The 10 ?80s Toylines Least Likely to Get a New Big-Budget Hollywood Movie

BraveStarr.jpgBy Jon Gutierrez

If there was any doubt that there’s money to be made from exploiting ’80s toy nostalgia, Transformers rolled right over it. Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Spielberg took our love for our childhood toys and managed to squeeze three hundred million dollars out of our Xmas memories of ripping open Optimus Prime.

Which explains all the other 80’s toy related movies supposedly in the works like G.I. Joe, Thundercats and He-Man (which all already had movies, if you count Thundercats Ho…or the porn flick of the same name). But while Hollywood may be knocking down the door of the toy companies behind those A-list properties, there are still a ton of toy aisle pegwarmers that aren’t getting deals, either because they didn’t sell or because you’d need a Joe-Eszterhas-level madman to try and adapt their storylines. Here are 10 flicks you won’t be seeing next summer.

10) Battle Beasts

These guys were originally part of the Japanese Transformers line as the appropriately (if unimaginatively) titled Beast Formers?little alien animals that sided with either the Autobots or Decepticons based on the rub-signs on their chests (kind of like the cold war between the U.S. and Russia, but without all those goddamned Tom Clancy novels). But when they brought them here they dropped the Transformers part and made the factions “wood”, “fire” and “water” making them the toy equivalent of paper, rock scissors…if paper, rock, scissors featured bionic animals in robot suits. It’s pretty hard to make a movie of toyline that has no real protagonist?especially if it features killer flamingos beating up squirrels.

9) Bravestarr

With Serenity being such a kick-ass flick, you might think that the public would embrace another space western. Well, apart from the fact that Serenity crashed at the box office with the speed of the actual ship Serenity, it’s hard to imagine a movie where the space cowboy continually rides his deputy, in this case a robot horse with a Steven Tyler-esque mane, named 30/30. Add in an alien bartender with a handlebar mustache named (wait for it) Handlebar and a judge who fights criminals with a space gavel and you’d be giggling before the opening credits were done.

8) Power Lords
Designed by sci-fi artist Wayne Barlowe (who’s main hobby appears to be illustrating nightmares), the Power Lords featured the eerily appropriately named Adam Power…who could turn to into Lord Power by switching his chest around and apparently removing all his skin. There is not one character in this line that isn’t Lovecraftianly disturbing, even Sydot the Supreme, who’s supposed to be a good guy but looks like a mildly retarded dinosaur that wants to hug you to death. And if you want to see that, just rent Rosie O’ Donnell in Riding the Bus with my Sister.

7) Dino-Riders

Computer-generated dinosaurs will make up for an awful lot of horrible shit, even Laura Dern! So, why not strap some guns to those dinos, add in some cool aliens and make a movie about it? And while the prospect of dinosaurs shooting each other in the face with missiles is amazing, it would be hard to overcome the sad knowledge that everyone in that prehistoric past must’ve died a nameless, childless death in whatever cataclysm caused the dinosaurs themselves. Talk about the buzzkill to end all buzzkills.

6) Sectaurs

Who wouldn’t love a movie featuring giant insects and the Aryan bug-people who ride them? Well, no one actually. Imagine how hard it would be to try to watch a two-hour movie with people with giant, repulsive bug eyes rendered in CGI? People would be dropping (and vomiting) like flies!


5) Blackstar

Forget the fact that He-Man borrowed enough from this earlier Filmation series featuring a shirtless astronaut and his magic sword. But what would really make this project unsellable is Blackstar’s shape-shifting sidekick Klone, who possesses one of the most disturbing, um, non-heterosexual sounding voices ever made. Its something you could never reproduce, but definitely couldn’t ignore in a revamp?you could never do justice to the bone-grinding tones of the original.

4) Manglor

Very few remember this toy line featuring alien creatures that hatched from eggs and that you supposedly could pull apart and reattach them, but those that do remember that they had no storyline and also didn’t work at all. In fact, the consumer report kid’s TV show Penny Power did a show about how to get your money back from the manufacturer, Ideal. And a movie about a rip-off would never sell… look at Pirates of the Caribbean 3.

3) Wheeled Warriors

This line of mechanical vehicles didn’t include any named characters, so you’d have to build it off the cartoon, which included characters including Jayce, the egomaniacal primadonna who had the show renamed Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors. More importantly, the cartoon not only doesn’t make sense, it takes any sense you might already have and runs over it repeatedly beneath the tires of its many goofy vehicles.. Here’s an example: one of the minor characters is a plant girl named Flora who is telepathic and can communicate with animals (not plants, as you might assume) also has some robotic alligators as pets and rides around on a flying fish. You just can’t film that kind of crazy.

2) ManTech

This line of interchangeably limbed robot warriors (who looked suspiciously like guys in suits) were lame enough that their adventures weren’t put out by Marvel or DC comics, but Archie comics, literally the last place you’d look for edgy comics. And while we’ll forgo the obvious gay joke here about how a movie called ManTech would fare at the non-adult movie theaters, we will go for the less-obvious one: you really want to see guys swap man parts for two hours?

1) Inhumanoids

Now, this one has everything you want in a summer movie?mechanical suits, mutant trees and a giant monster that kills with a touch. In fact, this kids’ cartoon was essentially an kiddie version of the Cthulu mythos…and one that freaked out any kid unlucky enough to watch it. And that’s the problem, no one’s going to greenlight a movie based on a kid’s cartoon that makes Cloverfield look like My Little Pony. Although we wish they would.