A Galaxy of Space Force Toys
May the Fourth be with you!
I know there are other, more direct ways to sneak in some Star Wars references on this day. Sure, I could have talked about the Cobra Mountain/Geonosis Arena shared molds, or the POTF2 figures who shared similar rifle molds with 90s Joes. I could even have discussed the Endor Bunker that donated itself to the Collectors’ Club cause in 2010 as a Red Shadows base. I thought I’d go a bit of a different route. Actually, that Red Shadows set got me to thinking about Action Force, Palitoy and Star Wars–specifically, Space Force. I mean, what else but the influence of the Star Wars toys could have been at play in its creation. After all, Palitoy held the Star Wars licence in the UK as well. US fans may not have been too fond of GI Joe’s adventure into space in the 90s, but Action Force (and Action Man, for that matter) had been exploring the realms of sci-fi years earlier.
Space Force’s most impressive toy to me has to be the Triad Fighter. When I look at it, I’m reminded first of the Fisher-Price Adventure People‘s space offerings. Maybe it’s the chunkiness and bright stickers that bring back memories of the Alpha Probe and Alpha Interceptor. Its main feature, a body that splits into three ships, must have made for some interesting adventures. Which makes me wonder, just what are the other two guys doing while the guy in the main section is piloting? Maybe they’re just around as triple redundancy in a battle.
The pilot, the colorfully named Moondancer (somebody at Palitoy must have been an ex-hippie), is decked out in the sort of sci-fi attire that evokes the look of 1950s space opera. Though some of the Space Force uniforms seem out of time, they’re nevertheless charming. The fighter later included a different, o-ring based figure, a famously repainted (and now expensive) version of Short-Fuze.
On the more directly influenced side of things, there’s the Cosmic Cruiser. To me, this vehicle screams Rebel Armored Snowspeeder. It’s sort of like Palitoy’s own version of a mini-rig. In fact, I thought it was some sort of snow vehicle when I first saw it. Oh, and if you look closely, you’ll see a couple of Snowspeeder engine mold bits on the back. The actual toy doesn’t use them, but it’s neat to see Palitoy reaching into their Star Wars parts bin to mock something up. By the way, they weren’t just using Kenner parts, as both the Cruiser and the Satellite Defence (the one-man, open cockpit number next to it) incorporate GI Joe elements. Do either of those gun emplacements look familiar? The Cruiser is sporting the RAM’s cannon, and the Defence has borrowed a short-barreled version of the VAMP’s main gun.
I promise that tomorrow we’ll get back to Earth with the usual military/adventure subjects, but these space freaks were just too fun to pass up. Till then, I’ll be at home watching ANH and eating some home-made Wookiee cookies.