Updated: Jul 16, 2020
8. Sectaurs (1985) by Coleco
Sectaurs were some seriously ugly, insect-looking dudes, but they were packaged so cool, and they usually came with a huge spider or some other creepy looking insect that they used as a vehicle.
7. Blackstar (1984) by Galoob
Prior to Filmation’s successful Masters of the Universe we had Blackstar. And for those not familiar with the premise of 80s cartoon, just imagine Buck Rodgers getting lost in space and winding up on an Eternia filled with some ugly-ass, not so blue, Smurf-Hobbits. Then, shortly upon his arrival he aquires He-Man’s sword, decides to go shirtless, sport a loin cloth, and go after hordes of gun-toting aliens with a sword.
8. Super Naturals (1987) by TONKA
Super Naturals were action figures that when their helmet was lifted and removed, their chest pieces would reveal a 3-D hologram transformation of sorts. When tilting the character to one side it would reveal their human form, and when tilting it to the other, it revealed their monster or supernatural form.
7. M.A.S.K. (1985) by Kenner
Hands down the coolest toy line from the 80s. M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armor Strike Kommand) featured roughly two inch figures, that not unlike the name suggests, also featured a removable mask for each character. The best part, however, were the vehicles. With a few exceptions to the rule, one couldn’t just purchase a MASK figure, one had to purchase the vehicle that accompanied the figure. Each vehicle and accessory had two forms; everyday vehicle, and mobile assault vehicle.
6. RAMBO (1986) by Coleco
For some reason or another, successful R-rated action movies often resulted in a cartoon and a toy line, except for Robocop, which was initially an X-rated film, but that’s another story. The Rambo figures all came with a huge arsenal of machine guns and weaponry. They stood around 7” tall and towered over G.I. Joes.
3. Inhumanoids (1986) by Hasbro
Inhumanoids monster figures were fairly articulate in design and it may have been the only cartoon where I rooted for the bad guys. On the other hand, the human figures have some of the most disproportionately small heads. Imagine taking a G.I. Joe head and popping to a He-Man figure and you’re still not quite there. Now, if you want me to explain the premise of the Inhumanoids, that’ll take a while, but you can check out the show’s intro below and see if you can follow it for yourself.
2. Mad Scientist Monster Lab (1984) by Mattel
I remember being a child and watching this commercial and thinking I bet I could do some sick shit with this, worthy of censorship. Mattel actually marketed this as sort of Frankenstein’s lab where you would build the monster, but then get this, you would then drop him in acid and watch his flesh burn off.
1. Battle Beasts (1984) by Hasbro
If you weren’t already aware water beats fire, fire beats wood, and wood apparently beats water? Battle Beasts were pretty close to M.U.S.C.L.E figure scale, only they came in two packs, not trash cans. Each figure was painted and adorned with a thermal sensitive hologram, similar to Transformers, that revealed their allegiance to good or evil, or in this case wood, water, or fire.