Now here’s a bit of an oddity. When TMMN reader “shinichi” mailed us with the tip, it teased us with Ruby-Spears Mega Man merchandise that we “never knew existed,” but this one is actually quite familiar to us.
Back in the heyday of the early 90s, you weren’t likely to find a lot of Mega Man merchandise on this side of the Pacific (not including imports), and what did exist was largely based on the Ruby-Spears animated series of the time. Many are familiar with the moderately successful action figure line by Bandai, and even the peculiar cartoon soundtracks. But rarer were items such as those you see at right (click to enlarge).
To be frank, we’re not sure if there is still a market for this kind of thing any more, but years ago, you could find all sorts of cheap merchandise like this in gas stations and grocery stores. Odd little items which were branded with popular or even semi-popular licenses, yet didn’t really make a whole lot of sense at the time.
Items like a Mega Man-themed bow and arrow set. Granted, you can make the argument of the Super Arrow from the still-recent Mega Man 5, but that’s more of a justification than any likely influence.
Other such items included things like small, handheld flashlight guns, which one might approximate as a Mega Buster of sorts (or just “blaster,” as they were known on the show), or a kid-sized light-up sword. Sure, the go-to argument for that might be Zero, but a) he was never in the show, and b) the Z-Saber’s debut was probably too recent to be included in the cartoon show.
Though cheap, the items seem to be rather hard to come by these days, likely due to even fans passing over them due to their nonsensical nature, this writer included. Which is unfortunate, as they now have a more interesting appeal not only due to their strangeness, but also as a mark of some of the branding used back then, including the promotional images from the show and the “Superhero of the 21st Century!” tagline.
If you have or have found any other strange Mega Man items such as this you’d like us to show off, feel free to send whatever links or pictures you have our way!
Edit: Title changed to a much better one suggested by reader Jon.
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