Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Action Figures of the Week: Space Precinct (Vivid Imagination)

I remember with great anticipation the year of Space Precinct’s (1994 – 1995) arrival in syndication.  That was the span when I was completing my Exploring Space: 1999 book, and I was excited that creator Gerry Anderson finally had a new sci-fi TV series in the works, especially one with “space” in the title and as a primary setting.

Unfortunately, here in North Carolina, Space Precinct only aired at 2:00 am on weekends and only sporadically at that.  I think I ended up seeing two or three episodes in first run and feeling that -- much like Terrahawks (1983 – 1986) -- it wasn’t the greatest vehicle for Mr. Anderson’s talents.

The series was released on DVD in America in 2010, and you can read my full review of the series here.  I enjoyed it much more the second time around, especially the retro-style model-based special effects.  It’s not a perfect sci-fi series, but it has a lot of fun moments.

Although it was canceled after just one season, Space Precinct actually had its fair share of merchandise on the market.  In my home office today, I still have several action figures from the series hanging on the wall, manufactured and distributed by Vivid Imaginations in England.

In all, twelve small action figures were released, including the human characters Brogan (played by Ted Shackleford on the program) and bickering officers Haldane and Castle. 

The alien police officers included in the line were Captain Podly, Officer Took, Officer Orrin and Sergeant Fredo.  The precinct’s robot Slomo was also among the toys released, and is one of the few figures I don’t have.   Each police action figure comes with a blue identification card, and accouterments such as hand-guns or scanners.

The villains of the Space Precinct toy line were perhaps more colorful, including Snake and the grisly-looking Cyborg.  Unlike the police action figures, these toys came with red ID cards and weapons including knives and rifles.

The two toys from the line that I really wanted but never managed to get my hands on were the police bike, which I don’t believe was actually featured on the program itself, and the nifty police cruiser.  For me, the police cruiser vehicle was essentially the Eagle One of Space Precinct, a cool utilitarian design, and in some ways, the star of the show.  It’s essentially a Blade Runner-esque flying patrol car with four engines.  I still think it’s a pretty cool design, and I enjoy watching the series if for no other reason than to see it on patrol.

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