VR Troopers Catalog Page

In the 90s, I was back into collecting toys, and buying all the latest issues of Tomart’s and Lee’s to check out the latest releases. Both frequently published bits of Toy Fair catalogs each season. I’m amazed that I missed the fact Kenner re-purposed the Firebat for its VR Troopers toy line. Then again, I wasn’t exactly impressed by yet another Americanization of a Japanese action show. However I would have picked up the vehicle back then if I had noticed the thing. Now I guess I need to track one down. Dang this obsession!

Kenner VR Troopers Catalog Page


  • In a lot of ways, those days were simpler. There were only a couple of sources of info and a WHOLE lot of rumor and speculation. It was cool as you could see all the various toys out there. But, falsehoods like C3PO and Princess Leia being recalled sucked the fun out of collecting, too.

    It was also fun to find Joe figures you never knew existed since reference guides were few and far between. In the case of the Firebat, if something like this happened today, it would plastered all over Joe outlets and no one would miss it. That’s good. But, that comes with the cost of not being able to “discover” these types of things after the fact. And, that kind of add fuel to the fire to keep the chase alive, even when there’s not much else going on.

  • Wow, that is a pretty cool discovery. I remember catching that show every now and then (and being a bit younger than you, Rob, it was right up my alley), but I don’t think I ever saw ANY VR Troopers toys anywhere.

    Also, not to handle two things in one comment, but Forgotten Figures, what was up with the C3P0 and Princess Leia recall rumor? I imagine there’s at least a vaguely interesting story that I’ve never heard.

    • When the new Star Wars figures came out in 1995, some were stupidly hard to fine. Princess Leia was not on the cardbacks and had a really awful headsculpt. So, the story went that Carrie Fisher nixed the figure and it was recalled. That justified the $50 price tag that flea market dealers were asking for the figure.

      C3PO was also hard to find. (He might have been one per case or something.) But, the rumour was that his golden vac metal would flake off and was poisonous. So, he was also recalled. Thus, he spiked to $20+ on the secondary market.

      Neither was true. Kenner just didn’t make enough figures to meet demand. That was the real problem. By late 1996, both figures were pegwarming around the nation. But, for at least a year, when the figs were hard to find, these rumors went around and lead to a TON of collector frustration.

      If you were online (a real rarity back then) you would see that the neither rumor was true. But, word of mouth still ruled back then. And, the mags like to play up the fact that you “could” find a $5 figure at retail that was worth $50. The speculative market was a huge driver of a lot of collector themed toys at that time.

      • A shop in my town had the red card Princess Leia in a cabinet for s a few years at a $50.00 price tag. But if i go to any collectables fares, i see nothing but whole storage tubs full of red card moc POTF 2 figures. at only a few bucks each. ALL star wars figures produced between 1995-2007 are very common and cheap. The expanded universe figures now being an exception in the case.

  • Rob, did you know the VR Troopers toy is in turn planned to be reused as the Aliens Mini Drop Ship toy?

    • The Mini-Drop Ship was made first, or almost made, for the 1993-1994 ALIENS line, but Kenner noticed the Space Marine figures and vehicles weren’t selling well, so they released the last 3 marines overseas and then dumped that part of the line and went just ALIENS and Predators. Along with the Mini-Drop Ship (and possibly a full sized Drop Ship), more human figures were planned according to one magazine at the time, Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character, but likely not using his likeness) and Blain (Jesse Ventura) from Predator would’ve become Space Marines (Not sure any pictures exist of the proposed action figures).

  • That is quite a cool hidden gem. Of course makes me wonder if anything else got re-used in VR Troopers.

  • Given that VR Troopers was an episodic program made from no less than three *different* Japanese tokusatsu/metal hero shows, yeah, re-used things seem appropriate. 🙂

  • Wow, shades of the ROC Sky Sweeper, amirite?

    I think I only have one VR Trooper, the gold-highlight version of J.B. Reese.

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