08 October 2010
Mike Pigott continues his articles on character models. This time, the little known, but fascinating, range based on the series of adventure films starring Harrison Ford. ...
In 1978, two of Hollywood’s best-known film producer-directors got together with a view to developing a series of adventure films. The two directors were George Lucas, famous for the ‘Star Wars’ series and ‘American Graffiti’‚ and Steven Spielberg, well-known for ‘Jaws’ and ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’. The result was the 1981 film ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’‚ a rollicking adventure based on the cliff-hanger serials of the 1940s. Initially Tom Selleck was set to star, but had to drop out because of TV commitments. The role was then offered to Harrison Ford.
The film centred on Dr Henry Jones Jr, a mild-mannered university professor, who led a double life as Indiana Jones, a globe-trotting archaeologist and adventurer. With his trademark fedora and bull-whip, he travelled the world hunting the treasures of antiquity. Raiders of the Lost Ark was an enormous success, and quickly spawned two sequels and a TV series. Interest in the series remained strong enough for a fourth film to be released in 2008, 27 years after the original.
Of course, there had to be a diecast range... otherwise, why would we be here? These were made by Hasbro as part of its Titanium Series diecast range.
The Titanium Series had its origins in the Micro Machines line produced by Galoob during the 1980s and ‘90s. Galoob was a Californian company best known for character toys, but also produced the extensive – if slightly cartoony – range of tiny, plastic-bodied Micro Machines. These included all sorts of vehicles, not just cars and trucks, but planes, trains and ships. There were also a number of licensed models, including Star Wars and Star Trek spaceships, plus vehicles from the James Bond and Indiana Jones franchises...