About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

B is for Battle-Squads

Galoob really blossomed in the 1980's and 1990's and were responsible for a group of really nice toy lines before or alongside their Micro-Machines, among which were the Z-Bots and and Army Gear which we will look at briefly (I only have small samples of each) here soon, and these - Battle Squads.

They are a sort of parallel range to Action Fleet, being an scale-up of the Micro-Machine concept; in the same way that range scaled-up the Star Wars MM's, these scale-up the combat stuff. The figures become 28/30mm mini 'Action Figures' with two (whole!) points of articulation; the hips and shoulders, and have greater play-value in the vehicles.

That enhanced play-value is illustrated here with the LVTP7/1A: Cupolas open, rear door and top hatch operate, the troop compartment takes at least eight figures, the turret traverses and a bloody-great rocket launcher has been welded to the side! Compare with the micro-machine in the main pic. The tracks are fixed, moulded units with hidden carpet-wheels.

There were two 'army builder' packs of 9 figures each, all in a loose/generic late-1980's early 1990's US combat uniform with 'Fritz' helmet, one set in 'army' green/khaki, the other set in 'German' grey!

The small number of sets issued in this line would also contain figures; typically two, or two per vehicle/aircraft. There was a large play set with a Hercules heavy-lift transport and para-drop-able Jeep which recalled Dinky's Mini Moke with a pallet and everything! the above collage is a few of those figures.

The ranges - like most these days - had no real or apparent aim, nor parameters, and consisted of a few planes (approximately 1:70) a few larger and smaller vehicles (1:64th/US slot-racing 'HO'), the later with under-scaled scenic pieces and as a separate range within the line some 4 or 5-inch (?) action figure sets!

As with the 3 ACW figures tacked-on to the end of the Micro-Machine combat series, this lack of a vision for the brand leaves us with a couple of WWII Germans and a few Vietnam era M1-helmeted guys.

The anachronistic figures probably came with the Jeep and Kubelwagen - two of the smaller vehicles - who are seen here alongside a rather tasty Big-wheeled Ferret in RN Mediterranean-grey! Cyprus? A towed-Hawk SAM battery can be towed by the A/Car or either of the two utility vehicles which are ten-times nicer after their cannons have been sent to recycling!

I do like a gunship, when it's not pointing it's nose at me over 'the wire' on a march and shoot! Those Hind-D's...they're big, like large flying houses, and noisy...like a Sea King on steroids! The same missile launcher as the Amtrak has been strapped to the stub-wing on this Hawk/Cobra'esque beast.

Worth seeking if you've not got any yet, the line could have been so much more with a little thought and some time for expansion. Mint boxed sets still turn-up on evilBay all the time. Yes...I should have dusted-it...in my defence I'm carrying around a prescription for glasses I can't afford!


Al said...

Cool post H :)

Hugh Walter said...

Cheers Al..some of it's useful for gaming, but only if you're not worried about size/scale...that Ferret's probably the best (only?) 'toy' Ferret out there...but it's not much smaller than an Airfix Matilda!