Sunday 16 January 2022

January 2022 Update

 Happy New Year all.  Here are some newly-released items to kick off 2022.

Go to the Specials, Pilots, Miniseries and Movies page

First up is material from the Flint Dille Collection, supplied by owner Steve Chu.  Concerning the "forgotten son" of Super Sunday: Bigfoot And The Muscle Machines.


SST Muscle Machines was a toyline of battery-operated monster trucks, first released by Milton Bradley subsidiary Playskool in 1983.  Starting out with the titular Big Foot - licensed by Bob Chandler, owner of the real-life vehicle.

In 1984, Playskool added licensed trucks Orange Blossom and Black Gold to the toyline, along with several other accessories.  That year, Hasbro bought out Milton Bradley, thus acquiring SST Muscle Machines.

1984 also saw the debut of The Transformers on weekend syndication, to huge ratings.  Seeking to keep those weekend ratings going as Transformers was scheduled to make the jump to weekday afternoons in the 1985 season.  Griffin-Bacal introduced the Super Sunday concept:  A trio of five-part miniseries, broken down into their individual 7-minute Acts and aired as an anthology series over 15 weekends.  With plans to re-edit those 15 shorts back into TV movies for syndication and home video release.

Needing "Boys Action" toylines that could be quickly developed into shows.  Hasbro looked to SST Muscle Machines, as well as fellow Milton Bradley acquisition Robotix.  To accompany their new fashion doll line in development: Jem.   

The Show

Ron Friedman was tasked to develop a show to promote the SST Muscle Machines toyline.  On March 5th, 1985 he turned in a "beats" outline and character lineup.  Detailing a group of drivers and mechanics led by Yank Justice, known as the Rolling Rodeo.  The story would detail the Rodeo's run-ins with the corrupt Judge Skullheart who practically controlled the county through bribery, extortion and abuse of power.  Along with his rogue's gallery of sheriffs, biker gangs, mercenaries and other hired thugs.

Included with this outline are three additional story premises.  As well as plot breakdowns and character summaries written up by Elise Goyette, Production Co-Ordinator for Sunbow in New York

Evidently, Hasbro and Griffin-Bacal were not impressed by Friedman's creation.  He was apparently told to go back to the drawing board.  Coming up with a second outline and a brand new story set-up, on March 26th.  
It is unclear whether this outline was satisfactory either, as Friedman was tasked to immediately start work on his second attempt at a screenplay for The Transformers The Movie.  Which would be listed as "complete" on April 27th.

In the interim, retail orders for the SST toyline in 1985 (which introduced the "funny car" War Lord) were evidently low enough that Hasbro decided to scale back their investment, cutting the supporting cartoon down to 9 segments.  Flint Dille was tasked to create a new miniseries.  Retaining the Friedman-created characters of Yank Justice, Professor D, twins Red & Redder and Close McCall.  He wrote a brand new story detailing the Rolling Rodeo's entanglement with an archaeologist on the run and their battles over a mysterious map.  Sought by the reclusive, elderly billionaire Adrian Ravenscroft in his quest to find the Fountain Of Youth.
The miniseries was released on VHS as a 53-minute movie, but has never received a DVD or streaming release.

At time of writing, no material from the Flint Dille 9 segment version is available for public viewing.

By the use of screen caps of a featurette found on the Shout Factory DVD set.  The Archive now hosts the storyboards for the music video Can't Get My Love Together.  Drawn by Will Meugniot, from the Marv Wolfman-written episode Broadway Magic.

Added 9 pages of mouth guides and 25 pages of walk cycles for the main cast.

Added a new page for Marvel Productions and Jim Henson's ill-fated attempt in 1985 to produce a combination animated/live-action Muppet program.  13 episodes were ordered, but due to delays in producing the animated segments, only 3 were ever aired.

At the link are 35 pages of mouth guides and walk cycles from the animated segments.