Tag Archives: toadborg

Bucky O’Hare and the Toad Wars – “The Komplex Caper”

img_3558Episode Number:  7

Original Air Date:  October 20, 1991

Directed by:  Karen Peterson

Written by:  Doug Moench

First Appearance:  Rumble Bee, Digger McSquint, Pitstop Pete

For the second consecutive week, Komplex gets top-billing by being included in the episode title. Surprisingly, they didn’t stick with the “K” theme and call it The Komplex Kaper, but I guess once was enough. This is an episode I had almost no memory of going into it. Once I started watching it things started to come back, but for one reason or another it was not a memorable episode for me. That had me a bit a worried, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that this episode isn’t bad. It’s not threatening “Home, Swampy, Home” as my favorite thus far, but it’s nowhere near as bad as “On the Blink,” which itself wasn’t without its charms.

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If Boss Fight Studio is looking for a variant of its Storm Trooper figure, here’s a goofy one.

This episode opens with Dead-Eye out scouting in the Toad Croaker. He happens upon a Toad Cruiser which has just launched a satellite of some kind. The hatch of the Cruiser conveniently opens and Dead-Eye sneaks aboard. There he finds a lone Toad pilot referred to as the Toad Master Spy. He mostly resembles a Storm Trooper, but his suit is less detailed and he has these weird little antennae on his helmet, plus what appears to be a nose. He sees the abandoned Croaker just floating around his ship which he regards as curious, until Dead-Eye blasts a hole through his door. Dead-Eye radios to Bucky and informs him of what he found and asks what to do. Bucky, in an irritated voice, tells him to tie him up and bring him aboard. When Dead-Eye asks “With what?” Bucky instructs him to improvise.

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I bet no one is surprised they made a tongue-tied joke here.

Aboard the Righteous Indignation, Bucky heads down below to interrogate Dead-Eye’s prisoner. He finds one toad with his tongue wrapped around his entire body and a proud duck. Bucky commends Dead-Eye for his resourcefulness, but seeing as how the toad needs his tongue to speak, he instructs the excitable gunner to untie him. The toad then struggles to get his tongue back into his mouth and complains it’s too limp to utilize. Bucky bangs it around some to wake it up (why do I suddenly hear the sound of Beavis and Butt-Head’s laughter in my head right now?), and AKOM apparently got sick of animating the thing because it just magically returns to the toad’s mouth. Bucky then tries to interrogate him, but he’s not talking. Enter Bruiser, which gets the toad’s tongue working just fine. He says Komplex sent him to position and shield a satellite, but he doesn’t know anything else. Bucky then instructs Bruiser to toss the prisoner in the brig while he ponders what this could mean.

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Air Marshall is receiving a temporary promotion which will all but surely remain temporary.

Komplex is then briefly shown discussing this new scheme with the Air Marshall. Air Marshall is being charged with defending Komplex, a task usually reserved for Toadborg but he’s busy with something else. On Earth, Willy is messing around with his computer and the photon accelerator. It’s causing interference on his computer, and eventually it picks up Komplex’s signal. Willy overhears a plan to utilize a satellite to broadcast Toad TV to the rest of the Aniverse which will drain the brain waves of the mammals watching and render them obedient to Komplex. Toadborg is also shown on a sound stage dressing toad actors as mammals in preparation for the first broadcast.

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Toadborg has a future in directing.

Willy, realizing he stumbled onto something important, activates his photon accelerator to return to the Aniverse. He starts informing Bucky and the others about what he learned, but he doesn’t get very far before the Toad satellite starts broadcasting its first transmission. The various monitors on the ship display some monster movie, the effects of which seem to hypnotize the members of the crew. All except Willy (and possibly Blinky, who doesn’t say anything but also doesn’t appear to be affected) are essentially paralyzed and we see shots of other random mammal households under the same spell. A green energy is being sucked out of the viewers and floating to the television suggesting this is some kind of brain drain. Willy deactivates the monitors on the ship breaking the spell. Jenny thanks him for saving their lives and Bucky starts formulating a plan.

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The brain suck in action. Throughout, AKOM is inconsistent where Blinky is concerned. In some shots he’s being affected, in some he’s not. As an android, I’d assume he has no brain waves.

The Indefatigable is summoned and Dogstar soon shows up with his new crew. Their names won’t be given, but in addition to Dogstar and Wolf we have Rumble Bee, Pitstop Pete, and Digger McSquint. Dogstar is displayed as being especially bumbling so he hasn’t gotten any smarter since we last saw him. He goes along with Bucky’s advice to shut down their ship’s video monitors so at least he’s smart enough to take orders when necessary. Bucky has a pretty radical idea to infiltrate Komplex and take this thing down at the source, and the only way to do that is to attack the Toad home world.

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Some new faces aboard the Indefatigable. Pitstop Pete and Rumble Bee presently enduring a rather boring heroic tale from their commander.

Bucky has Dead-Eye take him there via the Toad Croaker which is disguised as a meteor. It will fall to Dogstar to keep the Toads occupied outside the planet while the Righteous Indignation returns to deal with that stray satellite. Wolf launches in their own version of a Toad Croaker while Bucky makes his way to the surface armed with his trusty sidearm and some special crystal Jenny gave him in case he gets in trouble. He also has a handy jetpack on his space suit that helps him get around. A Toad gunner is shown at a console and he regards the Croaker disguised as a meteor as unimportant. The Air Marshall shows up and almost succeeds in fouling Bucky’s plan by ordering the gunner to blast the meteor in order to remain sharp. Before he can do so, the Indefatigable appears drawing their attention away from Bucky, as planned.

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Air Marshall doing his best to remain vigilante.

Seeing the Indefatigable in its orbit, Komplex orders the Toad fleet to attack. What appear to be hundreds of Double Bubbles come streaming out of the Toad planet. In the first few episodes, such odds were made to seem insurmountable for one frigate, but apparently Dogstar’s crew will do just fine. We get to see his guys get in position and Rumble Bee, being an android, basically extends his “stinger” and plugs into their ship’s M.A.S.E.R. canon while Pete mans what looks like a missile launcher.

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Rumble Bee plugs himself into the Indefatigable’s canon.

Bucky makes his way through the Toad planet undetected. He even remarks it’s rather boring, which is the cue for many laser turrets to activate and train their sights on Bucky. He dodges and shoots a few before reaching a deep chasm. At the bottom is something that resembles the Void Droid from episode 3. Bucky also encounters several more robots designed to destroy sentient beings, and Bucky being a sentient being, is soon targeted. These things look like smaller versions of that same Void Droid and also remind me of the mousers from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Lucky for Bucky, they aren’t as indestructible as the Void Droid and he’s able to blast them

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A close call for Captain O’Hare.

It’s at this point that Komplex becomes aware of Bucky’s presence and we see the program is capable of panic. Komplex recalls all of the troops and orders them to defend Komplex at all costs. This even causes the many Double Bubbles fighting with Dogstar and his crew to turn around. Wolf requests updated instructions from Dogstar and he’s obviously irritated with his slow-thinking commander. Dogstar then instructs him to use their tails as fuses and light ’em up! Very poetic.

