There was a time in the 80’s when holograms were a big deal. You could get stickers, shirts, lunchboxes and even action figures with holograms. There are two big toylines from that era that heavily featured holograms, Visionaries and Super Naturals. The latter is my favorite of the two.
Super Naturals were made by Tonka in 1986. The front of each figure was mostly taken up by the hologram with limited sculpting in other areas on the front of the figures. The holograms were the big draw though and they still hold up almost 30 years later.
There is not much articulation but at the time most other figures besides GI Joes didn’t have much more than Super Naturals anyway. Due to the holograms the heads were stuck in place. The only articulation was at the shoulders and hips. The biggest downfall was that some figures didn’t even have legs. They were shorter toys that were not much more than tiny paperweights.
The normal sized figures are where it’s at with this line though and they are really fun to have sitting around. Each figure had two images that would show up depending on what angle you looked at the hologram. Each character also had a special power which sort of brought an rpg element into the mix. Eagle Eye can see into the future but Snakebite can hypnotize Lionheart into pummeling Eagle Eye with his fierce strength.
It was obvious that Tonka was trying to rely too much on the hologram gimmick. The toys are definitely not the greatest action figures of all time. They probably don’t even rank very high on lists of toys from the time but I love them. I like their use of holograms even better than the way Visionaries used the same gimmick. Visionaries were better toys but for me Super Naturals was more fun.
I can admit that I have a soft spot for some crappy toys that I loved as a kid. I honestly can’t tell you if Super Naturals are bad toys or not. I absolutely love them, from their hologram gimmick and simple articulation. These are some great toys to add in to other lines as well. Need some new lackeys for Skeletor? Why not let Skull battle He-Man today? Cobra Commander is working on creating a monstrous super mutant to take down the Joes? Snakebite fits the bill perfectly. And as our buddy, Hoardax, recently pointed out…Burnheart is pretty much made for the Horde. If you see some of these out in the wild I highly suggest picking them up. They are some of my favorite 80’s underdogs.
google_ad_client = “ca-pub-9748656554860616”;
google_ad_slot = “2252549488”;
google_ad_width = 320;
google_ad_height = 100;