I’m never quite sure how to classify Japanese toys. The number of small parts would certainly deter them being given to young children to play with on this side of the world. However, putting your spogs aside for the moment, this ‘Thunderbird 2’ makes great fare for us adults wanting something else for our ‘Thunderbirds’ moment.
Released in 2013, this model is part of the ‘Sci-Fi Revoltech’ series with currently only one other model, ‘The Mole’, that is specific to the Anderson shows franchise. Based on the standard here, one can only hope that the other Thunderbirds are somewhere in the pipeline.
Although it’s not possible to read the Japanese print on the box, the pictures illustrate the possibilities. Thunderbird 2 can be stood on its legs, drop its pod which has a tiny Thunderbird 4 to go inside and a variety of smaller leg components or they might be spare parts. The bottom of the pod has rollers so can be moved across your table. There appears to be the parts so you can have your TB2 standing on a base and I presume the orange box, based on its size, a place to house TB4 for display. These various options allows you to display your Thunderbird 2 as you see fit. Also, other than releasing the base parts from a bag beneath the interior plastic box, everything can be taken out and replaced so you can keep the main box preserved.
Size-wise, TB2 is about a third bigger than the original Dinky version at 8 inches long. With a darker green, the colour matches its scale and all the details are there as per the TV show, included the silver in the rear boosters. All to often in the past, everyone has gone for a brighter green but at model scale can make it look too bright. Here, it makes for a better contrast to the yellow stripe and red exhausts. Although built from hardened plastic it is sturdy and I had no trouble popping the pod. Sculptor Tani Akira has done a superb job in matching to the original design.
If the other Thunderbirds are done to this scale, it is likely TB1 would be smaller and TB3 and TB5 much larger. As a standalone piece, it’s a nice model to add to my collection and I hope the photos I’ve included with this review do it justice.
(manufacturer: Revoltech/Kaiyooo. Serial No.: NR-192. Price: varies. I was lucky enough to get it for £20.00 (UK) if you know where to look)