In the summer of 1982, there was no hotter ticket in Hollywood than a new Disney movie that boasted impressive computer graphics, including some scenes created entirely with computer animation. The movie, of course, was Tron, and although it ended up as more of a cult classic than a mainstream blockbuster, the buzz surrounding its special effects (in an age where the public’s imagination was sparked by the emergence of PCs the way the internet is today) and the Disney name made it a marketing bonanza.
Tomy quickly latched on to the U.S. toy rights, producing a quartet of action figures unlike anything seen on the market before. The nature of the movie’s visuals made it tough to figure out how any toys would be made: the characters glowed, their faces were more or less in black and white (tinted only by the color of their “circuitry’s” glow), and their circuit patterns were very intricate. This was going to be a *huge* challenge for a toy industry that was still stamping printed labels onto hollow cylinders to create a barely passable likeness of R2-D2.
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