Monday, 28 September 2009


Rounding out my recent Playmates collections is Michelangelo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. At the time these were first released I was really unimpressed because I had seen the animated series first and these figures were a very poor match to it. Only later on did I start to think about them on their own merits.

Here is what the toy looks like:

Here is how he looked on the show:

There is certainly a big difference. In part my reevaluation was triggered by the re-release of the original toys for the 25th anniversary of the line. They actually looked pretty appealing on the display racks and the retro charm certainly factored in. After getting them out of their packaging I have to admit they are well sculpted and articulated. This discovery also spurred me on to get the first volume of the show on DVD, Now all I have to do is get on ebay and find a Krang.

Sunday, 27 September 2009


This is something of an oddity nowdays. Its a figure of Starbuck from '70s Battlestar Galactica produced by Mattel. It is in 3-3/4" scale and frankly not a terribly good sculpt. I do have a soft spot for the older goofeyer BSG as opposed to the modern gritty series.

Tasha Yar

Before Playmates came on to the scene Galoob produced a small line of Star Trek The Next Generation in around 3-3/4" scale which is a scale I have much fondness for. One negative is the sculpted on phaser and sculpted fist which precludes holding any accessories. The knee joints are nice however and it is a decent sculpt.

TMP Sulu

Continuing in the Playmates Star Trek Movies line we have Mr Sulu as he appeared in Star Trek The Motion Picture. Once again the uniform crys out '70s which adds to its appeal to me.


Here we have another member of th Dapol Doctor Who line. The Tetrap as seen in Time and the Rani. He is something of an odd choice to immortalize in plastic as he only ever appeared in this one story and it probably isn't one of the high points of the Sylvester McCoy years. The figure however is pretty nice with some good articulation and leathery wings.

Star Trek Generations Worf

Here is an odd beast. This is Worf from the Star Trek Generations line. It seems there were a number of issues with this line. First off he has reduced articulation, having only 6 points. Also he is depicted in a Uniform that isn't actually depicted in the film. Apparently this uniform was going to be used but was changed at the last minute an the toys did not reflect this change.

On Red Dwarf

A couple of posts ago I mentioned the unfavorable comparisons made between Hyperdrive and Red Dwarf. Red Dwarf is another show I have loved a great deal. Nothing unusual there. It is generally very well regarded in nerd circles. My favorite season is the first one which is not so usual. My reason for this is pretty simple. The first series really captured the feeling of desperate loneliness experienced by the characters whereas later series played it just for laughs. I recommend taking another look at these early episodes and see what you think.

Sea Captain

His full name is actually Captain Horatio McCallister. The World of Springfield (WOS) line is another of playmates lines that I have started to get into. It has amazing breadth covering so many characters that I love. The sea captain here is a great sculpt. He comes with removable pipe, a harpoon and a can of tuna.

Ice Warrior

Here we have another figure from the Dapol Doctor Who line; the Ice Warrior. This guy is actually a pretty nice sculpt. He also comes with a gun which is totally unnecessary because he has a sonic blaster sculpted onto his arm.

And here he is with the made up weapon.

Apparently the weapon is a copy of that used by GI Joe character Lady Jaye.

TMP Kirk

Here we have our second featured Playmates Star Trek figure. This is Admiral Kirk as he appeared in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The costumes from that movie are so delightfully 70's which has added greatly to their appeal to me. The costumes would be changed drastically for Star Trek II and this later uniform would be seen in the later original series movies and show up in The Next Generation too.

The Cage Spock

Recently I have had an urge to get into some of the 90's Playmates lines. This has lead me to getting some of their Star Trek figures. At the time they were released I really didn't like them. I found them cartoony in appearance and I hated the diagonal hip joints. They also seemed to be a step backwards from the Galoob 3-3/4" figures that had came before. At the time 3-3/4" was my preferred scale thanks to GIJoe and Star Wars.

Anyhow I now have re-evaluated the line and have found many treasures. I've become a bit more flexible in regards to scale and articulation and now have a fondness for the slightly exaggerated looks. This is Mr Spock from the original Star Trek pilot "The Cage". Notice the collar that wasn't part of the regular original series uniform.

Notice also that he doesn't have his hand in th Vulcan salute pose that is the bane of other Spocks in this line. This problem was addressed in the newer Art Asylum/Diamond Select line by having interchangeable hands.

Here is a screenshot from The Cage for comparison.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Hyperdrive Gets No Love

Its been a while since I have posted and now that I am I find myself wanting to talk about something other than toys.

Hyperdrive was a BBC2 Sci-Fi comedy that lasted two seasons. I've only found out about it recently when one of my mates saw some of it on Australian TV. I've now watched most of the first season and have really enjoyed it. I thought I would look on the Internet to see if anyone had written anything interesting about it but all I find is people bagging it and saying it isn't as funny as Red Dwarf. Some people even say it isn't funny at all and are thankful it has been canceled.

I find this very distressing. It certainly doesn't have the laugh out loud factor that Red Dwarf has but I don't think this is what they were trying for. It has a wistful longing quality that I find very engaging. All of the crew are somewhat incompetent but come across as basically well meaning. I find myself getting sucked in and wanting them to succeed.

I'm very sorry that there wont be any more of this series. The Comedy Sci-Fi genre is a very small one and I think there is room for many more entries. I can't imagine why people rag on it so badly. I would like to encourage people to give it a go. I think it is an under appreciated gem.

Here is a link to the BBC web page for the show:
Hyperdrive BBC Page