Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Toughest Law Man There Ever Was

[Bravestarr: coolest pose ever]
Written by GL

I think it's a fairly statement to make that there were a lot cartoons back in the 80's, most of them good. There were so many that the hardest thing about maintaining this blog is trying to remember what those cartoons were. Remembering Bravestarr came purely by luck. I hope this entry helps you , dear reader, remember him too.

BraveStarr was an animated space western. The original episodes aired from September 1987 to February 1989 and from it came a set of action figures. It was the last cartoon series produced by the companies, Filmation and Group W Productions.

Like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, a moral lesson is taught the end of each episode. One notable episode was titled 'The Price', in which a boy buys a drug called Spin, becomes addicted to it and dies from an overdose.

The story is set in the 22nd century on a distant planet called New Texas, which has 'a sky of three suns'. New Texas has a native population of Prairie People, which are small humans who look a little like prairie dogs. New Texas was colonized by a multi-planet government. A mineral called Kerium, a rare and powerful crystal of great importance in space-faring societies, is discovered there, giving the planet a valuable natural resource. Most of the episodes revolved around Bravestarr preventing the villains from stealing Kerium ore.

[The Cartoon: Bravestarr versus the Carrion Bunch]

New Texas was almost home, not only to humans but also by various aliens and robots too.

Of course, the coolest guy there is Marshall Bravestarr. Surprisingly (and this never registered to me as a kid) he is a Native American, who can call upon the power of spirit animals. In addition, he carries a laser pistol called a Neutra-laser. His spirit animal powers are:
  • Eyes of the Hawk: Lets him see great distances
  • Ears of the Wolf: Gives him super-hearing
  • Strength of the Bear: Gives him super-strength
  • Speed of the Puma: Gives him super-speed
Although many of you may remember the Marshall himself, you may have forgotten Thirty/Thirty, Bravestarr's talking techno horse, who can transform from four-legs to two at a whim. He carries a giant energy rifle he refers to as 'Sarah Jane'. He is the last survivor of an ancient civilization called the Equestroids, a cybernetic breed of sentient equines, and has strength approximating Bravestarr's bear strength.

[Super Friends: Bravestarr and Thirty/Thirty]

And the biggest problem Bravestarr has to face is Tex Hex, the ugly, pasty-faced leader of the Carrion Bunch. Tex was mutated and given magic powers by a big boss called Stampede. Tex's powers include energy bolts, the power to blow up mountains, transformation, and summoning creatures called fire-snakes.

[The Villain: Tex Hex]

Mattel released Bravestarr in 1986, based on the Filmation cartoon series. These figures were large for the time at nearly 8" in height. Each of the figures had its own unique action that they could do. Marshall Bravestarr and Tex Hex were also packaged with a Laser Fire Backpack which shot infra-red beams and had sound effects. Each of the figures were also packaged with one or more kerium nuggets. A second series of figures were designed but never produced, including characters called Dingo Dan, Judge JB, Long Arm John, Rampage and the Starr Hawk vehicle.

[Super Figures: Bravstarr and Thirty/Thirty]

Amazingly enough, the Bravestarr action figures has some of the best articulation points ever, for figures of that time.

[Tex Hex: check out the accessories and the Kerium ores that came along with the figure]

There were also two vehicles made plus the vehicles that came with the Deputy Fuzz and Outlaw Skuzz figures. Last but not least, a playset version of Fort Kerium was also released.

Now that was a storyline if there ever was one.