Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light (1987)

Sunbow Entertainment, before linking up with Marvel Comics' TV arm to produce adaptations of Hasbro's GI Joe, Transformers, & My Little Pony toy lines, had produced on their own the daily comedy-variety series, The Great Space Coaster, and thus proved they could hold their own in the syndicated market.

Unfortunately, their last series collaboration with the toy giant was a flop of epic proportions.

Hasbro introduced Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light, in 1987. While Marvel Productions didn't co-produce the TV show (TMS Entertainment, a Japanese based studio, did), Marvel's Star Comics division produced a short-lived series based on the show. The toy line failed to achieve expectations. The book was cancelled after 6 issues, and the TV show merited just one season of 13 episodes, airing in syndication. In my market, Visionaries aired ahead of network programming, around 7:30 (ET). I don't think it was so much the early air time that hurt the show, but rather, the concept. Knights shapeshifting into holographic animal avatars? How can kids play with toys like that? The simple answer is, they couldn't.

As we all know, ever since Hasbro bought a large stake in Discovery Kids, turning that channel into The Hub, they've revived My Little Pony, Pound Puppies, and, more recently, a 90's toy line, The Littlest Pet Shop. Given how badly the Visionaries were received 26 years ago, I think an attempt to revive this line is way down at the bottom of the priority scale.

JediJuggernaut uploaded the opening & closing sequences. The sharp eyed among you will note that current WB executive Sander Schwartz was a production exec on this show.


No rating. Didn't see the show.

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