LJN V Toys Catalog from 1985
“V” was an early 80s TV sensation, the brainchild of Kenneth Johnson (responsible for the Six Million Dollar Man and the Incredible Hulk series) , V was a parable about facism wrapped in the amazing trappings of science fiction. The original mini-series was a ratings smash, so by the time a weekly series rolled around (Johnson bailed by this point) it made sense that toy makers were clamouring to get themselves some lizards. Sadly, the series was less than spectacular and LJN didn’t roll out their entire V line for 1985 (save for the 12″ doll). Below is a sad glimpse of what might have been.
LJN chose to release only male heroes with their first wave, Mike Donavan (Marc Singer) was the star of the series but it seems odd they chose Kyle over Ham Tyler (played by Michael Ironside) perhaps LJN had inside knowledge he would be leaving the series.
The main attraction of the line, the Visitor Trooper and Diana figure, both with the ability to rip off their faces and reveal their inner lizard. I can see this being a big hit with kids..
The Visitor 12″ Doll was the only thing LJN actually released before cutting the V license.
PlaidStallions Toy-Ventures Magazine #1 is now available and it’s been called “not only an entertaining read, but it’s also an impeccable work of reference” by PopCult.
The Visitor ripping his face off was the centerpiece of LJN’s promotional artwork this year and so it should be.
Close up of the sweet packaging LJN planned
Kenner was like, “That Camaro would make an excellent Thunderhawk,” and Matt Trakker was born…
V was a huge deal for my entire 4th grade class (our teacher too) so I would’ve been all over those figures and vehicles. Also I only recently learned that Jeff Yagher, who I only knew as a long time garage kit sculptor played Kyle…that kind of blew my mind for a moment.
So, where is ReAction on these?! Get with it already!!
LJN would use the battle matic arm feature for Thundercats and the UK arm of LJN was Rainbow Toys based in Oldham near Manchester and the Donovan figure would come out in the UK as Dempsey as part of the Dempsey and Makepeace line and also would distribute the Galoob The A Team line in the UK