by S. Daniel McPhail

As some of you might’ve heard, we’re going to have both a new Voltron and a new ThunderCats heading our way soon. So, stuff from the 1980s is hot. And the best part is, there are a ton of properties that are ripe for remakes. So put on your Member’s Only jacket on over your Hypercolor t-shirt, put on a Genesis album and let’s see where the studios should go next, shall we?

10. Rocks and Bugs and Things – I had a Trapasaurus when I was a kid, which makes me one of the four or five people who remember this line. Still, bugs versus giant rock monsters, who both want to eat little imp things. I just mention it because it’s funny… not sure how much you could really do with this, now.

Drawback: Bloodrock is Nightmare Fuel.

9. C.O.P.S. – One of the really fun series of the late 80s that screams to be updated in a new toyline. The storyline is one you could take in a number of different directions, too. And let’s face it, who wouldn’t love a series with a character named Buttons McBoomBoom?

Drawback: There’s a character named Buttons McBoomBoom.

8. Inhumanoids – There was apparently some talk of putting the Inhumanoids into Season Four of Transformers Animated, and why wouldn’t you? Inhumanoids was a sort of North American kaiju series with crazy monsters designs, monsters which fought humans in big armor suits. There’s a lot you could do with it now.

Drawback: The coolest character, D’Compose, would not fly today. Not even remotely.

7. Maxx Steele Robo Force – Not to be confused with the G.I. Joe-ish character, this Maxx Steele was leader of a series of robots that had suction cup bases, arms that crushed in when you pressed a button on the back, along with various gimmicks. They have 80s-tastic names like Hun-Dred, Copter (voiced by Peter Cullen in the little seen animated film) and, my personal favorite, SOTA(State of the Art). Who doesn’t love 80s robots?

Drawback: Hmmm… now, why on Earth does that design scheme seem familiar… Lawyers would probably ex-ter-min-ate!

6. Centurions – This may be one of the more familiar on the list, thanks to Boomerang. For those unfamiliar, the team has air, sea and land operatives who can summon components to lock in with their armor suits. The concept screams cheesy action flick, and with toys being much more advanced nowadays, it’s a little surprising no one’s tried to revive it.

Drawback: Have you ever seen any episode with the Michael Bell voiced Apache character John Thunder? You don’t have to go back that far to see wildly non-PC characters in animation.

5. Bravestarr – What was the last good space western you saw? There’s so many fun ideas you could play with in this series, which actually got its start via its memorable villain, Tex Hex. This is one on the list that I think you could make a feature franchise around, if you played your cards right. It’d be fun to see it reimagined, that’s for sure.

Drawback: Westerns still aren’t big audience draws.

4. Sectaurs – The rights are probably a mess, but kids love insects. Insect people do seem like a bit of a natural. Add to it that Sectaurs had a really unique look and a fun gimmick. The basic storyline could be rewoven into a pseudo Lord of the Rings. Maybe if He-Man ever gets going again, someone will take the chance.

Drawback: Insects aren’t cuddly.

3. Bionic Six – I actually remember reading there was some movement on this when it looked like the new Bionic Woman was going to be a big hit, but nothing since. The concept is one that could easily be re-invented for a new generation, and it’s remembered fondly(if not readily) by lots of folks. Plus, the series finale was a goofball romp in a Looney Tunes-eseque cartoon universe that was, in fact, a giant middle finger to the execs canceling the show.

Drawback: For as much fun as the family was, Bionic-1 was as interesting as a chemistry textbook. And people would probably scream it ripped off The Incredibles.

2. Captain Power – The one thing that hurts Captain Power is the association with the “interactive TV” gimmick, but the show was phenomenal, working in numerous adult concepts in one of the better man vs. machine stories shown on television. J. Michael Straczynski, creator of Babylon 5, was one of the story editors, and a couple of guys name Larry DiTillio and and Bob Forward also played a major hand in the series (you might recall a series they did called Beast Wars, which drew a lot of from how JMS handled Captain Power). This is a show I legitimately believe could be relaunched a la Battlestar Galactica and be huge.

Downside: The territory this show mined might be played out today.

1. Starriors – With better known series above, why do I rank Starriors number one? Simply put, I think the high concept for the series is a great hook: A race of robots searches to discover the truth about a mythical being known as Man. I also think Louise Simonson (who was one of the writers behind the “Death of Superman” storyline and also created Apocalypse in the X-Men series) crafted a great story and memorable characters that you could draw upon in a feature length movie. If their toys had been on par, I think Hot Shot, Crank, Slaughter Steelgrave, Runabout, Sawtooth and Deadeye would be just as well remembers as Optimus Prime or Starscream. I would love to see this series revived.

Drawback: Almost no one knows the series, and the Takara-Tomy merger means this would just as soon be merged into the Transformers line somehow.

Okay, I think I’ve rambled long enough. Disagree? Did I miss something? I’d love to talk 80’s, so feel free to drop a line!

  • Isabelle Gonzales

    i love Bionic Woman. i wish there were real bionic women out there.’`~