Saturday, October 27, 2012

Generally Well-Detailed, The Star Wars Micromachines Star Wars Set IV Is Still A Tough Sell!


The Good: Great balance, Good detailing.
The Bad: Terrible articulation, No collectible value, Very basic coloring, Yellowing of stands, Inconsistent scale
The Basics: Galoob’s MicroMachines Star Wars Set IV focuses on the essential vehicles for the Battle Of Hoth, but is mediocre at best.


I am a big fan of Star Wars toys that focus on the Battle Of Hoth. Hoth was the first large-scale battle land-based seen in the Star Wars franchise, which made for a great subject for both play and display. But, even my love of the Battle Of Hoth cannot justify less interesting toys than the current standards dictate. Micromachines are a neat little toy, but they are nowhere near as worthwhile as larger, better-rendered action figures and vehicle toys. So, even the MicroMachines Star Wars Set IV, which focuses on the Battle Of Hoth’s vehicles, is an impossible sell for me.

Fans of the Star Wars Trilogy will easily recall the opening sequence to The Empire Strikes Back (click here for my film review!) where the Rebels were discovered by the Empire on Hoth, a frozen wasteland. The Empire launched a ground assault using massive, four-legged vehicles called AT-ATs, which forced the Rebels into retreat. The AT-ATs were slowed down by Snowspeeders, small, fast flying vehicles that attempted to trip the machines and destroy them after they fell.

The MicroMachines Star Wars Set IV includes an Imperial Probot, Imperial AT-AT, and a Snowspeeder toy.

Basics

The MicroMachines Star Wars Set IV includes an Imperial Probot, Imperial AT-AT, and Snowspeeder. The Imperial Probot is a 1” tall, black and gray rendering of the four-legged probe that preceded the Empire’s attack on Hoth. The head, alas, does not rotate on the base, which I learned the hard way by tearing the head off the first one I bought. Very sad. This toy is minimally detailed with glossy black “eyes” on the “head.” One of the four arms rotates at its base on the Imperial Probot. It has a hole in the very bottom of the central section which plugs into the peg on the stand to allow the Imperial Probot to appear to be hovering.

The Imperial AT-AT is a 1 3/4” tall by 2” long and 3/4" wide rendering of the four-legged AT-AT Walker. The Imperial AT-AT is cast entirely in gray plastic, with the only painted detail being a red stripe at the front of the cockpit area. The only articulation this toy features is at the base of the “neck.” This allows for minimal articulation, mostly allowing it to spin upside down, which makes no sense for this vehicle. This is an entirely different scale as the Imperial Probot (the Probot should be about the size of a human and is miniscule relative to the AT-AT). Similarly, the Snowspeeder is on a comparatively much larger scale than the Imperial AT-AT.

The Snowspeeder is a 1 3/8” long by 1 1/4” wide, mostly flat flying vehicle. This is the most detailed vehicle in the assortment and features the small ship with blackened windows, red detailing for a side light and gray accents on the top and aft sections. The Snowspeeder also features a few of the Rebel markings detailing near the cockpit. The Snowspeeder does not, however, have any wear markings to make it look like it was used in battle or even turned on. It has a small hole on the underside to accommodate the peg from the stand.

Accessories

The MicroMachines vehicles come only with stands. The stands are identical ovaloid clear plastic stands that are 1 5/8” long, 3/4” wide and 7/8” tall. Each features a small peg which fits into the vehicles. The stands are universal and, oddly, one is included for the Imperial AT-At (it has no corresponding hole and its four legs allow it to stand stable without a stand). The stands work nicely to display the Snowspeeder and Imperial Probot, though the clear plastic has yellowed over the last decade to look disturbingly unclear.

Playability

The MicroMachines Star Wars vehicle toys have pretty limited playability, as they are entirely unposeable and are only really balanced (save the AT-AT) on their stands. These vehicles have exceptionally limited play potential.

Collectibility

The MicroMachines Star Wars Series IV set was drastically overproduced and appeared on at least two cards and with the vehicles in boxed sets. They have not retained any collectible value at all. They can usually be found dirt cheap, well below their original $5 sale price.

Overview

Fans of The Empire Strikes Back and the Battle Of Hoth might only want the MicroMachines Series IV set if space is a concern and discretion for one’s d├ęcor is essential. Otherwise, there are vastly better Star Wars toys available.

For other Star Wars AT-AT toys reviewed by me, please check out:
MicroMachines Action Fleet Remote Control Imperial AT-AT
Vintage Collection AT-AT
Titanium Collection AT-AT Imperial Walker
2006 Hallmark AT-AT ornament

3/10

For other ornament reviews, please visit my index page!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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