Saturday, February 1, 2014

Marchon little Explorer Scout

I guess I didn't learn my lesson after discovering  the Orguss figure I used to love was a cheaply made piece of junk. I decided to go searching around for another toy that I owned and loved, hoping that it wouldn't end up being another disappointment. Was I successful? Let's meet the Marchon Mysterian Explorer Scout and find out.


I found this guy on a random summer day in 1987. I had gone with my mom on our weekly shopping trip to Roses. As we were walking up to the store, we saw that the People's Drug next door was having a sidewalk sale. I know most modern drug stores' toy selections are rather slim, and overpriced, but this place had an amazing toy section. Their prices weren't too terrible either. Sure, it started going downhill as the store got older, but for a few years, they carried toys I could never find at Roses. That's a story for another post though. So, I was walking along the tables set up in front of the store, scouring their surface for toys, any toys at all. That's when the little blue fella up there caught my eye. I snatched him up off the table, and ran over to my mom, asking if she would buy him for me. I was a good kid and the price was cheap, so of course she agreed. 

I'm assuming I must have immediately tossed out the packaging, because I had no idea who this guy was supposed to be. Most of the time, I pretended he was my very own phaser or Tricorder device. I had seen a few episodes of the older Star Trek series, and I was obsessed with the gadgets on that show. Every now and then, I would include him with my Transformers, but even they didn't know what to make of him. Still, sometimes not knowing is for the best, since it meant I could make up my own stories for the character. 

I can hear you all now, "But, it's just a little blue box!". Ah, that's where you're all wrong. 


Open the panels on the bottom, and give the whole thing a twist, and now we have some tank treads.



Flip the panels open on the sides to reveal a laser cannon and a communicator device. Now our little Explorer Scout can choose between vaporizing his enemies, or calling the space cops. I'm sure you're wondering what that pink thing is in the middle. Don't worry, we'll get to that in a minute.


Swing the top panel open, and you'll reveal Explorer Scout's tiny little head. The stickers are starting to come off this one, so he looks a bit cross eyed. I think it only adds to his character, and may work to lull his enemies into a false sense of superiority. I can see it now, the little blue robot rolls into the bar, and the biggest baddest bot starts picking on him for his pink head and crossed eyes. Then he looks down and realizes that the Explorer Scout has blasted a large hole through his chest. That's something we would all do well to remember. Just because someone looks a little funny, doesn't mean they don't have the ability to completely disintegrate you. 


Since this guy is an explorer, he obviously needs a compass. Sadly, it's not a working compass, but still a neat little feature nonetheless. The Explorer Scout also incluced several maps that could be hidden in his chest compartment.


I couldn't even begin to read them, but then again, I'm not a robot. They're probably not supposed to make sense to me. I was never quite sure how these were supposed to be used, so I would just pretend they were super secret plans that the robot was tasked with keeping safe. I think I finally figured it out the day I took all these pictures. 


It seems right at least. The pink lens actually acts as a magnifier, though it's not much more than 1x. I was also expecting it to reveal something different on the maps, but alas, it only gave them a pink hue. It only took me 26 years to figure out how this thing worked. Good job me.

So, does this toy really live up to the memories I had of it? Surprisingly, yes. It's well made, and more importantly, durable. Explorer Scout's panels come open a little too easily now, but it's a 30 year old toy. I doubt anyone expected it to last this long, let alone in such good shape. This one easily washes away the bad taste left by Orguss. 

I guess that'll teach me not to stick old toys in my mouth.






6 comments:

  1. Man, I remember the days when a toy merely had to transform, with no rhyme or reason as to what it transformed from or into, to be a hit!

    He's cool, I would have fallen for him back in the day too.

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    1. Thanks Eric. Back then, it seemed like you couldn't walk two feet down the toy aisle in any store without seeing a toy that transformed.

      I'd love to know just how many lines were inspired by the Transformers' success. It has to be in the hundreds.

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  2. This is a incredibly cool toy Chris. I really dig it.

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    1. Thanks John. He's definitely my favorite out of the Mysterian line.

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  3. Never seen nor heard of this one before. Congrats on getting it again!

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    1. Thanks Hob. I think I got lucky with this one. I was watching it on eBay and missed it. Thankfully it was relisted at a lower price.

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