Random Retro Issue 6
Lunchboxes, MORE Computer Warriors, and Spider-Man 2099
In this issue:
Lunchboxes, the Computer Warriors Computer Playset, and Spider-Man 2099 #1
Lunchboxes have long been an important part of every young child's school gear. These little boxes of plastic or metal held your lunch while you went on your morning routine just waiting for your class to go to lunch.
The lunchbox above is one of my favorite boxes. Dino-Riders is one of my top 3 classic toylines and probably moves in and out of first place with Computer Warriors as my mood changes. They were just awesome toys and being able to take a part of those armored dinosaurs to school via my lunchbox was just great.
Rock Lords is another line I have always had a love for. I know there is a great lack of interest in them but with me that was just not the case and that made this lunchbox another of my must haves when school shopping decades ago.
These days I'm not really much of a wrestling fan but I do have an appreciation for it. I may no longer watch it but there was a time when it was a huge part of my life and I always loved this lunchbox that showcased so many greats that were together in the World Wrestling Federation at the time.
These plastic lunchboxes were all great as were so many more. They gave you one nice picture of whatever you loved in pop culture at the time and gave you a way to cheat the system by bringing a part of your favorite toys or your favorite Saturday morning cartoons to school with you.
At one point in time you could easily get metal lunchboxes as well. These bad boys were just gorgeous with art all the way around on all six sides.
This Empire Strikes Back metal box has surely seen better days but a lot of my most worn items mean the most to me. They are the ones with so many great memories attached.
Whether this thing was holding a ham sandwich or packed full of Hot Wheels cars I have so many great memories of this lunchbox. All of it's dings and scrapes are just proof of the love I had for this thing all those years ago.
The metal boxes are almost like pieces of art. Beautiful paintings or photos covered every angle making these lunchboxes stand out from their plastic counterparts.
Another lunchbox that really stands out for me personally is this Sesame Street box. It is the first lunchbox I can ever remember having and somehow it has fared pretty well over the last few decades.
I always thought the wraparound drawings of the Sesame Street characters was fun however I am a little creeped out about the guy with his trench coat open. He looks a little shady to me and I'm not sure if the Sesame County Sheriffs Department let him roam around like that for long.
No matter what your favorite lunchboxes were made of or even what was on them there is no doubt that they were an essential part of our childhood and I still get a little excited when school starts back so I can look at the new ones for each year. Sadly, I am always disappointed by what I find. Most lunchboxes are made of soft material these days which I am sure is far better at keeping food warm or cold but just lacks the fun of the older style boxes with characters on them.
Computer Warriors Transforming Computer Playset
This is it, folks. This sucker was my Holy Grail for so long. I got this for Christmas almost twenty years ago but somewhere along the lines I got rid of it. I really don't remember why, when, or to who and it may have actually been a parental sabotage that caused me to lose this but in the end it was gone and I could never find another one until about a year ago. I got this bad boy brand new for a pretty penny from a large toystore in New York that I had contacted randomly just asking if they had it.
I hate to put too many pictures in an article but this playset really deserves to be seen. The box is huge and really draws you in. The front showcases artwork of the base in the middle of battle. Lasers are firing, discs are shooting, and jets are swooping in for an attack. The back of the box features photographs of the base in both forms as well as information on the Computer Warriors and bios of the two figures included.
The two included figures are Chip and Cursor. It's easy to figure out which is the good guy and which is the evil Virus just by looking at the picture above. Chip, like the other Computer Warriors, resembled a humanoid robot with a slightly grinning face. Cursor, on the other hand, looked like his brethren in the Viruses. He was more distorted and appeared more as a mash of circuits, wires and metal.
The entire series of toys is pictured along the bottom. Unfortunately this was all that was ever released for the line which is sad. I hate trying to imagine what Computer Warriors could have eventually given us.
Here is what the base looks like as a computer. It resembles early 90's desktops pretty closely and could possibly fool an untrained eye back in 1991. This could easily have been a new version of everybody's favorite Apple computer.