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Willy’s stupid gun

Meanwhile, the Righteous Indignation has found the shield around that satellite to be impregnable. To no one’s surprise, Willy is able to come up with a solution because his brain essentially possesses magic powers, it would seem. The writers usually come up with some jargon to explain Willy’s plan, but this time they don’t bother. He whips up a little gun that somewhat resembles a video camera. Dead-Eye pilots the Croaker and Willy out to take a shot at the satellite, and what do you know, Willy’s weapon works. With the shield down they now just need confirmation from Bucky that they’re okay to blow it up.

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This is apparently worse than the robots.

And as for Bucky, well he’s run into some trouble. He ended up in a hallway composed of giant video monitors and Komplex has switched them all on. They’re apparently not broadcasting the mammal-centric programming affecting the rest of the Aniverse though and it just looks like Toad TV. Apparently, regular old Toad TV has a paralyzing effect on mammals. We’ve seen Bucky and the others recoil with disgust when presented with Toad TV, but nothing like this. Bucky falls to his knees clutching his head apparently incapable of doing much else. He then pulls out that crystal Jenny gave him, which floats into the air and sends out a laser blast in all directions destroying all of the monitors and freeing Bucky from their paralyzing effects.

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What better way to house a bunch of brain waves than a big old brain itself?

In the inner sanctum of Komplex, Toadborg activates the final component of this brain drain device. A literal brain rises from a center console. It’s in a glass bubble and is very reminiscent of Mother Brain from the Metroid series (though not the version of the character from Captain N, thankfully) of video games. All of the brain waves being collected by the satellite are being consolidated here. Once that task is completed they’ll be scrambled and transmitted back to the source which will render the viewer obedient to Komplex, but it’s still roughly 5 minutes away from completion. Bucky then bursts in, and Komplex orders Toadborg to destroy him before he stops the brain drain. Toadborg has a rifle this time, but hitting Bucky proves challenging. Similar to episode 3, Bucky is able to insult Toadborg which appears to enrage him and makes him sloppy. He vaults over the cybernetic toad to rest atop the giant brain and Toadborg cooperates by continuously firing at Bucky. His sloppy shooting causes him to strike the brain and explosions happen.

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Komplex is in quite a panic during the final act.

We then cut to the satellite, which has now reversed its brain suck maneuver and is sending the waves back to their source. A montage of mammals around the Aniverse is shown as they all come to their senses. The writers even slip in a political joke when one mole remarks he feels like he was just subjected to 9 months of Quail speeches, which I can only assume was a jab at the current sitting Vice President of the United States, at the time. Bucky then contacts the Righteous Indignation and orders the destruction of that satellite, and Dead-Eye is happy to oblige. A series of explosions at the Toad planet thrust Bucky back into space where Wolf is ready to scoop him up. He radios back to the Indefatigable to report that Bucky has been secured and their mission a success.

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Wolf with the save!

Back aboard the Righteous Indignation the crew is shown celebrating. Bruiser seems particularly excited while Bucky is a bit sullen that he couldn’t take down Komplex once and for all. He’s reminded they’ll have other chances, while Bruiser is just happy to have television back. When he goes to flip on the tube, Bucky whips out his pistol and blasts it. It would seem he’s not quite ready for TV yet. A simple order would have probably been more economical though. Back at the inner sanctum of Komplex, Toadborg is shown angrily barking orders at other toads. They need to make emergency repairs to get Komplex back on-line and he suggests they’re at least a week away from achieving their goal. The camera then pans to Frix and Frax who realize they’ll be without Toad TV for at least a week and they begin to weep like children.

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The reaction of Frix and Frax when faced with the prospect of no Toad TV for a week.

“The Komplex Caper” isn’t what I expected given the title, but I suppose it’s still a caper since the Toads were stealing something after all. It just wasn’t something tangible as they were stealing the brain waves of the mammal population. It’s a bit “out there” as a plot device, but it wasn’t a surprise to see Toad TV integrated into a plot in a major way. I still don’t really get how Toad TV works – is it paralyzing to mammals? It seems kind of stupid, but I guess with a kid’s show you’re always looking for non-violent ways for the villains to inflict harm and distress on the protagonists. It was fun to see the fight be taken to the Toad home world for the first time, though it was improbably easy for Bucky to infiltrate it. We also saw Toadborg fail once again. I can’t say I’m happy to see his apparent weakness is a short temper, because it is rather lame, but when you create a villain that’s indestructible you have to find a weakness some where.

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I very much enjoyed watching Wolf get annoyed with Dogstar.

They may not have played a huge role in the episode, but it was nice to see Dogstar given a proper crew. Up until now he’s only had Wolf at his side and he briefly had some generic looking dog character when they arrested Tinker back in episode 2. The newcomers all have interesting designs. Their designs were so interesting that Pitstop Pete and Rumble Bee were both supposed to be in Hasbro’s series 2 of action figures, but that wasn’t to be. I’d still like to see a Rumble Bee at some point as he’s just unique looking so hopefully Boss Fight Studio’s current line of figures lasts long enough for that to happen. Considering they have yet to unveil a Blinky or Willy (and maybe they’d want to do a Dogstar first as well) I’d guess he’s still pretty far away.

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This episode is at least unique for giving us a look inside Komplex.

This episode is pretty entertaining. Even though it requires a real suspension of disbelief, watching Bucky infiltrate the Toad home world is pretty cool and it’s something I wouldn’t have expected to happen yet in the series. We are at the midpoint though, so maybe this was as good a time as any to go ahead and take the fight to the Toads head-on. There’s some solid humor here too. The sequence at the episode’s start with Dead-Eye and the Toad pilot is perhaps the best piece of humor the show has provided us so far while it was also funny to see Wolf’s interactions with Dogstar. Dogstar annoys me and it’s nice to see he apparently annoys Wolf as well. This episode also makes it seem like Komplex will be out of commission for at least a little while. That’s not the case though as we’ll be hearing from Komplex again quite soon. Komplex isn’t featured in every episode, so I don’t know why they didn’t position one of those episodes to follow this one, but oh well. Opportunity wasted. Toadborg did say Komplex would only be down for a week which is convenient for a weekly TV show. After three episodes though that are very stand-alone in nature, next week’s will bring us a direct call-back to the very first episode of the series with “The Search for Bruce.” See you in a week!

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Bucky O’Hare and the Toad Wars – “The Good, the Bad, and the Warty”

img_3437Episode Number:  3

Original Air Date:  September 22, 1991

Directed by:  Karen Peterson

Written by:  Christy Marx

First Appearance:  Mother Aldebaran

It seems our animal friends can’t stay out of trouble. At the end of the first episode it looked like Bucky and his crew would be annihilated by the entire Toad fleet. They escaped destruction there with the help of the recently displaced Willy DuWitt. Victory was short-lived as episode two ended with the sleazasaur spy, Al Negator, making off with the codes to the defense system of the capital planet in the United Animal Security Council. He managed to escape capture by Bucky O’Hare and was safely in the confines of the Toad Mothership. Worse, the Righteous Indignation was in turn captured by the Toad Empire and we’ll begin episode three with Bucky and his crew inside the Toad Mothership as well.

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It’s action time!

