Tag Archives: Six Million Dollar Man

Bionic Battle Saber – Inspired by the Six Million Dollar Man and toys

Hello Everybody, today I am taking on another “The Vintage Toy Advertiser Challenge” and it will take us back to the 1970’s TV show starring Lee Majors…The Six Million Dollar Man. The show which was loosely based on a novel titled “Cyborg” written by Martin Caidin tells the story of an Airforce Test Pilot – Colonel Steve Austin. Steve Austin was testing a new vehicle called a “Lifting Body” known as the M2-F2, but suffered a near fatal crash. He survived but suffered massive injury resulting in him losing his right arm, both legs and his eye. During the opening intro sequence of the show you see a real life crash of an M2-F2 piloted by Bruce Peterson which took place on May 10th 1967. Peterson survived the horrific crash with just(?) a broken wrist and severe damage to the skin of his face (he did later lose his eye due to an infection that got into the injury), but in the TV show Steve Austin needed to be rebuilt…and you hear a government official state “we can rebuild him….faster, stronger….better! We have the technology!” And they did just that, giving Austin new bionic legs, an arm and a bionic eye. During the intro sequence there were lots of data screens and wireframe images of the medical operations so I had best show you the wireframe “techy” image I have of this new saber before I explain everything about it….Booster WIREFRAME MK

Now observant viewers may recognise this as looking a little bit like a rocket ship…and you would be sort of correct! The SMDM tv show was such a success that the toy company Kenner Toys brought out a range of toys and action figures. There was a Steve Austin figure with “bionic features” such as a spring loaded arm that lifted a model car engine. There was also an “Oscar Goldman” figure, Oscar being Austin’s boss after his recovery. Then there was this, the Bionic Transport and Repair Station (BTRS)…

The BTRS was Steve Austin’s special transport rocket which also opened up and doubled as an operating theatre/repair station for his bionic parts. There was an operating theatre light cluster in the base, an X-ray unit (with glow in the dark images to represent the different body parts) and a myriad of tubes and cables to run “diagnostics” on Austin. So my challenge was to replicate this toy in saber form. Not my greatest challenge to be fair as it is already tubular in shape and looks Sci-Fi, but I had a lot of details to add to make it pop. To start with I built the booster rocket base (which formed the theatre light cluster) and then worked my way up…so here are the pictures as it took shape…

So, as I mentioned I didn’t have much to do technically with this build but there were a lot of tiny details that I needed to add to solidify the look and leave you in no doubt what inspired it. The booster base acts as a pommel, featuring the four side pod booster engines as well as the main central booster and all the panelling. The main body of the hilt represents the main-stage body of the BTRS and houses the cockpit (more on this below), and the “stars and stripes” flag on the front. This flag is a 3D part, not just a graphic applied onto the model and I planned to use this flag as the activation switch for the hilt. The whole hilt body has little details like oxygen cylinders on the underside and various vents and panels. Two of the panels feature the name Kenner etched into them as TVTA asked that I incorporated their logo into the design somehow. The saber is topped off with a blue nose cone that acts as the emitter. However…beneath this nosecone you will have noticed the glass window and maybe you will have picked out the figure of Steve Austin himself! I actually modelled a cockpit section and then pasted a picture of Austin inside that section. But I didn’t just leave it like that, I divided the panel the image was on and manipulated it so that it formed the contours of Austin’s face, head and shoulders…so he is actually 3D too! The saber wouldn’t be a saber with out a blade of course and this hilt has a red blade, not because Steve is a Sith Darksider but because it matches with his famous red athletics “tracksuit”! You can see it in the images below, one is the real Kenner toy, one is my 3D model…

The Six Million Dollar Man show spawned numerous made for TV films and the show ran from 1973 to 1978 and the films ran into the 1980’s. And it seems the toys have lasted even longer! So I’d like to thank TVTA once more for giving me the challenge of recreating this piece of nostalgia and I hope you all like it. (BTW I did actually own the Steve Austin, Oscar Goldman figures and I had a Bionic Transport Repair Station, so this one brought back memories for me).

I think that just about wraps up this design and as I said above I hope you enjoyed. I will be returning to the galaxy far, far, away next week as I have some staff weapons I need to show you all and I think you may recognise at least one of the owners. I’d like to thank all of you, my viewers and followers for again taking time to visit today and I hope you will return for my upcoming posts. Your support has been fantastic and much appreciated. Till next time…….I have the technology!

“Bionic Battle Saber” is a For Tyeth Editions design and is ©Copyright of For Tyeth/FTSabersite 2016-2019. The design was inspired by The Six Million Dollar Man tv show and the toys produced by Kenner Toys inc.  Respective Trademarks and ©Copyrights belong to Harve Bennett, Kenneth Johnson, ABC Television and NBC Universal Television Distribution and Kenner Toys/Hasbro.

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