Anyways, let's get a little wild for Toy Chest. As in WildC.A.T.S! In the early '90s Jim Lee, one of the founders of Image Comics, helped create his own comic series. For me, Jim Lee was the buzzed about name for that time in comics. His work on the X-Men was the turning point for me becoming a life long fan of the series. I had enjoyed the X-Men before his creative stamp on the series, however his work really defined a point that I felt a part of. Most of the stories and events I had read had already occurred before I really became interested in steadily reading comics. So needless to say I enjoyed his work.
WildCats was a comic that he created, along with Brandon Choi, and it quickly became more than just a comic series. There was a cartoon and toy line as well. The story was about a group of super heroic aliens that looked human (Kherubims) that were fighting against a group of evil aliens called Daemonites. Playmates introduced the toy line in 1994-95 that lasted for a decent amount of time on shelves. So let's check out the goods!
So Zealot was the first figure I ever bought from this line. I thought she was a combo between Teela, She-Ra, and Psylocke, so I really had to have her. I thought she looked super cool. This was actually one of my more favorite lines from Playmates (Swans Crossing be damned!) The figures were larger than usual Playmates fare, and they were highly detailed. Zealot came with some weapons, a communicator, and a stand, all of which are loitering in the archival room. Her articulation was also pretty good. (Even her ponytail moves!)
Her bio card was also really cool. This woman was no pushover. She is a fierce warrior and fights as a noble Kherubim. I love that she fears no man, or Daemonite! Growing up I was slightly unsure what to think of her being like hundreds of years old. As a teen the idea of any age past 30 just seems strange and basically sci-fi. Now that I am in my thirties, I don't mind that Zealot is centuries old. (Homegirl looks pretty good for her age.)
So Helspont was my next figure to get from this line back in the day, and I must confess something. I love a good cape. I think a nicely sculpted cape can make a figure infinitely cooler. Top that off with some flame hair, and I've got a hankerin' for one cool evil Daemonite! Helspont was also very easy to come across. When this toy line first came out, I remember seeing plenty of Zealots and Helsponts on shelves. Helspont came with really great detail and some articulation. He also had a stand, blaster, and a fusionball. (I'm really sure if I wandered far enough into the archival room, I could find these pieces. But, I am lazy.)
So reading over Helspont's bio, we can learn a few things. He is basically one evil dude. Possessing humans? Check. Causing many atrocities? Check. Looking just a bit like Ghost Rider? Check. The one thing I think I like most about Helspont is that his spaceship shares the name of one of the most ferocious beasts in the Final Fantasy series: the Behemoth. As far as villains go, Helspont seems to have it all. Except for the Orb.
WildCats fans were given more than just a regular cut out bio card though. Each figure also came with a cool trading card too! The artwork was very nice and highly detailed. Helspont looked super evil. I loved his face. And of course Zealot looked totally bad ass. I wish I could say I had read the comics or even really watched the show. But I got my comics at the local gas station back then, and it wasn't like they had a large assortment of titles. As for the cartoon, well those were the days before DVR. I could never quite figure out the time or station. I was also a teenager, so waking up early to watch cartoons was not really important for me. I liked sleeping in. However a few of the episodes I had seen, were very good.
The trading cards also had some bio information on the other side as well. The information wasn't that much different from what was featured on the other bio cards, however the information was entertaining. The world of WildCats was imaginative and really featured some cool toys. So, let's look at one more!
How cool is she? Covered in vac metal, Void is a living supercomputer. I'm getting ahead of myself though. After the success of the first line of figures, Playmates expanded the WildCats line and introduced more of the cool characters. However there was one problem. Some figures became harder to find, like the two other females, Void and Voodoo. Interestingly enough, they can be found fairly cheap on the secondary market now. Anyways the packaging for WildCats was awesome. The card had a nice larger picture of the character. Pinks, purples, and yellows were also factored into the the color scheme (very Jem!)
Void was super cool. With the same level of articulation as the other figures, Void was still something special. Vac metal is usually reviled by some collectors, but how could anyone not want a figure that is supposed to resemble shiny metal? I had stumbled upon a Void at a Toysrus once, but I didn't get her. And in a way I'm glad I waited, because I ended up coming across one many years later for a very inexpensive price.
The back of the card had a lot going on. Playmates was very good at packing in a lot of information on the back of their figs. (They still do.) So there are a few things to look at like the over all synopsis of the story. The large cast of figures to collect. A special section dedicated to Void and what she comes with, and of course that super cool bio card. There was even a nice blurb about the upcoming WildCats video game. Do I smell a re-release on Virtual Console? Would that even be possible?
There were plenty of choices to pick from with the releases from the second line. However I have one critique for this section. If you don't read the small details, it is difficult to see who is good and who is bad. The first line of figures had a split image on the card back. The villains were on one side while the heroes were on the other. I always wanted Voodoo, she was the crossbreed. Part alien and part human, she also had special sight. I also liked Spartan. However for whatever reason, I only ever ended up with Zealot and Helspont, until finding Void at my local comic shop of course.
Void came with a neat "item." A wavy purple piece doubled as a stand that connected to her base. The figure would then look like she was levitating in the air. A pretty cool trick!
Void was actually one of the more important characters in the WildCats mythos. She was essentially Jean Grey in a silver body suit. Oh I am only being half serious. In all honesty I really liked that she was this living supercomputer that knew everything. I've always liked the idea of containing that much knowledge. I'm just too stupid to be a computer. But how fun would it be for Void and Michael Fassbender's David from Prometheus to have a special romance? Oh I'm thinking of the perfect images for a future edition of Dorky Snaps.
Anyways, WildC.A.T.S. was a really cool toy line. Playmates practically ruled toy shelves in the '90s with all their various properties, and I am glad they got a crack at some very cool WildC.A.T.S. figures! So enjoy this very late edition of Toy Chest! And be sure to check back soon. There are some fun things coming up. I have a new article heading towards NERDsociety very soon. There is also a brand new chapter of Adora's Search for Honor coming on Saturday. And get ready folks... Next week's Toy Chest Tuesday is going to be hugely epic! A showdown of the ages! Doll versus doll! I can't wait! This will be awesome. Until next time...