Tooncrap #6 - Legend Of The Hawaiian Slammers

I'd rather slam my head against the wall.
Dic: 1994

Written by: Raymond Gallant

Remember Pogs? Those little milk caps that everyone was collecting for a couple of months? Quite frankly with the reboot of so many toys as of late, I'm surprised there hasn't been a second coming of pog yet. But with us slowly getting into the 90's revival, I wouldn't be shocked if we see pogs coming back big time in the next few years. It's time to bring pogs back, in pog form.

So yeah, Pogs were extremely popular for about a year or so. And as I've said many a time on this blog, anything popular has had a cartoon made out of it. And of course, this was another classic Dic move. We've talked about Dic a lot haven't we? They've had their fair share of bad failed pilots. From the bland Battletoads, to not very dynamic Defenders of Dynatron City. So, it's only natural that they make a superhero cartoon from flippin' pogs. And thus, Legend of the Hawaiian Slammers was born.

So, let's slam into this slop, and review this thing.

The opening theme song is pretty much your standard mid-90's theme song. All the footage is from the episode, just like every other failed Dic pilot. The theme tells us that the Hawaiian Slammers (Hawaiian Slam, Slam, Slammers) strike like hammers. There's Slammers of Darkness and slammers of Light. And when they get together, they fight, fight, fight. And when I hear this song, I get annoyed, annoyed, annoyed. Now I'll be fair, the song has a strong beat and all, but I realize that this is still a cartoon about trying to make pogs sound like the 2nd coming of Jesus.

We open the episode near a volcano in Hawaii, as we see our villain, a mad scientist (as if there are any other kinds in cartoons) by the name of Karl Von Fragmen breaking apart a piece of stone with a laser. inside the rock is a pog slammer. In fact it's the slammer of darkness. Von Fragmen spins the slammer on the ground and it begins to crackle and glow. Smoke fills the room, and suddenly we see the appearance of...

Wow, No-Heart got quite the overhaul for the 90's.

Actually this cheerful fellow is known as the Shadow Slammer, who can bring darkness to the heart, and terror to whoever he touches.

"Bitch, Please"

And despite being this bad ass creature, he is bound to the control of the one who freed him. Namely Dr. Otto Von Sheamus here. He tells the doctor that there are nine other slammers. Five slammers of darkness, five slammers of light. One in each McDonald's happy meal! Collect them all!

We then head to a playground, where we meet our protagonist, Ronnie. Because, you know, for a cartoon based on Hawaii, it's only right to have our main protagonist be a blonde, white kid. Also, add a check mark in the "team of bad ass heroes, but the real protagonist is some kid" box. He proves to be a master of Pog-I mean Slammers (Don't want to get our butts sued now), which is apparently done by spinning the slammer over certain flipped over caps. I don't recall playing it like that, but then again, I mostly collected the caps, I barely ever played the game.

Meanwhile, inside the volcano, Shadow Slammer and Von Fragmen find another slammer, one with a sun emblem on it. But before they can claim it, lava begins to fill the area, and the volcano erupts, shooting the slammer out in the process. Well, clearly we wont be seeing that slammer again, so there's like 8 more to collect, right?

Late for his guitar lesson, Ronnie takes a short cut through the tall bamboo, to which he happens to find the sun slammer after tripping over it. He cuts the metal slammer out of the lava, and heads off to his lesson with Mr. Capamaui, and gets scolded for his gnarly cap gaming leading to his lateness.

Mr. Capamaui seems like that one old guy who just sounds really dumb trying to be so hip. He also has a weird Jamaican accent that goes in and out from a normal accent.

Even Wolf-Mon would be slightly offended

While he teaches Ronnie how to do "the riff by Eric Clapton" (no distinct riff, just THE riff), Karl Von Fragmen finally arrives, and wants the slammer that Ronnie took. Shadow Slammer appears, and Mr. Capamaui is quite impressed, but then again he's already as high as Mount Chimborazo. Shadow Slammer presents his distaste in rock music by smashing Mr. Capamaui's guitar. Ronnie drops his caps on the ground, along with the sun slammer. It spins about, and from it comes...

Captain Planet's even lamer brother?

This slammer is one of light (duh), and pledges his loyalty to Ronnie. This pisses off Von Fragmen, who sends Shadow Slammer to fight him. Of course, since Ronnie didn't command him to fight, the sun slammer won't attack, so Ronnie tells him to. I know there's this whole loyalty thing and all, but dammit, YOU'RE STILL GETTING YOUR ASS HANDED TO YOU! There's a time and a place for the whole Simon Says thing.

He uses his Care-Bear stare to get rid of No-Heart (actually, he shoots a beam out of the logo on his... no wait, I was right the first time) as well as light beams from his hands. Wait a sec... Our main hero is blonde, powered by the sun, and can shoot beams from his hands?

Smooth move Ronnie, you just summoned Nuclear Man!

Shadow Slammer gets his smoky ass handed to him, and Von Fragmen swears revenge on Ronnie. the day is saved for now... with the exception that Mr. Capamaui's house is destroyed and all, as he laments about it with his accent that shifts from Jamaican, to a weird sorta Scottish. With police and news teams heading to the scene, Ronnie fears about being seen by his folks. The sun slammer, (or simply knows as Sun) uses a bright light to blind everyone as they make their escape.

