Very closely resembling a similar line of Star Wars “Titanium Series” die-cast (or partially die-cast) vehicles from Hasbro, these first toys from the new Battlestar Galactica series are pint-sized, packed with detail – and pretty expensive for something that’s just a little bit bigger than a Hot Wheels or Matchbox car was when I was growing up.
For around five bucks each, what you get with each Titanium Series vehicle is the spacecraft itself and a package which has to be absolutely obliterated if you’re going to open it to access the toy itself. For the most part, the die-cast claim is a solid one – on the Mark VII Viper, for example, the only plastic I found on the vehicle was the Viper’s cockpit canopy and its retracting landing gear. (Supposedly you can open the cockpit, but on mine, it seemed so delicate that I honestly haven’t messed with it for fear of doing permanent damage.) Galactica’s retractible launch bay pods are plastic, along with at least part of the ship’s underbelly. (That may be a weight issue though – the tiny-scale Battlestar is much heavier than the Viper.) Not seen here, but also launched with in the first wave with Galactica and the Viper, was a Cylon raider. Wave two includes Colonial One, and a very sturdy (and unusually large) Raptor.
Each vehicle includes a sturdy black plastic stand with a clear arm to support the vehicle and the show’s logo embossed in silver foil on the base. The arm – very similar to the design of the stands for the original plastic Micro Machines – is fairly solid, and I have yet to have a “crash landing” from putting one of the vehicles on their stands.
A larger scale model of Galactica has also hit the market, but even as beautiful and detailed as it is, with a retail price of around $40 it’s a bit rich for my blood; c’mon, I gotta save something to buy the DVD sets with! Hasbro has also snagged the license for Titanium Series vehicles from the original show. As much as I carp about the price, I’ll happily spring for old-school companions to my Battlestar and Viper when they’re released.
The Titanium Series ships don’t quite arouse the same geeky-cool “gotta-have-it” lust that those original series vehicles from Mattel did in the late 70s – the ones with interchangeable parts, tiny pilot figures, and actual firing missiles which actually caused at least one child to choke to death (more of a notoriety thing than an actual selling point, mind you) – but they’re the only representations of ships from the new series, and they’re as close to those classic toys as we’re ever likely to get again. So play we all.