Thursday, February 21, 2013

SilverHawks: Mon*Star

I've been wanting to get around to this review for a long time.  While I never had any of the SilverHawks toys as a kid, I loved watching the old cartoon.  For those of you that don't know, the SilverHawks were basically the intergalactic space version of the Thundercats.  The same pair that created Thundercats expanded their talents and created the Galaxy of Limbo, set in the 29th century, and created the crime fighting SilverHawks.  Even many of the same voice actors lent their voices to the new animated series.

On the toy front, LJN - the company responsible for the Thundercats toys, was set to produce the auction figures and vehicles.  At the last minute however LJN pulled out for unknown reasons.  Kenner stepped in and took over...with mixed results.  The SilverHawks toy line is rather small and most of the action figures aren't that hard to come across, but the vehicles are a whole different story.  For that reason alone good luck to any collector that has their sights on collecting the entire line.

The SilverHawk's enemies in the series were a group of space mobsters if you will, led by Mon*Star.  The similarities with him and the Thundercats' Mumm-Ra have to be intentional.  First of all Mon*Star has two humanoid forms.  In his "normal or powered down" form he often is shown sitting upon a throne.  He can at whim transform himself into a more powerful, armored, version of himself.  The animation sequence of this transformation also shares many designs as Mumm-Ra going from his mummy self to his powered up state.

Kenner tried their best to capture this transformation in action figure form, but it falls a little short.  Let's take a closer look at the figure.

Monstar photo Nov19063.jpg

Like the SilverHawk characters, Mon*Star comes packaged with his own bird (or bat) creature that doubles as a weapon, Sky Shadow.  More on that later.  Mon*Star seems to have some feline characteristics while in his normal form.  Normally the rest of his body isn't all armored up and features darker shades of red.  His hair is also much larger, but due to the transformation gimmick I'm sure Kenner had to trim this back on the head sculpt.

Monstar photo Nov19070.jpg

Like with LJN's Thundercats toys, Kenner's SilverHawk toys usually featured some sort of auction feature built into the toy.  For Mon*Star when you squeeze his legs together his chest and back panels opens up and reveals the powered up, armored head.  Using a spring, the new head flips up into place.  Mon*Star pulls off this transformation by using beams from the Limbo's Moonstar.  During the transformation he utters these words a la He-Man:


"Moonstar of Limbo, give me the might, the muscle, the menace, of MON*STAR!"



Pretty cool, huh? By the way, the same voice actor (Earl Hammond) that voice Mon*Star also voiced Mumm-Ra if you couldn't figure that out from the above video clip.

Monstar photo Nov19066.jpg

Now we're talking!  Now he looks much more menacing, don't you think?  While I love the character design, the gimmick really hampers this toy.  If you look carefully the figure is built using two different types of plastic.  The arms, lower legs and head(s) are cast of a softer plastic while the center portion of the figure is a more traditional hard plastic.  For this reason I'm guessing that explains the difference in the shades of red.  Being a 1980's action figure you can probably guess that articulation is almost nonexistent.  His arms can rotate a full 360 degrees and you can just barely get his legs to bend out straight to make him sit.

Mon*Star was given his own personal ride, the Sky Runner, a squid hybrid space craft.  However the toy seems to be extremely hard to find these days.

Monstar photo Nov19068.jpg   Monstar photo Nov19067.jpg

So we go from Mon*Star looking like this on the left, to this on the right.  Big difference.  It also doesn't help that the paint apps applied to the face on the left are horribly sloppy.

Monstar photo Nov19064.jpg

Mon*Star's companion is the bat Sky Shadow.  The toy is roughly the same size as the birds that come with the various SilverHawk characters.  Not really a whole lot more to say about this.

Monstar photo Nov19065.jpg

Sky Shadow's head ever so slightly pulls out and "locks" into place.  When the head is depressed the wings pop forward in a pinching form.

Monstar photo Nov19071.jpg

I don't recall Mon*Star using Sky Shadow as much in the cartoon as say the SilverHawks Tally Hawk was used, but at least you can clip him onto Mon*Star's wrist for display purposes.

When it comes to a recommendation I'm a little on the fence.  It's not a bad action figure, but isn't that great either.  If you are a fan of the series then you'll probably like it, otherwise I can think of better 80's action figures to spend your hard earned money on.

I've got a few more SilverHawks figures that I eventually plan on sharing, so if you liked this post let me know and perhaps I'll bump up the next review higher up in my que.


3 comments:

  1. awww man, such memories. I did like the Silverhawks when I was young. Liked the cartoon a lot more than the figures though - the poseability was sorely lacking for figures of that size, but I did the chrome on the 'Hawks!

    My favourite baddie was Mo-le-cu-lar!

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    1. Yeah, the figures do kinda suck. Oh well, at least it's fun writing about them and reliving those days from my childhood.

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  2. The Silverhawks themselves, were pretty awesome figures. Yes, they lacked posability, but the chrome was awesome! I recently found the first to add to the collection(I only had Quicksilver as a kid). They aren't actually abundant, and they usually don't come cheap either. Mon*Star and Buzz-Saw are the most visually appealing of the villains.

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