Christopher Ibbitt contacted me last week to share the Kickstarter campaign he is working on with Gemma Tovee – a collector’s guidebook for Hasbro’s Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light toy line. Although a much younger me was happily collecting G.I. JOE when this toy line existed, way back in 1987, I never encountered Visionaries. According to Christopher, Visionaries was marketed that year with the same marketing fervor as Joes, just in the fantasy genre instead of military:
Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light was a toy line produced by Hasbro in 1987. The figures, vehicles and accessories prominently featured holographic or foil stickers to represent the characters ability to invoke magical powers or adopt animal forms.
As was typical with many children’s properties of its time the toylines launch was accompanied by a comic and cartoon series of the same name, produced by Star Comics (an imprint of Marvel Comics) and Sunbow Productions respectively. Both of which were ultimately cancelled with the discontinuation of the toy line as a result of rising production costs.
Guidebooks for toy lines are labors of love. I backed Philip Reed (of battlegrip.com) in his successful Kickstarter for Transforming Collections (covering unofficial Transformer toys, not from Hasbro), and would like to see this project come to fruition. The Visionaries guidebook campaign is in the funding stage until November 28. They’re nearly 2/3 of the way to a very modest target of around $3,500 (£2,200). Check it out!