Our episode begins as the second did with a broadcast from Toad TV. Andy Phibian is broadcasting from inside the Toad Mothership to report on the imminent capture of Bucky O’Hare, until Toadborg strolls into the picture. Phibian is the same reporter featured in the opening credits, and given how the last two episodes begin, it makes me wonder if the show was supposed to feature him in most episodes giving a news broadcast. If so, it’s abandoned quickly as this is Phibian’s last official appearance. His character model will be re-used as a generic background character, but he won’t be giving any more broadcasts. Toadborg is apparently camera-shy, putting an end to that transmission. Bucky and the rest are grouped on the Righteous Indignation as Toad Storm Troopers blast it from outside. They can’t hide forever as the ship can’t take much so they do the only thing they can:  they fight!

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Guns? Bruiser doesn’t need guns.

Bucky, Jenny, Dead-Eye and Willy burst through the laser fire and head in different directions. Despite being severely out-numbered, they escape harm. Dead-Eye and Willy climb aboard the Toad Croaker that Al Negator abandoned while Bucky and Jenny duck into a corridor, eventually splitting up. Bruiser is left to guard the ship while Blinky remains aboard, presumably to make repairs. Bruiser has little trouble with his task as the Toad Storm Troopers are paralyzed with fear at the sight of him. He squishes one into a ball and has fun jumping up and down on the others.

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Dogstar looks like he’s taking a snooze while Wolf looks stoned. Good allies.

The Mothership is heading for Genus accompanied by the Toad fleet of Double Bubbles. Commander Dogstar and Wolf are shown from the Indefatigable when Dogstar realizes where he recognized Al Negator’s scent from. Theorizing that Bucky is in trouble, they activate their warp drive to zero in on Bucky’s last known position. Bucky is shown running through a corridor being chased by Storm Troopers. He shoots up some pipes along the walls releasing steam, allowing for a “steamed” pun (sadly, no pigs are present for a Steamed Ham pun). Jenny is also shown making the rounds taking out security cameras wherever she finds them.

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The latest Toad mechanical monstrosity.

Dead-Eye and Willy are soon shown being chased by a rather nasty looking Toad robot. Air Marshall seems to refer to it as a Void Droid, and Toadborg will make a reference to it later. Dead-Eye’s lasers do nothing to it, and as it gains on he and Willy in the Toad Croaker he insists Willy use his secret weapon. Willy tries to protest as he knows his gun is just a water pistol, but he gives it a shot when Dead-Eye insists. It turns out the machine is not waterproof and one squirt from Willy’s gun takes it out. The Air Marshall, watching via a security monitor, is enraged at this deficiency while Frix and Frax seem to be amused. Dead-Eye congratulates Willy and then makes a confession. He hands over the play money he swiped from Willy’s bag, and Willy tries to tell him what it is. Dead-Eye instead is rather impressed that he considers a stack of cash of that size “play money,” but a hard turn of the Croaker causes Willy to tumble out and into a laundry chute of some kind which causes his helmet to pop off. When Willy looks up, he’s face to face with Al Negator.

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Bucky’s initial shot makes a dent, but none of the others will.

Bucky enters a prison yard in hopes of freeing his fellow hares, but all he finds are empty shackles. He soon comes face to face with Toadborg. He informs Bucky that all of the hares have already been moved to slave factories and there’s nothing he can do about it. Bucky, taking Toadborg to just be another robot, fires his gun at him and chips away at Toadborg’s frame. Repeated blasts have no effect though and he’s forced to crank his gun up to full power, but even that fails. He then tries to jump away (and the episode uses a silly spring sound effect for Bucky’s leaps), but Toadborg is a pretty fine jumper himself and is able to grab Bucky by the ears. He then deploys some kind of gas from his fingers that knocks him out. He then heads off with his prize.

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Jenny’s powers prove to be just as “effective” as Bucky’s pistol.

Jenny soon breaks into an area of the Mothership and too comes face to face with Toadborg and the unconscious Bucky. She uses her powers on him thinking he’ll crumble like the droid she encountered in the previous episode, but Toadborg returns fire knocking her over. She remarks that he’s not actually a robot and Toadborg is impressed she could detect that. He picks her up by the hair and uses the same gas that he used on Bucky to knock her unconscious. Toadborg then orders some troopers around him to throw she and Bucky into some “jettison tubes.”

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Al and his “Willies”

Al Negator is pretty puzzled by the sight of Willy. Not really knowing what he is, he tries to figure out a way to make use of him. Willy demands Al return the codes he stole, and to his surprise, Al Negator is willing to do so – for a price. Willy gets resourceful and pulls out the stack of play money. Al Negator has never seen currency like that before, though he seems to recognize it as some kind of currency. Willy calls his play money “Willies” and says they’re a new currency backed by the United Mammal Fleet. His fib fools the purple lizard and he agrees to deal for the codes, but he wants all of Willy’s Willies. Willy acts like the request is outrageous, then feigns acceptance as he hands over the play money in exchange for the disk. Al Negator then walks away counting his Willies.

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You would think Dead-Eye would have better luck than the others with these canons.

Toadborg then confronts Dead-Eye who is still flying around in the Toad Croaker. He tries blasting Toadborg with the Croaker’s canons at close range but they’re just as ineffective as a pistol. He then resorts to just trying to run him over, but Toadborg grabs the Croaker and swings it causing Dead-Eye to crash into a wall.

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Not the place to be.

With Bucky, Jenny, and Dead-Eye captured, Toadborg places all three into clear cylindrical tubes. They’re airlocks of some kind and Toadborg intends to torture his captives to get some information. He starts with Bucky, and he causes the tube to empty its oxygen while demanding Bucky tell him the status of the United Animal Fleet. Bucky won’t talk though, and Komplex interjects that Bucky won’t be broken (Komplex is rather impatient). Komplex goes on to say it doesn’t matter, they’ll soon have the codes to attack Genus as they currently wait just outside the defense perimeter. Willy then enters and attempts to use his squirt gun against Toadborg. Dressed in his baboon outfit, Toadborg initially recoils in fear before reminding himself that he’s now far beyond the power of a baboon. When Willy blasts him he acts insulted that he thinks a small amount of water could harm him. Realizing he can’t stop Toadborg, he whips out the disk he purchased from Al Negator and uses it to demand the release of his friends. Bucky orders Willy to destroy the codes reasoning his life, and the that of the others, is not as important as protecting Genus. Willy is hesitant to do so, and there are repeated shots of his face with a worried look even though in every other shot he’s wearing his baboon mask. I can’t tell if this is an error or if its intentional to show us Willy’s anguish. At the urging of his friends, Willy does indeed smash the disk preventing Toadborg from getting the codes.

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Jenny has some explaining to do.

At least, that’s what Willy thought he was doing. Al Negator comes strolling in to let Toadborg know he didn’t fail in his mission. He made a copy, as he should have, and happily hands it over to Toadborg in exchange for his payment. Toadborg then grabs Willy and tosses him in another pod before inserting the disk into his own mainframe. He and Al leave with the console controlling the tubes switched on. The oxygen is leaving the tubes and soon Bucky and his friends will be launched into space. As things look dire, Jenny kneels down and reaches out to her Aldebaran sisters. The gem on her helmet then changes to display a green-furred cat she refers to as Mother Aldebaran. She asks for her permission to use her secret powers in the presence of outsiders. The Mother reminds her that such an act is forbidden, but then suggests a Level 3 psychic blast would likely go unnoticed. She thanks the feline, and a beam shoots forth from Jenny that destroys the console and frees them all. When Bucky questions what happened, Jenny simply reasons that they don’t build them like they used to.

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Something weird is going on with Toadborg here.

