It’s hard to characterize Sungold as distinctly bootleg toys, since the company existed for a long time, marked their product and had many of their toylines legitimately bootlegged. So starting off a new feature on the site about bootleg toys, with a toy that’s not a bootleg in the most direct sense of the term isn’t exactly full of journalistic integrity. But the truth is, Wacky Knockoffs didn’t have the same ring to it and people seem to interchange the terms of knockoff and bootleg pretty freely these days, especially where it comes to Sungold toys.
Sungold produced a ton of Masters of the Universe type knockoffs throughout the 1980’s and into the mid 1990’s with a variety of different concepts. Most were pretty straight forward lines, inspired by the sword and sorcery genre. Naturally it was only a matter of time before wrestlers, mutants and monsters all followed. Today though, we’re taking a look at one of the later releases, which doesn’t really fit into the aforementioned categories very organically. It’s the SKATE MACHINE!
After years of producing MOTU knockoffs, Sungold freshened up their line with a rather obscure and pretty hard to find late addition to their offerings. A spinoff of the Galaxy Warrior line, it was titled, Galaxy Warrior: End of Time – The Last Battle. The figures were more colorful, reflecting the early 90’s neon craze and offered up a bit more in terms of weapons and armor. Perhaps strangest of all, the line used largely all new sculpts of bizarre creatures that seemed more like Mego Star Trek aliens than He-Man bad guys.
The line included a lot of strange creatures, but what does this have to do with the Skate Machine? Sometime in the early 1990’s, Sungold was looking to capitalize on the skate board craze of the time and perhaps even on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cheap Skate vehicle. So they created a remote control giant roller skate vehicle… and what did they pack with it? Re-purposed Galaxy Warrior: End of Time figures! You’ll notice some familiar faces on the front of the box.
Now you might think a smaller foreign company like Sungold would simply pack in one style for their bizarre knockoff vehicle. But you’d be wrong. As you can see above, the included figure in this set was completely different than the one featured on the box. I’m guessing that Sungold packed a ton of different figures into these Skate Machine toys. It was like Forest Gump, you never knew what you were going to get!
The Skate Machine is a lot of fun because it’s got that bootleg quality about it. Nothing about the toy makes any sense, it’s colorful and unique, but it defies all logic. Trying to imagine what the story behind the mythos that this toy is a part of is almost as interesting as trying to decipher what the concept was behind the creation of the toy itself. I miss the days when Sungold had toys like this out on the shelves, because they truly were a lot of fun. I’d love to have a Skate Machine in my collection, but they’re pretty pricey these days because of their rarity. But the spirit of toys like this, live on in other Baffling Bootlegs!