At least, that is what Mattel wanted kids to think in 1976 when they released Pulsar, The Ultimate Man of Adventure.
Standing a little taller than Kenner’s Bionic Bigfoot at 13 1/2 inches, Pulsar is decked out in very 70’s stretch pants and a velcro shirt. Peel away Pulsar’s apparel and you’ll discover that our hero has a transparent chest, revealing his most intimate internal organs. Inside you’ll find a pretty reasonable facsimile of a human heart, lungs, and a circulatory system the size of the large intestines. See a close up.
In Pulsar’s back is a pump. Press on the pump and his heart beats, his lungs “breath” and the blood in his veins will flow.
Unfortunately, whatever substance was used for the blood almost always is congealed and won’t move a corpuscle. Of course, that doesn’t stop it from still being pretty cool
Pulsar’s unusual anatomy doesn’t stop there, though. Pop open his head and you’ll discover one of two of Pulsar’s holographic mission discs. Most loose Pulsar toys are missing one or both of the mission discs. While they are fun to have with the toy, they don’t actually do anything and you can’t see them unless you open up his head.
There are actually two versions of Pulsar, but the difference is very small. Pulsar’s chest is a single clear plastic piece that is screwed to the piece that makes his back. On the first, the entire front piece is clear, from his neck down to his groin, revealing the rubber used to hold his legs in place. The second variation has been painted on the inside to match Pulsar’s flesh tone so that the clear section of Pulsar’s chest stops at about his waist. Also, the second variation has a slightly more expressive and, well, friendlier, face. Although the variance is slight, the Pulsar with the painted in waist is actually a much more interesting toy to display.
While you get to see the inner workings of Pulsar’s organs, you don’t really see the inner workings of Pulsar the toy. The bottom line is that the painted in waist tells of a higher quality product.
Aside from that, Pulsar doesn’t really do anything else. Mattel also sold a medical bay that you could strap Pulsar into. In many ways, it resembles the Bionic Transport and Repair Bay.
Every hero needs an arch enemy, so Mattel also released Hypnos, the Yang to Pulsar’s Ying.
Appropriately enough, Hypnos doesn’t have a circular system, he has a hypnotic spinning disk in his chest… pretty clever eh? When you push a lever in his side, a multi-colored disk in his chest spins, extruding hypnotic rays! Hypnos is a friction toy, so when you pull his lever, e-hem, sparks fly in his chest.
Hypnos’ torso and limbs are cast form the same molds as are Pulsar’s, but his interior is dramatically different, as is his purple head. Hypnos has a very sinister cast to him, not unlike Sinestro, the rogue Green Lantern, but it is hard to be too evil when you’re naked. Hypnos’ only stitch of clothes is a black mask.
If having a little mano a mano action between Pulsar and Hypnos wasn’t enough to entertain the kids, there was also the Pulsar Life Systems playset to make sure all of Pulsar’s systems were working correctly.
Pulsar is a pretty easy toy to find either loose or boxed. A mint boxed Pulsar can usually be found for around $60. Loose with one of his mission discs, Pulsar might fetch $30 to $45. I’ve only ever seen one of his medical bays, however, and that toy, loose, sold for $250. Hypnos is only slightly less harder to find than the medical bay, and with the box sells anywhere from $50 to $100.