Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Vintage Goodness: SilverHawks STEELHEART!

The "Partly Metal, Partly Real" SteelHeart - Kenner's SilverHawks 1986
SilverHawks was one of those fantastic late-80s properties that combined toy and cartoon culture and became an instant hit.  Rankin & Bass created SilverHawks as an outerspace counterpart to ThunderCats.  (Rankin & Bass also developed 1987's TigerSharks, which is a personal favorite of mine, but unfortunately produced no female action figures).  The SilverHawks were a team of cybernetically-enhanced heroes in the galaxy of Limbo who fought against the evil Mon*Star (yes, he has a star instead of a hyphen).  SteelHeart is the codename for Emily Hart, the sole female of the group and twin sister of Will Hart, aka SteelWill.  She is the technician of the team and is often seen tinkering with their spaceship(s).  All the SilverHawks have cybernetic wings, facemasks, and a robotic bird companion.  Unfortunately these figures don't display their masked variations, but all-in-all, they are some of the best 1980s cartoon-based toys out there.  The likenesses are great, the action features make sense, and the sheer playability is amazing.  On to the review!

These action figures are extremely lightweight, but for some reason stand very easily.  SteelHeart has an action feature where squeezing her legs together will pop her arms out into a "wings spread" position.  The action figure is really strong and happens with an audible "pop."

The wings are removable and connect with a peg in the figure's back and two wrist-clips.

SteelHeart comes with her robotic bird companion Rayzor. In the cartoons, the twin's birds were switched and Rayzor belonged to SteelWill.  If you pull Rayzor's head out, his wings will move slightly backward.  Or maybe it's other way around.  Either way, this feature is called "Tomahawk Wing Action."  (I just realized that when the wings are perpendicular to the body, he's supposed to look like an axe.. hence the "tomahawk" and "rayzor" theme).

Here are a few images from the cartoon.  You'll notice that SteelHeart's color has changed.  In the cartoon, she and her brother both have an identical dark silver color (in contrast to QuickSilver's bright silver), but in the toy, they opted to give SteelHeart a distinct purple metallic hue.  I actually like this deviation and think it makes the action figure lineup a little more dynamic, while not straying too far from the original.

Here is an old advertisement showing the entire lineup.  The purple hue adds a little more color to the already vibrant roster.

Time for a Comparison Shot!


  1. I had all the silverHawks, and their insanely awesome plane/jet/rocket transportation as a kid. They were great toys that kept me occupied for hours on end. Steelheart was my favorite character, with CopperKidd comming in a close second. Thanks for this walk down memory lane :)

    1. I was also obsessed with the SilverHawks, although the only toy I ever had was a beat-up secondhand Flashback with no wings. I bought the DVDs pretty cheap on amazon last year and had a blast watching htem (although the toys have more staying power than the cartoon ever could). I hope some company decides to reboot this property soon, it's definitely deserving!

    2. Little known fact about this figure. She was released in two colors. One a purple and one a blue. Both are chrome so it is hard to tell. The blue one has more fair skin while the purple has a darker completion. I think the blue one was released as a correction to make her match her brother, like she did in the show.

    3. Interesting. She actually looks more blue in the cardback image above. It's find of funny because in the cartoon they were more of a dark gray.. which sometimes looked purple. So you'd think they'd try to make SteelWill more purple then both of them blue.

  2. Because it was so long ago, it is hard to know the difference in the two of them. The purple one isn't easy to come by