On the bridge, Toadborg strolls in to declare that he possesses the codes to Genus’ defense system. When Air Marshall requests he hand them over, he refuses saying he’ll broadcast them. He seats himself in a throne-like chair as radio waves seem to transmit the codes to the orbiting satellites. They go into an idle mode and Toadborg then ejects himself from the controls of the Toad Climate Converter. The saucer-like vessel then heads for the surface world.

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While the others ran around, Blinky was busy making repairs.

Bucky and the others return to the Righteous Indignation. Bruiser had kept the Toads at bay while Blinky made repairs and reports the ship is at a functional 70%. Upon leaving the Mothership they encounter Dogstar and the Indefatigable. Dogstar agrees to do what he can with the many Toad ships surrounding Genus while Bucky and his crew go after Toadborg. They head down to Genus to find a storm raging all around the Climate Converter. Bucky disembarks to go take on Toadborg alone and insists everyone else remain on the ship, but Willy jumps at the last-minute. When Bucky asks him what he’s doing he insists that Bucky will need an engineer to take this thing down.

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Bucky vs Toadborg, Round 2.

Bucky and Willy are quickly confronted by Toadborg. Bucky shoves Willy behind some machinery so that Toadborg doesn’t notice him. He once more tries blasting Toadborg, but that’s just as effective as it was on the Mothership. He then uses his brains and insults Toadborg, wondering why Komplex would waste resources on preserving one measly toad. It’s apparently effective, as Bucky gets Toadborg to chase him to the surface of the structure allowing Willy to head for the main controls. Outside the storm rages all around them, and Bucky is able to seek cover behind some electrical structures. Toadborg demonstrates another one of his tricks as his arms extend to try and grab the green hare, but he just gets zapped by exposed wires. Down below, Dead-Eye bursts in to help Willy and Willy informs him he switched some stuff around and basically turned the apparatus on the surface of the Climate Converter into a lightning rod. They jump back into the Righteous Indignation and flee knowing this thing is about to get destroyed. As they fly off, Bucky sees them and makes a jump for it while Toadborg runs off to try and undo what Willy has done. When it looks like Bucky’s leap will come up short, Bruiser reaches down and snatches him by the cape. Toadborg can only watch helplessly as lightning batters him and the Climate Converter eventually causing it to explode.

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Komplex does not look happy.

With Toadborg taken out, the defense codes cease their transmission. The satellites then re-arm themselves and take aim at the Toad vessels in Genus’ airspace. They open fire and all of the toads inside the Mothership are forced to head for the escape pods. Air Marshall and his lackeys leave in a slave ship and we see a battered Toadborg, floating in space, grab onto a fleeing Double Bubble. Komplex appears on the monitor in the slave ship demanding the Air Marshall to return to the home world at once. While he passes out, Frix and Frax giggle and ponder what Komplex will do to him as punishment.

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Apparently lightning and explosions can harm Toadborg.

The Righteous Indignation is shown buzzing around Genus taking in the cheers. Bucky then ducks inside to find Willy as he prepares to leave to head home. He tells him he should come out and soak in the cheers since he played a huge role in saving Genus, but the modest Willy DuWitt insists he needs to get back. They all say their goodbyes, except Jenny who is no where to be found. Willy asks Bucky to say goodbye for him, with a little blush, and then Jenny emerges from the cockpit. She says she was working on an Aldebaran crystal communicator called a memory stone which she gives to Willy so he can contact them whenever he needs to, and vice versa. She plants another kiss on him and sends him on his way, Willy blushing uncontrollably.

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Al takes Willy’s deception quite well.

On some planet apparently occupied by mammals, Al Negator is at a bar and is attempting to spend some of his “Willies.” An orangutan working the bar tells Al he’s checked all over and no one is backing any currency called Willies. Al realizes he’s been cheated, but rather than act mad he actually has a laugh. When the bartender starts laughing along he takes exception and tosses the guy aside. He then vows to find the mammal who gave him the Willies and make him pay.

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Willy continues to have the hots for Jenny.

We’re then taken to Earth where Willy, Doug, and the other guys are showing their skateboard off at a science fair for school. Doug is taking all of the credit for the invention while Willy is behind a computer monitor. One of the other guys tries to reassure Willy by telling him not to pay Doug any mind, but Willy doesn’t care as he’s staring forlornly at the amulet Jenny gave him and the image of the crew appears on it as the episode ends.

Episode 3 is essentially the action-heavy episode I was expecting. Bucky and his crew are in enemy territory without the aid of stealth and are forced to blast their way to safety while also trying to protect the planet Genus. The action is fairly tame as apparently Bucky won’t be allowed to simply blast Toads, which is expected, and probably why we’ve seen some robots early on. Toadborg gets to demonstrate his might and he’s a formidable foe. He also shares pretty much his entire back story confirming he’s not a robot, but a former Storm Trooper turned into a cyborg. We also see more of the Dead-Eye/Willy pairing which is working well early on and we also get a little insight into Jenny’s powers. The Mother Aldebaran thing will get a bit more confusing in a later episode when Jenny returns to her home world and there isn’t a character matching that name. She’ll confer with someone named the High Artificer, but she doesn’t match the image we saw in Jenny’s amulet. At the time, Jenny’s ability to free them from the trap they’re in feels a bit too convenient, but at least the show plans on following up on it. I also like that some mystery is preserved here.

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Our first happy ending of the series.

Visually, this episode is the worst so far. It might have to do with our characters no longer largely being stationary as they’re forced to flee the confines of their spaceship and do battle on foot. The running, particularly Bucky and Toadborg during their fight, is choppy and the characters practically glide. There’s clearly not enough frames of animation in places. Toadborg’s eyes also keep changing color, and I don’t think it’s intentional, and at one point Dead-Eye’s head turns orange. Some images look all right, such as when Toadborg is walking away with a limp Bucky and carrying him by the ears. Aside from the eye thing, Toadborg in general looks imposing. I found it confusing though that Bucky’s initial shot blasted away some of Toadborg’s outer shell, but then every subsequent shot did nothing. The blemish also disappears quickly so maybe it was an error to even include it initially. I do like that the fight between Toadborg and Bucky is basically resolved through some ingenuity. Bucky just basically occupies Toadborg while Willy goes to work. No weakness is really exposed with Toadborg, he just under estimates his opponent. The Willy/Jenny stuff still remains weird, but at least we weren’t stuck on Earth for very long in this episode.

This episode essentially concludes the show’s first arch. There’s no cliff-hanger of an ending as Bucky and his crew destroyed the Climate Converter and prevented the Toads from securing the Genus defense system codes. They also destroyed a Mothership in the process, but more likely remain. This is a temporary victory as Bucky still needs to locate his fellow hares and find a way to reverse the damage done to his home world. The rest of the season will focus more on stand-alone stories often with some member of the crew stepping into the spotlight each week, but it doesn’t completely lose sight of those primary goals. Things will steadily build towards the finale, which is a satisfying structure for a show like this. Even though this episode has some warts, it was fairly exciting and the show has created some strong momentum and hopefully the variation in plotting won’t derail that.


