Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future


Reading through a Mattel dealer catalogue over at, I found this blast from the past – Captain Power!

I can barely remember anything about Captain Power or his soldiers but the name and logo have stayed lodged in my mind since the late 80’s and I thought it was about time I learned more about them.


The toy line in these images is based on the 1987 TV series that ran for 22 episodes. The show was set in the 22nd century and followed Captain Jonathan Power as he battled the machine forces that dominated Earth following the Metal Wars.

Thanks to Youtube, you can watch the first episode, including its lengthy introduction below.

Some of the toys available were quite advanced and could interact with special animated videos, allowing you to shoot at the screen. Toys such as the Powerjet were basically just light guns in a toy shell but from what I’ve seen they were really cool and definitely something I would have wanted as a child!

Like the main show, the animated light gun videos too can be found online:

If you’ve not seen the show, I recommend watching the first episode, it’s good cheesy fun and from what I’ve read, the whole of the first season has an ongoing arc story to hook you, should you want more.

And finally, The Retroist has covered Captain Power many times over the years so, for more of our memories, use the search to the right or click here.

Hayden Yale

Child of the 80's. Born, raised and living in the Cheshire countryside, England.Lover of fan art, especially if it is based on my childhood heroes from Masters of the Universe, Thundercats, Transformers and TMNT. Penchant for almost anything retro, especially movies, games and art.

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6 thoughts on “Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future

  1. There’s also a reboot coming from the show’s original producers called “Phoenix Rising”. I don’t know if it will be as kid-friendly as the original.

    The classic series is out on DVD but I don’t know if they included the training tapes. Luckily I still have mine.

  2. I remember watching this & finding the concept amazing for the time. I didn’t have any of the toys though, so the interactive part was a waste for me.

    Around the same time there was a really crappy “game system” that used the same principals, the “action max”. You put a special tape in your vcr, stuck a suction cup with a sensor on the bottom corner of your tv, then shot flashing targets with the light gun. The only thing that happened whether you hit or missed is that your scroe on the console would go up or down. No results in the video (for obvious reasons, being taped-based it couldn’t jump chapters like a laserdisc game), no toys whose pilots would eject, nada.
    Most (all?) the videos seem to be on youtube now, so I imagine that anyone who still has one of these consoles (and a crt tv, since light guns don’t work with lcd and plasma) could grab the vids off youtube and use them with the console. Here’s an example:

  3. Max Power says:

    I have two of the toys – Captain Power’s PowerJet and Lord Dread’s Interlocker (kind of a tactical strike Barcalounger). The interlocker was considerably cooler, since it had a LED score display (# of targets hit and # of hits before your pilot ejected) as well as a periscope-like viewfinder in the back.
    I got one for Christmas when the show was on the air, and the other as a closeout after it was cancelled, along with a VHS tape of a mission. That tape was my only connection to the show until just now, when I learned that the series was available on DVD now. Does anyone know if the DVDs include the blinking targets for the toys?
    You could also play the toys against each other in a Lazer-Tag like game. 5 hits and your pilot ejected.

  4. Alphacentaurian says:

    As a kid at the time, I found the storylines of the TV Show oddly dark. Little did I suspect that future Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski was behind it. It was also weird later on when I would see the various actors from this show in other roles, including one episode featuring the Nabob coffee commercial guy and regular cast member Sven-Ole Thorson (“You are a f***ing buffalo!“).

  5. Lance says:

    I remember watchign this quite often when it was on. I still have my Phantom Striker and my roommate from that time still has his Power Jet. I ended up with most of the episodes on VHS and was delighted when they came out on DVD. I always laughed though as that Dread Base in the first episode looks very much like the SDF-1’s bridge. JMS’s scripts are entertaining on many levels and in one episode they do mention Babylon 5!

  6. Just watched ep 1 and it shows a lot of promise. Hopefully the rest of the series holds up as I’ll be watching those over the next couple of months. Who knew Captain Power was do popular!

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