Nov 30 //
Chris Pranger Stone Protectors are everything that was wrong with the '90s. Deep in the jungle of team-based hero groups during one fateful year (1993), the owners of the Troll dolls property decided that what Troll dolls needed was an edgier and above all more '90s take on the classic big-haired, wide-grinned, magic-stoned Trolls. The result was to naturally throw everything they could against the wall and see what would stick, culminating in some of the most unoriginal, sloppy products money and shame could buy.
The plot of the animated series and toy line (yes, toy lines had plots back then) revolves around a rock band of five teenagers who aren't very successful at all. After a particularly heinous set, they stumble upon five magic stones that embed themselves in their chests, turning them from ordinary losers into grotesque rockers with apparently magic talent and severe cases of Ugly Face. Each of the five had a different colored stone and a different skill, such as rock climber, samurai, soldier, wrestler, and "accelerator," which just meant "he was the obligatory character with roller skates and sun glasses." I swear, I'm not making any of this up. Here's the theme song to the animated show:
There are simply no words for that, so let's just move onto the horror reserved for the toys themselves, right? I was thankful not to own the entire set, only having access to three of the five Stone Protectors and none of the villains or vehicles (because toy lines in the 90s were required by law to have vehicles of some sort).
Here's the first figure I was drawn to, Maxwell the Accelerator. Notice those radical inline skates! Be amazed by the tubular shades! Stand in stunned silence at the gnarly hair! But hey, at least he's safe and wears knee and elbow pads because kids, remember that safety always comes first! These figures all adhere to the Ninja Turtle design right down to every single bit of articulation as the legs move on a pivot joint at the hip, the arms move up and down and can twist at the elbow, and their heads move side to side. These are Ninja Turtle action figures with more hair and less detail. Sad.
Here we have Angus the Soldier. You can tell he's a solider because he has camo pants and grenades strapped to his chest. This is probably the face that comes off the worst since he doesn't look either friendly or intimidating, but rather like he doesn't even know where he is. I'm not even saying he looks mentally challenged; I'm saying he looks like he has about as much brain power as one of the trolls from Lord of the Rings. You know, like the one that attacked the group in the Mines of Moria? Yeah, that sort of brain power. And this is the guy who's skilled with firearms and explosives. Yikes.
Now here's my actual favorite, even more than the accelerator over there. This is Chester and he's the wrestling expert, as you can tell by the leotard and the He-Man stature. You can really see the gem mashed into his chest here, though what pictures can't capture (the video does) is the ability of the stones to flash when the right arms are twisted down. Each toy had a flint strike that the arm activated, creating a spark and a perfect gimmick to conclude the ridiculousness of these generic toys.
So who would be dumb enough to make these? Why the Ace Novelty Toy Company of course! They wanted to create a line of figures spun off from the hugely popular Troll dolls, but for some incredibly odd reason they wanted to distance themselves from the tall-haired fad as much as possible. Why? No clue, but I have a feeling that Stone Protectors were originally more like Stoned Protectors if you get my drift ...
They were high. They had to be high. What I'm saying is that the creators were high on weed and made these while high.
Again, I can't stress the Ninja Turtle vibe enough. They're built exactly like toys from the Mirage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line, but with those sparking stones added for no good reason. However, no one seems to be capable of matching the Turtles when it comes to sculpt detail and just Not Looking Stupidness. More baffling is that each stone is differently colored and the cartoon shows Maxwell with the red stone and Chester with the orange one, swapped here for the action figures. They can't even keep continuity straight between the toy line and the cartoon created to advertise the toy line!
If you're actually looking to pick these up, again, garage sales will be your best bet, but you can probably find them online for very cheap. I already found some auctions on Chester and Maxwell each going loose for US$3. Again, I have no clue why you'd want these though, so you're on your own there as I want no part of that.
And with that this month's Toys of Yesterday is complete! Well, except for the video, but that's after this paragraph. See the amazing craptasticness in action! Witness the unwitting failures of the 90's! Gasp at my ability to hold these without my flesh being seared from the toxic burning these toys exude! But oh, what's this? I have another toy line from the '90s that also tried to ride on the TMNT gravy train? Yes I certainly do, but you'll have to wait until December for that. Until then, I'll see you on Memory Lane.
Greetings, fellow classic toy enthusiasts! As you may have noticed, I have been AFK for the better part of November. Well, despite my hectic life, I've managed to come back for the last Wednesday of the month and bring to you...