12/22/13

Hero World Voice Comm Cyborg by Fisher Price

I found this Fisher-Price Hero World Voice Comm Cyborg at Marshalls a couple weeks ago.

Even though my Hero World collecting has been very selective, I wanted this Teen Titan teammate to go along with my Hero World Robin. And discovering this figure came as quite a surprise, as I've seen no mention of his existence anywhere online! Not even as a 'look what they won't be releasing because they canceled the line!' post in some random chat room ('chat room' hahaha I'm showing my age!)

This Cyborg is completely off everyone's radar. He's stealth Cyborg!

There is a non Voice Comm version that was released with an ATV near the end of the standard Hero World line, but that figure is a completely different sculpt from this one, not to mention that this Voice Comm version speaks with the push of a button and interacts with other Voice Comm figures and vehicles.

Like with the Hero World Robin, I don't believe this Cyborg ever hit regular retail. Marshalls, like Ross and Big Lots, is a closeout retailer that pushes stuff at discount prices after picking up unsold product from mainstream retailers and manufacturers. Big Lots has recently stocked Hero World and Voice Comm figures, so Marshalls must have gotten their hands on some as well. That being said, I've seen no sign of Cyborg at Big Lots (where I found Robin) and at Marshalls there was no sign of any other figure besides Cyborg (of which they had two.)
The DC Super Friends Hero World line (and it's Voice Comm sequel) should have been much more of a success, but suffered a bit of retail mishandling and bad luck. Also, the shift from Hero World to Voice Comm was ill timed and helped lead to the premature death of the line. There was also the Imaginext 'redundancy' - two pre-school hero lines in different scales may have been too much for parents - which is why I believe the Voice Comm angle was brought on to begin with, to give greater delineation between lines.

That said I personally believe the biggest hiccup was Hero World's focus on Green Lantern characters. The movie was expected to be huge but flopped (and the cartoon never got it's rightful footing either), causing dozens of Hero World Hals, Kilowogs and Tomar Res to languish on Toys R Us shelves to this day. Ironically the Atrocitus / Dexx-Star and Sinestro / B'Dg sets disappeared from shelves fast due to fan popularity, but were never given the chance to be restocked because retailer shelves were choked with Hals that no one wanted. There is also speculation that these figures (or at least the Atrocitus/Dexx-Stars) were pulled by Fisher-Price because of their violent nature, but I don't think that happened. I just think collectors grabbed them up and production halted when the retailer orders didn't come back for more. These might have also been Toys R Us exclusive and made in lesser quantities, but I've never met anyone else who has one of them so I can't ask them where they bought theirs!

In addition, the other retailers that carried the line were subsequently cautious when Hero World released characters like Hawkman, Aquaman, Flash and the first release of Cyborg, and those characters didn't have the chance to hit stores in very large quantities or get the advantage of being restocked once they sold out. To add insult to injury, all of these characters were being shipped to retailers when Hero World 'ended' and evolved into Voice Comm, which retailers didn't order much of either due to their languishing Hero Worlders.

This type of thing really fascinates me. It's like the end of the Muppet movie where (if memory serves me) Kermit and Fozzie are reading the credits, and Fozzie (or maybe it's Gonzo?) says 'Who cares' and Kermit says something like 'They all have mothers.' I know I'm way off but I think you get the gist. The fact is, someone designed this toy, someone recorded their voice for this toy, etc. etc., and someone has to care that it exists, dammit!

I also just like Cyborg. The Teen Titans cartoon version is my favorite (even though I was never a huge fan of the cartoon) and I have a few of his Bandai likenesses too.
This Fisher-Price Cyborg comes with a cool energy blaster type gun...

...and maybe these are  handcuffs, or some sort of wrench or mechanical grabbers like you see on UHF after midnight or if you aren't reading this in 1983, maybe at an 'As Seen on TV' store.

Voice Comm Cyborg is copyright 2012, but like I said before I don't think he has seen the light of retail until now. Good luck finding him if you're interested. He may be an anomoly, or he may suddenly clog pegs everywhere. Who knows?

Only the Shadow knows!

Booyah!

2 comments:

  1. Never seen this version of Vic Stone before!

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOw! I'll show these to Isaac… we love Cyborg!

    ReplyDelete