Thursday, October 19

Battlestar Galactica Die-Cast Ships II

Source: SciFi Weekly

The latest wave of Battlestar Galactica vehicles proves that sometimes a series' greatest characters aren't even human

Just recently, eagerly awaited new episodes of Battlestar Galactica began airing on SCI FI. The heroic survivors of the human race are now held captive on a barren planet occupied by the Cylons. Those Colonists who chose to stay on New Caprica are now trapped and desperately waiting for rescue by Adm. Adama and the Battlestar Galactica.

And right on the heels of new episodes come new die-cast ships in the Titanium series by Hasbro.

The first wave included a Viper Mark II, a Cylon Raider and the eponymous Battlestar Galactica herself. This second wave from Hasbro includes three more very recognizable ships: Colonial One, the president's cruise ship; a Viper Mark VII, the sleek new version of the classic Viper fighter; and a Raptor, the heavy workhorse ship of the fleet, which acts as a troop carrier and long-range reconnaissance ship.

Now that thousands of humans are trapped on New Caprica, their landing ships disabled, we see Colonial One standing like a sentry, parked near the colony's makeshift tent camp, still in use as the office of the president. Meanwhile, in outer space, a Raptor is sent daily to New Caprica by Adama to try to detect any outgoing radio signal from the prisoners on the planet. Likewise, the Viper Mark VII is constantly being used in training missions in practice for the day the inevitable rescue mission will take place.

Like the original wave, these three ships are made of die-cast metal and soft plastic. Each is painted in detail to the schemes seen in the TV series and comes with a Battlestar Galactica display stand. Each is packed in a bubble pack printed with graphics from the show.

These come packed with the Titanium Star Wars line and can be seen side-by-side (and intermixed) on toy shelves with that line, so look carefully when you shop.

Small ships—big hit
Like Wave 1, three ships were chosen for production. Of the many, many choices available, Hasbro sensibly went with three that get a lot of screen time and are as recognizable to fans of the show as the characters themselves.

Colonial One is a long, thin ship that resembles the body of Air Force One without wings, and I'm sure the comparison didn't fly over the heads of the creators of the show. It is painted white and blue with gray details and has a front flight deck that could be the exaggerated flight deck of a 747. At the rear are two sets of engines, a ring surrounding the ship itself that has three jetlike engines, and at the very rear another set of more rocketlike engines. Presumably one set is sub-light, while the other gives Colonial One its faster-than-light capability.

The Colonial Viper Mark VII (correctly labeled this time, unlike the previously released Mark II version, whose package claimed it was a Mark VII) is a dull blue ship with flashes of silver paint (to portray wear and tear) and a dark black canopy. Unlike the Mark II toy, the canopy does not slide forward, nor does it have retractable landing gear. This fighter has no moving parts. Still, it is a nice mold, with good paint. Some of the wing details have been glossed over a bit. The blasters at the wingtips are blocky and squared off. But the bird-feather-like paneling on the wings is molded in fairly nicely.

The Raptor is an inelegant, bulky workship. Painted in military tans, it looks like a ship that would have been used to fight an earthbound desert war. Perhaps that was the original intention of the ship, which would have to disguise itself, landing planetside during a conflict. Its squared-off angles might have been a radar countermeasure. This model is mostly metal but has soft plastic rear stabilizing fins, and it has a solid black plastic canopy that lifts to reveal a low-detail two-seat cockpit. Its landing gear is permanently moded in a down position. Being so bulky, this is one heavy chunk of metal.

With the exception of the lifting canopy of the Raptor, this wave has no toy functionality. The modeled detail and paint seem well executed, though, like Wave One's.

As a wave, these three ships are somewhat less spectacular than the previously released Wave 1 but still hold their own. You can also look forward to at least two more ships in Wave 3—the Colonial Viper from the 1978 series and a Cylon Raider repainted to represent Scar, a deadly ace that Starbuck had to deal with in season two. —Sean

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