Starting off our stroll down mammory....er....memory lane is Mara, The Princess of Secret Power. She was part of the Blackstar line of action figures from 1983 - 1985 put out by Galoo. The figures were based on the 1981 Filmation cartoon. A common misconception is that Blackstar was a rip off of Masters of the Universe, but this is untrue as MotU premiered in 1983, a full two years afterwards. However, I digress:
Mara, The Princess of Secret Power is an Enchantress who aids Blackstar in his quest to stop the evil Overlord from overtaking the world of Sagar.
She is clad in a skimpy red swimsuit with orange gloves and boots......old Blackstar could have done worse!
Next up we've got the Butterfly Woman toy line. There were a cross between being a knock off of the She-Ra toy lines and Barbies. There were only three figures (that I know of) that were produced: Butterfly Woman: Invinsible Heroine, Amandla: Super Psychic and Felina: Half Cat/Half Woman Vixen. The figures were all African American based. Felina however was red skinned....which I don't know how they figured a cat woman would be bright red....but it IS a fantasy universe, so be it!
In 1983, Revell hired author/artist Wayne Barlowe to design a line of science fiction action figures for them. Thus, the Power Lords were born. This is quite a bizarre line of toys and one that I was absolutely fascinated by them. The story goes a little something like this: The evil Arkus wants to take over the galaxy. Adam Power is given the Cosmic Power Jewel, which transforms him into Lord Power to defend the galaxy from the evil tyrant. Helping him are Sydot the Supreme and Shaya, Queen of Power. The cool thing about Shaya (as well as Adam) have two forms and are two sided figures. Shaya's cape hides her "red form". To switch between forms, you simply slide the cape around. I will get more in depth with the Power Lords at another time.
Captain Power was an interesting toy line/TV show in that the two were interactive. Even more interesting is the fact that the show, while made primarily for kids, didn't forget about the parents who watched with them. Corporal Jennifer 'Pilot' Chase was the tactical systems expert and also seemed to have a romance going with the Cap'n as well. One of the few kids shows (Besides Jem and the Holograms) that I can remember characters actually kissing. There were even some sexual innuendos that the savvy adult might catch.
In She-Ra: Princess of Power (basically He-Man with a uterus) there were a great many female characters, but I'd like to take a moment to recognise one in particular. The evil femme fatale feline Catra. She was originally slated to be She-Ra's main nemesis, but ended up becoming one of Hordak's hench(wo)men. She had a magic mask that would transform her from woman to panther, and back again. Pretty cool trick!
The Goddess of the Ultra Cosmos line I know little about, but from what I've found it's a low rent knock off of the Masters of the Universe/She-Ra lines. Goddess Bornite, being the leader of The Goddesses of the Ultra Cosmos......
I originally was going to have a longer article on the Ladies of the 80's action figures, but this is going to have to suffice for now! I hope you enjoyed this brief look back at some of the unknown and unsung babes of the 80's!