In the late 1970s, thanks to the popularity of Star Wars and sci-fi in general, there was a giant resurgence in the popularity of space-related toys. Many were licensed, such as Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica and Black Hole toys. There was also a flood of generic, non-licensed toys as well. One popular line of such toys was Tim-Mee’s Galaxy Laser Team.
Tim-Mee is known for releasing small plastic toys of almost everything. From farmers and farm animals to army men, circus animals, policemen, firemen and fantasy monsters…you name it, Tim-Mee cranked ’em out. If you spent any time at all on the toy aisle like I did as a kid, you probably remember them. Most of them were packaged in clear plastic bags, sealed with a cardboard label at the top. Continue reading
While Kenner may have been the first company to hit paydirt with “mini-action figures” in the 3 3/4″ scale (a scale determined by the size needed to make the accompanying Millennium Falcon toy affordable to both manufacturer and consumers), Mego that ball and ran with it at full speed, producing numerous figures in an identical scale. Formerly known for its large-scale Star Trek figures in the early 1970s – a line which coincided not with the series’ original broadcast, but with its syndication success and the animated series – Mego cleverly decided to try to siphon off some of Kenner’s (and Star Wars‘) market share by creating both licensed and original characters in that scale. The die-cast metal Micronauts led the way, though when Mego won the licenses for TV shows such as Buck Rogers, and movies like Disney’s The Black Hole, those figures were produced in a similar 3 3/4″ scale. Continue reading
First aired in the only broadcast of the two-hour version of Encounter At Farpoint, the Cheerios Star Trek: The Next Generation sweepstakes commercial may be just a little bit on the cheesy side, but for fans of the show and admirers of the Galaxy-class U.S.S. Enterprise, it also offers several unique glimpses of the bridge – possibly in an unfinished state – that would never be seen in footage from the series itself. Continue reading
The only figure-scaled vehicle to see the light of day during Galoob’s brief license to produce Star Trek: The Next Generation action figures, this Shuttlecraft Galileo is a faithful reproduction of the impossibly-aerodynamic, futuristically curved Enterprise-D shuttles seen during the show’s first two seasons on the air.
Based on the gorgeous shuttle design devised by Andrew Probert, this shuttle – scaled to seat only a few of the 3 3/4″ Galoob Next Generation figures – gets most of the major external details right. Continue reading
As many science fiction toys as I collect, you probably wouldn’t think of me as someone who bemoans the lack of science fact toys. But the fact of the matter is, there can never be too many toy replicas of real spacecraft on the market to keep me happy.
Ironically, 2/3 of this this diverse cross-section of three American space trailblazers in toy form don’t even come from the United States at all. To find readily available toy replicas of the Voyager and Viking probes launched in the 1970s, one must apparently be able to get them from Japan. Continue reading
Based on Bryan Hitch’s “organic” design for the new series’ TARDIS, the Character Options Doctor Who TARDIS playset is a colossus made of plastic and, in a few places, cardboard. Neatly replicating a surprising amount of detail from the actual studio set used for the show itself, this TARDIS may be one of the finest translations from practical set to mass-market toy I’ve ever seen. Continue reading
Kenner had a bit of a challenge when it came to the vehicles of The Empire Strikes Back. While the Death Star was no more, it seemed that many of the movie’s vehicles still wound up on the “big” end of the scale, from the newly unveiled Super Star Destroyer to its complement of literally monstrous AT-ATs. If you wanted new vehicles more on the scale of fighters, there were new variations on the TIE Fighter, the Snowspeeder, and the even more obscure Twin-Pod Cloud Car seen patrolling the skies of Bespin. Continue reading
Introduced in The Empire Strikes Back, Slave I was the strong, silent and mysterious steed of the saga’s strong, silent and mysterious new character, Boba Fett. In either movie or toy terms, it was a really interesting concept – a ship which, if one looked at it from traditional aerodynamic thinking, looked like it should fly one way, but instead seems to heft itself up on its side to fly in a completely different way. For kids like me who hadn’t grown up with the Apollo program and its completely non-aerodynamic lunar landers, this was a wild concept. Continue reading
What could be better than a dozen action figures from the Star Wars universe, such as it was in 1978? Nothing could be better than almost a dozen new figures in 1979, and what made this possibly the best second wave of any range of action figures ever was the fact that only one of the new figures was a differently-costumed version of a character from the first wave.
What fascinated most of us about Star Wars back in 1978? Two things: aliens ‘n’ droids. The second wave of the original Kenner Star Wars line focused on these, with a few other pleasant surprises thrown in too. Continue reading
While determining the scale of the Millennium Falcon vehicle may have set in stone the 3 3/4″ scale of Kenner’s Star Wars figures, the Falcon itself didn’t arrive in the toy stores until 1979. The first vehicles to appear were, in fact, Luke’s landspeeder, a TIE fighter and the iconic Rebel X-Wing fighter. Continue reading