Thursday, January 26, 2012

Centurions Ace McCloud flashlight from Kenner

Centurions: Power X Treme was a half hour American cartoon brought to us by Ruby-Spears and animated in Japan by Sunrise in 1985 as a 5 part miniseries with was followed up by a 60 episode season in late 1986. Comic book legends Jack Kirby and Gil Kane contributed to the design and concepts of the show and some of our favorite voice actors of 80's cartoon lent a hand at bringing the characters to life. Kenner brought the world of Centurions to toy store shelves and DC Comics provided a comic book series that was sold all over the world.

Centurions was a great series of 8 inch scale action figures with the ability to “plug” in upgrades to take on any challenge, much like the TV show. The line was comprised of 3 three heroes(Ace McCloud, Max Ray and Jake Rockwell), 2 villains (Hacker and Doc Terror) and about a dozen or so add-on kits to make taking on challenges on land, in the sea or in the air easier. About 32 holes lined the heroes jumpsuits where you could mix and match upgrade pieces, giving a sense of creativity to any kid who played with them. It was such a hit at retail that Remco (famous for knock-off toys) made their own version called Man-Tech. It Never had a chance and only lasted a few months at retail before hitting clearance.

Along with full sized figures, Kenner made a series of 3 ¾ inch figures outfitted with flashlights or binoculars. The figures themselves were almost identical to their larger counterparts with only a few exceptions. I think it could have grown more popular if they had pushed the 3 ¾ figures harder with actual mission specific attachments. Mind you not every figure in the set was as cool as Ace McCloud here, the Doc Terror figure really blows since the flashlight is permanently stuck in his chest.

Ace McCloud here is the perfect scale to slide into a GI Joe or Star Wars battle. Poseable at the shoulders and hips, the figure loses articulation at the elbows and knees which is the only place this figure fails. Ace still has all the ports on him the 8 inch figure does , which makes me think where this line could have gone at a smaller scale. The red rocket backpack takes 1 AA battery and is wired to the lamp head, which will plug into the figure wherever you can find a hole. The only other minus I’ve found about the figure is the lack of removable helmet, but depending who you are is the real deciding factor whether this ruins the toy for you. All things considered, it's a really cool pocket-sized interpretation of the figure that kids of the 80's could have taken with them everywhere.


  1. My friend and I just went down memory lane researching these guys! I completely looked right over this. This is a very interesting addition to the line. I can't wait to tell him about it!

  2. Always happy to hear from readers. I have a few more on my flickr page