Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mattel 2011 #5389 1:50 Scale Batman Forever Batmobile

1995s 'Batman Forever' starring Val Kilmer in the title role was one of the more forgettable of the Caped Crusader movies. Even though it did quite well at the box office and was praised for its production values, it turned out to be a campier take on our hero than previous installments. However it had some really cool special effects and the overall lasting legacy was in keeping the legend alive and well for fans. Of course, fans of The Dark Knight always wait to see what cool new toys Batman is using. In this movie the Batmobile has some significant upgrades from its 'Batman Returns' predecessor: more pronounced fenders, a big dorsal fin in a nod to vintage Batmobiles, large stainless steel hubcaps with the Bat logo emblazoned on them, and last but not least is the light show. With the innards exposed via lattice-like  body work and the lights glowing through from underneath, this reminds me more of a rolling boom-box than a serious crime fighting vehicle and aids in giving the movie an overall campy impression. Now, that being said, campy is not necessarily a bad thing. The 1966 'Batman' TV show was campy and yet the 1966 Batmobile is one of the most beloved, iconic cars to have come out of Hollywood. So let's hear it for campy - yeaaaaah! This is a really neat looking Batmobile and the opening canopy is just icing on the cake. I actually like this Batmobile so much that one day I'd like to get the larger version made by Kenner with working lights. But for now, let's just gander at the photos and, as always - Enjoy!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pyro X-200 Space Ranger - Yellow and Blue

Today, Toys & Stuff has a wonderful selection for our Sci-Fi and Fantasy Saturday, the Pyro X-200 Space Ranger coming from what is known as the Golden Age of space toys. Buck Rogers gave birth to the Golden Age in the 1920s and Sputnik killed it off in 1957 giving way to the Silver Age with a whole different design ethic. Pyro made a series of four spacecraft in the early 1950s: X-100 Space Scout (featured on Toys & Stuff back on May 5, 2012 - Pyro X-100 Space Scout); X-200 Space Ranger; X-300 Space Cruiser; and X-400 Space Explorer. The designs were sleek and reminded kids of the time of the old Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials which were being replayed on television a lot during the '50s.
The Space Ranger we're featuring today comes in yellow and blue but they also came in silver and measures 7 1/4" (18.4cm) L x 3 1/2" (8.9cm) Wingspan. In addition, Kleeware and Tudor Rose of Great Britain received permission to produce this series in their factories which resulted in an unknown number of color variants. The Tudor Rose version though was given more detailing and they also had an awesome Space City Control Tower with two X-200s connected by wires to a central tower. In the late 1950s, Moldex of Australia made a larger 11" (27.9cm) L version and in the 1990s, Dimestore Dreams made a smaller version! For a more detailed look at the Golden Age of Space toys, I heartily recommend the book "Blast Off" by S. Mark Young, Steve Duin, and Mike Richardson (Dark Horse Books). Enjoy!

Royal Mail Post Card - Thunderbird 3

Last year the Royal Mail released a series of post cards featuring art from British postal stamps commemorating the genius of Gerry Anderson. Gerry Anderson pioneered a technique called Super Marionation which plussed-up normal puppetry marionation techniques and made it fun to watch for kids. Combined with science fiction story lines, fun characters and really cool gadgets, vehicles, and space ships, Anderson's shows were a staple of '60s Saturday mornings. Today's card features Thunderbirds 3, although I must admit that the rocket is a tad hard to discern in the artwork, but I do like the modern styling of the art. Enjoy!

Friday, September 28, 2012

McDonald's UK Flintstones Wilma and Dino in Flivver

Our Flintstones Friday offering today is another in the McDonald's UK series, Wilma and Dino in Flivver. I don't know who first gave the Flintstones car the name of Flivver. Marx made a terrific tin-litho Flintstones car in the '60s and called it a Flivver but I'm not sure if that name was ever actually used in the original cartoon. Today's toy measures 3" (7.6cm) L x 2" (5.1cm) W x 2 3/8" (6cm) H.
This series of toys was a licensed tie-in to the live action Flintstones movie and consisted of only four toys:

-Fred  on Dino Crane
-Wilma and Dino in Flivver
-Roc Donald's

The figures are designed to look like the live action movie actors and not the original cartoon characters and even though there were only four toys, they make a great addition to any miniature Town of Bedrock. Enjoy!