Bucky O’Hare and the Toad Wars – “A Fistful of Simoleans”

img_3409Episode Number:  2

Original Air Date:  September 15, 1991

Directed by:  Karen Peterson

Written by:  Christy Marx

First Appearance:  Toadborg, Al Negator, Bruiser, Commander Dogstar, Wolf, Andy Phibian

When we last checked in with the courageous mammals under the leadership of Captain Bucky O’Hare, they had just lost their chief engineer at a bad time. Their photon accelerator, their means of activating warp drive, had failed and they were under heavy fire from the entire Toad fleet. Then an unusual thing happened, when trying to restart the photon accelerator a great stasis field overtook the ship. It sapped their power and prevented them from leaving it, but also the Toads from entering. This occurred because young Willy DuWitt, a human boy from San Francisco, had just activated his own home constructed photon accelerator as part of a science experiment. He and Bucky had activated their respective machines at precisely the right time opening a rift between their two dimensions expressed by the presence of the stasis field and Willy’s own bedroom door appearing in the engineering bay of the Righteous Indignation.

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The Toads apparently broadcast up to the minute coverage of military operations.

Because of Willy’s knowledge gained from the construction of his own photon accelerator, he was equipped with the know-how to fix the one aboard the Righteous Indignation. If they could repair the accelerator it would enable them to utilize the warp drive function and ditch the Toads. If it failed, well then they’re all dead. One additional wrinkle is that Willy expects his door, his passageway back to his own dimension, to vanish once the warp drive is engaged and he doesn’t know if it will return once disengaged. There’s the very real possibility that he could be trapped in this universe completely foreign to him where humanity apparently doesn’t exist.

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Bucky is forced to put his faith in the human Willy to get out of a big mess.

Since this is episode two for the series, you’re probably not surprised to learn that despite all of the drama contained in that build-up, Willy’s repairs did indeed work and the heroes were able to escape certain destruction. Pinned down, the Toads were ordered to all fire at once. For some reason, this causes their many lasers to literally combine, it sort of resembles the laser from the Death Star in Star Wars right down to the color green. Dead-Eye’s twin M.A.S.E.R. (Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emissions of Radiation) canons are fired at this conjoined beam which apparently cancels the two out. The Righteous Indignation is then able to burst free from the asteroid it was on and escape into warp drive. Those damaged engines from before are apparently all fine now.

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Not enough Komplex monitors.

Aboard the Toad Mothership, the Air Marshall is incensed to find out that Bucky O’Hare escaped. He orders the fleet to pursue, but Komplex interrupts him. Komplex declares that the Air Marshall has wasted enough time on Bucky as it appears on a monitor that is affixed to a mechanical arm. Komplex is able to move it around at will, and the angry visage even bursts forth from the monitor screen in what is a really bizarre effect. Komplex doesn’t see how one frigate could possibly pose a problem for the Toad Empire and declares their real target is Genus. When the Air Marshall protests citing Genus’ formidable defense system, Komplex counters that they’ll need to hire a spy to steal the codes to the defense system in order to take it down.

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Al Negator sharpening his skills.

Enter Al Negator (Garry Chalk), the sleazasaur. What is a sleazasaur? It’s a bipedal, purple, crocodile with neon green teeth and eyes. Pretty interesting. To complete the look he wears gold-plated armor on his chest and tail and speaks with a Louisiana accent. When we see him, he’s attaching small cards to a wheel with each containing an image of one of the crew members of the Righteous Indignation. He receives a call from the Toad Air Marshall and as he speaks to him via video monitor he holds up a small mirror and uses it to aim over his shoulder. As the wheel spins, he picks off members of the crew in an impressive display of shooting accuracy. Despite that, I’m willing to bet when it comes time to fire upon the actual crew he’ll miss and miss often.

The Air Marshall wishes to hire Al to steal the defense codes. Al is intrigued, but will need a big payment for such a job. He requests 5,000 simoleons, which is apparently the currency in the Aniverse (Animated Universe, in case you were wondering). The Air Marshall balks declaring it extortion, but Al keeps his cool and reminds him that extortion is another one of his many specialties. He adds he’ll need half of the payment upfront and the Air Marshall reluctantly agrees to the deal. Their business concluded, the camera zooms in on Al’s spinning wheel to rest on an image of Bucky O’Hare with a laser hole through his head.

Aboard the Righteous Indignation, the crew congratulates Willy. Without his help, they’d all be dead and they know it. Bucky mentions they just lost their engineer Bruce, and also vows to find him when this business is concluded, and that they need a new one. Willy seems willing, but does cite the need to see his parents and go to school and such. Dead-Eye returns the weapon he confiscated from Willy’s room, which drips water to reveal it’s just a water gun. When Willy tries to explain it to Dead-Eye he refuses an explanation insisting he trusts Willy. Willy then inquires about the Toads – were they always this evil?

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The Toads back when they were harmless lovers of useless crap.

Blinky steps in to answer that question. It seems his giant eye also functions as a projector and he plays a brief video detailing the corruption of the Toads. Once upon a time, they were a harmless race mostly obsessed with watching television and acquiring shoddy merchandise (so they were boomers, essentially). Their scientists created Komplex, a program designed to handle all of the remedial tasks in their society that they were too lazy to do themselves. Like all good A.I. though, Komplex eventually went rogue and enslaved the entire population. Now their once swampy home is covered in factories which run seven layers deep. From space, it just looks like a big, metal, sphere. Komplex desires domination of the whole Aniverse and now whoever isn’t a part of the Toad Trooper Army is building ships for said army or working on new technology to improve it.

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Mini Golf is big business on Warren.

Willy is distressed to see this, but it is what it is. Bucky then retrieves an old battle suit that belonged to Bruce and instructs Willy to put it on in case things get rough where they’re going. When Willy inquires about that, Blinky pops in yet again to show a video on our next destination:  Warren, home planet of Bucky and the hares. The video shows lots of hares in varying colors doing happy things. The climate is described as perfect and there are carrots the size of trees. When the video ends a message is displayed reading “That’s It Furries,” which is a bit funny from today’s point of view given the term furries and the apparent attraction of Jenny towards Willy.

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Warren is now one big farty-butt of a planet.

With the Toads no longer pursuing them, the crew of the Righteous Indignation has no trouble heading for Warren. Bucky is dismayed to see how cloudy the atmosphere looks from space, and it gets worse at ground level. The whole planet has been turned into a swamp and appears deserted. Willy says it smells, and Blinky uses an instrument in his hand to detect high levels of methane in the air basically revealing that Warren smells like farts. The crew wonders how the Toads could have altered the entire planet’s climate with Willy declaring it impossible, but Jenny points out the evidence before them which suggests the Toads found a way. Willy finds some piece of Toad tech and feels the need to yell to the crew about his discovery despite being a mere 10 feet away. The device is mangled, but inside is a floppy disk (so dated) that Blinky is able to analyze. Toads apparently possess incredible floppy disks because Blinky finds a video on it and projects it. It’s of a Toad discussing the successful test of their new climate converter used on Warren, confirming what happened, and also makes mention of heading for Genus next. Bucky decides they must leave for Genus immediately and warn them of what’s coming.

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If your business is smuggling and spying then this is the shop for you.

