Friends, I believe that I mentioned on the Visionaries episode of the Pop Culture Retrorama podcast, that there were a handful of toy lines in the 80s like the aforementioned Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light as well as Inhumanoids that should have made it big… but didn’t. In addition I feel that these two properties from Hasbro are just two examples of where the cartoons proved to be more popular than the toys themselves. Which naturally shows how much skill and work the writers like Flint Dille (G.I. Joe), and Buzz Dixon (Thundarr the Barbarian) among others were pouring into the shows. In 1986 when the Inhumanoids toy line and animated series was unleashed by Hasbro – it was the seven minute animated segments featured as part of the Super Sunday half-hour series that hooked me. As a Monster Kid it was quite thrilling to tune in every weekend and watch these towering and horrific monsters wreck havoc on the surface of the Earth – with only a brave group of scientists and adventurers to oppose them!
For what it might be worth – when Inhumanoids first showed up on the scene – I had already begun my first steps on the road to becoming a fan of the works of H.P. Lovecraft courtesy of Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator. Obviously the plant-based monstrosity known as Tendril – with his tentacle-like arms and facial features was based off of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu.
Perhaps the greatest threat to the heroic Earth Corps is the mighty Metlar – who leads the Inhumanoids as he is the most powerful and vile – this behemoth of a threat is able to produce lava – whether that be as flaming projectiles or to build barriers and structures. Where Tendril is something of a mindless brute – a weapon to be used by his fellow ancient beings – Metlar is quite the opposite as he is intelligent and very devious.
Last but not least is D’Compose – who might very well be the most horrifying of the trio – as he represents decay and rot – not only does he sport a giant dinosaur-like head but an exposed rib cage, which he frequently uses to cage prisoners within himself. Worst of all with a touch of one of his taloned fingers he can turn any living being – including the heroes of Earth Corps into giant undead minions.
Can you believe that the Inhumanoids cartoon ever made it past censors back in the day? Along with Earth Corps there were other elemental beings known as the Mutores, that attempted to thwart the rampages of Metlar, D’Compose, and Tendril – like the tree-based lifeforms known as Redwoods, or the brave Granites, which as the name implies were a sentient race made up of rocks and boulders. In addition there was Magnakor who had the ability to split into an ice being known as Crygen and the fiery Pyre – who had the unique talent to generate a magnetic field – one of the only things able to halt the likes of Metlar.
So why did the Inhumanoids toy line fail to take off? The answer is quite possibly because there were so very many toy lines competing for shelf space at the time – as well as the fact that with it’s pretty dark animated series, it might have caused parents to balk in picking up the equally disturbing toys.
It might also be the case that the Inhumanoids were just ahead of their time though, which is why I think that it is high time for them to make a comeback. There is an amazingly deep amount of lore for a toy line and cartoon series that only lasted a single year. What do you think though would be the best way for the property to make a return – comic books, toys, video games, or possibly a brand new animated series?
In closing out this article I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Retroist just a few months ago released a brand new podcast devoted to the toy series. Do yourself a favor and make sure to check it out – it’s the perfect thing to listen to during this Holiday season!