Happy Derby Day! I decided to take a look at a little something different today. Trendmasters Mars Attacks Series 2 line. This was a toy line that came out after Mars Attacks the movie, but was a rebranding of the license by Topps and Trendmasters to separate itself from the original movie toy line.


Mars Attacks Collection
6 Inch Scale
By: Trendmaster
1996
$6.99 (Original)

Trendmasters was a great little offbeat toy company. They produced a lot of cool toys but never quite made it to the level that they wanted. Trendmasters had some of my favorite licenses, including bringing some of the best Godzilla toys to ever hit the states. They tried a couple of times to capture a big hit movie, but stuff like Mars Attacks didn’t quite connect the way it should. The first Mars Attacks toy line in 1996 was great. The Martians looked great and really captured the movie feel. For whatever reason I never bought them, but I think the high pricetag at the time was part of the reason.

Towards the end of the year they released a revised and rebranded Mars Attacks toy line. The idea was to try and separate the toys from the movie, which had largely bombed at the box office. Interestingly, Independence Day had been a big reason that Mars Attacks failed at the box office and Trendmasters handled both toy lines. This Mars Attacks relaunch appeared to try and make the toys a bit more like the Independence Day toys, which were slightly more successful. Fourteen years later (wow, I’m getting OLD) I’m taking a look at these guys.

Packaging:
I bought these loose on Ebay, but I did get one card which is nice. I remember vividly seeing these on the toy shelves at K*B Toys as if it was yesterday (see my aforementioned realization that time is slipping away from me) and as soon as I saw these guys I thought they were bootlegs or something.


Part of the reason I thought these were knock offs was that the card had been completely redesigned and just barely had the Mars Attacks logo in the corner. That’s been ripped off here, but you can see where it was and how diminutive it was.


The back of the package shows off the rest of the figures and does a ton of cross sell but unfortunately everything is small, hard to read and not very appealing. I don’t know if Trendmasters just wasn’t trying with this card or just didn’t care.

Sculpt:
These figures are slightly taller than the original movie versions of the Mars Attacks toys. Although there is some strange crossover here as well, with the a couple of these figures each fitting into their own individual scale. It’s confusing and I didn’t much care for it when they were originally released.


The main three figures follow the same sort of concept as the movie figures. They’re just at 6 inches and show the various ranks of the Martians. All of these figures have a button that you can push on the chest to make them talk and they say two phrases each, which typically include one bit of Martian dialect and one human phrase like, “Trust me!”, “Take me to your leader” and “The Earth must be destroyed”. I have no idea how many times these figures have had their buttons pressed, but 14 years later they still work fine.


First their is the Martian Trooper. This was the main sort of Martian we saw in the movie, but as you can see he’s completely redesigned here. Instead of the rounded glass domes of the regular figures, these guys have a more square shaped dome. It’s visually less appealing, but the Martian head inside is pretty gruesome. It’s easy to pop off the dome, perhaps too easy. The sculpt is good, but the preposing of the arms is a little strange.


This is the Paeec Overlord. He’s the Martian Military advisor and he’s got a cool sculpt. It might look like his eyes are unpainted, but it’s actually the eye in the middle of his head that he sees out of. The other eye sockets are empty. Gnarly.


Then there’s the Martian Supreme Commander. This is easily the coolest looking figure of the bunch. He’s the leader of the Martians and he’s got a cool cape, great sculpting throughout and a cool color scheme. This guy looks like he should have been made by Toy Biz or something, he could stand next to your Marvel Legends and not look out of place.


The next figures don’t have push button sounds and are a completely different scale. This guy is listed as a Martian Trooper as well, causing instant confusion. He does sort of look like the other figure, but has four Doctor Octopus arms with various instruments of destruction on the end. Also, confusingly, he’s about 4 inches tall. He’s made entirely of bendable rubber.


Then we have a Martian Doom Spider. This is a Martian in a giant attack robot, as best I can tell. The figure is pretty big, but the Martian inside is about an inch tall, to give you an idea of intended scale. It’s colorful and has a decent little sculpt, but again is mostly a bendy figure.


Finally we have my favorite figure, the Martian Doom Robot. This again I assume is supposed to be a giant robot because the driver inside is about an inch tall. It’s got bendable arms, but the legs and neck are regular plastic and it’s chalked full of cool details and charm.

Articulation:
Each figure has different articulation. Some of the 6 inch guys have cuts and swivels in the right spots that allow for a lot of posing and then some guys like the Martian Trooper seem to be lacking the appropriate swivels. It’s a bit frustrating because of the preposed limbs.


You can still get a few decent poses but the leg articulation is almost pointless. Why do toy companies prepose figures in dramatic poses? It’s pointless and ruins the articulation.


The Doom Robot has the best articulation since he uses a combination of bendy arms and cuts at the legs and neck. It works quite well for this figure.


The spider and the Doc Ock Trooper both obviously have a high level of articulation since they’re bendable as well. The rubber seems pretty sturdy, so I don’t worry too much about posing them. But if you’ve ever had a bendy figure, you know it’s not as good as it could be.

Accessories:
Most of the figures come with one or two accessories and at least one usually fires. Remember, this was 1996, so firing projectile weapons were all the rage. Spring loaded madness!


Some of the guns are large and oversized and don’t really look “Martian” to me. Although that one thing look straight out of the Predator.


And yet some of these other weapons definitely look like they’re alien.


Talk about out of this world, this gun has a human skull inside it. Disturbing!


Each of the figures also came with a floppy disk of one of three Martian computer games. That’s pretty cool. I don’t have a computer with a floppy drive anymore, sadly, but I’m sure these can probably be downloaded off the internet somewhere. This was pretty hi-tech for the time period though.

Value:
At $6 or $7 back in 1996 these were pretty expensive. Of course they also languished at K*B Toys for years and probably ended up in the .99 cent bin at some point. I bought the whole collection (minus the larger Flying Saucer vehicles) for under $20. I think it was a pretty good buy for that price. Sure these guys have a lot of things that are frustrating about them, but the sculpts are good, the colors are fun and the voices still work well over a decade later. That’s a good toy!


Score Recap:
Packaging – 6
Sculpting – 9
Articulation – 6
Accessories – Various Guns and Blasters
Value – 8
Overall – 7.5 out of 10


I’m definitely a bigger fan of the movie figures because they were closer in design to the original Topps cards, but I must say that this second series of Trendmasters’ Mars Attacks toys are quite fun. Trendmasters was a cool little toy company but they went bust back in 2002. Since then they were bought up by Jakks, but these figures are like a time capsule to the interesting time when Trendmasters was making quirky, offbeat toys.

4 Responses to Mars Attacks Collection Review

  • Spectrespire says:

    You might be interested to know that the weapons of the first three figures of your review were supposed to be able to combine into one super weapon! I was hoping you would show that because I always wondered what that looked like.

  • Awesome. I'm trying to figure out how to get them all together and then I'll post up a pic for you!

  • PresidentJuggernaut says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed Mars Attacks, I'll always have a soft spot for that movie. A local comic shop had some of these figures last year, and I bought the Supreme Commander. Definitely the best of the bunch. I had the saucer vehicles when they first came out, and they were fantastic toys. I wish they weren't so expensive now.

    I've wanted to find a Martian Doom Robot ever since I passed on it the one time I saw it in stores… you've inspired me to hit up ebay for it .

  • jojofett1 says:

    Wow. I always wondered what was on those floppy discs. They were in the Independence Day toys too.

Leave a Reply