In a dank shop, Al Negator is shown bargaining with a rat named Tinker (Scott McNeil). He’s getting some supplies for his new job and is preparing to leave when Tinker’s monitor clicks on suddenly. It’s Commander Dogstar (Chalk), who sounds similar to the Colonel from One-Hundred and One Dalmatians, and he’s here with a warrant for Tinker’s arrest. Tinker tries to flee through a secret passage, but Al knocks him aside and declares it’s more important that he gets out. He slams the door shut behind him as Dogstar and company break down the entrance door. Dogstar, along with Wolf (Richard Newman) and another dog-person enter and apprehend Tinker. Dogstar notices another scent in the air, and Wolf finds where it stops. Since their job was just to apprehend Tinker though, they leave without further investigation.

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Bruiser is pretty insistent about being allowed to join Bucky’s crew following the “death” of his brother, Bruce.

On Genus, Bucky and crew disembark as Willy insists he needs to get back to Earth soon. Bucky understands, but mentions they’ll need to hire a new warp drive mechanic. Willy, who is wearing Bruce’s suit, is sent back to the ship to retrieve his helmet by Bucky who says to Jenny that it’s probably best that they keep Willy a secret. Just then, a rather large, and angry, baboon shouts at him. It’s Bruiser (Dale Wilson), the younger brother of Bruce and a space marine. He somehow heard about what happened and is livid with the Toads. He demonstrates what he wants to do to them by crushing some helpless chair that was hanging around and insists that Bucky take him aboard his ship. Bucky is happy to have him, saying they need some muscle, and Bruiser calms down. Until Willy returns in his brother’s suit. With the mask on, he looks just like Bruce and Bruiser runs up and embraces him so hard that the mask pops off. He then becomes angry, and who can blame him, to find someone else in his brother’s suit. The others are able to calm him down insisting that Willy is a friend and Bruiser does indeed settle himself. All the while, Al Negator has been watching the events unfold.

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Well, the United Animal Fleet just doubled, at least.

Bucky, Jenny, and Blinky then address the council once again. Blinky plays a video he took of Warren demonstrating the effects of the Toad’s new climate converter. The pig guy is distressed, but when Bucky mentions they’re coming for Genus next he dismisses the possibility out of hand due to their defense system. He then tells Bucky the good news that they’ve decided to expand the fleet. Bucky’s enthusiasm is short-lived though when it’s revealed the fleet is being expanded by one additional frigate:  The Indefatigable. Bucky is underwhelmed.

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Everyone is suspicious of Al Negator except old, trusting, Bucky.

A raccoon is then headed for an interview for the open position of warp drive mechanic but is intercepted by Al Negator. He directs the raccoon to a doorway, and once opened we see the unconscious bodies of other apparent warp drive mechanics. Al knocks this raccoon unconscious and into the closet before heading over to the Righteous Indignation. There he presents himself to Bucky O’Hare as a warp drive mechanic. His phony credentials fool Bucky, but Jenny says something doesn’t feel right as Al stands there and whistles suspiciously. Dead-Eye then points out he’s a sleazasaur, who apparently have a bad reputation. Bucky points out that people say the same of pirates thus confirming that Dead-Eye either is or was a pirate himself. He hires Al and welcomes him aboard. Before they depart though, Dogstar comes running in. Bucky is happy to see him and Dogstar confirms he’ll be in charge of the new frigate. He then takes note of Al and mentions he’s smelled him somewhere before. Al insists all sleazasaurs smell the same and it’s enough to cover him for now.

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Al does what he can to shoo Blinky away. Stupid, helpful, robot.

Willy is then shown saying goodbye to the crew, but before he heads back to his dimension through his door he warns Bucky about Al. Bucky dismisses his warning and orders him to go back to school. Once gone, Blinky then takes to showing Al around who immediately starts nosing around. He slyly tosses some device into a compartment and then begins complaining about the excessive amounts of banana peels that are accumulating around Bruiser and orders Blinky to clean the place up. He snoops around some more and even finds Willy’s duffel bag, but Dead-Eye catches him and tells him to scram. He then sees the fake money in Willy’s bag and has a crisis of conscience. Apparently, it’s pirate code to take any money, but Dead-Eye doesn’t want to steal from his friend. He reasons he’ll just hold onto it for him, in case he never comes back. With his conscience satisfied, he stuffs the money into his belt.

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This is the part of the episode no one cares about.

On Earth, Willy is walking to school when he’s accosted by Doug and his two friends again. They enter on skateboard and start chasing Willy down the street. He runs, but ends up tripping on some trolley tracks and gets his hand stuck. Just before the trolley can smear him all over the road, he frees himself and gets out-of-the-way, but his victory is short-lived. Doug and his buddies surround him, and Willy throws down his books and faces him. He demands Doug meet him after school to do battle with his choice of weapons, and Doug is happy to oblige.

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Meet Toadborg, the most intimidating villain yet, but is he competent?

Aboard the Toad Mothership, Frix and Frax are once again watching Toad TV. This time it’s an ad for Warts Illustrated’s swimsuit issue featuring their favorite model Veruca from the first episode. This parody is actually genuinely amusing, but it’s short-lived as the TV gets smashed by another new face:  Toadborg (Richard Newman). Toadborg is essentially the Toad version of Darth Vader, only he’s mostly purple and yellow. He’s quite large and scary looking despite the abundance of purple, and Frix and Frax look like they’ve soiled themselves with terror. Toad Air Marshall enters the room and demands to know what’s going on and is just as terrified as the twins to see Toadborg. Toadborg informs the Air Marshall that Komplex sent him to oversee the invasion of Genus. Worse is that Komplex has lost confidence in the Air Marshall calling into question his job security. He demands an update on the smuggler Air Marshall hired, who in turn insists shall be returning with the codes soon.

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Ugh, should I even bother recapping the Earth stuff?

Back on Earth once again, Willy is in study hall waiting for Doug and his lackeys. When they show up he tells him what they’re doing:  building a computer-enhanced skateboard. He shows Doug the blueprints and he balks at doing any “sissy science stuff.” One of Doug’s friends takes a look at it though and says it looks kind of cool. Doug then gives in, but warns Willy that he better get an A for this. This Earth stuff just keeps getting worse.

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Bruiser has a rather potent dropkick.

Back aboard the Righteous Indignation, Al Negator returns to the engine room and informs Blinky and Bruiser that Dead-Eye wishes to speak with them. Once they leave he slams the door shut behind him and uses his rifle like a welding torch to seal it shut. He then inserts his snooper device into the ship’s computer. Immediately, Jenny notices the intrusion from the control deck and she and Bucky know who is to blame. Al is downloading all of the security codes and they need to stop him. Bucky orders Bruiser to break down the door and he does so with three running dropkicks, a pretty cool little visual. Once inside though they find Al is gone. He’s taken the Toad Croaker and is attempting to escape. Jenny pilots the ship after him while Bucky joins Dead-Eye at his gunner spot and orders him to open fire.

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That pesky Al Negator.

Back home, Willy wonders how things are going with the suspicious engineer and activates his photon accelerator. He then casually walks onto the Righteous Indignation and finds the crew in clean-up mode following Al Negator’s subterfuge. They’re still chasing the purple croc whose destination has been revealed:  the Toad Mothership. The bay door opens and Al heads for it as Dead-Eye lines up a shot. Al then pulls out a remote and presses a button which detonates all of the devices we saw him planting around the ship. Dead-Eye’s guns, the warp drive, even the command deck all explode. No one appears injured, but they’ve lost control of the ship. Bucky is happy to see Willy, but tells him he picked a bad time for a visit. The explosions also took out Willy’s door, and with no way to pilot the ship, they drift into the bay doors of the Toad Mothership. Meanwhile, the Air Marshall watches and howls with delight for he has finally captured Bucky O’Hare!

