sexta-feira, 29 de setembro de 2017

E! FALCON, THE GREATEST BRAZILIAN HEROE

FALCON 1978 -1980 - Those were the first figures released by ESTRELA in 1978. Although the focusing in the adventurer character, you could feel the military looking of the first GIJoes released during the Vietnam war in US.

In the beginning, there were only two available types: bearded brunette (Camouflage Action, or originally in Portuguese Ação Camuflada) and beardless brunette (Counter Attack, or originally in Portuguese Contra Ataque). With the instantaneous success, other types were quickly produced. 

The adventures themes were many, but instead Falcon be a soldier and necessarily fight against an opponent, he now was fighting against nature's dangers. He's fought sharks, giant spiders, octopuses and wild apes. It was not only that! Falcon also was a secret agent and challenged death with the adventure kits called Salto Fantástico (Fantastic Freefall) or Avanço em Alta Voltagem (High Voltage Action). 
Initially, parents were worried, because after all, their kids were playing with "dolls", but later on they concluded that Falcon had nothing of the female world. With his knives, weapons and a scar in his bearded face, he is even till present day the most "macho" toy ever.


The design was an innovation for that time, and the machines were completely impossible to work in real life. Take a look in this "seat" of the kit called Reconhecimento Aéreo (Observation Flight). There is no room for the engine and the fuel tank. Even this way, the "thing" is supposed to fly. The propeller must work by magic or mind control.
FALCON 1978-1980 eagle-eyes series - In the second series, the eagle-eyes mechanism was introduced, which made the figure able to move its eyes from side to side. This figure was the biggest hit in the Brazilian toy market of that time. 
There is nobody born after 1978 who has never wished one of those. Even the women remembered their plays with Falcon and Susi (12" female doll also produced by Estrela). In these two years of existence the military influence was completely erased and the adventurer status of our hero was public accepted. It was in this time period that the equipment with a most futuristic appeal started to come up.

FALCON 80 - The beginning of the futuristic series - With no doubts at all, the most interesting and controversial Falcon series. Loved and hated by the figure collectors, the futuristic phase was the one with the longer duration and has produced characters that are unique in the whole world. 
As occurred with all GIJoe and Action Man manufacturers around the planet, the "super-hero" and "space run" concepts were also introduced in the Falcon line.
The adventure kits and wearing standards are similar to uniforms of characters such as Superman, Batman, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Darth Vader, Mr. Spock and other popular figures of the 80's. 
Check the classic combinations of "colored boots with spandex" and "underwear over panties".
Initially the villain Torak was created, with his frightening laser bean in his chest. In order to help Falcon to combat Torak, it's time to the Falcon's cybernetic friend, Condor, come along to fight.
FALCON 1982 -1984, the futuristic series sequel - It was a huge success. Estrela has precisely hit the target. The public satisfaction was so great that quickly more futuristic figures came up to the scene. 
The first ones were Falcon & Roboy. Right after, it would be produced Laserman, Triton and two more futuristic Falcons, one of them with a real light-up weapon. Unfortunately they were never released because the collection has ended in 1984. The reason of the cancellation is not surely known. It's speculated that the sales had a strong decreasing. 

After all, when was released in 1978, Falcon was almost alone in the shelves. Differently of 1984 when many other collections were available: Star Wars, Gi Joe, Super Powers, Secret Wars and He-Man, mentioning only a few. It was too many people to divide a pie that didn't grow up as fast as the products market demand. 

Even thou, there's no doubts that it was the most original and creative series in Brazil regarding action figures. Specially the futuristic series, which had a super modern design. It's true that some clothes and accessories were copied from Space Rangers, Super Joe and Big Jim, but only in Brazil has existed Condor, Torak and Roboy. This is an admirable deed even for the present days, because nowadays the same companies only limit themselves in importing American characters produced in China.
Falcon Classics (1994-1996) - After 10 years of retirement, in 1994, Falcon was released again. The collection was called Clássicos Falcon (Falcon Classics) but it didn't have much to do with the "classic" figures of 1984 or earlier. The clothes, inspired on the GIJoe Hall of Fame, were not so cool. Torak, that previously had a claw instead the left hand and a deadly bean weapon in the chest, now only dresses a formal suit identical to Destro's from HOF collection. Now Falcon has no longer his world famous "lifelike" hair and no eagle-eyes but at least he's back. Two more different vehicles were also released, a light brown jeep and a tank. Unfortunately the collection hasn't pleased the public and was removed from the production line in 1996.
 The most recent try has happened in 1999, when Estrela asked by the Brazilian chain store called Lojas Americanas has released Falcon again, but now with a new name: Força de Ataque (Attack Force). Again, the figures had not too strong commercial appeal. Comparing to Max Steel, 2000's sales champion of this segment, the disadvantages were many. There weren't vehicles and accessories in the Força de Ataque collection, neither other characters were created, and their look even poorer than 1994. Again the series were canceled. It's speculated that Estrela is trying to produce Falcon one more time, or at least another 12" figure in order to regain the space that Max Steel has taken. Who knows?

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