Monday, 12 October 2015

Review: Star Wars Micro Machines (2015 versions)

Force Friday, eh? That was...well, I suppose it was a nice idea having all the new toys be revealed and on toy shop shelves at exactly the same time. It was a nice piece of marketing for Hasbro, getting it international press coverage, but really, when you think about it, Star Wars merchandising sales were always going to be HUGE - they always are!

So despite Hasbro's mandate that no toys were to be revealed before 4th September, this being the 21st Century, images of absolutely everything had turned up online beforehand. Which is a good thing, isn't it? What's the point of turning up to a midnight opening only to discover that you don't really want any of the toys on offer.

No, instead everyone turned up wanting Star Wars Black figures only for them to be as scarce as...something really really scarce. Gold dust. Yeah, that one gets used a lot in simile situations such as these. Or maybe something more Star Wars Universe appropriate...

I, however, was more interested in the return of one of my favourite toylines from the past: Micro Machines, and it was this that I spent my pennies on on Force Friday. I've talked about why Micro Machines are the perfect scale for Star Wars toys in the past and I've always been puzzled as to why they disappeared from shop shelves after the Phantom Menace.

As I handed over my £5 note to the cashier, I was a little concerned that these new Micros would be in a completely different scale to the old ones. I use the word 'scale' very loosely, of course, since the Death Star is about the same size as an X-wing in the old line, however it would have bugged me no end if the X-wings turned out to be a different size. But then maybe Hasbro were just lazy and reused the old moulds?

Turns out the Micro Machines are all new sculpts, however they are - more or less - the same size as the old ones so mixing them together shouldn't be a problem. Same goes for the figures - they're the same size (though smaller than the Action Fleet ones).

2015 release, left, and '90s version, right.

'90s version, centre, flanked by the 2015s.

Due to what I assume are improved manufacturing techniques over the past 20-ish years, the new ships have much sharper details than the old ones. However, and this is a big however, with the X-wing guns especially, parts are likely to be warped out of the package. Presumably so little Tommy won't poke his eye out, the X-wing guns are cast in a very soft and malleable plastic and - on mine ships, at least - there's a 50-50 chance of warpage.

On more 'solid' ships, things are much better. Take the Ghost from Star Wars Rebels - a solid ship, with no thin parts so the whole thing looks fantastic. It's certainly nothing compared to the Hot Wheels or Black series of 'mini' ships, but they're more than good enough for playing purposes and the cost is low enough to allow children to amass fleets of ships.

2015 figures.

'15, left, and '90s, right.

'90s, left and '15, right.

The paints are simple, but effective. Essentially 'as good as you remember' them being from days past.

The biggest disappointment, and one I studied the packaging for in great detail to ensure I didn't miss, is that there are no stands included. There are holes in the ships but nothing to attach them onto. I suppose this isn't a big problem for most ships which are able to stand on their own, however there are a few that aren't able to stand on their own.

For collectors, I'd definitely recommend getting the Hot Wheels, Black, or Attack Wing models instead, however for anyone who wants to actually play with their toys you can't go wrong with Micro Machines.

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