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I wonder what singed baboon ass smells like? Can’t be good.

Like the first episode, “A Fistful of Simoleons” packs a lot into its roughly 20 minute duration. New characters are introduced on both sides of the battle and an elaborate plot begins to take shape with the Toads targeting Genus. It’s not handled in a sophisticated manner, and Al’s antics are largely played for laughs, but it’s still interesting to see a subterfuge angle played out with Al gaining entry to the Righteous Indignation and sabotaging it. I wonder if kids in 91 were mostly confused over the whole “codes” thing. I know I had no frame of reference for such a plot device when I was a kid, but mostly just went along with everything. A code to me was something that made a video game easier. It’s another cliff-hanger of an ending with Bucky and his crew seemingly trapped aboard a Toad Mothership, but it’s a bit more exciting since this time they’ll likely need to resort to more conventional action hero antics to get out of that one.

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Bucky and Dead-Eye are not thrilled at how this episode ended.

Al Negator is a fun addition to the roster. He’s a slimy, creepy, greedy, villain and those types tend to be easy to write. It’s interesting to see how basically everyone is racist towards Al’s species, and Bucky is the only one who won’t hold it against him and yet he’s the one who ends up being wrong. Apparently, in the Aniverse not all racism is inherently wrong. Bruiser is another potentially fun addition. He appears to be a character of little brain, but plenty of braun and heart. On the one hand, I’m surprised he was added to the show since the baboons almost break the story since Toads have a paralyzing fear of them, but if you’re looking at things from an in universe perspective, wouldn’t Bucky absolutely want to get another baboon to replace Bruce for that very reason? Dogstar comes across as a bumbling sort of good guy. I don’t really like him, but my opinion isn’t fully formed at this point and I’m trying to remain open-minded. Toadborg though, despite being a pretty clear Darth Vader rip-off, is still undeniably bad ass and I look forward to seeing more from him. I like the effects used on his voice which really gives him a menacing presence.

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As for Toad Air Marshall, this may very well be the happiest we see him.

What I continue to not like are basically any of the scenes taking place on Earth. Willy’s trouble with bullies just doesn’t entertain me, and the rather drab setting even looks terrible. I appreciate the familiar sights establishing that we’re in San Francisco, but Willy looks out-of-place in that setting when compared with how he looks in the Aniverse. Skateboarding bullies are just a terrible cliché and Willy’s little scheme to avoid getting beat up would not have worked in a million years. No way those kids want to stay after school to work on a science project.

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Into the belly of the beast go our heroes.

Overall, the look of the episode is a slight downgrade from the first episode. Or it at least appears to be. I do like the look of both Al Negator and Toadborg, but there are some weird shots of Bruiser. His kicking down the door sequence was pretty neat though. What I am enjoying though is the score for the show which has a sci-fi feel for the space scenes and seems to always find the right tempo. It’s not something I really anticipated, but it’s definitely one of the show’s strengths and composer Doug Katsaros should be happy with how this show turned out, especially considering he probably composed it all from a synthesizer.

“A Fistful of Simoleons” is a successful episode 2 for Bucky O’Hare and the Toad Wars. Aside from the opening escape scene and the lame Earth segments, the episode is pretty engaging, sometimes humorous, and exciting while also further adding to the setting’s lore. The pacing is sometimes a bit sped up, but that’s because it’s trying to cram a lot in here. We learned about the history of the Toads and got a peek at Bucky’s home world pre and post Toad invasion. We’re set up for an exciting third episode next week with “The Good, the Bad, and the Warty.”

 


Boss Fight Studio’s Bucky O’Hare – A Wishlist for What’s Next

blinky bucky deadeyeIt’s been over two years since toy maker Boss Fight Studio announced it had acquired the Bucky O’Hare license from Continuity Comics and intended to do a new line of action figures based on the dormant property. It was about a year later that the first two figures arrived:  Bucky O’Hare and First Mate Jenny. Since then they’ve been joined by Dead-Eye Duck and the Storm Toad Trooper as well as variants of the heroes. Recently, the next figure in the line went up for pre-order in the form of Bruiser, the Beetlegeusian Berserker Baboon. He’s a big one, and as such he’s going to retail for more than the $35 that fans have grown accustomed to checking in at $55. Is he worth it? Impossible to say at this time since he’s not available, but Boss Fight’s Andrew Franks took to Twitter to rally Bucky fans to pre-order this sucker. This is a small property from a small company and it’s likely pre-orders are utilized to determine how viable a figure actually is. If they come in below a certain threshold then it’s possible the figure never goes into production. And if that were to happen with Bruiser what would that mean for the line as a whole? Does it end here with four figures? Does the company instead shift focus to smaller scale figures and continue the line ignoring all of the big guys?

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What are you waiting for?!

All good questions and questions I obviously cannot answer. Next month, Boss Fight Studio will be appearing at New York’s Toy Faire event for the first time. This feels like a big deal for the company and it’s assumed that Bruiser will be on display for public viewing for the first time beyond the pictures the company has shared online (and for the record, he looks pretty damn great). We’ll also likely find out the status of previously unveiled variants such as Stealth Dead-Eye and Aniverse Bucky. Boss Fight also hinted at more reveals which could be as exciting as a new character in the line, or perhaps new repaints (it feels like a given that the Storm Toad Trooper will receive at least one re-paint).

I have been tremendously pleased with this line, and while Bruiser isn’t the character I would have selected as the next in line, I’m excited for him as well. He won’t be arriving until the end of the year though, which means it’s quite likely he’ll be the only new figure added to this line in 2019. For my part, I’ve continued to support this line via the pre-order method even if it’s not the best decision for my wallet. Boss Fight charges up-front for pre-orders (you can also order from Big Bad Toy Store which does not) and doesn’t offer any kind of discount for doing so meaning savvy consumers benefit from waiting for an eventual sale or promotion of some kind. Since this property has such a small following, Boss Fight is in a position where it probably has to get as much as it can from the few hardcore fans out there that will buy almost anything Bucky related, since they’ve gone without for nearly 30 years.

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He sure looks nice next to Bucky.

Naturally, as a huge fan of this property and this line, I want it to continue well past Bruiser. What Hasbro released alongside the animated series in the early 90s is a pretty solid approximation of the core characters and I’d like to see BFS get to all of them. There are also characters that Hasbro never got to that I would also love to see. I’m not sure what a realistic lifespan for this license truly is, and I’m almost certain I won’t get all that I want, but here’s hoping the best of the best get converted into plastic. Including Bruiser, the line currently contains 4 heroes and one villain with that one villain being generic army fodder. Bucky O’Hare and the Toad Wars is rather light on stand-out villains, but there are still more to be had. And given that current ratio, it’s no surprise that my next most-wanted figure comes from the ranks of the rogues:

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That bright purple and neon gun is delightfully garish.

Al Negator

Al Negator is mostly a villain, though really he’s just a mercenary for hire. He loves money, a trait all sleazasaurs apparently possess (or maybe Dead-Eye is just racist) and he often finds himself in the employ of the Toads. He possesses a very 90’s look with neon green accents enhancing a very bright violet skin tone. The gold armor puts him over the top in the looks department as well. He’s also quite noticeably larger than most of the mammals, though hopefully not so much that he would necessitate the higher price point of Bruiser which is why I rank him ahead of someone like Toadborg. It’s my assumption that Boss Fight Studio would prefer its next figure in the line to fall into the $35 range so as not to give off the impression that $55 is the rate going forward.

