It's been quite a good week for me, toy collector-wise. I've finally managed to track down two items I've been hunting for for years.
I'm not saying these things are super rare; I've certainly seen them before for sale on ebay, but they've either been stupidly expensive or I've forgotten about the auction ending, or for some other reason I've failed to buy them. On the other hand they're not super common either. They're not toys that are easily available.
So what are they? Well, one you'll have to wait to be revealed at a later date (mostly because it hasn't arrived yet and I'd look stupid if I proudly named it here and it turned out to be broken). The other, if you have even the lowest level of intelligence, you'll have already guessed by looking at the title of this piece: Garax's ship.
I've written about the Defenders of the Earth line before. They're not going to win any awards, but they do have a certain charm. As a child I only ever had Mandrake, but unlike other toylines which I owned a more extensive selection of, I can remember the day I bought Mandrake from Woolworths.
There's no interesting story attached to this fact. I can just remember doing it.
A few decades on and Garax's ship completes my collection, and somehow, without trying at all, the entire collection comes with the boxes or backing cards. I even have all the bubbles for the figure cards which is just, well, weird. While I'm definitely not a MIB collector, I do like getting a box, no matter how bashed, every now and again. The artwork just seemed better back in the day...even though it probably wasn't really and I'm viewing it all with my nostalgia glasses on.
There's still a price sticker on Garax's box. £19.99 from Woolworths. 20 quid! This thing cost a fortune back then! No wonder people kept hold of the boxes to protect them in!
The ship itself is a remould of Flash's ship. The gimmick is that there's a handle beneath the ship which can be moved forward and back to extend and retract the pointy bit at the front of the ship. I'm not entirely sure if the 'point' is supposed to be a firing laser, or similar, or actually be some kind of sword. Maybe the idea was to hold the handle at the back of the ship, tilt the whole thing vertically and fight with it?
Thankfully the under-handle can be folded flat, allowing the ship to land on the carpet, and making the whole thing look more like a normal, more playable ship. This is one instance in the Defenders line that the action feature doesn't really get in the way.
One element I'm completely puzzled over are the wings. The ship I have came with 4 - 2 moving ones, activated by the sword handle thingamajig, and two detachable ones at the top. Pictured on the front of the ship are two more, on the bottom of the ship, and there are two slots for them on the ship itself. However, as mentioned, my ship didn't come with these and they aren't in the picture on the rear of the box. Are mine missing, lost in the depths of time? Or did Galoob drop from somewhere along the development line due to cost, a realisation that they'd get in the way of children's hands as they worked the sword action, or that they'd make it hard for the ship to land.
Due to lack of information on the 'net about the line, I may never know for sure.
There's always a slight sadness when a toyline is completed. I've done it, hooray! But besides replacing the current stuff with 'better' things, which I'm not really likely to do - the ones I have are good enough for me - that's it. Game over. Nothing more to achieve with this one.