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RETRO REVIEW: Computer Warriors

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The 1980’s were the heyday of transforming toys. Once the Transformers and Go-Bots hit it big, it felt like a dozen other transformable toy lines showed up on the shelves of your favorite toyshop.

Back in 1989, Mattel produced the Computer Warriors toy line. The series consisted of eight different transformable sets, from a small (plastic) soccer ball to a calculator to the splendid Pespi can shown above.

The storyline behind it goes something like: there was an accident with a secret government computer that created a wave of evil Virus troops that were able to hide in everyday objects. To combat the evil, the computer then generated the heroes – the Computer Warriors. And that’s how you get little guys covered in what appear to be circuits living inside of a can of cola.

The Pepsi can includes a little figure named Gridd. He’s a “Heroic Mechanic Specialist”. Well, a heroic mechanic and an electrical engineer. “Cloned from a quantum mechanics program, he understands everything there is to know about the mechanics of any object.” Wait a second! This is just the reverse plot of the original Tron movie. The programs are invading the real world.

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Gridd comes with a “hyper hoverjet” that features guns and bombs. The wings fold up so that it can be concealed in his Earthly home – that can of Pepsi. The sides on the plastic can come down when you press on the top tab. This lets you gander at the inner working of a can of “Pepsi. A Generation Ahead”. (That was the 1989 slogan…they went back to “The Choice of a New Generation the next year)

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I was fairly impressed with whatever glue Mattel used for all of the stickers. Over 26 years old and they stuck to the plastic like they hadn’t been sitting in some dude’s garage for the past two decades. I’m pretty sure that’s where they were.

The figure line has held up pretty well. Over the last few years, transforming toys have become en vogue again. You have figures that have no real reason for being able to turn into something else – I’m talking about you, you creepy TMNT Mutations. Heck, there are even plush toys that now transform. 

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And while this specific transformable Pepsi can might not look like it could fool many people...I'm guessing that some kids probably used it to play a trick or two on their unsuspecting grandparents. These kids and their new generation...

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