Friday, 6 February 2009

Visionaries - Knights Of The Magical Light!

We've already seen Supernaturals, but what was that other great toyline of the 80's that needed holograms in order to make them playable? Well, unless you're blind, you'll know I'm talking about Visionaries!

There is no doubting that Visionaries toys rocked like Elvis meeting Boulder Hill. Approximately the same scale as GI Joes (not that I had any of those... American Heroes my ass) they weren't little bricks, but instead had moving knees, elbows, legs, waists and heads. And more importantly their helmets came off and the accessories could get lost easily. Actually MASK toys had easier-to-lose accessories - when I was little I had the "Julian Lopez" figure. I managed to lose the mask, and was traumatised by this, so bought another figure on one of those day-glo 2 packs. Then somehow I managed to find his mask again. And then I found the figure with his mask on, so I probably stole one of the other masks from a friend. Well, they deserved it, having the same things as me.

I'm digressing. The backstory is this - the Age of Science is over, and the Age of Magic has begun. in order to make a better world, this wise old magician gives both the good guys and the bad guys magical powers so they can kick the sh*t out of each other.

How wise..
I was lucky in that I had a surprisingly large amount of these figures (though not all) The only holographic parts were the grey chest-pieces (which could be detached easily, this rendering the toy USELESS) and the standards (sticks, to you and me). In the cartoon, the characters turned into the animals on their chests. Sadly for some reason, the toys didn't do that, rending play... stupid. Above are all the good guys I had. Isn't it great that the safety of the planet is entrusted to the guy on the right, someone whose head is too big for his rubber helmet?
Witterquick is supposed to be really, really fast. I decided to test this out with the neighbour's cat. The pictures that followed the one above cannot be shown, due to the horrendous nature of the violence depicted (by the cat, towards me, if you're interested)
I actually had less villains than good guys. This was probably because whilst the goodies were handsome young men, these boys had:

a) Facial hair. Facial hair = eeevil

b) Age. The two on the right both had white hair and wrinkles. Ooh, terrifying.

Another problem was that while the heroes got to turn into cool things like foxes and lions, the villains were fobbed off with beetles and armadillos. Not going to conquer the world like that are we?
On the back of each card was a tech-spec, akin to that on the Transformers, though Visionaries weren't as good, lacking a wiggly blue line. This, I feel, was one of the main reasons they were not as successful as Transformers. On the right of each card has the description of the powers that character can summon. Insanely mad, huge powers. Now, if you're a bad guy, and can become invulnerable like the chap on top, how the hell can you ever lose, ever? Alternately why does Leoric never ask his Wisdom staff "How do I defeat the bad guys for all time."

This is what happens when you give mystic powers to any Tom, Dick or Harry that happens to wander past your house/castle.
The instructions for the vehicles were also nice, in a scroll kind of way. Actually I'm just showing off that I still have the instructions/exclusive figures and you don't. Well, you might, but I'm sure there's someone that doesn't.
Here's the first of the vehicles I got. It's main feature is a battering ram that shoots out at the touch of a button and can be aimed at groin-level, for hours of fun. I got this when I was on holiday - remember that, since it's important. Now, it came disassembled and had to be put together, but upon getting home I found it to have two right hand red sides, and no left bit. This was annoying, so I did the only thing I could - screamed until my parents were forced to drive the hundred or so miles to get it replaced. That's dignity for you...

I was never the sort of child to lose things, so when I lost the weapon of the figure that came with this vehicle (above) I was traumatised. In school one day, we had to write a 'missing' advert as an exercise, and so I chose to write mine about the lost weapon. Amazingly I found it soon afterwards, so it must have worked.
The Capture Chariot was one of the bigger vehicles in the line (Not sure about the large villain one, since I never had it. Pictures would be appreciated though...)

The fact that it is simply a large piece of red plastic does not detract from its play value, however, since it also has a large plastic white gun that doesn't fire but looks bad-ass. 
As a Capture Chariot, it's capturing facilities leave a lot to be desired. Obviously this is supposed to be represented by the moving things on the front, although I fear this would simply either mush the villain's heads in (although you could say that they were resisting arrest) or else push them onto their bums. Oh no!

Luckily on the back of this vehicle is two portable toilets, negating any pant-wettingly exciting features.
Of course, the villains have an advantage in that they can fly up up and away. This vehicle also has tiny little wheels so that it can beat a VW Beetle in a race. Oh yeah, and quality is assured by it's gold plastic guns. Name me one toyline that has ever failed that included lots of gold


  1. Visionaries! Knights of the Magical Light!

    They need to come back.

  2. They were no Super Naturals let's be honest!

  3. awesome.
    i started collecting carded ones recently. also emailed neill ross, the voice of leoric, and got a reply today, which made my year.
    peace out. go nostalgia!