Review by JoshB
One of my many fetishes in toy collecting are items from the 1979 Disney movie “The Black Hole”. Few toys were produced from the movie, and honestly aside from the robots, most weren’t very good.
There were a few exceptional toys produced – not by the US licensor Mego, but instead by the Italian company Gig.
There’s a bit of a puzzle here to figure out.
Toy Company Mego had the license to produce Black Hole toys in the US. Prior to this, MEGO produced the MICRONAUTS in 1976, which were an imported version of Takara’s Microman line. MEGO’s Black Hole figures featured very similar construction to the Microman line, with the same scale, waist joint construction, and even Microman hands on the sentry robots. So it is clear that Mego used Takara’s Microman technology, and even the same factories to produce these figures (by 1979, Micronaut production had been moved to Mego’s Hong Kong factory instead of Takara’s).
The first wave of Black Hole figures were released to coincide with the movie, which didn’t do as well as expected. The toys were clearanced quickly, and few items in the planned second wave were released in the US.
However, on the other side of the atlantic, Gig came to the rescue.
Gig was an Italian toy maker who had close ties with Takara. They released original Diaclone toys there (later known as Transformers), and their own Micronauts line, called Micronauti. As such, they had access to all the toys Mego was doing, and subsequently released the remainder of Series 2 in Italy.
Mego (possibly along with takara) developed deluxe magnetic versions of the three main robots in the series using joint technology from their magnetic Baron Karza figures (which were taken from Takara’s JEEG toy, which Gig also sold). Although shown in catalogs, they were never sold in the US. Gig would release the three Magnemo black hole figures – V.I.N.CENT, S.T.A.R and Maximillian – in the European market only.
All three are holy grails, with S.T.A.R. being the hardest to get.
History lesson over, let’s talk about the toy.
Maximillian comes in a sturdy black box much like Baron Karza and other Micronaut magnemo figures.
The toy is simply MAGnificent. This is one toy that looks like crap in most of the photos I have seen, but in reality is spectacular. It just needed someone to do it justice.
Made up of 6 magnetic parts, Maximillian is an imposing figure. The magnetic joints are identical to those used on the Jeeg-based toys and are very strong.
The color is good, but not dark enough to be screen-accurate. It’s closer than the small Mego toy which has a candy apple red finish to it, but still not perfect. The only paint application is the darkened color of the single eye.
Each arm features chrome appendages that spin at the shoulder, but do not separate. This too is not accurate to the movie, as the arms should also be red with only the tips being chrome. See the Medicom version for an example of the proper color.
The legs each have a moving wing on the outer sides. While other Maximillian toys use some kind of stand to stay up, this toy modifies the legs to have flat bottoms which allows it to stand up.
The toy looks great with the Magnemo V.I.N.CENT but it kills me that I missed out on S.T.A.R. which was for sale at the same time. It ended cheaply, but I was low on funds and too conservative in my bidding. Perhaps it was just not time for me to own it.
The great thing about Magnemo toys are the interchangeability. Here I have a little fun…
It’s a wonderful piece, and I am thrilled to have acquired another one of my grails.
|Posted 3 December, 2011 - 00:42 by JoshB|