Saturday, August 20, 2011


Today I've been thinking about how I used to spend my Saturdays with my parents when I was a young 'un. We used to go to my grandparents in Winsford and do the weekly shop - and we'd also go into a Quality Save / TK Maxx -like shop which sold loads of different things. Including toys.

And from there I remember buying some Battle of the Planets toys that I'd never seen anywhere else (including other toy shops).

Back in the late '70s or early '80s I loved BotP, the Americanised version of Japan's Gatchaman. It was a fantastic cartoon with one of the best theme tunes ever. So of course I was eager to buy these things.

And yet, to be honest, these were nothing like the vehicles on BotP.

Now I didn't have all of these. All I remember having is the GodPhenix (first on the left in the first and second images), the Skyplane (second from the left in the first image), and the Helisky (on the right in the second picture). I may have also had the Skycar - I vaguely remember it so maybe I had it??

So although they mention "Battle of the Planets" and "BBC tv" on the box they were actually based on the Gatchaman II vehicles - which we never saw in the UK on the BBC. Still, these were some wonderfully colourful and detailed part-diecast toys with lots of moving bits and things that fired off.

Here's some more piccies.

The Skyplane:

The Helisky:

(which is missing its sort of batshaped rotors that used to fire off when you pressed that red crescent thing on the top).

(hmmm, perhaps my best mate had this and that's why I remember it?)

I still have my (battered and damaged) Skyplane, but goodness knows where the rest are.

Also, a few years ago I bought the complete DVD box set of the BotP cartoons. To be honest, they haven't aged well. I think I've only watched the first couple of DVDs and then got a bit bored. That 7-Zark-7 doesn't help - I wished they'd just kept the Japanese Gatchaman version and, perhaps, dubbed it.

At various times there's been talk of producing a new version - be a TV show, live action film or CGI film - of the original Gatchaman series. There are a number of trailers to be found on the web and on YouTube. Just last year for instance, a CGI version was being produced but now even that has been stopped.

Pity really, I'd love to see an updated version.

No comments: