Recently, I was roaming the search engines looking for information on my old Mighty Max playsets. By noticing the copyrights on my Mighty Max toys, apparently, over the years the Might Max toy line switched hands between the three toy companies: First with BlueBird in Europe, then Secondly to Mattel for the U.S., and Finally with Irwin Toys for the remainder of the toy line's final years. My goal was to find pictures of each playset I owned, so I could make sure I had all the parts, or could find all the parts, to them. My search also led me back to another great playset toyline, Trendmaster's WAR PLANETS, and renewed my interest in them. SEE HERE: http://www.virtualtoychest.com/warplanets/warplanets.html http://www.spectrumisgreen.com/Playsets/War_Planets/war_planets.html https://secure.adrentech.com/AFRX/toyline.aspx?toylineID=2171 For a seemingly small and unnoticed toyline, it eventually spawned an excellent animated sci-fi show called Shadow Raiders by Mainframe Entertainment, the computer animation company that also did Beast Wars: Transformers, and also generated a small accompanying action figure line based directly off of the television show and it's colorful cast of characters. Compared to all my Mighty Max and Micro Machines playsets, WAR PLANETS was something different...something unique. Unlike Micro Machines and Mighty Max, the playsets were spherical in shape, not shaped like a part of a monster or made to look like your local gas station. Yet like Mighty Max, and later Micro Machines playsets based off film properties, each WAR PLANETS "planet"'s outer shell had a surface that represented the inhabiting alien race or species through the depiction of what that world, or planet, represented. For example, Planet Fire looks like a giant ball of cracked volcanic plates, covered in volcanoes, with boiling hot magma seeping through the spaces in the cracked volcanic crust. Once opened, the planets themselves became less like normal playsets. Instead of usually being restricted to one side or one simple setting, the playsets became battle forts and fortresses of the three-dimensional nature. And unlike playsets of the past, where we had 1 hero, 1 villain, and maybe a vehicle or two, WAR PLANETS boasted an entire army of various troops, creatures, transports, attack vehicles, missiles, and anything else you could think of that a warring alien planet might have at it's disposal. Going back to the Planet's outer surface, one would find pegs to attach warriors to and holes to connect missile launchers, various accessories, and even Planets Moons, separately sold accessory packs that emerged later on in the toyline. Some Planets even had giant sets of tentacles (Bone & Water) that could grasp onto other neighboring Planets. If that wasn't enough, the Planet's surface itself could detach in places and transform into fighter jets and tanks. Adding to this, the Planets themselves could be opened up even further from their spherical shapes and be turned into fortresses (Rock), battlefields (Fire), and even cities of war (Water). As the line progressed, we were introduced to Planet Moons, accessory packs that allowed small moons to connect to the larger planets. These accessory packs also contained beasts, vehicles, missile launchers, and more warriors to boast your Planet's defenses. To add to this, three of the Planets gained "Tanks", pod-shaped Planets which could transform into giant insectoid war-machines that also functioned as fortresses and had their own armies. The final big piece of the line was the evil Beast Planet. Like the devourer of worlds, Unicron, the Beast Planet playset served as the main base of operations for the single evil alien race...and ate planets, LOTS of planets. The Beast specie's main goal was simple: use the Beast Planet, which in actuality was not a planet but a giant machine, to devour all the other planets in the universe. Which explains why in the television show Shadow Raiders, every other species and planet in the galaxy is united in fighting this one badass mother****er of galactic annihilation. The Beast Planet playset itself could open up, and from within would emerge a giant 3-fingered claw that would grasp the regular Planet playsets and pull them in completely, devouring them from inside it's black shell. The playset could also light up red in various spots, and open up further into a giant fortress of destruction. From the Planet, you could detach vehicles that would fire missiles or capture enemy troops. And to top it all off, the Beast Planet included it's own army of various warriors, including the Supreme Leader of the Beast species. From here on, we got a WAR PLANETS show titled "Shadow Raiders" and also a small accompanying action figure and vehicle toyline based directly off of the television show. Then the show ended after Season 2, and WAR PLANETS was dead. Overall, I found WAR PANETS to be a great break from the normal slew of micro playsets. Not only did it remind me of why I loved micro playsets so much, but it also opened my mind into thinking of how playsets could further break away from the "Mighty Max" and "Micro Machines" standards that have been used so often in the toy industry's use of "pocket" and micro playsets. WAR PLANETS was a very innovative idea for it's time, and I hope that someday someone will revitalize that idea and bring us another great new innovative form of a type of toy that had gone unchanged for so long. Pictures of my small collection to follow. Sorry if the pictures are a bit funny, I had to take the pictures at some odd angles, even having to hold the Beast Planet's box in my lap just to get the close up shots of it's details without any glare from my lights.