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Thunderbirds Are Go - Low Cost!

Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:53 pm
by AndyThomas
So it's the holidays, son is dying for the new Tracy Island to hit toy shops. I was commissioned / cajoled into putting this together. God help me when he demands the Thunderbird 2 equivalent!

Re: Thunderbirds Are Go - Low Cost!

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:44 am
by Crash
How long until they put out the second block of 13 episodes?
ITV is just the worst.

I don't see why the original Matchbox Tracy Island wouldn't do. It's like classic Cola. Why would you want the other sort?

Can you snap those up on eBay for a tenner or something?

Re: Thunderbirds Are Go - Low Cost!

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:10 pm
by AndyThomas
A question my son frequently asks. They did a big catch-up weekend a week or so ago, I think they're drumming up interest for the toy releases that are now happening. They're not bad toys, incidentally, the paintwork isn't brilliant on them all and they're plastic but the sound effects are pretty clear. They'll interact with the Tracy Island when it arrives too. Automated launch sequences and all sorts. Plus a Thunderbird wrist communicator remote control thingy. The mind boggles.

As for an older Tracy Island, I have actually seen one in the flesh recently and I don't think the modern toys would fit in it, if it's the one you're thinking of. Funny thing is I actually found an old Thunderbird 2, complete with pod, Thunderbird 4 and Virgil utterly randomly while wandering through Bradford market before the new series had even aired. Then it came along, and of course my son was beside himself when he saw that revealed on his birthday (I bought it weeks before and hid it). Good old big, tough toy. I'll have to see if I can resurrect its sound system at some point. He's already hankering after the modern equivalent...

Oh, and can you imagine what the eBay postage would be on something that size?!!!

Re: Thunderbirds Are Go - Low Cost!

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:38 pm
by Crash
We watched the blur-ray episode of Operation Crash Dive the night for lack of other stuff to watch and the original show has gravitas, whereas the new one has none.

The original Thunderbird 2 is elegant. It's big and beautiful. It has curves. Again, the new one has none. It's a brick.

My last main gripe is the pod vehicles. Originally, you'd have a Firefly; (56 tonnes, according to the Wiki), come lumbering out of the pod. Now they zip around in little yellow quad bikes.

There's a lot to like about the new show but it's not an improvement.

I ordered a 3 1/2 foot-long 1:1 lancer rifle replica from Gears of War off of eBay the other day. The shipping was £7 and it was there in 2 days.

The 1990s Thunderbirds, CS and Stingray toys go for nothing, even 25 years later because they're just everywhere.

Re: Thunderbirds Are Go - Low Cost!

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:49 pm
by AndyThomas
I think they've got a challenge that the original didn't - this is strictly a CITV show, really. It's 20 minutes, not 50, so they don't have a lot of time for nuances - but they are there, on occasion, such as when Scott stops Virgil decking someone because "that's not what we do". It reminds me of a lot of the old Anderson shows because like Space 1999 it's using a lot of hard science but pathos with it, like the episode where EOS was properly introduced. Of course I'm watching it with a little one, and his suspension of disbelief is in full force!

Turning to the vehicles, TB1, TB3 and TB4 are very close facsimiles to the original. TB5 has clearly done away with the "magical" artificial gravity of the original, which again just flags that the new series is taking physics reasonably seriously. Fair enough, really, because they can do that in a convincing fashion now. I like the fact they used TB5 in a rescue and lowered its mass to do it.

TB2... yes, it's more business like. But it's also getting its hands a lot dirtier on rescue missions - e.g. the Fireflash episode where it basically saves the day in spite of its pod vehicles, rather than by using them. To my mind, it's more believable that they would need a range of equipment available on one site for a disaster zone - what happens if they need Firefly but don't happen to have brought the right pod along?! I agree, they're not as robust as the originals, but equally, they're not pretending they're super strong either, so that's OK.

It does have elements that grind a touch, there's some in your face environmental preaching going on about how uranium is really not a good thing, kids, but then think back to the "moral of the story" shows like He-Man back in our day. Set aside your personal Thunderbirds back story - would you like the show if you'd never seen the original? Probably. I'll tell you what else, there aren't many kids shows around that don't involve direct conflict. Sure, there's the Hood here, but mainly this is about problem solving using clever thinking and some very clever technological ideas. And the odd powered exo-skeleton, obviously.

