Leoric (1987 Visionaries)

I’ve long thought I could tie GI Joe and Visionaries together in a way that goes beyond the figures’ construction style. Now I don’t have to try to make up some sort of half-baked No-Prize explanation connecting the world of Prysmos to the larger Sunbow Cartoonic Universe. That’s my original term, by the way–feel free to use it.

Hasbro is tying all the various properties together via comic and a proposed film series, with the potential for 80s series like Visionaries and MASK crossing over with Transformers and GI Joe. So someone else is busy now busy dreaming up a half-baked No-Prize explanation of how it’ll all go down.

The original Visionaries series is quite high-concept. Imagine an alien world, that is similar to Earth, yet many years ahead in terms of technology. Got it? Great. Now imagine said world is subjected to a cataclysm in which all technology is rendered useless and magic becomes the primary power in the world. Got it? Also, the world reverts to a medieval Earth type system of culture, complete with knights, castles and peasants. Got it? No? Don’t feel bad. It’s strange.

The big deal with the series are the holograms. From an 80s history standpoint, these things were quite cool. They weren’t too common, and o don’t know if I’d fall them a gimmick, as I can recall holograms on the cover National Geographic magazine, as well as on credit cards. Another toy line, Tonka’s Supernaturals used the same technology, though the Visionaries toys integrate the element more effectively.

Leoric shares the construction style of the 80s Joes, albeit at a larger scale. It’s an odd feeling when you’re used to this type of figure at a smaller scale. I wonder if the sculpts were originally made to be sized at 3 and 3/4 inches, since the details seem a bit soft considering the larger size. Maybe the holograms simply looked better at a larger size.

5 comments

  • I recently found a Visionaries figure at an ‘indoor flea market’–Ectar, another of the Spectral Knights, and one of the vehicle drivers. He was missing his gear and his hologram, but the fact that he was missing the hologram revealed to me that unlike the Joes, you unscrew a Visionaries figure from the front of the torso.

  • What was the scale difference between these and Joe? I only have vague memories of this toyline, as I just wasn’t one I had any of way back when. I remember some interest, but not much beyond that.

    That said, I did pick up the modern SDCC version of Leoric, mostly because of the long ago interest and he just looks great. He desplays rather well too.

    • They were 4 1/2 inch figures.That made them the closest to JOE out of most of Hasbro failed 80’s toy lines. I never understood their thinking with the scales. I would’ve liked COPS if they’d been 3 3/4″, Maybe they wanted a share of bigger figure market or felt 4″ would be competing with themselves (that’s why Mattel didn’t make Secret Wars the same size/style as Masters of the Universe).

      I was at a store in that still had the Visionaries MOC in 1993. Not a collector’s store, an old department store. It was strange. They even still had some RAMBO carded figures from 1985-1986, as well as GI JOE action packs. It was like they had a toy department that never went past 1987 or something.

      • Appreciate the information.

        Seems silly to me that self competition would outweigh compatibility across brands within the same company. Increase the take with cross promotion?

        Well clearly I’m not properly trained in marketing or market research, as logic seems to, at times, be cast out of those fields.

  • I think was former Hasbro manager Kirk Bozigian said that Visionaries line did decent sales, but the cost of the producing the holograms led Hasbro to cancel its second year. There was the big mountain playset shown in catalogs that was never made, I think mainly because they couldn’t get its main feature to work (a hologram wizard image). He also said last year after seeing the crossover SDCC set, that Visionaries was the most boring line he ever worked on.

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