Tech Time Warp: A nostalgic look at Mattel’s Computer Warriors

Tech Time Warp

Tech Time Warp

Children of the 1980s are familiar with Transformers and can likely still sing “More than meets the eye…” but how many of us remember Mattel’s Computer Warriors? Produced only in 1989 and 1990, the Computer Warriors were in some ways Mattel’s answer to Hasbro’s Transformers but were also a short-lived attempt to capitalize on the public’s growing interest in computers. Let’s explore its short history in this edition of Tech Time Warp.

The Computer Warriors toy line had an intriguing backstory, as documented on the Parry Game Preserve blog. A government computer malfunctions, making the computer the “battleground of good against evil.” “Hordes of evil Virus troops” that can disguise themselves as everyday objects (including a soccer trophy and a Pepsi can) descend upon the world, and the only ones who can stop them are the Computer Warriors—which also hide in everyday objects.

Their high quality, level of detail, and accessories earned the toys their reputation. Like Transformers, users could configure the Computer Warriors to resemble either their “warrior” or “everyday object” appearance. In addition to the trophy and the Pepsi can, other Computer Warriors figures disguised themselves as a flashlight, a pencil sharpener, a calculator, a digital clock, a book (“Invasion of the Viruses”), and a computer.

Unfortunately for Mattel, the Computer Warriors didn’t take off in the marketplace, even though a pilot episode for a “Computer Warriors” cartoon was produced. Today the Computer Warriors are highly sought after by toy collectors.

Indulge in some late 1980s Saturday morning goodness by watching the Computer Warriors commercial and cartoon pilot episode. (Unfortunately, your favorite breakfast cereal may no longer exist for the perfect pairing.)

Did you enjoy this installation of SmarterMSP’s Tech Time Warp? Check out others here.

Photo: andrey_l / Shutterstock

This post originally appeared on Smarter MSP.