One thing I have noticed is that we're not seeing a massive amount of the female member of the team, nor indeed her ship; presumably she's more espionage than search and rescue like the boys, but hopefully we'll see some more of her to avoid tokenism in that respect. You'll notice too that there's no toy of her, but that's obviously because they're focusing on the ships that are closest to what the paying adults remember!

Now if you'll excuse me, I just need to check on the stocks of the new Tracy Island again!

Re: Thunderbirds Are Go - Low Cost!

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:23 pm
by Shane
I don't mind the new Thunderbirds show. I'm not too keen on the CGI characters and some of the vehicles are just lacking a little in weight, but it's very slick and flashy in places and zips along at a fair pace, which for better or worse is probably perfectly designed for it's key demographic today.

A friend of mine who actually remembers watching Thunderbirds around the time of original transmission has been singing this show's praises, and while he has a few reservations about the new choices made, he has to conceed that it's a million miles better than that Thunderizer movie from a few years back, which to be fair, did stink to high heaven.

I think the running time issue is interesting. If I remember rightly, the classic Thunderbirds show was originally designed to be a fairly zippy 30 mins, but It looked so filmic and epic that they padded it out to 50 mins, I guess, to sell to other markets such as the US (Indeed, as a kid I always thought it was an American import).

Re: Thunderbirds Are Go - Low Cost!

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:29 pm
by Crash
The modular pod vehicles are clever but they defeat the whole point of having interchangeable pods for TB2 if it can carry everything with it all the time.

TB1 was designed to race to the scene and report back to base, telling them what they needed. In the meantime, it would apply the elastoplast while TB2 came to perform the surgery.

Besides, the "Oh dear, we brought Braman, rather than the supercomputer" in Sun Probe was a suspense element that they can't play if they can't possibly leave anything behind to effect the rescue.

The pod-buggies completely lack any wow-factor.

Kayo is a hook for the second half.
EDIT: This Shane guy came and clicked "Submit" before me. I dunno who he is.

The short episodes; I mean ridiculously short (not even 30mins), prevent the build-up of any tension or empathy for any potential disaster victims.

Thunderbirds Movie 2004: Commander Riker stuffed us when he directed that.

BTW, Shane, are you happy enough with this:
I'm not going to kill her off or anything ... much.
There's no shifty-looking smiley on this forum.

Re: Thunderbirds Are Go - Low Cost!

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:55 pm
by Shane
Hey Crash, yeah go for it regarding the character, Emma Steel. Will be very interested to see what you have planned.

I think this is it. The original Thunderbirds put a lot of time and effort in the set up of the various emergency situations. The Show could breath a lot more.

It's the same with Old Dr Who and Nu Who, The old shows would often have 2 hours to tell a story while the new ones are a little too pacey sometimes at 45 mins, better production values though, and mostly, better acting. ;)

Re: Thunderbirds Are Go - Low Cost!

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:10 am
by felice
You'll notice too that there's no toy of her, but that's obviously because they're focusing on the ships that are closest to what the paying adults remember!
Hmmm... not sure it's just that. There's been fuss about Black Widow being missing from Avengers merchandise lines, and Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy, and Hera and Sabine from Star Wars Rebels. Leaving out female characters is a bit of a thing :(

Re: Thunderbirds Are Go - Low Cost!

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:29 pm
by Crash
I'm not sure it's to target the adults either.
I'd be more likely to get a Thunderbird S model, as and when it arrives, because it's more special than the other ones.
It's seen more seldom (or so far, not at all), it's the only one piloted by a woman and it performs a combat role.

I remember, there was this when I was about 10 and X-Men was everywhere; on TV as a cartoon and in comics and in the toy shops.
You literally couldn't get any of the 'female X-Men' as an action figure.
So that's Storm, Jean/Phoenix, Rogue, Mystique, Psylocke - all missing.

Bucky O'Hare - the only female character is Jenny. They thought about making her part of a 'second wave' but never bothered.

None of those were aimed at adults at all. So, it's a weird thing that you see time and again.

Dominique noticed as well that in the Hasbro blerb on the Jurassic World toy packaging, they made the Velociraptors out to be male in the descriptions.

I dunno, either the toy manufacturers think that young male consumers are inherently sexist (but face it, which 10 year old boy would prioritise buying a figure of Cyclops over Psylocke or Rogue?) ... or they worry about making a female character intended for boys, even if they're not sexualised characters.