BanDai Saban's BeetleBorgs Metallix Mega Spectra Titanium Silver Sector Cycle Vehicle with Action Figure BanDai, 1997
Day #1,980: June 6, 2018
Mega Spectra Titanium Silver Sector Cycle Long Name, Kay-Bee Clearance Find!
BanDai Saban's BeetleBorgs Metallix Cycles
Item No.: Asst. 5445 No. 5447 Manufacturer:BanDai Includes:Figure, bike, weapons galore Action Feature:Big bike combines with weapons, figure, cape Retail:approx. $5.99 Availability: ca. 1997 Other: 5-inch action figure with vehicle arguably better than most toys these days
I picked up the Mega Spectra Titanium Silver Sector Cycle with the Titanium Silver Beetleborg on a lark. I had a lot of time in the late 1990s and early 2000s to myself - on a good day I'd take my bike out. On a bad day, I'd take my bike out. I'd probably wind up at one or more toy stores, Kay-Bee was a frequent target thanks to the weirdness of the town I was in. I'd find Techno-Zoids, cheapo LEGO sets too big to carry home (and I'd try), and giant toys jutting out of my backpack during surprise rain storms. Call it a coping mechanism, call it an addiction, call it working hard in my field of study - I got a lot of toys and it got me through a lot of down time. This set was a couple of bucks, and a couple of bucks is where I liked to be. Kay-Bee was really good at putting cheap old junk next to new stuff, and a lot of times that old stuff would be a good, cheap thrill. I missed out on the whole Sentai craze due to my age, but I can't deny that some of the toys are shockingly nice by modern standards.
Price tags seem to indicate this toy was originally about six bucks - I assume that may be in error, because it's a 5 1/2-inch figure with 11 points of articulation, a 9-inch long bike, and 9 removable accessories. Articulation isn't amazing, and the figure feels a little light and cheap with some silver stickers, but it held up well. Nothing was reglued here - I put this together at some point before 2002 and it just held up in storage with no real problems. The figure has freely-moving hips with a swivel neck, swivel shoulders, swivel biceps, and bending knees and elbows. Each hand has a peg to grip the weapon accessories, and there's a hole in the back to peg a cape. There's even a hole on the holster to mount the gun. It just plain works.
Or Borg bud is molded in black with some silver highlights including foil stickers, and a pretty nice helmet with a mushi helmet. It's thematically cute, and from the era of Power Rangers, Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad, VR Troopers, and other oddities from the Saban hall of fame/shame. Super-sentai-teen shows were all the rage, much like how we saw weird animal teams in the wake of Ninja Turtles. It was probably the last truly great big new trend in character toys, most of what we got since are revivals of old franchises and superheroes. These guys are almost retro, as those kinds of shows were on Japan a long time ago and still are to this day. I don't know it well enough to say it was very of-its-time or not, because to me it looks a little less forward than a Kamen Rider or an Ultraman. It's kind of boxy and bulky, almost crude and simple with lots of screws that make me think this was a very cheap figure to make. But it can stand, and sit, and hold its accessories - compared to a modern action figure this thing is incredible for the asking price.
As accessories go, you're spoiled for choice. A horn lance and articulated mandibles are on the front of the bike, and a mount with beetle claws and an axe sits on the back. There's a big handlebar staff and a blaster accessory, plus the removable cape. Much like Xevoz, Stikfas, and a lot of Playmates 1990s figures you've got more than you might know what to do with - thankfully most of it mounts to the bike. It's a treasure trove of a toy with so many easy-to-lose pieces, all of which fit firmly in the figure's hands thanks to the aforementioned peg/fist/weapon system.
The Titanium Silver Beetleborg bike is pretty amazing - it too is hollow, but bulky. A retractable kickstand keeps it upright, but you can put that up and zoom it around on the big wheels. The figure fits inside easily, but I'd like you to note the bright, colorful stickers making up the control panels and rear lights. They did a bang-up job making something to pretty it up here, and the result is a fairly impressive slab of plastic. It has a few moving and removable parts - those mandibles are probably the most interesting bit - but it's fun to zoom around. I generally dislike "bike" toys because they're usually small and simple, but this one adds a lot of meat to the offering to give you something that feels like a big fun toy.
I pulled this out of my storage boxes to get rid of it, and I'm not sure I want to get rid of it now. It's certainly not going to Goodwill - I'll probably hang on to it because it's charming. At least for now. Maybe that's not a ringing endorsement, but it's a really good toy. It's almost upsetting to compare this to today's crop - you're never going to see a figure with a vehicle and all these accessories, let alone at this price. Even for that era, it's pretty dang good for what you got - and the eBay prices aren't exactly high these days. If you think you might want this because you're a fan of the franchise, I'm sure there might be better toys but I was impressed and charmed enough to spare it from a purge of my impulse toy purchases.
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