Recently, the Nacelle Company, the production house behind The Toys That Made Us, launched the Nacelle-Verse. This new universe is composed of several obscure toy lines from the late 20th century, appearing in new comics and television shows, as well as all-new toys. Forgotten toys such as Power Lords, Sectaurs and Robo-Force are now getting a second chance at life decades after their first appearance. Here are 10 more that can join the Nacelle Verse.
10) Dino Riders
Manufactured by Tyco between 1988 and 1990
The Dino-Riders toy line combined science fiction action with dinosaurs, and this would make it a winning pick for the Nacelle-Verse. The toys featured action figures that could ride on large dinosaurs, each coming tricked out with weapons and other gear. Dino-Riders pitted the heroic Valorians against the evil Rulons, and this cosmic struggle across time and space ignited the imaginations of children everywhere. If Nacelle opted to bring back Dino-Riders, advances in toy design and sculpting could make this a truly amazing product, and a new comic book would be perfect to go along with it
9) Air Raiders
Manufactured by Hasbro in 1987
Air Raiders were one of the many toy-lines populating the late 1980s, and would make a great addition to the Nacelle-Verse. In the distant world of Airllandia, two factions fight: the Air Raiders and the Tyrants of Wind. Air Raiders is no stranger to comics either, having starred in five issues of a Marvel/Star series that ran concurrently with the toys. Air Raiders is ripe for reinvention, and its central conflict between the Raiders and the Tyrants can serve as a potent springboard for exploring environmental issues, one that can play out in toys and comics.
Manufactured by Playmates between 1993 and 1996
Named for the giant exosuits its characters wore, Exosquad was one of the most popular, and well-written, action cartoons of the 1990s, and would be a prime addition to the Nacelle-Verse. Set in the early 22nd century, Exosquad followed the titular heroes as they fought against pirates and other threats to Earth. Playmates made toys for the show for three years, but once the cartoon was canceled, the toys vanished as well. Exosquad is still fondly remembered today, and in the hands of Nacelle, can shine again.
Manufactured by Mattel in 1986
A futuristic space western, BraveStarr is one of the many obscure toy lines that can join the Nacelle-Verse. The cartoon, produced by Filmation, the same company behind Masters of the Universe, ran for only one season, and the toy line only received one wave. Defunct comic book publisher Blackthrone Press produced a 3-D Bravestarr comic as well. BraveStarr had a unique concept, one that lends itself well to comic books. While comics set in the Western genre are rare these days, Nacelle can buck the trend with BraveStarr.
6) Bionic Six
Manufactured by LJN in 1986
The Bionic Six barely made a blip in pop culture in the 1980s, but its central concepts would make it a potent addition to the Nacelle-Verse. Beginning life as a sequel to The Six Million Dollar Man, the Bionic Six followed a tight-knit family who, after an accident, receive bionic upgrades that gave them superpowers. Unlike other properties on this list, The Bionic Six never received a comic book, and Nacelle can now right this wrong. The right creative team could use The Bionic Six to explore themes of mixed families as well as disabilities.
Manufactured by Galoob between 1983 and 1985
The mystical barbarian Blackstar and his accompanying toy line can add a hint of magic and mystery to the Nacelle-Verse. Some remember Blackstar being a Masters of the Universe knock-off, but the truth is he came first, premiering as a cartoon in 1981. It followed the adventures of astronaut John Blackstar, who traveled through a black hole to a distant world ruled by magic. In the hands of Nacelle, Blackstar and his friends and foes could finally realize their potential in new comics and cartoons.
4) Pirates of Dark Waters
Manufactured by Hasbro in 1991
A cult hit that never received the resolution it deserved, Pirates of Dark Waters can finally shine as part of the Nacelle-Verse. Animation studio Hanna-Barbera produced 21 episodes of the cartoon between 1991 and 1993, and Hasbro made one wave of action figures. Pirates also received a Marvel comic. Set on the water world of Mer, Pirates of Dark Waters follows a rag-tag group of adventurers as they try to gather the 13 Treasures of Rule, which could turn back an invasion by the Dark Water. The show ended before all 13 could be found, and now Nacelle can finish the story, and tell new ones.
Manufactured by Kenner between 1987 and 1988
The SilverHawks, produced by the same company that created Thundercats, and designed to serve as a “space version” of that franchise, would greatly enhance the science fiction side of the Nacelle Verse. The SilverHawks were a team of humans who underwent augmentation, receiving bionic implants. They are then sent to the mysterious Limbo to fight Mon-Starr and his legions. There were many parallels with Thundercats, but Nacelle has the opportunity to help distinguish SilverHawks and show their potential.
Manufactured by Kenner in 1986
The Centurions cartoon and toy line came and went in the 1980s, but now Nacelle has a chance to make it shine. Set in the near future, the Centurions were three (later five) high-tech soldiers who fought against the evil cyborg Doc Terror. Using character designs by Jack Kirby and Gil Kane, the Centurions was one of the more mature cartoons airing at that time. If Nacelle opted to bring Centurions back, there are a number of cool concepts and ideas that can be explored, like techno-fascism and posthumanism.
Manufactured by Hasbro in 1986
One of the many toy lines that graced shelves in the 1980s, the Inhumanoids would make a prime addition to the Nacelle-Verse. The cartoon only ran for 13 episodes, and the toys only received one wave. This may seem to be a death sentence for the franchise, but its dark themes and unique character designs are fondly remembered: writer and filmmaker Kevin Smith has expressed love for the property, and was even rumored to be handling a reboot. It never materialized, but now Nacelle has a chance to show the world just how cool the Inhumanoids were.
The rights to these franchises are all over the place, which could preclude Nacelle from incorporating them into the Nacelle Verse. In our nostalgia-driven culture, all of these properties are ripe for a comeback, and Nacelle is the company to handle it.
About The Author
Shaun Corley is a freelance writer currently residing in the mountains of Appalachia. A pop culture fiend, Shaun enjoys comic books, movies, novels, TV shows, music and so on. Outside of pop culture, Shaun enjoys spending time with friends. He also loves dogs.