Originally launched as “Blades”, then recoloured and renamed, Streex is half man, half tiger shark, and a part of Mattel’s Street Sharks toy line. I don’t know why I even bothered to note the year in the post title. Just look at that fucking monstrosity, would you? He’s wearing rollerblades. You know exactly what year he’s from.
Mattel’s Street Sharks line was a surprising success in the mid 90s. Still riding high on the waves created by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, anthropomorphic super heroes were Kings of the Toy Aisle for much of the decade. Of course there’s a 40 episode TV show to go along with the line. I think whoever wrote the Street Sharks article at Wikipedia did an excellent job explaining the plot.
“A university professor named Dr. Robert Bolton had invented a gene-manipulation device for peaceful uses on animals with his fellow professor named Dr. Luther Paradigm. In the first episode, Dr. Paradigm tested his gene-manipulation techniques (which was referred to as “gene-slamming”) on a marlin and a lobster. Dr. Robert Bolton attempted to destroy Paradigm’s research and was transformed into an inhuman monstrosity by the evil scientist using the gene-slamming device on him before escaping. Dr. Paradigm later kidnapped Bolton’s four sons John, Bobby, Coop, and Clint to transform them into sharks. As soon as they are gene-slammed after their bodies were washed down the river, the four brothers ate a hot dog stand upon their transformation and fled from the police by diving into a lake and burrowing their way into the city by eating the dirt. The brothers planned to capture Dr. Paradigm so that they could force him to return them to their human selves and expose Dr. Paradigm’s genetic experiments.”
Gene-Slamming. Just thought that needed repeating again.
Can’t you hear the assholes in the boardroom? “It’s been almost 8 years folks. We need something to deal with this Ninja Turtle bullshit…”
A technique created in the 80s, but perfected in the 90s, the series is your basic 22 minute toy ad. I remember catching the odd episode here and there, and it was wall-to-wall puns and EXTREME attitude. Of the four brothers, Streex is the Poochiest. Rollerblading, street hockey, parachuting, snowboarding, and playing the drums… everything Streex does is totally JAWESOME.
Streex’s EXTREME attitude carries over into his toy. Black cut-off jean-shorts and gloves? Purple knee protectors? Safety first, bitches. I can hardly take it. If you count his biting & nail-growing action, Streex has 7 points of articulation. Bite, 2 shoulders, 2 wrists, nails and waist. He does have an incredibly detailed sculpt, with veins popping out all over his shiny blue shark body. He’s even got veins popping out the corner of his fucking eyes.
Supposedly the ladies’ man of the group, I’m sure Streex has a gentle side as well. You can spin his wrists into a position that looks like he’s probably rocking out an air-acoustic guitar version of “More than Words”. That’ll bring in the chicks, but what’s he going to do when he gets them? You’ve gotta feel sorry for ol’ Streex. He turns at the waist, but lower than that… there’s nothin’ going on.
Streex has 3 action features: Biting, Nail Growing, and Roller Blading. One of the benefits of being a huge chunk of barely movable plastic is that Mattel was able to stick 4 working wheels onto his rollerblades. If you’ve got a flat floor or table surface, he can skate a straight line like nobody’s business.
His main action feature is clearly the biting. You achieve this effect by moving his dorsal fin (Is it a dorsal fin on a shark? I don’t know. I’m not opening a tab to find out. I’ve already researched this toy WAY too much.) back and forth. You’d think that its rest position would be closed, but it’s not. I suppose this way Streex is always ready to take a bite out of crime, like a shitty, bluer, sharkier MacGruff.
Obviously, this wasn’t a favourite of mine. I wasn’t ever interested in the line. My little brother wasn’t even interested in the line. But now that kids his age–and a little bit older than him–are starting to get full on nostalgia boners, I figured when I found ol’ Streex here that I should pick him up anyway. I also found T-Bone the Dino-Venger, to go along with him.
Unless you were a poor schmo who loved this crap when you were still young enough to eat it with a spoon, this toy is definitely Not Recommended.
Oh… and here’s the original commercial for the line… because EXTREME NOSTALGIA! JAWESOME!