Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Collectible of the Week: Star Bird Intruder (Milton Bradley; 1980)

One of my favorite toy-lines of the 1970s and early 1980s is the “Star Bird” from Milton Bradley. 

I’ve featured the Star Bird Avenger and Command Base here on the blog before, but today I wanted to remember the final toy in this “franchise:” The Star Bird Intruder.

The box terms this menacing ship “the electronic space raider” featuring “exciting engine sounds, firing photon beams, battle sounds and a special target.” 

Equipped with new “exciting electronics,” this toy features a pistol grip for dogfights with the Avenger but which takes away from the compact design and reality of the design a little.  One really awesome element, however, is the “skull” cockpit decal which suggests that the space raider is actually a pirate ship.

I also never liked the fact that this “villain” ship in the line features the same nose component of the Star Bird.  I would have preferred something entirely different or alien. 

But, when I was a kid and played with this toy, the “pretend” story-line involved the fact that the bad guy “space raiders” had cannibalized a derelict Star Bird and re-purposed it.  I wish I still had my Intruder today, but I only have a few pieces, the nose cone sans the outer shell, and a piece of one of the engine casings that came off.

Still, I love these Star Birds toys, and as a reader suggested not long ago, someone should come along and turn these toys into a great space movie.  The design of the Avenger and the Command Base still hold up, and even the old Intruder could make a cameo appearance.

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