Today, I wrap up my look at Playmates’ regular line of WildCATS action figures. We’re going to start with Pike, who was one of the few henchmen of Helspont to get the plastic treatment. While Pike didn’t show up until about the halfway point of the series, he was a good choice for a figure, not only because I like his design, but because he was one of the only bad guys in the show that seemed to have half a brain. He’s also one of the characters that suffered a major re-write from comic book to cartoon series, but I’m not going to open that can of worms here.
Pike is a nice looking figure, although he’s basically just a dude in a mask, wearing an outfit made of a questionable color combination: Pea soup green and red. Hey, somehow he pulls it off. I think the main appeal of this guy for me is the fact that he wasn’t just cannon fodder on the show like the rest of the Troika, and this figure is a nice, faithful representation of that character. Ok, so in one episode I think he was thrwarted because he couldn’t find gas for his truck, but he was still leaps and bounds smarter than dudes like Slag.
Pike’s articulation is standard five points: Head, shoulders, hips. He’s also got a swivel cut in the waist and in both forearms. He’s a bit pre-posed making him tough to stand without his figure stand.
I’m a bit iffy on Pike’s accessories. The only thing I know he came with was a pair of batons that can be joined together to form a pole arm. Alas, I’m missing half of it. He also came with a figure stand, but I’m unclear as to whether it was the one marked Troika, or just a standard Daemonite stand. These are the tribulations you endure when you buy a big bag of figures and accessories, and the reference resources on these figures are few and far between.
I mentioned a couple of posts back that Playmates repainted a number of the WildCATS and tried to pass them off as wearing different outfits. They did the same thing with Pike here, painting him a nice gunmetal blue and calling it an EMP suit. I doubt I would have bought this figure on its own, but since it came in the lot, I guess he’s nice to have. Still, he looks more like he’s meant to be a statue than wearing a different suit of clothes.
And that brings us to Major Max Cash from Black Razor. The Black Razor was something of a third party power in the cartoon. It was a paramilitary organization designed to fight terrorists, and quickly found itself at odds against the WildCATS who were framed as bad guys. Of course, it didn’t help that the organization was infested with people possessed by Daemonites. Max Cash, who was also Grifter’s brother, wasn’t really a bad guy, but since he was against the heroes for a while, I listed him with the advesaries. He was also really downplayed in the cartoon, which is why I saved him for last.
Max’s action figure has the distinction of being the only figure that looks absolutely nothing like his cartoon counterpart. Sure, Playmates upscaled Slag and the Daemonite to look a little different, but the connection was still there. Max, on the other hand, is wearing some kind of battle armor that was never seen in the toon. They went completely off the reservation with this one. In the cartoon he just wore a blue and white uniform, here he looks like he’s wearing something he got out of Robocop’s garage sale. All in all, though, I like it and the silver and black make for a pleasing ensemble.
Max comes with two weapons: A rifle and a pistol. He also comes with a unique Black Razor figure stand.
And that wraps up Playmates’ WildCATS figure lines. It’s too bad that a few more bad guys weren’t made. I would have really liked to have seen Harm, the transformer robot get the toy treatment. It would have been cool to see him as a vehicle, but I would have been happy with a non-transforming figure too. I still have the deluxe ten-inch figures, and I’ll probably dig Grifter out sometime later in the week so we can have a looksy at him.
I know this line doesn’t get a lot of love. In truth, it’s nothing spectacular, but it is a solid effort by Playmates. And let’s face it, apart from the Ninja Turtles and sometimes Star Trek, Playmates’ doesn’t have a lot of wins under their belt. As a fan of the cartoon, though, I found these figures to capture a lot of what made the toon such a fun ride. They’re colorful styles and over-the-top sculpts make them lots of fun despite the prehistoric articulation.