Sunday, November 11, 2018

[YouTube] The A-Team

The A-Team was an action-packed television show that aired on NBC from 1983-87. It followed four former members of an Army special forces unit that were found guilty of a crime they didn't commit. Of course, they escaped military prison but were then on the run and each week as the team traveled around North America in a GMC van they helped out civilians that were in need of help that the law couldn't or wouldn't provide. John "Hannibal" Smith (George Peppard) is the strategist and leader of the team; Templeton "Face" Peck (Dirk Benedict) is the con man that can get the team whatever they need; B.A."Bad Attitude" Baracus (Mr. T) is the muscle/driver/mechanic who refuses to fly; and H.M."Howling Mad" Murdock is the crazy helicopter pilot. Sometimes a fifth character would help out the squad, including reporter Amy Allen (Melinda Culea), reporter Tawnia Baker (Marla Heasley), and special effects expert Frankie "Dishpan" Santana (Eddie Velez).

In 1984 Galoob released a series of action figures based on the show that were slightly altered versions of its 1982 toys called General Patch and Evil Enemy (basically G.I. Joe vs. Cobra). Galoob made 3 3/4" action figures of the team and generic bad guys that are very similar to Hasbro's G.I. Joe. Even the enemies have snake names: Cobra, Viper, Rattler, and Python. Those were sold in four packs, with vehicles, and in a "Combat Headquarters Set" which is what I have, though I'm missing some of the accessories. Six inch figures and a larger Mr. T doll were made by Galoob as well. Also, like G.I. Joe, The A-Team got a train set from Tyco and a variety of other products popular licenses of the '80s often had, such as Colorforms, a board game, comic book, die-cast vehicles, walkie talkies, and trading cards. Although The A-Team may feel like a relic of the past, the franchise has been brought back a coupe times somewhat recently with a 2010 movie that has a similar story as the TV show but doesn't feature any of the original actors aside from post-credits cameos by Dwight Schultz and Dirk Benedict. Plus, just a couple years ago an A-Team pack was actually released for the LEGO Dimensions video game that includes a B.A. minifigure and the van.

Here are photos and scans of the items that appear in the video above:

Combat Headquarters Set
This is a set from Galoob that includes the four 3 3/4" action figures and a variety of accessories. A few items are not pictured, including a sandbag wall, bazooka, detonator, raft oar, and American flag. I'm going to drop a link here for a website that has some good information on the Galoob toys and photos with the packaging: Toy Mania.

B.A. Baracus 6" Action Figure
B.A. is one of five six inch figures Galoob made.

ERTL and LJN Battery Operated GMC Vans
The LJN toy is a Rough Rider, not a Stomper which I completely flubbed in the video.

 The A-Team Colorforms Adventure Set

The A-Team Board Game
Parker Brothers' A-Team game puts B.A. front and center as he is the only character to appear on the board and in the deck of cards. However, he isn't playable as the pieces are Hannibal, Face, Murdock, and Amy. The objective is rather odd as the team is helping a soft drink company recover its soda formula from a madman with an island fortress.

Puzzle and Maze Book

Rubber Stamp Set
This set from Stampos includes four stamps but Face is excluded and replaced with a second B.A. stamp.

The A-Team might have been my favorite show as a kid, though I always enjoyed Magnum P.I. and Knight Rider quite a bit as well. All of the primary characters and their actors are great. Murdock, played by Dwight Schultz, was my favorite character and the actor later had a recurring role on Star Trek: The Next Generation, another one of my favorites. I'm a big fan of Mr. T too who was an icon in the '80s as he also appeared in Rocky III and WWF wrestling, had his own cartoon, and there was even a Mr. T breakfast cereal. He had a reality TV show in 2006 called "I Pity the Fool" that had a very positive vibe but it didn't go beyond six episodes. It's too bad that show didn't last as it was a breath of fresh air, especially when it came to reality TV.

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