Monday, November 14, 2011

Under the Man-croscope: Matchbox Parasites!

The Man-croscope! A mighty, masculine microscope that penetrates all which you held dear as a child and analyzes it with the cold, steely eye of an embittered adult! Where will its lens point this week?

When I was a kid, Transformers was an offensive juggernaut of vehicle-to-robot awesome! So I wouldn't be surprised if this runaway success left many other toy manufacturers feeling green with envy and limp with impotence. Manufacturer Matchbox had plenty of success with their die-cast metal cars but they didn't really do anything other than roll along the ground and get lost in the garden. You couldn't act out epic battles with a purple panel van. Not even master storytellers Pixar could get a decent narrative out of cars. Something needed to be done!

So Matchbox came up with Parasites! A half-arsed attempt to shove a sort of "transforming" robot in a die-cast car. Did the concept take off? Do they hold a fond place in our collective treasured memories? Or were they just a bit crap?

Source. Plus here's a tip! Don't google image search "parasites"!
Find out about my experience with them after the jump!

I do appreciate the irony that an attempt to pocket some of that filthy-wonderful Transformers money would be called Parasites, for what is a "parasite" if not a hideous creature that leeches off another for its' own obscene gain? The plan is simple. Step one: suck on the nutrient rich veins of Optimus Prime. Step two: profit!

But don't take my word for it. As we often do at this time, let's study the commercial and see how these nasty bastards were introduced to the world...

Oh shit! It's an Australian commercial! This guy is speaking my language and luring me to purchase these horrid toys! No wonder I bought one! Granted it doesn't give much info as a whole, but even the most casual viewer should be able to glean that there are "parasites" and they are most definitely "coming!" I don't think Matchbox broke the bank with this one. And it's not exactly enticing, is it? Parasites are coming? Shit, well let's cover all the doors and windows and start breathing through a mask!

But, as always, the easily misled child me was easily duped. I was never that into cars, but I did like robots and creatures, so somehow along the way I wound up with this mosquito-looking douche, who is either called  Extermasite who is a hunter, or Hunter who is an Extermasite. I'm guessing you don't give a shit either way:

I when these came out in 1985, everyone was pretty jazzed about the upcoming Halley's Comet visitation in 1986. I don't recall any mass hysteria though or fears that alien robot parasites would descend from its tail and fold themselves up in our vehicles. This guy specifically hides in a Dodge caravan though, so if you manage to steer clear of those then you should be sweet. I'm suprised he doesn't transform into a filthy mattress.

So wait, what did he transform into? Well, it's hard to tell from that image, but he basically just folded up and poked his nose/gun through the window of a gutted Matchbox car. It was fun for less time than it took to open the package. He's not an especially nicely designed robot either, gadding about in his tight-fitting yellow jumpsuit!:
You know, what? Let's forget about this shit, and instead I'll show you the coolest car related item I had - something that still stands up against our trusty Man-croscope! Something that is just as awesome now as it was back then...

AW HELLZ YEAH! HOT WHEELS COBRA STUNT SET!! That was one mighty snake that couldn't be tamed!

I had a die-cast KITT from Knight Rider that I used to blast out of that Cobra's throat like a dirty mansplosion! This stunning stunt-serpent wouldn't even put a Dodge caravan near his mouth!

Regale me with your own stories of mini-you and your four-wheeled Matchbox mayhem!

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