The only real connection between the toy and the cartoon is the brand. I'm still surprised that toys and cartoons aren't more interactive.
This snippet first appeared on December 6, 1987, as written by Bob Niedt in the ''Syracuse Herald American.''
The line of Mattel toys spills off of the ''Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future'' syndicated television program, which can be seen on Central New York cable systems 10 a.m. Sundays via New York City's WPIX-TV.
But future soldiers, young or old, don't need the television show, bad as it is, to interface with the tube. A videocassette player will do just fine, thank you, since ''Captain Power'' programs are available for around $10 a hit.
But the hidden lessons of friendship and whatnot laced into the programs to make them a little more meaningful fall flat if one isn't armed. For that you need any or all of the Mattel accessories, including the Powerjet XT-7, the Phantom Striker, or the Interlocker, all in the $25-$40 range.
What makes these gadgets unique is that the bearer can shoot at the bad-guy robots on television — who shoot back.
Infrared light beams from the weapon can cause orange-and-red explosions on the screen if the enemy aircraft, for example, are ''hit.'' But at the same time, the television screen is firing back. Light signals picked up by the hand-held devices may result in a ''hit'' from an enemy weapon, causing the Captain Power doll to eject from the cockpit mounted on the gadget.