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If released, Blinky would easily be the smallest figure in the line.

A.F.C. Blinky

The resident android on board Bucky’s Righteous Indignation is A.F.C. Blinky, which stands for Android First Class. He’s an adorable looking little robot with a head that is basically just one giant eye. When he was released in Hasbro’s line, his coiled limbs had a bendy quality and I’m curious if BFS would attempt the same. Despite the lack of a face, he’s fairly expressive in the cartoon and comic and BFS would likely include different eyeplates to demonstrate that. He’d definitely be a small figure and actually the smallest in the line so there would be no need to worry about a higher price point. He’d also likely come with the same rocket pack the Hasbro toy featured, since that was also his mode of transportation in the video game. He’s just always been among my favorites from the show/comic, so naturally I want a new figure to add to what I have.

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The Toad Air Marshall was among the many cartoon villains totally incapable of performing his job properly.

Toad Air Marshall

He’s the signature bad guy and also one who gets a bad reputation since his peg-warmer status with the old Hasbro line is what is often cited as killing the line. It’s not his fault Hasbro didn’t know what it was doing in regards to case ratios back then, and for what it’s worth I think his old figure holds up quite well. It captured the look and personality of the character, even if the articulation was pretty dreadful. A newer version would likely reposition his head so it’s not on his chest. He’s very hunched over in Larry Hama’s artwork, but not to that drastic a level. He would also be a fun one for different faceplates as he often is sent into a rage. He would likely also be taller than only Blinky and would sit comfortably in the traditional price range.

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The Hasbro toy was based on the artwork on the left, while the artwork on the right appears to be Hama’s artwork updated to be more in-line with the look of the animated series.

Toadborg

Yes, I want Boss Fight to hit us with back to back villains. Following smaller scale figures in Blinky and Air Marshall with a Deluxe one in Toadborg feels like solid placement. And I suspect that the fan base would have more enthusiasm for Toadborg than it does Bruiser. No disrespect to Bruiser, but he’s no one’s favorite character and is often excluded from a lot of the supplemental media (he wasn’t even in the original comics, but then again, neither was Toadborg). Toadborg, on the other hand, is basically the Toad version of Darth Vader:  part toad, mostly machine. His old figure was pretty underwhelming, and I’m curious what a figure from BFS would look like. The original Hama artwork seemed to exclude the rather large, yellow, hunk of metal on his back the cartoon featured, but later versions of the art would see it included. I tend to prefer the Hama version of the characters to what ended up being adapted for television, but in the case of Toadborg I’d actually want BFS to lean more into the cartoon. And if his chest could open to reveal the remnants of the toad he once was inside, all the better!

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Mimi feels like a fan-favorite deserving of her first ever action figure.

Mimi LaFloo

Yes, it’s at this point that I’d like to see Boss Fight stray from the Hasbro formula and give us someone all new. Now, most probably would expect Willy DuWitt here, and while I won’t argue against him being essential, he’s also not one of my favorites. Fans expect Willy, and they’ll want to complete Bucky’s team, so maybe preempting him with a new character is an easy way to create sales in a previously unreleased one in Mimi LaFloo. Mimi is the captain of The Screaming Mimi and she debuted in the animated series in the episode “Home, Swampy, Home” as a Bucky denier of sorts. He won her over when he helped free her and several other mammals from Toad captivity and she went on to pilot her own frigate. She feels like a bit of a fan-favorite to me, though that’s impossible to say, and this line could use another female character. Plus she’s way more interesting than Dogstar.

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Oh Willy, always needing rescue.

Willy DuWitt

Okay, now we can do Willy. I see no reason to stray from the Hasbro mold with him and he should come in his Bruce costume with a removable helmet. If it’s easier, his helmeted visage could just be another head. And hopefully BFS could do better than Hasbro where his glasses are concerned. He’d probably have to come with his squirt gun, but maybe BFS could also include his non-canon rifle that he assembled in the NES game.

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The coolest member of Dogstar’s crew.

A.S.C. Rumblebee

One of the great teases to arise from the internet are the promotional images of Hasbro’s Wave 2 that never saw release. Rumblebee was to be a part of that wave, and he was my favorite design onboard the Indefatigable, the frigate captained by Commander Dogstar. Rumblebee would be a tricky design, as his bulbous rear could swing in-between his legs to create a canon. He’d be a fun one to design with some challenge, but I think BFS is up to task.

 

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Komplex is another design that varies greatly between mediums.

Komplex

Really the only major villain not released, Komplex would likely be another Deluxe figure in the $55 range or more. Since Komplex is largely relegated to television monitors, a figure would naturally include that as part of the Komplex-To-Go. He’s also another character that differed quite a bit from Hama’s initial designs. I’d largely want BFS to reference Hama’s art for the body, while including swappable “screens” that contain a Hama accurate depiction of Komplex’s “face” and an animated series version, assuming their license allows for that.

kamikaze kamo

What other toyline boasts ninja space ducks?

Kamikaze Kamo

Another figure slated for Hasbro’s second wave of action figures, Kamikaze Kamo is basically too fun to ignore. A four-armed, ninja, space, duck – who doesn’t want a figure like that?! Two of his arms are mechanical too, so you can tack on cyborg to that list of adjectives as well. He’d potentially be a cheaper figure to produce as some of Dead-Eye’s parts could be re-used. And maybe that’s a road BFS will need to travel down if it wants to produce more than one new character per year. And having a Kamikaze Kamo would lend itself well to another figure…

sly leezard

Apparently, he was to be called Iguana Don at one point.

Sly Leezard

Kamikaze Kamo’s nemesis is the evil Sly Leezard. A sorely needed additional bad guy who wold immediately pair well on a shelf with the ninja. He’s basically a samurai, except he has no code of honor, so he would be another sword-wielding character with a bright color-pallete like fellow reptile Al Negator.

 

If all of those figures were produced, that would put the line at 14 total figures, which feels like a reach at this point given the new output of one figure per year. Bruiser being the lone figure for 2019 doesn’t mean that’s how it’s always going to be, but do I really see this line lasting 10 or 12 years? Honestly no, but it would be pretty cool if it could. And of course I’d want it to continue beyond this group. There’s still the rest of the Indefatigable to consider like Dogstar and Pitstop Pete. There are also characters that never made it to the cartoon like the Omniscient Mouse and Rocket Rodent, who actually never appeared anywhere except in concept art. Would fans want characters that never appeared in the cartoon or even the comic in plastic form? Hard to say, but if the line actually got to the point where BFS was considering such characters then that means it was pretty successful.

Ultimately, I think in order for this line to really take off it’s going to need a boost from other media. Be it a new cartoon or revived comic, Bucky O’Hare could really use more exposure. I’ve been encouraged by the coverage I’ve seen for this line of toys on the web as it’s always positive. That likely helps lure in toy collectors not familiar with the property who just see some fun, well-designed, figures. It’s those casual collectors that may be less enthusiastic for $55 figures, but hopefully Bruiser does what Boss Fight Studio needs him to do and this line carries well beyond him.