Back when Saturday morning cartoons were the reason for existence, the majority of 80 and early 90’s kids were watching such classic action/adventure cartoons like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Thundercats, He-Man and the Masters of The Universe and so on. In the mean time, there were other more obscure cartoons. Animated series that all but a few can vaguely recall. Some good. Some bad. All with kickass theme songs and intros…..

Galtar and the Golden Lance (1985)

Galtar and the Golden Lance was an outer space sword and sorcery affair featuring a light-hearted blonde warrior named Galtar. Searching for the vile Tormack, the despot responsible for the deaths of his parents. Galtar aligned himself with beautiful princess Goleeta and her feisty younger telekinetic brother Zorn. Goleeta and Zorn also had a score to settle with Tormack, who’d stolen Goleeta’s magical golden shield. Tormack in turn coveted Galtar’s equally magical double-edged golden lance, for whosoever possessed both lance and shield would be all-powerful.

This was an excellent cartoon that captured the alluring aspect of sword and sorcery. The characters were a bit dull and a bit too beautiful (Honestly, who wants to root for a typical, dreamy blond warrior?) The stories might not have been anything grand but overall had, all the delightful trappings that made for perfect piece of action/adventure.

Lazer Tag Academy (1986) 

Lazer Tag Academy is the story of Jamie Jaren, a thirteen year old Lazer Tag champion from 3010 who journeys back in time to stop the evil Draxon Drear. She joins with her ancestors, Tom, Beth and Nicky Jaren who also share her special powers. For most people, Starlites, the Lazer Tag “guns” are harmless toys. But for others, like the Jarens, they become weapons that, along with the Star Sensor, allow them to travel in time, move objects and other abilities.

Lazer Tag Academy was based on the highly popular Lazer Tag toy set (Awesome toys by the way). However, this show was garbage, just a means in which to advertise the toys. Bunch of goofy kids running around with their Laser gun toys and ‘Force” like powers (wait a sec… minus “force power”… this is art imitating life!) . Somewhat fun, but the characters were nothing special and the show really suffered with poor and typical writing. Best amusement?  The intros voice-over done by none other Don Lafontaine, the “movie voice” guy.

The Mighty Orbots (1984)

In the future, Earth is threatened by various enemies, but none worse than the organization called Shadow, lead by the cybernetic menace known as Umbra. Against this, the Galactic Patrol strives to protect Earth, but the mild mannered young scientist, Robert Simmons, does more. In times of peril, he secretly fights as the leader of the Orbots, a team of unique artificially intelligent robots each equipped with their own unique capabilities that are invaluable in this war. Together, whether individually or united as parts of a giant combined robot, they represent Earth’s most powerful defense

A fun alternative to Robotech, Transformers and Voltron. It offered great animation, great action and even some good humor. Those robots were so dam lovable. Sadly the show didn’t make it past the first season because of a lawsuit from the makes of The Gobots.

Ring Raiders (1986) 

A Group of pilots named the Ring Raiders who protect the planet, throughout time, from the evil Skull Squadron. The Ring Raiders are made up of history’s best pilots, brought together to protect civilization.

Another less than stellar cartoon. In fact, not even sure if it ever passed its “pilot” episodes (haha catch that clever pun?). A show about time-traveling fighting jets might have been cool to anyone under the age of 10 but in hindsight, a subliminal military recruiting tool . And that name….“Ring Raiders”? Sounds like a homoerotic porn title.

Space Sentinels (1977) 

Centuries ago the cosmic computer entity known as Sentinel One transported three young Earthlings to his domain granted them powers and eternal youth. Now they protect the human race from super-villains marauding aliens tampering time-travelers and vengeful deities. The trio of heroes super-strong Hercules shape-changing Astraea and lightning-fast Mercury have become legends guarding mankind as the Space Sentinels.

In terms of animation quality, this was probably Filmation’s least attractive cartoon series, He-Man being the 2nd most worst. The show was more or less “Superfriends” in space. The story is simple enough, histories greatest heroes are gathered to defend a mystical realm. They kick butt, share the love, and the story always had a moral. Fairly entertaining with painfully wonderful 70s swagger. And hey, one of the few cartoons with inclusive/diverse leads.

Starcom (1987) 

A short lived series that depicted the adventures of an American astronaut brigade as the fought off the attempted invasions by Shadow force, a nasty collection of aliens and robots led by the nefarious Emperor Dark

Now we know where Trump got his inspiration for the US Space Force! A cheesy but enthralling cartoon. It offered impeccable subject matter. It actually brought some sort of science fact into the science equation. (i.e.. accurate depiction of the gas layers of Jupiter, the temperatures of moons such as Io when in direct sunlight, and so on) The animation was atypically good for its day and the characters were a bit outlandish. At least the action figures were fun. The little space dudes had magnets on their feet. Parents would find these guys everywhere, the refrigerator, the car, any metal surface of annoyance.

Vytor, The Star Fire Champion (1989)

A legacy of legends. Civilization had done what man had always dreamed of doing, established a world of total peace. Then the greedy King of War, Myzor Sarcophogus, sought to capture the power of the Saturn Orb. He built a hidden fortress in the fiery heart of a living volcano, trained his secret army and then struck. In a single lightning moment, the peace was shattered. Young Vytor, armed with the mystical weapons of justice, accepts the greatest of all challenges: to battle Myzor in the heart of his evil fortress, to reclaim the Saturn Orb and to restore peace.

A true lost 80’s cartoon. A woodys-eque hero with a magical shield, and a theme song which one can only assume was derived from a cocaine fueled fever dream from an aspiring Andrew Lloyd Weber fan… gosh, If only the creators got a toy deal they could have made more than 4 episodes!

Category: Cartoons, Featured, TV

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