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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Fun with Bellville

These are remakes of existing toys from the space line I built to relax this evening after a very busy day.

From left to right.

Zo Weevil/ Speed Sled

Message Decoder

Surface Hopper

Pulsar Charger

The mysterious trans blue radar dishes and rocket tips were brought to you by Bellville via Bricklink.

You didn't think I made those obscure trans blue bits of goodness appear out of thin air did you???

Until another day, this has been the Cure-all Pill

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Space Police: 6831 Message Decoder

This is dispatch, We have two astronauts causing a disturbance at radar tower road, send a unit... over.

Today's unit is 6831 Message Decoder!

This is a very small Space Police cruiser equipped with radar.  The front logo says Police, and represents the first word based emblem for a space theme.  The Officer livery continues the Futuron fashion print from the black spaceman with a color change for the hand component.

Of course, what would a police cruiser be if it weren't performing routine traffic stops,

You sir, are an obstruction to traffic!  Ticket!

and dealing with your run of the mill astronauts going medieval sort of thing.

Desist from your 1980-something beamsword battle in the name of the law!

I should take you both in, but dash it all, they gave me the one cruiser without a jail cell.  I'm confiscating these 1980-something beamswords.
But officer, those are collector edtion 1980-something beamswords!
Well ya should've thought about that before you disturbed the peace and quiet around here.

Collector edition 1980-something beamswords not included in main model

Man oh man, 2 confiscated 1980-something beamswords!  I'm on a roll today!

I held up on reviewing this set for months, and the entire Space Police lineup as well... because my copy came with part substitutions, I want to bring you the best most accurate photographs so I tracked down the real element somewhere on planet Zenda and brought the wheel well imposter to justice!  Prison cell and wheel well plate not included in actual set nor is the crater plate.

There's very little to say about this rover.  It rolls on classic space era metal spindle wheels and is one of only two space sets to sport the red rims with a black plate.

Viewed from above Message Decoder is classically thin, 2 studs across at its narrowest points.  The overall spread of the sensor array gives the model much of its apparent girth.

The self same sensor array is Message Decoder's main moving element which can adjust to refine any static into a clear message; kind of like Mom or Dad turning the tv antenna in the 1980's to see if the weather could be made out amidst all those ants on the screen.  These days it's better to reference a person with a cellphone getting a dropped call, then watching them stumble into three bars.

The set contains five elements which don't appear in the rest of Space Police.  One of them was the missing element I had to acquire after buying the set.

This angled wheel well has been around since the advent of Classic Space.  Outside of Classic Space's first two years it didn't get much play in the Space theme.  Then the theme era began: Black-Tron received 2 in black, natchly, and Space Police received a pair as well.  This was the last outing for the low use component in space.  It's been out of production for a while, but parts have reappeared before, so we may yet see it again.

Message Decoder was the last appearance of the metal spindle rolling stock in Space.  The part would live on into the early nineties, but as its fortunes fell to basic play buckets and the themes switched to the plastic hub and spoke method it appeared less and less until it was gone.  Shame, they rolled quite well when they weren't choked with my sisters hair.  I'm betting this component is gone for good.

This blue component was a semi regular Classic Space element from '85 on,  Space Police has a reasonable selection in black, but Message Decoder has the only blue version.  Incidentally, this is one of the pieces needed for the 260 robot build (Which I will get round to eventually).  These days the design has notches in the angled edge to allow closer fitting with studs.  It kills the fine edge and can make a mess of some designs, but for fitting curves into stud heavy areas the new version can really come in handy.  I say both should be in your collection.

Message Decoder's box contains a small selection of alternates to choose from.

The small size of the set does limit the ideas somewhat, but these are attractive looking examples for what's inside.

And with that, here is my own interpretation of the pieces.

First up is this hover kite.

The rear design conceit is for an electrostatically simulated antigrav mechanism.  The rear tilts upward and propels the small scooter forward via static discharge.  The result is gentle forward repelled movement based on generating an inverted dipole charge, interactive with, the lunar surface.  If any real physics majors want to make hash of my pseudo science explanation... have at with it.

This model is a ground scooter.  It has a simple landing gear and scoots forward with small laser jets.  You know, nothing fancy, just an astronaut and his low tech scooter cruising around on a jovian moon.

That's all I have for today, but I hope to start the Space Police series with a vengeance now that a new school year is upon us.

Sincerely, Cure-all Pill

Final Score: B-
Pros: Quick introduction to the theme, wheelwells are a nice touch
Cons: Lacks the theme's defining characteristics, thin on parts

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Futuron: 6875 Hovercraft: Alternate 4

And we're back for one final wild ride aboard hovercraft.  Excuse me while I grab some coffee to make this post more aliiive!

I have saved, what is in my mind, the best box alternate for last.  I shall call it the chick walker, because it has feet and it's a tubby little thing.  

Although the mouth and eyes are totally bubble eye goldfish.

I will be your end!!! bloop.

forced comparisons to cute animals aside; this is an intriguing model which holds its astronaut inside of a basket cockpit with excellent side visibility and poor front and back views.  In my base it would be a perimeter scout surveying the landscape outside the base and looking toward the base for any sign of intruders.  

The front blasters are adjustable to deal with any Alienators



Up high in the sky, Invader has been sighted at coordinates 00°41′15″N, 23°26′00″E.  Preparing to engage, send a StarDefender ASAP.

The top down view reveals sparse controls, and a simple elegant design.  The blocked front and rear visibility are very apparent from this vantage point.

Chick walker to base, perimeter is secure.

Somewhere in an encrypted channel.
Blacktron guy 1: Dood, this plan is so great; so when do we run toward the base???
Blacktron guy 2: No idea dood but I already feel like we won.
Blacktron guy 1: Dood, this plan is so good.
Blacktron guy 2: Good?  No dood, this plan is so Bad, we're Bad, so we have Bad plans.
Blacktron guy 1: Ooh, Dood you're sooo right, this Bad plan is terrifically Bad.
Blacktron guy 2: Dood!  Best Bad sneaking job ever!

Will Blacktron enter the base and enact their nefarious plan to enter the base, or will the chick walker discover their do baddery before it's too late?

It's up to you to decide.

Until next time, the Cure-all Pill

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Futuron: 6875 Hovercraft~Alternate 3

A toy is good when you can have a lot of fun with it.  My initial appraisal of Hovercraft from photographs was of a lesser, forgettable Futuron set which failed to achieve any fame or notoriety equal to Star Defender 200 or Monorail Transport system.

My time with this set has allowed me to see that for all its unassuming shape, and weird quirks it's probably futuron's most balanced toy design.  The parts are complimentary to one another, and the balance of cool to necessary parts is near perfect.  When disassembled, this toy is a treat.

On the planet of moon a tower was built.  Itt was no ordinary tower, for it moved upon the craters and the grades of lunar dust.  Some say it had eyes which saw all things hid in the heavens.

It came to pass that a shooting star streaked downward over the horizon and it caught the attention of the tower.

The tower's eyes followed the streak like lightning past the point of visibility.  Unable to continue following the trail of light, the downcast eyes of the tower fixed an oblique gaze upon the dust.  The tower exhaled with a groaning, grinding sob, for it had lost its quarry.  The keeper of the tower stepped upon the lunar soil and console the dejected tower.  He prodded and cajoled it with comforting words.  "Dagnabbit! the rotational sensor's locked up again."

The tower's caretaker convinced  the tower to look heavens-ward once more and both set out to catch the fallen star.

No one can say what was found for both the tower and its operator were lost on the dark side of planet Moon.

The end.