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.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

F is for The Franchise Awakens

Not all Rack Toys are a Quid, a Euro or a Buck - or less; some start at a fiver and work up to 7.99 or more - in whatever currency!

I vaguely remember mentioning these about a year/year-and-a-half ago? I also think I said that while they looked good, I'd wait until they were cheaper or started appearing in job-lots a few years hence as they were silly money!

Well, the shelves need to be cleared for the coming Christmas stock, so just as the Star Wars Command was flogged-off cheap this time last year, so I notice all stockists in the UK are clearing these at the moment, with Sainsbury's reducing the 3-unit sets from £5.99 to £4.99, TK Max are already getting clearance stock which they are offering at £3.50 (left hand set above), as are The Entertainer chain, while the Toysaurus has them at £1.50 (right-hand speeder-bike set), they obviously don't want them hanging around much longer!

With the 5-unit sets originally retailing at £7.50-£7.99 I hate to think what the larger converting playsets cost, but for a duplicate vehicle and one or two figures, these are among the worst examples of modern toy's rip-off syndrome I can think of? We know from what other rack toys contain and cost that there's not even a quid's-worth of PVC here, let alone £6!

With the Star Wars logo burned into the retinas of three generations and the Micro-Machines logo familiar to anyone under 40, you can have whatever artwork you like on these and still get full shelf-recognition wherever you place them in the store!

A couple more sets, I rather like the mobile MG-nest! I haven't seen the movie and am in no hurry to see it on DVD, to me it has become what Planet of the Apes became (and was recently resurrected as), a dead'hos to be flogged to a new bunch of gullible kids, slowly losing the threads of/veering from the scripts of its own 'expanded universe'!

However, as a toy collector who used to specialise in small scale, they will prove useful additions to the old Galoob stuff and have clearly been sourced from the same manufacturer as the originals.

Contents of the first set I bought after the current clearance process started includes a nice robot Megatherium type thing! This appears to be being ridden by a Sandperson (Sandpeopleson?). Who knew they were so skinny under all those cloaks and hoods and things, they need some all-you-can-eat, roadside, rib-joints on Tatooine!

Funny also how these films keep returning to a galactic rim, backwater, out-of-the-way, arid, bandit-ridden, smuggler's hideaway, shithole of a planet that was supposed to be so safe they could hide Luke there?

And has anyone ever explained why Luke was raised as a country bumpkin in the 'far far away' equivalent of Death Valley, while his sister was raised as an Imperial princess, daughter of the ruling family of an important planet at the Centre of galactic politics? Not so important it couldn't be blown to smithereens though, lesson for Brexiteers there, I feel!

If you don't get them out and play with them occasionally, you need another hobby!

There are some nice pieces here; I love the big orange 'speeder'; in style it looks like they borrowed it from Blade Runner or Dune! The soft-top seems to be referring-back to the custom hot-rods of the 1960's and one of the ranges replacing these on the shelves for the coming festive spending season is a set of die cast vehicles in a scale closer to the old Action Fleet, among which is a larger version of the MG-nest (a flying bunker - I love it!), which is a more realistic price too, I'm tempted!

Because my old Galoob/Kenner Star Wars are in storage now, I can't compare the Endor Scout Speeders, but I think these are the old sculpts, has anyone managed to compare them?

Also, because I haven't seen the movie, I don' know if it's explained; but the X-Wings are very odd, with offset/set-back upper and set-forward lower wings sharing a root-line, in a design that would adversely affect aerodynamics in planetary-atmosphere work? Yes - I know its make-believe, but I like my sci-fi believable (and the victims in a red shirt - "Jim! They got Ensign Smith")! It's also a design which wasn't used on the Star Wars Command X-Wings which followed the standard pattern of identical mirror-planes meeting in the middle - these things matter you know!


Uncle Brian said...

Hi Hugh,

The jet bikes are a new sculpt, and are slightly smaller than the original ones.



Hugh Walter said...

Cheers Uncle Brain! I know someone would have compared...They look to be slightly better detailed? More greeblies?