“Described as an ‘Enemy of the Micronauts’, this stalwart warrior is surely still a hero among his people and a formidable knight to his allies. Clad in his distinctive crimson and white armor, and possessing the strength to wield his massive Power Sword against the powerful intergalactic foes of his people, what childhood imagination couldn’t give Acroyear the chance to be a ‘good guy’?”
Poor Palisades and their poor cursed Micronauts line. Though its parent line, Microman, has been a pretty strong seller in Japan, the American-ized adaptation never quite took off the same way. Mego saw decent success into the ‘80s, but it quickly dwindled under the juggernaut that was Star Wars. 20 years later, fan favorite company Palisades did their very best to bring new life to the line, but they ran into roadblocks at every turn. The worst of it really hit right at the beginning. The factory producing Series 1 of the relaunched line pulled a fast one on Palisades, by sending them sub-contracted “production samples” which in no way represented the actual quality of the product being produced. When the Series 1 figures arrived, Palisades was left with a stock that was subpar, with pretty much no funds to replace them. Worse, stores were already getting the stock, so there was little they could do. They quickly shifted production to another factory, and put into production a Series 1.5, which offered slightly fixed figures built on the Series 1 molds, with the hopes of tiding collectors over until proper corrected Series 1 figures could be produced later down the line (this, sadly, never happened). Each Series 1 figure was given a new deco, with some sort of neat backstory to it. My personal favorite was Battle Acroyear, the redressing of (you guessed it) Acroyear!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
As noted, Battle Acroyear was part of the Series 1.5 assortment of Palisades’ Micronauts line. The Series 1 Acroyears were perhaps the most negatively effected by the poor quality; the heavy metal torsos would cause the plastic around the joints of the limbs to disintegrate into dust almost immediately after opening, leaving collectors with little more than a pile of wobbly plastic bits. That’s hardly going to do justice to one of the greatest warriors of all time, so the replacement was necessary. The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation. Unlike most of the rest of the line, which used an internal band construction similar to vintage G.I. Joes, Acroyear uses a solid construction. Like I said above, the figure has a die-cast metal toros, with plastic limbs and head. Fortunately, unlike his predecessors, this guy’s legs can actually hold his wait, pretty well I might add. Really, the construction on this guy is really solid; he feels like he could survive most things (and mine’s made it through a few shelf dives, so I know from experience). The details of the sculpt are nice and clean, and appropriately reto-sci-fi. While all of the Palisades Micronauts had minor deviations from their Mego counterparts, Acroyear’s were even more minor than most; there’s some slight tweaking to the shape of the head, but it’s the sort of thing that you can really only tell if you’re looking right at both figures. Paint schemes were a defining factor for the Series 1.5 figures. While the Series 1 Acroyears had deviated pretty wildly from the classic Acroyear colors, this one brings it back a bit, albeit with a twist. The original Acroyears were all the same basic colors, with three different accent colors: blue, green, and pink. This figure gives us a fourth accent color: red. This is actually a pretty cool reference, as red was the color used for the heroic Prince Acroyear, the main Acroyear from the Marvel Comics adaptation from the ‘80s.* It’s a color scheme that really works well with the design, and he certainly stands out on the shelf. Acroyear includes a battle sword (a much larger replacement for the original figure’s smaller dagger), a spy drone, his extra large wing pack, and clear display stand. The sword is suitably awesome, and the wings are cool, even if they aren’t quite as nifty as Space Glider’s. The spy drone is interesting enough, and serves a secondary function: Acroyear can be “transformed” into a tank-like thing, using the drone as a turret of sorts. Not as advanced as later Transformers, but cool nonetheless.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I actually had one of the Series 1 Acroyears back in the day. Fell to pieces in like a day. One of the more depressing action figure interludes of my childhood. This figure ended up in my collection a fair bit later, after the secondary market prices on most of the line had shot pretty far up. Cosmic Comix bought someone’s toy collection, and there were a handful of Micronauts in it, which I ended up getting for a steal. Battle Acroyear was among them, and he’s easily my favorite of the bunch. In fact, I think he’s my favorite Palisades Micronaut period. He’s just a really fun toy.
*Since the team already had plenty of blue and green, Acroyear’s third color was chosen for his primary look. However, due to the limitations of printing in comics, pink would have been nearly impossible to render consistently, so he was shifted to a straight red.