Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future was a groundbreaking toy line that successfully incorporated interactive technology with a live action tv series.
Created by Gary Goddard and Anthony Christopher in the late 80s, Captain Power tells the story of Earth in the 22nd century following the Metal Wars, a cybernetic revolt that resulted in the subjugation of the human race by intelligent machines. Captain Jonathan Power and a small group of guerrilla fighters, called “The Soldiers Of The Future,” oppose the machine forces that dominate Earth.
After Goddard’s success as the director of the live action Masters of the Universe movie, he brought Captain Power to Mattel and created a unique interactive toy line. Not only could you create your own stories with the action figures and vehicles but you could also play with the tv show as either a Soldier of the future or and evil Bio dread.
If you decided to join the resistance as a Soldier of the Future then your vehicle would be the PowerJet XT-7.
The interactive power jet comes in a sturdy regular box that features a drawing of the jet shows that you can use the jet to interact with the tv show. (Something that has never been done before)
The back of the box show a “top secret” schematic of the ship itself and details the features that the XT-7 can perform.
The top of the box shows other features that the Jet can perform when the tv show is not on. You can interact and play with other vehicles and playlets that were also part of the toy line.
Besides the instructions the Jet also comes with
an information card to get acquainted with your new PowerJet.
Outside of the box the PowerJet XT-7 is a Power Jet that has aged very well. This particular jet on the eraser like rubber tip has very minor yellowing. The Stickers are still attached and have not faded at all.
The vehicle itself can stand alone with the help of the rear handle on the ship to balance it out. The ship itself must only weigh a few pounds because it is truly a light weight toy.
The red button in the middle lights up and acts as a score keeper. You can press the button and hear tones as it lights up, each tone represents your score.
One of the nice design features that I appreciate on this Jet is the fact that this is not a gun. Yes there is a handle and a trigger in the rear of the jet to shoot at objects but the aerodynamic looking wings hide your hand so it looks like you are flying. Anyone can play with this Jet and get lost with their imagination by “flying” it and not get stuck in reality by seeing your hand as it takes a turn in mid air.
The top of the Jet includes an open and close cockpit (but more on that later) and the bottom features a speaker where you can hear the Jet: fire weapons, your score tones and laser blast “hits”.
On the top of the Jet are two engines, they are the interactive parts of the Jet. The engine on the left shoots out a blast of pulsating light towards your target. (The signal it sends is your laser fire and how you may earn points when playing). The engine on the right is your signal receiver and how you would get hit by enemy fire. (If you lose all of your points, you lose the game and it effects your cockpit).
There were different ways you could play with this Jet: you could play when the tv show Captain Power and the Soldiers of the future was on.
You could shoot at the enemy target (The Bio Dreads, the enemy Jet the Phantom Stryker and their base.)
You could play with your friends if they had a Cape. Power vehicle or playset and shoot at each other, or you could have been the lucky kid on your block and watched the 3 training videos on tv anytime you want.
The cockpit on the Jet has a plastic hood over the cockpit to secure your figure in the Jet. The cockpit itself is made up of a separate plastic seat that you can place your figure. The cockpit is also interactive during play because you attach the seat to a red lever in the cockpit. If you are getting hit by enemy fire, enough hits you loose your point and when you lose all of your points…
Your figure is automatically eject from the Jet and the game is over.
Some people over the years have complained that the Jet only does something if you lose. A cry that creator Gary Goddard heard and agreed with. If the show and the toy line continued, Goddard wanted to create another jet that would’ve rewarded the player by having more action features as you gained more points.
I enjoyed playing Captain Power as a kid and revisiting this Power Jet has been highlight of my toy collecting. The Jet itself has held up well over time, even the features still function properly. If you can find an old tv and one of the videos you can get lost playing as a Soldier of the Future for hours.
Mattel no longer produces these vehicles and the only way to get one is in the aftermarket like E-bay or Amazon but I have seen them at Toy shows.
Gary Goddard and his production company Goddard Entertainment has been trying to bring back the show as Rising Phoenix, hopefully it will happen one day so I can enjoy a new generation of Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future.
Since we have him I might as well review the Captain himself, Captain Jonathan Power.
Captain Power came in a regular card with the figure and weapon featured in a plastic bubble.
Removed from the bubble the figure stands at the 1:18th scale which is about 4 inches which is ideal since he has to fit inside vehicles and other playsets.
On the show Captain Power was portrayed by Actor Tim Dunigan but with 80s toy technology this is as close to the actor’s likeness as you are going to get. Basically the figure looks like a futuristic GI Joe figure.
The articulation is good for the time this figure was produced: The head has full rotation and joints at the shoulders, elbows, thighs and knees.
The only downside is that the figure cannot stand on its own. You would need a stand or just keep him in a vehicle.
The paint application are clean and nice (they held up for a figure that is 30 years old) The chest has a vac metal gold shine that has also held up nicely over time (no flaking). The center of his chest is hollowed out with a clear plastic cap in the front that displays the Soldiers symbol. (This is a nice feature for when the figure is in front of the Power On Energizer, his chest would glow with “Power”.
This figure has held up nicely after 30 years and everyone involved in his production should take a bow because after all this time this figure can still be played with the best of them.