When I was a kid I had an inordinate amount of Police Academy action figures. I didn’t have a very large amount, but it was far out of proportion to my exposure to the Police Academy movies, and to the cartoon on which the action figures were based. But having been born in 1986 and the series running 2 seasons starting in 1988, I had never even seen the cartoon. In fact, up until researching this article, I wasn’t quite sure if the Police Academy cartoon even existed! But it did, and here’s the intro, in its minute-long (!), Run DMC-tastic, entirety:
Still, I had Mahoney (is it the only Steve Guttenberg-based action figure?), whose feature was to twirl a baton, Tackleberry (here a bike cop, but without a bike, making his visor the coolest thing about him), Larvell Jones (with rocking headband and a bullhorn, which I’m not sure actually did anything), Mr. Sleaze (with bizarre “hide my regular small dog as a different regular small dog” action), House (with fatness inaction), and probably the best of the bunch, Zed. Zed made up for the others lack of interesting action by doubling up: he had a bobble head and pants that dropped down to reveal classic white-with-red-hearts boxers. He also had “hand-cuffs” (what appear to be severed hands used to catch criminals) molded onto his chest, which I distinctly remember, though I can’t remember if I had them, wanted them, or were scared of them. I do know my first ever wallet was a Police Academy wallet, featuring a foldout with all of the characters on it, as well as having two bizarre anthropomorphic spray can accessories, and I’m pretty sure I had a motorcycle too. So I take it back; I did have a large amount of Police Academy toys, regardless of whether or not I had seen the cartoon. The likely scenario was that some kid in 1988-89 got all of these toys, and my mom got them for me at a yard sale 3 or 4 years later. Either way, when I stumbled upon this:
in a quarter bin at Coast City Comics, I knew I could effectively “close the loop” on the “Police Academy cartoon” chapter of my life. For a scant 20 cents, I was treated to a zany adventure featuring the “Mad Byter”, a computer based villain (today he’d be called “Mad Gigabyter”) who looks like a combination of Estelle Getty and Colonel Sanders, and an opening scene that’s the pinnacle of ridiculous: Mahoney and Jones are posing as a parade, with Jones making the noise. Except the joke, in the original movie, is that it’s a real human being making crazy noises with incredible accuracy. The joke doesn’t work when the character is already a cartoon, and is rendered even more useless when he’s not even making noises, but just onomatopoeia on a page.
Otherwise, it’s a wacky, cartoony kid’s comic, and boy howdy, is it wacky. A couple parting thoughts:
Mahoney looks like a goof, with his poofy curly mullet spilling everywhere
Have to give this a few props for featuring three African-American main characters
Join the Alf fan club (before he was back, in Pog form)
Captain America fights Count Plaqula – at least it’s better than slinging Twinkies (though, wouldn’t it be spelled “Plaqueula”, or “Plaquula?” Surely that just reads “plak-LA”)