Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Nerdversity Reviews: Matchbox Thunderbirds Pod Vehicles

Thunderbirds was on a roll throughout 1992 and 1993. However, things were going to chance for the line. In 1994, Matchbox unveiled it's next line of toys. Among this, was a set of smaller vehicles released that was to coincide with the Matchbox Thunderbird 2.

The Thunderbird 2 Pod Vehicles Set serves as an expansion to the toyline. They were 3 smaller scaled versions of The Mole, Firefly and a Recovery Vehicle that was to be in scale with the smaller size Thunderbird 2 that came with Thunderbird 4. The packaging is bright and colourful. The side od the card features artwork of the 4 main Thunderbird craft and FAB1 in action poses, flying and driving away from a giant explosion. On the right hand side, in a blister are all 3 of the vehicles.

The back of the card is plain white and has some drawings on the top that explain the action features of the 3 vehicles and then a run down of each of the three vehicles relating to their in universe specs and abilities. It's printed in a number of European languages. Beneath that is all your legal jargon, with copyright, trademarking and addresses.

The first vehicle on the list is The Mole, International Rescue's famous drill tank. As this toy is about an inch long, same as Thundebird 4, the details are rather scant. The main body is yellow with MOLE printed on the side. There's some silver detailing on the side. The drill rotates when you turn the black knob on the back. This version doesn't come off the tank body, but does lift up and down. Sadly, it doesn't fit inside the pod, but could be posed on the ramp as if coming out.

The Firefly was International Rescue's firefighting tank. In toy form, it's 2 and a half inches long from the tip of the bulldozer blade to the back. It's action feature is that the blade can raise and lower. The nose cannon is also fully extended and molded on. The main body is solid yellow with scant paint detailing on the body. There's a nice FIREFLY name printed on the side.

The final vehicle in the set is the Recovery Vehicle. In show, this was a large caterpillar tracked vehicle that could fire magnetic grabs onto a target and then pull them to safety. It was used against the Sidewinder in Pit of Peril. The toy version has spring loaded firing rocket launchers on the roof to simulate the magnetic grabs firing, Many loose examples will most likely be missing them as they'll have been fired and lost to time. It measures 2 inches from cab to rear. Again, because it's a smaller version, it's primarily in red with some other paint apps to simulate details. RECOVERY VEHICLE is printed on the side, inside a white panel.

Overall, this is a great set for Thunderbirds collectors. It features 3 of the most iconic and well used vehicles in International Rescue's arsenal of impressive tech. The only real gripe is that they DON'T fit in Thunderbird 2's pod. You can find this set on the secondary market. I've seen examples going for as little as £25, but as much as £45-50.