Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Collectible of the Week: Pulsar's Life Systems Center (Mattel; 1976)
In the year 1976, toy companies across the U.S.A. rushed to compete with Kenner's super-successful The Six Million Dollar Man toy-line. Mattel, for instance, devised PULSAR, "the ultimate man of adventure."
About the same size as the Steve Austin figure, PULSAR came outfitted in a nifty red and black uniform, but when you took off his shirt you could see all of his chest organs -- heart and lungs -- pumping awat.
Also, PULSAR's head could flip-up, and different mission disks could be inserted into his brain.
PULSAR's enemy was the evil HYPNOS, and the hero's base of operation was this ultra-awesome Life Systems Center.
The packaging described this base as a "re-energizing and reprogramming machine" and it features an x-ray screen, a "power pak and scanner," a "brain probe light," a "mission programmer," "control dial" and "remote activator." With the Life Systems Center you could double-check X-rays, "light-scan" PULSAR's brain, "set all systems" and activate "vital organs" (which always help on a secret mission, I guess.)
Still, I love the whole PULSAR line from Mattel, even though I'm not entirely certain what's so special or adventurous about a guy who shows off his internal organs for all to see, or can be controlled by a disk drive in his brain.
A reader, Chuck, writes: "I know you have been busy and, frankly, I was not sure if you still have time for “Ask JKM a Quest...