Vintage Vault: Bionic Six Madame-O by LJN

Sigma Six. Bionic Six. Coincidence? Yes, actually it is. I’m not doing any kind of thing with sixes this week. It’s just that I realized it’s been about five months since “Vintage Vault” was a regular feature around these parts. And since then I’ve only done it two times. Sadly, I’m not prepared to bring it back regularly yet, but I did find some goodies and today we’ll look at one of them for this week of Toy Closet Finds. Who’s my favorite femme fatale from Bionic Six? Why it’s Madame-O, daaahling!

And there’s the Bionic Six packaging in all its misspent glory and questionable design. Seriously, LJN, what were you thinking? The cartoon was so beautifully drawn and animated, particularly the intro, and this psychedelic B&W pattern and second-rate character art was the best you can do? Shame on you! On the plus side, with cardbacks this ugly, I don’t care about tearing them open. The back panel shows off every figure the line had to offer. There were a couple of vehicles and a playset too, but they’re not pictured. I’d take this opportunity to offer that Madame-O was another one of those cartoon characters that I had a crush on as a kid, but then I wasn’t quite a kid anymore when this cartoon first aired, so let’s just forget I said anything about it. Awkward!

Some of LJN’s Bionic Six figures were pretty faithful to their animated counterparts, but unfortunately Madame O isn’t one of those examples. I mean… woof! Just check out her head! The hair and the goggles and the mask are all vaguely correct, but Madame-O was all about her alluring eyes and, well how do I put this? THE FIGURE HAS NO EYES!!! In fact, it looks like her face is just one big blank. I can’t help but hope someone in the LJN factories at some point held one of these packaged figures looked at the figure and then across at the character art and wondered how they could have messed up so badly. How hard was it to just paint a couple of eyes on there? Even if they didn’t look like her line art, at least she’d have eyes!

The rest of the figure is actually decent enough. She sports her pink track suit with Scarab insignia on her chest, yellow belt, and her one black boot betrays her obvious hatred for symmetry. She hates symmetry, daaahling!

If you’ve read any of my past Bionic Six features, then you know I’m not a big fan of the die-cast parts in these figures. And I’m particularly not fond of it being used on the Scarab figures. There’s no reason for parts of Madame-O to be metal. She wasn’t bionic. I imagine LJN kept it in all the figures as a bit of a running gimmick and to add some consistency, but die-cast is hard to paint well and it chips too easily. That having been said, Madame-O here has the best looking paint of any of the B6 figures in my collection, and virtually all of them came new and in the package. Her coloring is nice and bright and there’s no chipping at all.

Madame-O comes with a clip-on jetpack and a gun, but I seem to remember that in the cartoon she had a trademark lute or harp or something so she could trade destructive notes with Rock-1. Ah, screw it, these are cool accessories. I’m not going to complain about her not coming with a harp when she doesn’t even have any goddamn eyes.

Jeez, this is a frustrating line of action figures. I collect them because I enjoy the cartoon so much and because they’re all that’s available. As already mentioned, I was a little bit beyond playing with action figures at the time this cartoon and toy line came out, so maybe I’m just not being blinded by the same nostalgia as I am other 80’s toy lines. Either way, they just do not hold up well, and I find myself wanting better. If I had one toy-related wish, I might very well spend it on a full set of these figures recreated in the DCUC style. Well, either that or Kidd Video toys. I always wanted me some Kidd Video toys.

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