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Let’s Samurize Guys

When I heard the theme of the retrodaze contest was Superhuman the first thing that came to mind was the show Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad for some reason. Back when Power Rangers knockoff shows were so prevalent back then I got sick of them. Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad was pretty funny, so that was the exception. This show is based off the Japanese show named Gridman.

The first time I saw the show it was on a weekday afternoon at 5PM on KTLA. I think they usually showed Saved by the Bell or some other kid friendly show in that time slot. It took a while for the show to grow on me, but by the end of the week I liked it. When I first watched I had to figure out who these teens were and what were they doing. The thing I liked best about it was the campiness and how wacky it was. I think they showed the episodes in a random order during the preview week. I can’t remember how I found out the schedule for the regularly scheduled episodes. I think there was either an announcement or I checked the TV Guide. KTLA showed four episodes per weekend; two on Saturday and two on Sunday. They aired it at strange times on the weekend. It came on Saturdays in the afternoon like at 2PM and Sunday mornings at about 9AM. When it aired on Saturdays they usually sandwiched the hour block of shows between some weekend movies. The Saturday airings of the show had very strange commercials which were mostly for As Seen on TV products one commercial I remember in particular was for some kind of meat thawer. On Sundays I think it came on before Phantom 2040 or the Fantastic 4 cartoon. It came on at 9AM.  The commercials on Sundays were more geared towards children. 

The main characters were Sam and his friends. There was the leader of the group/band Sam Collins. He became Servo with the strum of his guitar or wrist communicator with the catchphrase “Let’s Samurize Guys!” Tanker who was a jock who loved to eat; and was the band’s drummer.  His catchphrase was “Let’s kick some gigabutt!” I nicknamed my little cousin Tanker somebody thought I did because I thought my cousin was dumb. I nicknamed him that because he was very strong for a toddler. Sydney was my favorite character she was the token female and brainy one of the group. It was the same thing with Gadget in the Rescue Rangers. I like to relate to the brainy girl character if the main group is of mixed gender. She wore those Blossom style hats with the flipped up brim. Very 1990s! Her catchphrase was “Pump up the power!” Amp was the resident weirdo. He was always saying and doing strange things. He did not have a standard catchphrase like the others. He would say random phrases like “With a cherry on top!” and “Jump up and holler!” When Amp left he was replaced by Lucky who was a surfer. Lucky’s catchphrase was “Surfs up!”

Sam’s nemesis was a loner boy name Malcolm Frink he made viruses and teamed up with Kilokhan who referred to humans as “meat things” including Malcolm.

There were other characters; Sam’s cheerleader girlfriend Jennifer, Yoli Prichard, and her father who was the school principal, and Ms. Starkey who was the cafeteria lady. There was also Sam’s little sister who was never seen on camera. The show only seemed to have 3 sets Sam’s basement room and the school hallway and cafetorium and Malcolm’s Room.   

The show had a little bit of merchandise. There was the toy line and some videos which was pretty common at the time. They did have their own fruit snacks. There was no information about them on the internet, but trust me they did make them. They were made by Ferrara Pan. I wish there would have been more merchandise for the show. Not a merchandise blitz like what was going on with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I don’t know like maybe some trading cards or something.

I think I might have seen commercials for the toys on tv. I vaguely remember seeing one or two of them.

I have a small Servo figure that only has articulation in the arms. I have two of the three videos I have “To Servo and Protect” and “A Skorn in Their Side”. The only one I did not have was the Christmas video. I watched those videos so much I memorized the dialogue to those episodes featured on the tape.

I had bought a Power Rangers Kimberly doll which didn’t really look like her. The doll had long curly hair! Kimberly didn’t have long curly hair! It was short and straight. That doll needed some personality! So I gave her a hat and a cute necklace. After I gave her those accessories I thought the doll sort of looked like Sydney from Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad. After that I had my very own Sydney doll! I really enjoyed playing with that doll. Sadly she was accidentally destroyed during a high school art project.

I didn’t know many people who watched it. At school this show was not appropriate for girls to watch. It was seen as childish and for boys. I’m not sure what they were watching, but whatever it was I was not watching.

 I used to play this with my neighbor who was a few years younger than me. We would argue about who got to be Sydney. We would usually decide by who brought the best prop hat or said “Pump up the power!” better. If she got to be Syd which she usually did because her argument was that she had a toy computer. None of us had real ones. If I could not be Syd I would either be Sam or Amp. I liked to be Amp because I could just shout random things.

Here's a fun fact the exterior shot of the high school that Sam and his friends go to is a shot of Toll Junior High in Glendale California.

I did really enjoy this show for about a year. Or perhaps this was just a show I was into between my Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Sailor Moon fandoms.

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