Mattel created a brand new toy line that they introduced in 1985, the Wheeled Warriors. This line presented the war between the Lightning League and the Monster Minds. The driving force behind this line was the ability to customize and create unique combinations. Each of the vehicles in this line could be stacked up to create the Stack n’ Attack formation. Furthermore, there was a wide range of X-Changeable parts that included wheels, tank treads, and guns. With so many combinations, Mattel hoped that buyers would be encouraged to buy more vehicles to mix and match their parts.
Unlike their prior blockbuster hit, Masters of the Universe, the vehicles were the stars of this toy line. While each of the Lightning League’s vehicles came with a 2 ½” action figure, none of these drivers had any distinguishable features. Not only were the drivers nameless, but they also lacked faces. These drivers then easily sat inside the openable cockpits for their vehicles. On the other hand, the Monster Minds came with soft rubber monster brains attached to each vehicle.
To drum up interest in the toys, Mattel included a small mini-comic with these toys. However, the comics did not provide much insight into the backstory of the characters. Instead, it highlighted the various ways to play with this line’s vehicles and accessories. Elements like the Stack n’ Attack, as well as the X-Changeable parts, were the main stars of these comics.
The Lightning League had four main vehicles with pilots: Armed Force, Drill Sergent, Spike Trike, and Quick Draw. Likewise, there were four main Monster Minds creature vehicles: Saw Boss, K.O. Kruiser, Gun Grinner, Terror Tank, and Trail Blazer. Furthermore, there were three major special vehicles on the Lightning League’s side: Trail Blazer, Beast Walker, and the mobile fighting fortress, Battle Base. The line was rounded up with two accessory packs, one for each side.
Unfortunately, this line suffered because no cartoon series was available when it launched. While Mattel provided mini-comics with these toys, they had no compelling over-arching storyline. So, few had a strong connection to the toys. The debut of the animated series in September 1985 did not help turn things around.
To create a compelling animated series for the Wheeled Warriors, Mattel turned to DIC Entertainment. The studio then handed over the production to DIC Audiovisuel in France to produce the series under the guiding hand of J. Michael Straczynski. Under his direction, the series morphed into Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, which debuted on US stations on September 116, 1985.
Unlike the toys and their mini-comics, the series provided a backstory to the fight against the Monster Minds. Jayce’s father, Audric, had been determined to use biotechnological breakthroughs to solve issues like starvation. Unfortunately, a nearby star suddenly went supernova and changed the results of his experiments for the worst. His creations mutated to become the Monster Minds, who made it their mission to conquer.
Unable to get rid of the Monster Minds himself, Audric split a root that could eliminate the Monster Minds in half. He kept one half while he gave the other half to the Eternal Squire Oon, who in turn handed the root over to Jayce. Upon discovering that his father was in dire danger, Jayce formed the Lightning League and set on a quest to save his father and the universe from the Monster Minds.
This series lasted 65 episodes, with most of the episodes written by Jean Chalopin. However, a notable quarter of the episodes were written by J. Michael Straczynski, who later created Babylon 5. While Straczynski had planned to create a major feature-length finale, the series instead ended on a cliffhanger.
Unfortunately, this series came out too late to create enough interest in the toys. Furthermore, the cast and basic premise of the series felt so disconnected from the toys that few made the connection. With declining sales, Mattel canceled the line before the planned second series of toys was produced. If these toys had made it to store shelves, they would have reflected the feel of DIC’s series.
Before the Wheeled Warrior was discontinued, they made a few major appearances in comic form. First, there was a 13-page comic in the French magazine, Pif Gadget #922. This comic took yet another original take on the brand, presenting original characters. Unfortunately, it ended on a cliffhanger.
The Wheeled Warriors also appeared in two four-page comic shorts ni the He-Man & the Masters of the Universe magazine. One appeared in the Fall of 1985 and retold the story of Auric creating the monster Minds. Meanwhile, the second popped up in the Winter 1986 issue. This story told two stories: one where Jayce was alone at his home and another with Herc Stormsailer off-planet. Jayce eventually fought off an attack by using a Stack n’ Attack maneuver.
While there have been no signs of the Wheeled Warriors returning, Mattel still actively had a page dedicated to the line on their corporate website. This page displays promotional images of the 1985 toy line.
- Release year: -
- Search All Toys
How to use the Identification Tool to find your action figures and toy lines
Do you have an old-school G1 Transformers toy you are trying to identify? Don’t know the name? No problem! I’ll help you use this identification tool. For example, just type in “jet” in the figure name field and hit search. You’ll see all the Transformers G1 Toys that are jets. Maybe try “car” and select the color “blue” and a list of Transformers matching those results will appear. Maybe you don’t know what the finished vehicle will make, so try searching by “red” only. Did you forget to remove “car”? Now search just the color “red”. Perhaps you know the name, but can’t spell it try “Wheljck” instead of “Wheeljack” and all the Wheeljack characters are listed for you.
We have all the G1 Transformers list of characters in our database. You can search by Transformers name, as well as just line or subgroup. You can identify Transformers that are all red or all the figures that are orange. The Transformers toy list can even be sorted by package type. You can identify which came with a sticker sheet, or which came without instructions. Want to know all the 1984 Transformers toys and none of the others from 1985-1990? No problem, just select the release year from “1984” to “1984”. Perhaps you just want to know the list of G1 Transformers “Autobots”, or just the “Decepticons”, our ID tool can do that.
Mostly we made this so you could see if your action figures were missing some accessories or parts. So you can see that too.
If you need additional help, please Contact Us. If you’re here for Transformers identification because you’re about to sell, note we also buy toys. Thank you for stopping.