...theoretically...more on that later.
Research turns up surprisingly little about these forgotten plastic gems. There were vehicles, a comic book series, tv commercials, a standard good vs. evil storyline, but little else. Unfortunately, the line failed soon amidst the onslaught that was the 1980's toy market.
In my personal collection, I only have two figures. LaserTech (the blue good guy) is one of the few examples of a classic toy I have in the original packaging. I got a great deal on it from ebay last year. SolarTech (the red good guy) is the only one I originally had.
Notice that in none of the pictures above do SolarTech's upper legs detach from the body. Well, they're supposed to, but mine are glued on. Remember when I mentioned that all their parts were interchangeable? Well that's not exactly true. That's how they were advertised, but I found out the hard way that some of the parts are hard, brittle plastic that doesn't work well with the softer, more rubbery parts. I tried to plug the upper leg piece into a shoulder (why? why not? heck, I was a creative kid...) and the peg snapped. SolarTech spent the rest of the 80's with a masking tape pelvis cast--and in exile at the bottom of the toybox.
Each figure came with a comic book--similar to He-Man, Sectaurs, MASK, and about every other line at the time. The book wasn't really a masterpiece of epic literature, it really just gave a quick impression of the basic storyline and character roles (as well as advertise some of Remco's other products.)
So there they are...or were...MANTECH. I remember daydreaming about them and drooling over the commercials, but that goes for a hundred toys from the 80's. If you're looking to start a collection, they do turn up on ebay from time to time. Prices aren't usually too bad either.
That's all for now. Stay tuned for more cartoons, toys, and all the other goodness you've come to expect from this blog!