And it's time for back story. 3000 years ago, Hawaii was calm, peaceful, and serene. That is, until the big volcano woke up, and somehow created a rift in space and time, because you know, lava has the power to do that. It managed to release the five slammers of darkness.

The Thing with a sunburn, Flurrie from Paper Mario 2...

Generic rock guy, Rule 63 Firestorm, and of course No-Heart.

Or Fire, Storm, Lead, Fire, and Shadow Slammers respectively. Really, lead? What, were zinc and copper busy? The five of them spread havoc and destruction all over Hawaii. To stop them, five light slammers arrive.

Let's see, water chick, tree guy...

She-3PO, Ice Guile, and finally Sun

Or, respectively known as Rain, Earth, Gold, Ice, and Sun. Really, Gold? I guess the slammers of light just like to be really gaudy. Still better then lead at least. The ten of them brawled for a hundred years. Though I'd like to imagine a couple years of downtime, maybe some romantic situations. I mean, who wouldn't want to bone the Storm slammer?... Uh, I mean, 100 years of non-stop brawling, keeping them distracted to protect the world...

Judging by the look of the village, you've been doing a bang up job on that.

But Slammers are immortal, so this would just keep going for centuries. So, to stop them, the light slammers, managed to hold the dark slammers long enough to turn them into round metal discs for collecting. The slammers were buried inside the volcano in a really nice looking burial site. Over the years, earthquakes and eruptions eventually led to the release of Shadow and Sun. And then we get some obvious filler that only good people can control the light slammers, and only evil can control the dark ones. Let's be honest, he spun it on the frigging ground, and it worked. That's the trick. It could probably have been anyone regardless if their views are good or evil. A bird could have done it. Any living organism that can spin a disk could have done it instead of this generic kid with no interesting gimmick, or anything that makes him worthwhile.

Knowing that Von Fragmen would be after the other slammers, Sun and Ronnie head into the volcano to recover them. At first Ronnie is tepid to do it, but, as Ronnie says "If Indiana Jones can do it, so can he." Did Indy ever enter a Hawaiian volcano? Don't recall that.

*waits to be immediately corrected*

Of course, after a while, Ronnie begins to moan about not being able to do it, despite Sun's attempts to give him a dose of added vigor. Ronnie tries to convince Sun that he's no hero, and that he just tripped over a piece of Lava. Sun tries to convince that he was drawn to him by fate. No, HE FREAKING TRIPPED OVER A PIECE OF LAVA! Any joe shmo could have stumbled on that rock and found you. Fate had very little to do with it.

Seriously, I don't see much hero potential in this kid.

But it turns out Ronnie does have some connection to the slammers, and suddenly has the power to sense their location. As they head to the location, Von Fragmen follows behind. Before they can make it further, Shadow Slammer darkens the area, making it hard for Ronnie to see. He ends up falling down a hole, sliding to his doom, while Sun goes the wrong way. Ronnie survives (unfortunately) and journeys onward.

However, Ronnie's wild ride actually gets him to the burial site of the Slammers, but unfortuanately, only a couple seconds before Von Fragmen and Shadow Slammer. Sun finally shows up to help, but is too late, as Von Fragmen releases Storm Slammer to deal with Sun. He gets ready to summon the rest, but Ronnie stops him and Shadow by, what else... throwing caps at them. This manages to summon Gold Slammer.

"Don't just stand there gawking. Command me!"
Aw, why do the kids always get the submissive sex-bots?

Ronnie and Von Fragmen summon the rest of the slammers, and they all brawl. It's an okay, yet forgettable fight. However, the volcano begins to erupt in the middle of the fight. Despite Ronnie's plea for the light slammers to escape, Sun tells him that they must stay to stop the Shadow Slammers. So much for that whole "command them to do whatever" stuff. Ronnie and Von Fragmen manage to escape the volcano before it erupts. The rest of the slammers turn back into caps, and Sun places them all back in the burial site. Ronnie laments on the whole situation, and trips over another rock...

That just so happens to contain Sun Slammer. What a coninkydink!

And thus begins the adventures of Ronnie and the Hawaiian Slammers. Too bad we don't know what's next, because there was never another episode.

And that's Legend of the Hawaiian Slammers. And boy, is it bad.

Admittedly, on paper, there is some cool ideas, decent designs for the slammers, and even though milk toast and bland, we have an okay protagonist in Ronnie, and a stock yet decent villain in Karl Von Fragmen. But everything else is just stupid. The plot is so rehashed from damn near every mid 90's superhero cartoon on the market at the time. Right down to the always awful "kid protagonist leading a team of superheroes" cliche that I can't even recall ever working right. And again, it's a glorified toy commercial cartoon, about pogs. POGS! I mean, how silly is a cartoon idea about pogs. That would be like making a cartoon about magical playing cards.

Oh right.

Or a cartoon about spinning tops.

Oh yeah. That too.

Okay, then I know for damn sure there wasn't any cartoon about the Rubik's Cube.


I guess the moral of the story is that if there's a toy of it, there's most likely a cartoon about it. And while there are winners, there sure are a lot of stale flops, and those ones are perfect tooncrap candidates.