Monday, November 28, 2011

Under the Man-croscope: Street Sharks!

The Man-croscope - a devastating mechanism that coldly scrutinizes that which you held dear as a child, and mocks it with the unsatisfied eyes of an unfulfilled adult! Where will the Man-croscope turn its gaze this week?

I am going to brazenly buck Man-croscope tradition this week. Normally I would focus on something from the eighties that I had some form of personal experience with as a child, but instead this one goes out to our younger readers. I'm going to turn the Man-croscope on the heady year of 1994, when I'd already graduated from high school, but you were still a shiftless, filthy child looking for chunky plastic effigies to chew on. Let's talk about something that I completely missed and fail to understand. Oh yes, let's talk about... Street Sharks!

Join me after the jump to dissect the most hideous bad taste abominations ever known to man or beast!

We've long established that toy companies thrive by shamelessly copying each other's good ideas. I guess Mattel were super pissed that everyone had shamelessly tried to cash in on He-Man, so they turned the tables and tried to stash some cash with a Ninja Turtles clone. Even though TMNT had been around since the eighties, anthropomorphic animals still made serious dough. In those crazy times you could put a hat on your dog and make a million dollars. We wanted our animals to be streetwise, slang-slinging radical dudes, instead of just scratching up the carpet and shitting on the stairs.

The formula here is simply reversed. Instead of four animals who are nutated into jive-talkin' pizza eating teenagers, we have four jive-talkin' hotdog eating teenagers who are mutated into giant sharks. By an evil professor or some shit. But here's what really disturbs me about Street Sharks the most...

I live in Australia where we know that sharks are totally bad news. They are bloodthirsty monsters will eat you in a second. Locally, we've lost two people to sharks in just the last couple of months. The only saving grace with sharks is that you are safe from them if you never, ever, ever, ever go in the water ever. That's your only defense. And I am totally jake with that!

So this is where Street Sharks get super scary because they gave the bastards legs (and bodybuilder arms!). Can you imagine the flesh-hungry maw of a great white shark RUNNING down the street at you with reckless abandon? Sharks would take over the world! Imagine a shark that could chew off your arm and then roundhouse kick you. I am sweating just thinking about that. And to MAKE MATTERS WORSE, these Street Shark bastards can rollerblade and skateboard! They are so totally X-TREME that they will swoop down on a hang-glider and gobble up your baby. It impossible to protect yourself from them. They will crash a BMX through your window and swallow your dad. It's a twisted, evil concept and shouldn't be sold to kids.

Look at these abominations in action! You'll be pleased to know they had a relatively successful animated series which looked a lot like this. Warning: watching it is like allowing a stranger to shit in your skull:

They fight! They bite! They hold each other tight!

The turtles at least were a bit cultured, having been named after Renaissance painters. But these shark guys are called Ripster, Jab, Streex and the inexplicable Big Slammu. They also say "jawsome!" a lot! They say "jawsome" instead of "awesome" because they have prominent jaws. I can actually relate to that because I have shapely legs, and when I agree with someone I say, "legzactly!"

The toys are some of the most hideous ever created, and each contain enough plastic to fill a canoe. Here's how they were advertised to malleable young minds...

Actually, I have to grudgingly admit that this is probably the coolest toy commerical I've ever seen. The nineties were notorious for being so TOTALLY IN YO' FACE! and this one minute monstrosity doesn't disappoint with its live action version of the hideous transformation that turned blonde American jocks into punch-happy carnivorous eat-beasts. They're here to "kick some serious fin". OH YEEEAAAH! JAWSOME!!

 It's also pretty cool to get a glimpse of some of the supporting characters and see that they are just as repellent. Seriously, take a look at this clever twist on an old classic:

Sorry if you were hoping for a Dick but ended up with a Lick. I think I just ruined this for everyone.

Are you of an age where you actually owned a Street Shark? What was it like? Who was your favourite? Tell me all about it in the barren comments section!


  1. I'm now afraid of street sharks and guys wearing midriff shirts who could possibly turn into streetsharks

  2. I had one of Ripster from a Taco Bell kid's meal or something. I think it was just his head and torso and didn't move at all... I think it was a bank or something. I remember taking it in the bath a lot.

  3. I had that exact one above! you twisted a thing on the back and his tongue twirled round. Used to take him to school with me. amazing show, still fascinated by sharks now.