THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF GERRY ANDERSON 1929 - 2012, CREATOR OF THUNDERBIRDS & CENTURY 21 TOYS.
Thursday, 29 July 2010
All The Birds of the Air
SCORCH AND WOMBAT
SCORCH GLOBAL ATTACK BOMBER LOADS UP
BLUEBIRD ZERO HOUR AIR FLEET
During the toy boom of the eighties, when action figures and playsets had really captured the imagination of kids everywhere, english toy company Bluebird rolled out a line of oo/ho soldiers and craft called Zero Hour. As far as I recall, this was a basic goody v baddy scenario with the Zero Hour troops fighting an international terrorist ring known as B.A.D Brigade. Bluebird were previously known for the Manta Force toys, another large ship chock full of smaller vehicles like the Tbird pod series. Mostly, Zero Hour was standard military fare, tanks, jeeps, boats and planes. The BAD Brigade stuff was converted civil vehicles such as buses, planes and boats. Mostly unremarkable and not really sci-fi in style, Zero Hour did however include some nicely styled aircraft. Among these were various delta winged jets, a small Snipe fighter with HIMAT wings and a larger bomber with piggyback fighter.Most impressive and possibly rarest of all was the massive Scorch Global Attack Bomber. This was a big 50cm toy, with opening hatches, firing missiles and a large interior bay. Originally it came with a tank, two parasite fighters and a score of troops. Im a big fan of Zero Hour and have just managed to add this beast to my collection and am in the process of trying to restore it. What struck me almost immediately was its similarity to the giant carrier aircraft from Thunderbirds, the Wombat. The shot above comes from Keith McNeills amazing model site. I wonder if the designers of Bluebird drew on the models of Thunderbirds for their inspiration ? Bluebird was swallowed up by toy giant Mattel shortly after the release of Zero Hour, which was marketed stateside as Count Zero. Incidentally, the Zero Hour Air Fleet is led by an interloper - the little red and silver plane is actually a vintage pencil sharpener!