Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Good Concept, Fairly Annoying Execution, The Taco Bell Cloud City Toy Is An Irksome Novelty.

The Good: Cool idea
The Bad: Low playability, Low collectibility, Falls over constantly..
The Basics: The Taco Bell Floating Cloud City toy is a momentarily neat novelty that falls over more than it thrills.

Back when the Special Editions of the Star Wars Trilogy were released theatrically in 1997, there was a huge boom in Star Wars merchandise. In addition to action figures and other toys, there were pretty cheap toys, like the ones from Taco Bell. As I sit considering my late-‘90s Floating Cloud City toy from Taco Bell, I’m actually surprised how far the Kid’s Meal toys have come. When Star Trek came out in 2009, Burger King did toys like the Talking Sulu toy (reviewed here!) and that is, despite still being a pretty cheap toy, vastly more sophisticated than the Floating Cloud City.


Used to promote the 1997 re-release of the film The Empire Strikes Back (reviewed here!), Taco Bell released a series of small toys in their kid's meals. Each toy, like the Floating Cloud City, had a gimmick to it. In the case of the Floating Cloud City, it is that there is a magnet in the stand that helps create the appearance of Bespin floating in the clouds.

The Floating Cloud City figure is 3 1/4" tall, 2 3/4" wide and deep on its stand. It is made entirely of hard plastic. This Floating Cloud City toy looks like Bespin, the city in the clouds. The gray disc is supported on a needle-like projection, like an inverted top. The black base has a notch in it that fits the bottom of Cloud City. The top of the base, which extends like a frame over the top of the toy, has a powerful magnet. That magnet holds the Cloud City in place on the stand without physically touching the top of the toy. That gives it the appearance of floating!


The Floating Cloud City is essentially a desk ornament and does not include any accessories.


The Taco Bell toys, like Floating Cloud City, have exceptionally low playability, especially considering that they have no moving parts.

The Floating Cloud City, supported as it is by only a magnet, frequently falls out of its stand. This reduces its overall playability. It is a display piece and a pretty poor one at that.


The Taco Bell toys never really caught on. They were inexpensive at the time and remain cheap to find, even mint in bag now. The Floating Cloud City may easily be found still for about the price of a kid’s meal, making it very easy to pass by.


The Floating Cloud City Taco Bell toy is an unfortunate “toy” that sits around and falls over more than anything else.

For other oddities from The Empire Strikes Back, please check out my reviews of:
The Empire Strikes Back Authentic 70mm Film Originals Imperial Attack Edition Film Cel
2011 Slave I Hallmark ornament
Hoth Han Solo Mighty Muggs Figure


For other toy reviews, please be sure to visit my index page!

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