the guest book of a GR Web site, eleven years after the series
ended, Mandell wrote, "The making of the series was a labor of love,
which means it was a financial disaster." When Mandell started work
on "Galaxy Rangers," Transcom Media had no toy deal for the series,
an exception in the licensing-crazy cartoon industry. Transcom, in
association with Gaylord Production, made a deal for toys only after
the series went into production. In the U.S., Galoob made a line of
action figures, including prototypes for figures that never went into
production; in France, the toys were sold under the Ideal label. Fans
have also reported seeing lunch boxes, Golden Books, and even a dart
board, and Roy Rogers featured boxed "Galaxy Rangers" children's
meals. However, the toy deal failed, and with it financing for a
"The critical thing, as I recall it," relates story editor
Christopher Rowley, "was that to nail down a toy deal, the show had
to get solid ratings first. But with the strong disagreement between
Robert and Battista, the TV syndication distributor, about the order
of eps--which led to 'Tortuna' being shown first--the show got off
to a confusing start, which only got worse since GR was not tightly
scripted like say,
[Thundercats], to concentrate on a few easily
understood themes for younger viewers. Once the show's ratings
demonstrated that it was not a big hit, the toy deals evaporated.
Then, without toys, the whole process of building the 'brand'
amongst 6- and 7-year-old boys--the key market group for these shows--failed.
They watched T-cats, and a much smaller group of kids watched GR."
Asked in 2000 about his involvement, series writer John
Rawlins noted, "Actually, I'm just very grateful for the chance to
have done it.... If the toy company hadn't walked out on us, and if
the TV markets hadn't bounced us from one time slot to the next, I
think Transcom could have made some real money."
"But really, nobody was there for the money," Rawlins
concluded. "You can be sure of that, because there wasn't any money.
We just all wanted to do a really cool TV show."
Note: Mandell is currently exploring options for bringing
"Galaxy Rangers" back to its audience in the U.S. Although the show
has played in syndication in a number of markets abroad, distribution
rights in the U.S. have been tied up for years. Hearst Entertainment
acquired rights to air the series in 1998, but nothing seems to have
been done with those rights. Mandell may also be considering
negotiating the rights for release of a video or DVD boxed set.