Thursday, 5 May 2016

Nerdversity Reviews: Matchbox Thunderbirds The Mole

Continuing on from the expansion waves of 1994, Matchbox decided to release a toy that was more in line with the larger scale Electronic Thunderbird 2 and Thunderbird 4 set that could fit the 2 inch scale figures in the cockpits. Enter: The Mole!

The Mole was released on a single blister card in 1994. The card has the same artwork as other toys in the figure wave and the expansion wave. It features the Thunderbird craft flying away from an explosion with the Thunderbirds logo on the top of the card. The artwork is bright, colourful and action packed. Even 22 years later, it looks great and really draws you in. The Mole is featured prominently on the front inside a bubble. It's tilted slightly, as if ready to tunnel underground.

The back of the card is plain white and features the large Thunderbirds logo in the upper left corner. There's a bio of The Mole in relation to the show. The card back also features 3 large pictures that show the action features of the toy. Underneath that is the usual trademarking and copyrighting legalities. Also it's worth noting that unlike painted on details like previous toys, this one has decals.

As this one is larger scaled, it has better molding and paint apps. Though the main detailing of the craft is told through the decals. The main body is a dark grey with an off yellow drill body with the drill itself being dark grey, with a bright silver collar. There are a number of smaller red decals on the main body of the craft. As time has gone on, these may have eventually come off. It perhaps would have been better to put paint apps. As for the action features, pushing it along makes the drill spin. The body can raise and lower, allowing it to be posed like the show, about to drill through the earth. The drill body can actually be removed from the main body as well. 

As in this loose example. The stickers have come off due to wear and tear. The main body raises and lowers and the drill comes off it's cradle like it can in the show. 

I do like this toy. It's a large example of what could have been done with pod vehicles that couldn't fit in the smaller Thunderbird 2. It's got enough action features to please both adults and children of the time and is show accurate. Matchbox did great in 1994. This piece is more collectible than the others. I have seen examples going on the secondary market from anywhere from £30-75 for a carded one. Around £40 for a loose example.