Looking back on old toys, one of the most fascinating periods of space toy action was the late 1970s. Seeing the world try to draw space comics and make space toys in the wake of Star Wars resulting in a pastiche of George Lucas' used galaxy style and a Buck Rogers Cocomalt prize. Playmobil also had some space toys around the 1980s, which looked somewhat similar to their new Space Warrior. You got big helmets, big boots, and UFO-style space ships, usually in white or yellow or red. You know, exactly like LEGO's classic Space range.
What really struck me as unique with this figure was that it's clear. Playmobil rarely - possibly only a couple of times - cranked out a figure of some sort of clear plastic. The body, arms, and legs are clear blue similar to the first iMacs. Remember those? Ask your parents. The helmet is clear colorless plastic, while the hands and feet are a grey silver color - I don't doubt this is to help prevent cracks over time. Clear plastic doesn't always hold up over time, especially when it's not soft PVC. Heck, even soft PVC is prone to problems like discoloration.
The figure is the same basic body you've seen a bajillion times, but more Space Warriory. The head is clear blue, with a green gas mask over it to give it an alien look. A hose connects the mask to the helmet, and a "bib" has two posts on it which allow you to hang hooks on the back which in turn can carry the figure's nifty weapons. It's a great use of old and I think new parts, especially the belt buckle. At first glance I thought it was inspired by Onell Design's many cool faction signs.... and then on closer observation, maybe it's a cup of soup. I'm not sure what they're going for, but it's a neat design and I'd wear it on a t-shirt.
The figure's weapons are all pretty cool. A classic ray gun is molded in black with a green emitter, complete with 1960s-style discs at the end. Its clear green sheen lights up like the dickens under a black light. The warrior can grip it by the top, or hold the grip - I like the options, it's nice that he isn't required to be aiming it at somebody at all times. It can also mount on his back. Most surprising of all, to me, was a double-bladed red Darth Maul-style lightsaber. The hilt is different, but the whole thing is made of a fairly soft and flexible plastic which the figure has no problems gripping. As an added bonus, there's a clear green wrist communicator bracelet. This is a well-accessorized figure for the money, arguably as good or better than the blind bags.
For its low price and nifty plastic colors, I've got no reason to not recommend this to you. Like Playmobil? Love space? This is great. It works like any normal Playmobil figure, but the cool gear and colors make it look different than the few other space figures I've bought. You won't be blown away by the concept or the deco, but the creativity deployed to make something different shows that Playmobil is now catching up more and more to what Medicom and their ilk have been doing for years. Hopefully we'll see more nifty colors and styles down the road. If you see it, get it. If you're placing an online order and this is available, add it to it. But don't spring for it by its lonesome unless shipping is free.
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