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Article from Starlog Issue 27, October 1979


FULL STEAM AHEAD FOR MATTEL'S 'GALACTICA' TOYS

Galactica isn't dead, not at all,' says Jack Fox of Mattel Toys. 'The line was introduced at the Toy Fair in February 1978, and it has sold extremely well.' He says his company expects the line to continue making good profits despite the show's cancellation.

'Canceled, yes,' says Fox, 'but it's still around in reruns-and doing well in the ratings. And there's the new movie coming out in the fall; and I understand there are plans for more Galactica on television.' Whatever the show's future, Fox believes, its past success is enough to guarantee interest among the youngsters for some time to come.

Mattel's licensing arrangements with Universal Studios dates back to early 1977, when Galactica was still on the drawing boards. As designs, characters and toy possibilities were uncovered by Universal, the Mattel people went to work on them.

The initial line of toys (which were ready long before the show aired) included 12 I/2 -inch 'action figures' of a Colonial Warrior and a Cylon, a Viper launch station with two small Vipers, and various ground-running vehicles designed as Vipers, Cylon ships and other items less 'pure' in their Galactica derivation.

Even as the show was slipping in the ratings, Mattel added to its line a batch of smaller figures: an Ovion, a Daggit, Commander Adama, Lt. Starbuck and the Imperious Leader. Around the same time, a teddy-bear-sized Daggit, that makes Daggit sounds when you pull a string, was introduced.

Plans to release a large-scale replica of the Galactica itself, however, have now been scrapped. 'This was due more to the cost of the thing than to the cancellation of the show,' Jack Fox believes. The model was to have been electronic-capable of making acceleration and laser- shot sounds-and would have cost around $50. In addition to the risky high price, there was a shortage of computer chips available for manufacture. The chip supply was directed toward the manufacture of a Galactica laser pistol which makes a variety of noises. Another rather complicated toy, recently available, is the Galactica Vertibird-for which the Viper design has become a helicopter that the operator aims at Cylon Raider chipboards.

Command base ship

Fox predicts no shortage of Galactica toys from Mattel, nor does he predict a waning of interest at the toy counters.