Monday, 17 August 2009

Heeerrres Johnny!




Having flagged up the Triang Moonmobile, its essential to compare its cousin from Marx and its bold pilot, Johnny Apollo!

The similarities in build of the wheels on the crawler are immediately apparent, as is the enclosed cockpit on the vehicle. Mattel went for a much more practical route with the Space Crawler, putting Major Matt into an open cockpit. Marx also managed to go one up on Mattel in terms of choice of crew, while Matt only had three other blokes, a batch of aliens and an unlikely giant with a disconcerting stare, Marx gave its astronaut a much more fetching colleague in the shape of Jane Apollo. Presumably this was to either capture the doll market or to add a little equality to the spacelanes. Either way it was much more than Matt had and certainly a step up from poor old Moon McDare, who only had his trusty space mutt for company!

Johnny also wins out over Matt Mason in terms of detail and durability. Whereas Mattels figures could happily be dropped out of windows or suffer catostrophic crashes in the Re-Entry Glider due to the rubber body, the wire armatures which gave the figure poseability were naturally prone to breakage and were almost impossible to repair. Johnny on the other hand, is a hard plastic build and has more in common with the later Gi Joe figures.

Although there was always a danger of the toy cracking or scratching under duress, poseability was always good. He also got a lot more accessories than Matt, even if they were slightly lacklustre gold finish rather than snappy chrome. He topped out a little taller than Matt too, and also found fame as a stand alone set in the Cape Kennedy Astronaut boxed set.

Whereas Marx saw fit to enclose him in a pressurised cockpit on both the crawler and his nifty buggy, they never saw fit to give him a visor for his space helmet! Whoops! Perhaps this was a practical consideration for when he was alone with Jane in that cramped space capsule...

Lower pic is from ebay and shows the deluxe space expedition set with both figures and vehicles.

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