About Me

My photo
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.

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!