Review by The Enthusiast
No list of ignored and unloved eighties properties is complete without Remco’s unfortunately-named Mantech. Yikes. Mantech.
Mantech was like a beautiful candle which burned very bright, yet all too briefly. Except the flame was kind of stupid looking. And not terribly fun to play with. But funky! A funky flame!
Remco was at sea in the mid eighties, Like fellow sixties stalwart Ideal, Remco was desperate to remain relevant in the midst of a modern action-figure explosion. Mantech, like Ideal’s woeful Robo Force, was a quaintly inept attempt to tap into the robo-zeitgeist. I want you to imagine these things on a shelf next to, I dunno, Return of the Jedi toys and Transformers. Mantech never had a chance.
The principal figures, organized into good and evil teams, were cyborgs. There was of course a bland storyline best left un-summarized.
Mantech’s gimmick was interchangeability. Interchangeability is good. I love Microman, so this should be good, right? Ehh. While these figures certainly come apart in a modular fashion, the results are less than exciting. All of the components are just too similar. All of the lower legs are subtle variations on chunky boots, all of the arms are subtle variations on chunky arms. All of the weapons are similarly anonymous.
But look, different colors!
The masks show a little promise, though.
Of special note are the soft rubber heads. While lame in the context of contemporaneous toys, I find them charming. The good guys are winningly multi-ethnic, and the bad guys have a great proto-Borg quality.
All of the figures share a clumsy stature which never looks exactly right. The stocky legs are off, and they don’t even work. You can pose the arms and twist the head, but the legs are essentially static. Just balancing the figures in a standing position can be difficult.
The plastic used throughout somehow manages to be both rubbery and brittle. Most Mantech lots on eBay are littered with broken limbs. The nubs at the ends are particularly fragile.
Mantech is purely for eighties fetishists. There is little to recommend them other than a certain wistful half-memory of a failed anachronism.
|Posted 15 January, 2011 - 17:04 by The Enthusiast|