Going from computer to a base for the Computer Warriors is very simple. You just open up the monitor to reveal a control room with a huge radar on top. Two large guns come through the back of the monitor to ward off evil Viruses sneaking in from behind. There is also a giant crane arm coming from inside the monitor which is perfect for capturing the Viruses before they can spread.
Every piece folds out easily and makes for a great playset. The figures fit easily into the seats or in the huge gun and the crane can easily hold onto the figures as well.
The next step is to unfold the keyboard. Pulling open the right side reveals a prison with several cells and two large guns on a swiveling seat. The cells each hold one Virus (or Computer Warrior if they happen to be turncoats) and the gun fits another figure in order to defend the base from frontal attacks.
The prison cells have one large sliding door that slides easily in case you want to act out a Virus escape followed by a bloodbath of computer parts and Pepsi cans as the Warriors track the escapee down.
The left side of the keyboard opens up to reveal a landing platform on the backside with two small flying vehicles. The vehicles are fairly generic jets but they get the job done. The lower part of this area is a large floor for the base as well as an area for the disc drive to be placed.
The disc drive fits nicely in the side of the playset while in computer form. When the computer is transformed into a base the disc drive fits onto a large peg and is ready to fire the computer discs which are included.
Turning the base and looking at it from the outside may not be as exciting as the exterior of other playsets such as the Masters of the Universe's Snake Mountain but it does have a few good features. You can see the landing platform with the hover jets and the huge guns in the middle of the base. Those guns are really gigantic and look great shooting down flying Viruses.
The entire playset was just fantastic and had so many great things with it like the two hoverjets, the shooting disc drive, plus two figures. Unfortunately this thing has been forgotten through time.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Computer Warriors is my favorite retro toyline. I'm a big fan of Dino-Riders, TMNT, Masters of the Universe and others but nothing has ever topped Computer Warriors for me. There was no television series or comic book to back them up and that may have been why they didn't receive enough attention to stick around but I sure wish they would have.
Spider-Man 2099 Issue 1
In 1992 Marvel ventured into the future, all the way into the year 2099. The Marvel universe of 2099 was imagined as a police state run by several huge corporations. There were several books under the 2099 imprint, one of which featured a new Spider-Man.
Peter Parker's time has passed and this Spidey is actually a geneticist named Miguel O'Hara.
Miguel's work was actually inspired by the original Spider-Man and led to him performing genetic alterations on humans. When a test subject dies he is stricken with grief and quits his job.
I won't retell the whole story here. I will just cut it short and just say he becomes the new Spider-Man and the Harbinger of Thor through his own genetic testing while trying to cleanse his body of an addictive drug.
The original Thor is worshipped as a god in 2099 by a group known as Thorites. The new Spider-Man is helped by a Thorite who proclaims Spider-Man's return as a sign that Thor will soon return as well, thus dubbing him the Harbinger.
The Spider-Man from 2099 had similar powers to Peter Parker. He was missing the Spider Sense power but he had super hearing and vision. He could see in pitch black darkness and could hear over very long distances. Another power that differentiated him from Peter Parker's Spider-Man was his canine teeth and venom glands. He could bite an enemy and leave them paralyzed.
I always liked this Spider-Man (and I loved the costume) but unfortunately comics started getting harder and harder to get around my area around the time the 2099 books came out. These days you can probably get most of these fairly cheap. I recently spotted this issue in a box of $1 comics at a shop nearby. I may have to search around for some more.
Random Retro Advertisement
This ad comes straight from the outside back cover of Spider-Man 2099 Issue 1 so it seemed fitting to include it in this issue of Random Retro. The ad is for a game called X-Men Alert which is a board game/card game all in one. I have never played this game so I can't say if it's worth hunting it down or not but my imagination tells me it's probably not. It might be fun for a quick play though if you or someone you know still has one lurking around somewhere.