Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Toy Review: Fisher Price Adventure People X-Ray Man and X-Ray Woman

1982 rolled around, and I was in the golden age of my toy-loving childhood.  This was smack in the middle of  the Star Wars merchandising revolution, Mego was importing the Micronauts from Japan (called Micromen there), Masters of the Universe was hitting its stride, and Transformers was right over the horizon.    In the middle of all this was Fisher Price - that venerable old toy maker - trying to figure out how to capture the hearts of boys everywhere in the midst of all that Sci-Fi glory.  Luckily for them, they had gotten in on the ground floor of the small action figure market that was just beginning to surface.  For sure, many people will remember Star Wars as their gateway into collecting 3-3/4 inch action figures, but Fisher Price was ahead by a couple years on Kenner, releasing their first Adventure People set in 1975.

However, Star Wars was not without its influence on the figures that came later.  Fisher Price did venture into Science Fiction land with a variety of Adventure People toys.  Mostly, these were sets that included vehicles and figures to go along with them.  The themes of these sets were always non-violent, and mostly focused on exploration, with some occasional meetings with alien beings.  Two of these are the subject of today's review - the X-Ray Man and X-Ray Woman.

Released in 1982, these two figures were packaged as individually carded toys, and were not included in any sets.  They are actually recolored figures of male and female wetsuit divers, and this kind of re-use of molds was not uncommon in the Adventure People line.  Both had hard plastic transparent green torsos, clear green  vinyl arms and legs, and solid green heads.  I suppose the idea of being able to see through their skulls might have been considered to be somewhat scary to kids at the time.  

The eyes were just simple yellow dots, and the chests were printed with some form of robotic controls.  

I think I can honestly say that their hair represents the only instance in which I might appreciate the color periwinkle.  I guess androids like puffy hair.

The torsos were really quite transparent, though the vinyl was a bit more cloudy.

Almost all Adventure People figures are sculpted with the left arm and hand turned so as to be able to grip a steering wheel.  The left legs are usually made so that the toys look as though they are beginning to take a step forward.  These designs gave the figures a sense of dynamism that the actual articulation lacked.  The heads are on a nice ball joint that allows them to look at their toes, but sadly, the arms and legs are on simple swivel joints.

Stepping outside for a moment, you can really see how these figures react in bright light.

These two were very cool additions to the Adventure People space sub-line.  I remember having a lot of fun with these, especially given that with their size and styling, it wasn't at all a stretch to place one of these in an X-Wing and go zooming around the room.  Good old simple toys that fired up the imagination were just my cup of tea - in 1982 and today.


  1. Translucent...with hi-tech widgets on their chests. Clearly, these guys come from Micro Earth!

    1. I actually vaguely remember owning the male figure but I either didn't know who or what it was or I forgot until today. You wouldn't happen to know this figure would you. It was about two inches tall was a guy in a yellow space suit looking deal (but mask didn't cover the lower part of his mouth and had a green visor). I don't think the head moved (I know the legs didn't they were both one part) but the arms (which had black gloves) moved up and down. Not sure who that guy was but would love to know and maybe find a pic somewhere. :)

    2. You might be talking about this one:

      He was called "Astro Knight" and it's a recolor of a hang-glider pilot. Just another example of how Fisher Price reused the molds a lot.

  2. Awesome! I had these two in 1982 as well, and I had a second blue guy but this one was in a black space suit and had a clear dome over his head. He was my favorite for some reason, and he was always pulling the strings behind my GI-Joe vs. Star Wars battles that I played out in the backyard. Man, it really takes me back! I love this site!

  3. I had the male figure. I used to call him Toothpaste Man