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New Toy Store Minis for SG2 (and maybe DS2)

From: agoodall@s... (Allan Goodall)
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 1997 21:37:44 GMT
Subject: New Toy Store Minis for SG2 (and maybe DS2)

Status: RO

Using Micromachines Star Wars/Star Trek figures for FT is a bit of a
tradition around here. They are reasonably cheap, pre-painted ships
that let you try out the game system. They are also about the only
ships available for these popular backgrounds. Unfortunately, the
supply of SF figures for SG2 and DS2 are quite limited. There are the
stormtrooper/echo base troops for playing SG2 in 20mm, which are
popular, but little else. Well, I've found some more: Star Trek 20mm
figures, and a new toy series called War Planets.

For those whom "the Final Frontier" has a louder calling than "the
Force" there are some new sets of 20mm figures from Galoob. These are
sets of 7 figures representing a Borg assimiliation crew, a Federation
away party, a Klingon war party or a Ferengi negotiation team. The
Borg figures are the best of the bunch. They are your standard Borg
figures, but most are carrying what looks to be some kind of gun (it
might just be a Borg Dremel tool, but they look like guns). The next
most useful set is the Federation set. The figures are armed with
phasers or phaser rifles. The Klingon set is a bit disappointing, as
two of the figures are carrying those Baklev (Batlev? Barlev?
Backleft? Trebleclef?) hand-to-hand weapons, which seems to take
something away from them. I didn't look too closely at the Ferengis.

These figures are more like your standard action figures than the Star
Wars 20mm minis. The arms can move up and down, and the legs might be
able to move. I couldn't see the price on them, but they are probably
about C$8 (US $5.75, or 4 Pounds Sterling) per package of seven. Each
figure is unique, unlike the Star Wars figures where there are several
duplicates in each set. The paint job is that horrible "Indonesian
sweat shop worker" quality seen on the other Galoob figures.

Of greater interest is a new toy series called War Planets. I gather
from the toy packages that there are several planets (Ice planet, Tech
planet, Fire planet, Rock planet and Bone planet) with a force of good
guys and a force of bad guys on them (Alpha and Omega). There are
three sizes of sets, which I will describe below.

The figures are almost all of aliens. In fact, many of them look
REALLY alien. Each planet has about 2 different styles of alien per
pack, with the good guys looking like they are simply a different
colour from the bad guys (red shoulder flashing versus yellow shoulder
flashing for the Rock planet guys, for instance). The Ice planet
critters came in two forms. One looked like an armoured tick with a
gun mounted on the top of it's carapace, while the other had a spider
like body, a vaguely reptillian head, and holding two guns in its
front limbs. The Bone planet xenos had a big reptillian leader, with
Ridley Scott Aliens (or small Tyrannids for you Evil Empire folk) with
guns as the basic troopers . The Tech world is apparently run by tiny
(man sized) mechs; these were obviously "inspired" from Battletech but
smaller. The Rock planet consists of big, rocky shaped humanoids. Fire
planet has humans in what looks like power armour and red lizard men.
These figures look like they are a small 20mm or a large 15mm; at any
rate, they would be a good fit for SG2. The tech guys could work well
in DS2 if you wanted mechs of about the size of Heavy Gear mechs (as
opposed to Battletech monstrosities).

Here's where these guys get interesting. The main pack is a "Heroic
Planet" pack. It consist of a varying number of figures (between 5 and
12), two vehicles, and a "fortress." The fortresses are all round
bunker type things about the size of a shot put that can open up into
a playset background. They look good closed, though, and could be used
as bunkers. The vehicles are the same scale as the figures (in all but
one pack), usually with one as an air vehicle and one as an APC or
tank. The Ice Planet is the best for total choice as you get two
ground vehicles, the bunker, 8 of the armoured wood tick figures, and
4 of the half-spider figures. The cost? C$15 (US$11 or UKP7.50). The
Fire planet is the worst choice as the lizard critters don't have
weapons (unless you just want some dumb carnivores to fire at), though
it also has the power armoured humans so it shouldn't be overlooked. 

The second type of set is an add-on set to the above. It usually comes
with 5 figures plus a big something else. I'm not exactly sure what
these "something else's" are. They look like they are some form of
mech in keeping with the figures' overall theme. One looked vaguely
like an Ork Gargant, while another looked like a big robot on a tank
chassis. I gather that you get two "mechs" in a pack but that the two
can be mixed-and-matched to form different shapes or one big "mech."
The cost for this? C$9 (US$6.50, UKP4.50)! There was a third big boxed
set as well, but I didn't get a close look at it. I thought it might
sell for about $30 at first, but I'm not so sure; it could be around
the $20 mark considering the cost of the other packs.

Oh, did I mention the CD-Rom in each pack? At least I THINK there is a
CD-ROM in each pack. There's a graphic on the box that suggests this,
but the pack also tells you that you can download a demo of the War
Planets PC game. I haven't heard about this, but the toys are
obviously some sort of tie-in to a computer strategy game. 

Anyway, I'm SERIOUSLY looking into getting some of these. Now would be
a good time as they may be gone by Christmas (or not; I don't know if
there's a cartoon that ties in with them; if not, then they may not
sell too well). They look reasonably good (for small plastic toys,
anyway) and don't need to be painted. Some are better than others, but
at the very least they would make some interesting 15mm alien squads.
The fact that they come with support vehicles is a plus. Now if only
SG2 had some alien rules...

Allan Goodall  -

"The secret rules of engagement are hard to endorse,
 when the appearance of conflict meets the appearance of force"
		       - The Tragically Hip

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