Just what the preacher ordered, evil, demon possessed action figures. Fun for the whole family! The Super Natural action figures were created by Tonka as competition against the Hasbro action figure series called Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light. Each Super Natural featured a holographic image of the head and chest, and those holographic images would change depending on the angle of light. For example, the Eagle Eye figure, which had some type of Native American shield, would change for Chief to Soaring Eagle, and the Spooks figure, which had a sword, would change from Court Jester to Silly Spook.
Super Naturals were a holographic toy-line released in 1987 by Tonka. Similar in style to ‘Visionaries: Knights Of The Magical Light‘, which were released the same year, they would also suffer the same fate…cancelled after just one wave of toys.
In the 80’s holograms appeared to be very popular, appearing in numerous toy-lines from Battle Beasts to Visionaries. You would also find them on stickers and in cereal boxes. So affixing a hologram to a toy seemed like a pretty sensible idea for toy manufacturers looking to make easy money.
Unfortunately simply placing a hologram sticker on a toy doesn’t always work out. The Super Naturals toys came and went in the flash of an eye, despite the fact they were pretty solid toys. Not having a TV show or a comic possibly held the toys back, however, Visionaries had both of these things and that toy-line still failed.
The Super Naturals were a range of action figures that featured hollowed out chests and faces. Instead of your standard plastic chest and face a holographic sticker was affixed to the flat surface. Most of which were quite creepy, ghosts, skeletons, basically anything creepy to a child.
Since the toy-line didn’t have a TV show the story of the Super Naturals were told by the back of the toy boxes and small comics that came with each figure.
The basic story behind the toys is a group of Heroic and Evil warriors were sealed in the Tomb of Doom, only to be released hundreds of years later. Now as ghosts, these foes are destined to to do battle once again.
The figure sets were divided between Hero’s and Villains, the Heroic Warriors led by Lionheart and the Evil Warriors led by Skull. The good vs evil theme was familiar territory for most boys toys, used in all the popular toy-lines at the time such as Transformers, He-Man and Thundercats.
The six main characters were standard-size action figures that came with a glow in the dark weapon and a holographic shield. These figures also had a chest piece and helmet which hide the hologram beneath.
The Story of the Supernaturals, Holograms & The Mystery of “The Doll”
Maybe it’s because when I see lots of green and I see a ghost, my mind immediately thinks of Slimer. Whatever the case is, I absolutely love Spooks the heroic Ghostling. He starts off as “Court Jester” and then becomes a “Silly Spook” when you turn the figure slightly. It’s probably good he became a ghost too, because court jesters are notoriously annoying, but all is forgiven in the afterlife. His special power is listed as “Walks Thru Walls”, which is impressive considering he doesn’t have legs to even walk with. Well I suppose the visual of his jester form has legs, but I’m talking about the outer cloak which encases it. It’s also possible that I’m really overthinking the backstory and powers of a toy made several decades ago.
Next up is Hooter. Of all the Ghostlings, he was the most difficult one to photograph, as his hologram wasn’t quite as clear as the others. Still, I think I got some good shots of his two forms in which he changes from “Wizard” to “Wise Old Owl”. Now I know owls are cool ‘n all, and they can lick the hell out of a Tootsie Pop, but it seems to me that you wouldn’t want to change from a wizard. Even if he’s not the most powerful wizard, he can probably do more than an owl. Then again, if Twin Peaks taught us anything, it’s that the owls are not what they seem. And hey, his power is listed as “Night Sight” so maybe all the other Ghostlings are completely blind at night, even though they glow-in-the-dark. If that’s the case, Hooter has a big tactical advantage.
Hooter would also like to inform you that he has no affiliation with the restaurant chain with the similar name, although he did apply to be a waiter there once and they never called him back. Bummer. I’d actually go to that stupid restaurant chain if I was guaranteed to have a floating wizard-owl hybrid ghost as my server.
See-Thru changes from “Scientist” to “Invisible Man”, but I think he changes from scientist to invisible shirt. Seriously, it’s his shirt that really disappears. Sure, his power is listed as “Invisibility”, but it doesn’t specify that the only thing he has the ability to make invisible is his shirt. But hey, don’t knock it… it’s still an impressive power. Can you make your shirt invisible? I didn’t think so.
And look at that bow tie! You know who else wears a bow tie? The Bow Tie Killer from Problem Child, so this obviously means that See-Thru is still a serious threat to anybody who isn’t a brat adopted by John Ritter. He not only wields a sword, but he carries a cane as well. Anybody who fights with a cane is somebody to be reckoned with indeed. He also wanted me to tell you all that he doesn’t appreciate the informal spelling of the word “through” in his name, for he believes it promotes laziness in the children who play with these toys. I didn’t have the heart to tell him about the existence of cell phones and the ridiculous contractions people use when texting these days. I’m pretty sure reading something like “C U L8R” would kill him.
Apparently, you and three lucky family members could win a spooky Halloween vacation trip to Southern California. I live in Los Angeles, so I guess I don’t have to feel bad about missing out on the contest back then, but it would be nice to know which of the “local attractions” they had in mind as part of this Halloween vacation prize package. I’d venture to guess it was Knotts Scary Farm, since Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights hadn’t officially started up way back in 1986. It could also have been the walk of fame in Hollywood, since that entire area is a spooooooky tourist nightmare.
I’m also super curious about the notification in the top left corner about the “1-800-77STORY” phone number you could call to hear an exciting Super Naturals story. There’s no way in hell that number is still telling Super Naturals stories, but if any of you want to call it and let me know who is operating it now, I’d love to hear all about it. Bonus points if you record the phone call as you demand an exciting Super Naturals story from whoever happens to answer.
Well, that about does it for the Super Naturals Ghostlings collection, and we’re still left with so many unanswered questions. Why do they need swords when they each have unique powers listed on the packages? What are they fighting about in the first place? What should I do with all the original card backs since I took these figures out of their original packages? What would the grand prize winner of the “Spooky Halloween Vacation” sweepstakes actually get to do in Los Angeles, and did anybody actually win said contest? What the hell was the exciting Super Naturals story you would hear if you called the original “1-800-77STORY” phone number?