Apollo 17 in 1
Review by JoshB
Just when you thought it couldn't get any weirder, I bring you Apollo 17 in 1. It's a highly bastardized version of the Popy DX Dairugger 15 that comes to us from Taiwan, by way of Italy.
The box lid is amazing. Right out of the gate you know this is going to be insane.
The sticker on the top right is the import sticker. Apparently this was imported into Italy by Giochi Del Trinino which means "Play Train" or something like that.
A WONDERFUL ROBOT WITH PULL BACK ACTION!
Each set is labeled on one side with individual vehicles, teams on the other.
Inside is a nice styro tray, but no box back I'm not sure if there was one and it was lost, or if it never existed.
What fascinates me about this toy, aside from the fact that it's batshit insane, is how much effort the bootleggers took in trying to make this a legitimate toy in its own right. Lets go over each vehicle and see exactly what happened here, starting with the most obvious change.
The head ship is comically oversized, and of course entirely new. While it's clearly based on the original, they decided to do away with the opening doors and the friction motor.
The only original part is the connection point.
This one is actually not too bad. They kept the windows, and the red things that are supposed to slide up, but the side banks that fold out are gone.
Airsets 3 & 4
These two are identical, meaning they only copied one helicopter instead of both. The props are different and the connection point is reversed on each one.
The chest ship has been heavily modified, with lots of changes to the wings. The pull back motor still works, but the front wheel has broken on this sample. Also, there is a mysterious 812 sticker on either side.
In combined mode, i'm actually not too bothered by the gigantic head ship. It all holds together well.
Nothing to see here, a perfectly reasonable interpretation of the original. The tower is clipped, but thats similar to what was done on other versions.
Seasets 7 & 8
Here again, they decided just to use two of the same mold instead of two different molds. Again, they are similar to the original aside from the balls on the tops of the towers, which are now chrome.
Seasets 9 & 10
Here's where we start seeing more changes. First notice the American flag and NASA stickers, on this Taiwan bootleg of a Japanese toy sold in Italy. WTF?
Second, again these share the same molds for the common parts (nose, top panels) and the bodies are the same for left and right.
Circular stars have been added to the top of each one.
Seasets 11 &12
These two vehicles are entirely new. They are little pull-back cars with very little detailing aside from stickers. Aesthetically they have nothing in common with the sets, but I admire the effort to add value.
I'm not sure if i'm missing the engine part to one, or if just was never included.
Seaset goes together the same as the other, however the two new vehicles now attach to the protrusions on the side.
The waist piece is similar, but the top of the hatch now has a large chrome circular star on it.
Landsets 14 & 15
The hand cars share the same mold with each other, but they are different colors, and have added stickers.
Landsets 16 & 17
Each foot car shares the same mold, but now has patriotic stickers and a new chrome grill. Once of the kickstands is missing on one foot, but that's probably a production error.
Apparently I forgot to take a picture of the combined landset. With all that's going on with this toy, can you blame me? Rest assured, it combines the same way the original does.
Apollo 17 in 1
In it's combined form, you can really see the full effect of the insanity. It's like Dairugger seen through LSD infused glasses. I don't know who thought this was a good idea, but I want to hug them.
The head has these vacant eyes that fill with light if you put a light source behind them. I can't help to think that with the large size perhaps they wanted to put some kind of light up function in this.
Here you can get a better look at the Sci-Fi star of david belt buckle that Apollo is rockin'.
The star motif is repeated three times on each leg, and also on the insides of the parts that push out on either side to secure the new leg ships.
Stars again on the feet.
As mentioned before, the propellors on the shoulders now get 5 blades instead of 3.
The sword is similar to the original, but the hilt has been modified, or basically removed. It now looks more like a Samurai sword.
I love the strange familiarity that Bootlegs and Knockoffs bring, especially when they are based on toys I know very well. I love to see the little changes each company makes, and I try to think about why they made these decisions. Wouldn't a straight re-mold be easier? Or, if you are going to change each piece (and with it, each mold) wouldn't it be just as easy to come up with an original toy? The mind reels with questions that will never go answered. Do the molds get passed around from company to company, and get more altered with each release, or does each company do their own thing?
This is why I do what I do.
|Posted 11 September, 2015 - 14:14 by JoshB|