The Good: Good sculpt, Decent playable functions, Has maintained its value
The Bad: Weird scale, Does not seem to know what age group it wants to appeal to.
The Basics: The Star Wars MicroMachines Action Fleet Ice Planet Hoth Action Fleet Set Battle Pack is mediocre, even for fans.
I have this weird thing about getting rid of old toys; I’m not good at it. In the case of the Star Wars Ice Planet Hoth Action Fleet Set from Galoob, I think I knew it wasn’t quite right for me when it was first gifted to me, but it was billed as the last toy my mother was ever going to give to me, so I held onto it. Objectively, if I did not have a massive 3 3/4” Star Wars action figure collection and/or was severely limited for space, I think the Ice Planet Hoth Action Fleet Set might be something I was more excited about.
The main, objective, problem with the Ice Planet Hoth Action Fleet Set is the radically inconsistent scale. While many of the other Action Fleet toys can get away with the ridiculous scale problems – like an AT-AT where a single figure fits in the cockpit and the figures stand up to the vehicle’s knees – the Ice Planet Hoth Action Fleet Set is plagued by issues within the toy itself. There is a fallen AT-AT molded into the surface of Hoth that is smaller than the snowspeeder that comes with the set and the massive ion cannon that covered the Rebel’s escape from Hoth is smaller than the turret which defended the trenches. This is like surreal mismatch Star Wars merchandising!
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 were poorly fought by the Rebels in their trenches, turrets, and snowspeeders. The Hoth base was besieged by the Empire and they were forced to evacuate it.
The MicroMachines Action Fleet Ice Planet Hoth Action Fleet Set is a carrying case that unfolds into a playset that features the outer field of Hoth, the ice wall that makes up the Rebel fortress, and the inside of the Rebel base.
The MicroMachines Action Fleet Ice Planet Hoth was released by Galoob and it is a surprisingly sophisticated playset. Cast in plastic, coated in vinyl, and held together with metal rivets, the Ice Planet Hoth Action Fleet Set opens to be is 7 3/4“ tall (to the top of the lookout station), 18“ long and 10“ wide.
The MicroMachines Action Fleet Ice Planet Hoth Action Fleet Set is essentially a toy case with a handle that unfolds into the three segments of a playset. The show field features a fallen AT-AT, a section of Rebel trench, and a tiny snow cave for a Wampa creature. The snow features molded footprints from the AT-ATs in the Action Fleet scale. The fallen AT-AT features a cockpit section and top that open and may hold a figure in each section. The turret turns and also holds multiple figures. The snow trench is augmented by two rotating cannons. The top of the ice cave swings up and features a small bracket into which fits a figure from the Ice Planet Hoth Action Fleet Set. The bracket is on a lever, so if one uses Luke as the figure that is hanging upside down, he may appear to use the Force.
The main wall of the playset is a simple ice wall on front with a large door that swings upward. It is big enough to allow one of the Tauntaun toys or Troop Transport to pass through it. The opposite side of the fortress has the bulk of the playable areas. There is a lookout tower that raises and lowers, three levels of command areas and stairways that figures may stand on. The middle level pulls out for ease of play and features a refueling boom arm and a bacta tank tube that rotates and is transparent. When the second level is pulled out, there are seats that the figures may sit in (or more realistically, lay on like cots). The bottom level features storage space and a fold-down door that leads to more storage area. There is also the ion cannon that the Rebels used to shoot at the star destroyers.
The back area represents the flight deck of the Rebel fortress on Hoth. This smooth, icy-appearing surface has enough space to house the snowspeeder that comes with the Ice Planet Hoth Action Fleet Set. There are three storage slots for the missiles that come with the set and a crane that one may use to move around the weapons containers. Most of this surface is smooth, which allows the troop transport to slide around on it.
The MicroMachines Action Fleet Ice Planet Hoth Action Fleet Set comes with six mini-figures. The Ice Planet Hoth comes with a Luke Skywalker (which fit on. . .), Tauntaun, Hoth Princess Leia, Wampa Ice Creature, 2-1B medical droid, and Rebel pilot. Each of these figures is articulated at the waist joint ehre they can bend. All but the Luke has a base that keeps it standing up. All of the figures, save the tauntaun have arm articulation, but like the legs, they raise and lower in unison. The figures are moderately detailed and fit the general scale of the playset, though the Wampa is noticeably smaller than it should be relative to the others.
The Ice Planet Hoth Action Fleet Set comes with three 2 5/8” long translucent red missiles. The missiles fit both the ion cannon and Anti-infantry battery mounted on the trench.
This set also comes with a 1 1/2" long by 1” wide by 15/16” tall block that the back claims is a weapons container. This may be picked up by the crane inside the Rebel headquarters.
The set also comes with a 2 1/2” long troop transport that holds three to four figures. A pair of figures may fit inside the battle damaged snowspeeder that comes with the Ice Planet Hoth Action Fleet Set. This is essentially the Action Fleet Snowspeeder toy with two panels replaced, the canopy plastic replaced and recolored to look shot up.
The MicroMachines Action Fleet has a ton of playable aspects. From the snow cave to the turning turret, there is a lot of action out front. On the back half, the accessories dominate, though the key selling point there seems to be the crane, which has an odd oversized bright orange plastic claw and a 6” long black nylon cord. This allows the claw to raise and be lowered. I’m unsure what age range that play function appeals to.
The Bacta Tank inside the headquarters may be opened to accept a figure and it rotates.
The front turret shoots missiles. When properly loaded, the touch of a button shoots a missile 24” from the cannon!
The ion cannon is similarly loaded, but fires the same missiles up to three feet away! The ion cannon has an exceptional range of motion!
The MicroMachines Action Fleet is part of a now-defunct line of die-cast vehicle toys that Galoob produced. The Ice Planet Hoth Action Fleet Set was dramatically underproduced and overpriced. Collectors seemed unsure of whether or not they were interested and, as a result, these were never a big seller. They seemed to sell out without being heavily clearanced, but have not appreciated at all in value. They have, however, maintained their original price.
If I was not sentimentally attached to the Ice Planet Hoth Action Fleet Set, I think the ridiculous scale issues and odd claw would weigh more heavily upon me. Ultimately, this is a moderately neat playset and might be good for younger fans or those who want limited display options for Hoth scenes.
For other Star Wars toys from Galoob, please check out my reviews of:
Micromachine Star Wars Set 4
Titanium Collection Ice Planet Hoth Action Fleet Set Imperial Walker
Action Fleet Slave I
For other toy reviews, please visit my index page!
© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.