We’ve been given a lead on another lost treasure! An episode of the legendary series, “PUNCH FORCE 5!” from 1976, Charles Nutt’s last big Hoverboy project before his spectacular murder/suicide in 1979. Episodes of the show are extremely rare, as the cartoon was taken off the air in a criminal negligence case that earned the episodes a rating of, “NC-100, Illegal to display in public“. We’re hoping the statute of limitations has expired, or the people who came up with the rating are dead. (The only other TV episodes to earn this rating were seasons 2-4 of NBC’s HEROES.)
PUNCH FORCE 5! was Hoverboy’s version of the Super-Friends, mimicking the style and premise shamelessly. The series teamed Hoverboy with other Vigilance heroes, including, THE PANTSLESS DETECTIVE (a not-so private eye), THE LITTLEST SARGE (a tough NCO with the kind of blind patriotism only a 10 year old could embrace), and METALGUY, (a refrigerator-clad appliance repairman turned vigilante).
From their secret Allegheny mountain base, PUNCH FORCE 5! defended America from a seemingly endless parade of giant things. In the ten episodes aired, the villains were a giant robot, a giant alien, giant insects, a giant Russian woman with a mop, a giant oil monster, a giant snow monster, a giant rock monster, a pair of giant rabbits, a giant Russian alien insect monster, and a giant robot shaped like a rabbit. One can only wonder what exciting variations season two might have brought.
Unfortunately, the character of Metalguy inspired a group of Idaho children to sneak into a junk yard and climb into abandoned freezers in an effort to fight crime. Unlike an episode of PUNCH FORCE 5!, this was a misadventure, with no happy ending, except, I suppose some free publicity for the junk yard owner. The resulting civil lawsuit bankrupted what was left of Vigilance Pictures as a viable studio, and the criminal negligence case destroyed much of Nutt’s savings while he worked desperately to stay out of prison.
Not only was PUNCH FORCE 5! taken off the air, but it also took down the live-action HOVERBOY/METALGUY ACTION HOUR from a few seasons earlier. making episodes of both shows impossible to find at conventions, on youtube or even the most violent porn sites. There are rumours that PUNCH FORCE 5! episodes are used to train members of Delta Force. It’s also claimed they go into combat yelling the familiar catchphrase, “Littlest Sarge, Small But Large!” If someone knows a Delta Force guy, please find out if this is true.
The screengrabs throughout this article were sent in by Richard Fader, a Hoverboy fan from Ft. Lee, New Jersey. We have asked for some better scans, or a copy of the show, but were met with a request for a ridiculous amount of money. At least that means the show exists! And that means we’ve got a LEAD! So stay tuned, Hover-fans…we might be able to upload the WHOLE show soon!
Your Hoverboy Museum Curators,
Ty the Guy, Rick Green, and Marcus Moore.
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I remember seeing this cartoon when I was a little kid. It seemed not even last a month on Saturday mornings. I never realized it was actually Hoverboy (give me a break, I was 5 years old).
Steven G. Willis