In 1994 an animated series based on the Battletech Universe was produced by Saban Entertainment. Parallel to this TV show Tyco Toys offered a small line of action figures, mechs and battlesuits. This archive tries to give a small but comprehensive insight to this short lived toy line. For more infos about the animated series please vistit the animated series section
The first series included five mechs, one Aerospace fighter and three combat armors.
The Tyco Battltech figures were truly action toys. The concept was to entertain the kids with action features more than with attention of details to the original Battletech concepts. The highlights are surely the Axman and the Hunchback, both come kind of close to to their counterparts in the Battletech universe. Of course with the exceptions of neon orange and green rockets but we always have to keep in mind that they are toys and not models.
These figures are modelled closely to their counterparts in the animated series. It is a matter of taste if you actually like all realizations. All mechs have rocket firing mechanisms and an additional battle features. Hits with rockets on certain panels cause battle damage. For example hits on the center panel of the Thor lead to the destruction of his arms or a hit on the Axman activate its escape pod ejection mechanism.
Kids always like that and the power of this mechanisms really surprises. This is even more interesting if you take into account that rocket firing toys are a delicate subject since the late 70ies in the US. The tragic accident where a young boy shot a rocket of a Colonial Viper into his mouth and choked to death caused strict regulations for toys by the authorities. This also caused the cancellation of the rocket firing Boba Fett figure of the Vintage Star Wars line, just as a footnote.
The second series included five mechs, one areospace fighter and three combat armors. All identical to their first series counterparts just with different paintjobs!
SERIES 2 SUMMARY
In 1995 the second series was released. The entire series consisted of series 1 repaints. No new vehicles were introduced. The repaints were called Tiger Camo and Assault colours. It is hard to call neon orange or cyan camoflage. Surely the fashion trends of the 90ies or some kind of psychedelic stuff had influenced the toy designers.
Repaints are a common trend in the toy industry. Altering the colors of existing toys instead of creating new ones is an easy way to save costs. Surely there are successful executions of this strategy but the second Battletech series is not one of them. The 90ies were a hard time for action figures. Computers and game consoles replaced classic toys in cildren`s rooms. Besides that Battletech adressed an older audience than the toys because they did not fit that well in the established universe of the tabletop game. More importantly the animated series was also discontinued after just one season. So the toy line was scrapped too.
Planned mechs, which were already in the prototype stage, like a Vulture or Mad Cat were unfortunately never released. Low sale figures and demand caused a small circulation of the toys. The second series is very rare because it was not distrubited widely. Especially in original packaging Tyco Battletech is hard to find.
In conclusion the Toy line as well as the animated series have a place in the wide Battletech history. Also my experience is that collecting Tyco Battletech is on the rise as online auctions and forum activity shows.
If you have questions, additions etc. please feel free to conatct me. I am an passionate toy collector of Vintage Star Wars, M.A.S.K., MotU and G.I.Joe. but most of all I am a true Battletech fan.
I am always looking for rare Tyco Battletech material like prototypes, ads and similar. So please contact me if you have something interesting to share or sell .
Pilot: Kristen Redmond
The picture to the left shows a Vulture prototype for the Tyco Toy Line. The mech is primarily piloted by Kristen Redmond in the animated series. Surely it would have come with her as a pilot figure.
The figure seems to be on some kind of Toy Fair display. At closer inspection you notice that it has the usual Jade Falcon stickers and kill marks which come with the first and second series mechs. The color scheme fits perfectly. Sadly it is not known what happened with the figure or if any other of the planned mechs still exist in any prototype stages.
If you have any further information please let me know!
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