Protocultural Artifacts: Dana Sterling w/ Hovercycle

The dearth of merchandising available for SUPER DIMENSION CAVALRY SOUTHERN CROSS in Japan and the second generation of ROBOTECH in the United States means that fans of that show in either incarnation will, if the drive is strong enough, find themselves buying just about anything featuring its cast of characters and iconography. Consequently, I own a Harmony Gold-issued Dana Sterling doll (1992) and its matching Matchbox Hovercycle (1986). Yes, that makes me a thirty year old man who owns a doll, but alongside the small Dana Sterling action figure mounted on its Hovertank it makes a nice display piece. The Dana Sterling doll, oddly enough, was originally issued by Matchbox wearing a pink striped dress; only in this later Harmony Gold release was she released clad in her Southern Cross military uniform. Strange that they thought she’d sell better sans her iconic look.

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2 thoughts on “Protocultural Artifacts: Dana Sterling w/ Hovercycle

    • You know your mecha show is short on merchandising when nobody even made a cheap model kit of its main robot, let alone a toy. As I understand it, the only SOUTHERN CROSS model kits that were produced were several varieties of the heroes’ ornate body armor, the hovercycle, and the Red Bioroid. There were no SOUTHERN CROSS toys until Matchbox made them. The only comparable robot show I can think of is the same year’s GALVION, but they made kits for that show and at least developed toys for it, which were later released only in the U.S. under the CONVERTORS line (also home to the smaller, less ornate super deformed MACROSS transforming toys, among others). GALVION was similarly cut off at the knees and even aired one less episode than SOUTHERN CROSS, and yet, its robot gets its plastic immortality in its native land. The ATAC-01-SCA Spartas, not so much.

      Believe me, as I’ve been watching the show I’ve been jonesing for more Masters stuff. There isn’t any. It isn’t out there. It wasn’t out there as the show aired, and even with all the manufacturers who’ve been digging up any old musty pre-1995 robot show to make modern figures and kits of over the past ten years, nobody’s done jack diddly for SOUTHERN CROSS. It’s weird, like it’s this blind spot that they’re all missing. Do the toy companies just find the designs totally unappealing? I guess I could see that; I had a substitute teacher in high school who thought the Hovertanks were the stupidest thing, and I know Evan doesn’t much care for the Logan — and he’s not the only one. Still, when stuff that went relatively unloved at the time like PANZER WORLD GALIENT and SPT LAYZNER have received new, relatively inexpensive plastic toys (helped, I suppose, by the fact that a toy manufacturer owns the studio that produced both of them) and MOSPEADA received so much attention from several different manufacturers, it seems so odd that SOUTHERN CROSS remains unmerchandised to a ridiculous degree for a show featuring transformable robotic battle machines. It boggles the mind.

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