Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, Vol. 1Every child of the ’80s knows He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Thundercats, and Transformers, but it seems only a select few remember a little gem titled Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors. Like other kid’s cartoons from this time period, Jayce features a small band of heroes who are constantly battling to protect the universe from destruction by a group of ever-present baddies. Only in this case, the baddies in question are giant plant monsters that transform into action vehicles. “What?!” you say. Let me explain.

In the first episode, we’re introduced to the basic premise: Jayce’s father Audric, a brilliant scientist, is in the process of developing a “way to end starvation in the world” when a surprise solar flare mutates his experiments into “giant plants with evil brains.” Knowing that his life is in danger, Audric flees his laboratory, sending his faithful follower Oon, a miniscule robot-knight reminiscent of Orco from Masters of the Universe, to warn Jayce of the danger that’s headed his way and to entrust him with one half of a magic Root amulet. Jayce immediately forms The Lightning League with the wise wizard Gillian, the young future-seer Flora, and the reluctant but stalwart Herc Stormsailer, and launches a campaign against the evil plants (known as Monster Minds) and their leader Saw Boss.

Obviously, this is ’80s childhood cheesiness at its greatest. As Jayce and The Lightning League travel through the galaxy looking for Jayce’s father, Saw Boss follows close behind (in a surprisingly Technodrome-ish spaceship), setting traps and laying wait for The Lightning League in the least likely of places.  Like most of these shows our heroes never get into situations that are too precarious and most of the dialogue is a bit obvious and over the top, but isn’t that the draw of purchasing a decades-old show on DVD? Reliving childhood television is hardly ever as exciting as it was the first time around, but there’s a sense of nostalgia that makes up for the surprising difference in quality that we witness now versus what we remember. Watching these plant monsters mutate into vehicles straight out of “Robot Wars.”

Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors never reached the success of He-Man, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or even The Smurfs, but regardless of whether or not it was highly watched then, it’s sure to be appreciated now. Every episode wraps up TMNT style with an obligatory awkward joke followed by the entire cast standing with hands on hips while shaking with laughter. This four-disc DVD set features the first 33 episodes of the series (that’s 12 hours if you’re wondering) and shows Jayce doing what he does best: hopping from planet to planet in search of his father, while maintaining his position as leader of the Lightning League and thwarting the evil Saw Boss at every turn. If that doesn’t sound like a recipe for forehead slapping adventure… I don’t know what does.

Zach’s Rating: B
Perfect For: Anyone looking to relive the ’80s in “so bad it’s good” style
Stay Away if: You don’t have 12 hours to spend watching a kid battle evil plants
Watch For: The fast-paced and overly expositional first episode

To purchase Jayce and The Wheeled Warriors Volume One, visit Amazon

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