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Allegiance: Lensman
Series: Galactic Patrol: Lensman
Year: 1984

Prelude: This beautiful toy space ship was a gift from my wife for the 10th anniversary of our first date. So many thanks to my beloved wife Dani and also to my buddy Caked-Up, who helped bring this beauty across the Atlantic. Oh, and just for the record: if this thing is named after the female personification of the British Islands, it should actually be called Britannia, not Brittania. And certainly not Blittania. Just saying.

Space Ship: The Brittania II is a long, sleek space ship that does share certain design elements with the Star Destroyers from Star Wars, but looks less angular thanks to a more rounded construction. The front end of the ship is split in two, making it look somewhat like a giant tuning fork. The coloring is a greyish-blue with white and dark grey elements. The ship has a fully functioning landing gear consisting of four wheeled strust that unfold from the belly. Each strut is also connected to a grey stabilizer wing, so depending on whether or not the landing gear is deployed, the ship has additional stabilizers sticking out sideways and below. Additionally red wings can deploy from the front of the ship, presumably meant to be atmospheric stabilizers for when the ship descends onto a planet.

As befits a warship set out to defeat the threat of the Boskone, the Brittania II is heavily armed. There are two missile launchers set in the tips of the ‘tuning fork’. The other weapons only become visible once the Brittania converts into her ‘attack mode’ (see the video below for how that works). The front section of the ship opens up, revealing two more missile launchers. The side panels flip open, yet more missile launchers. And finally there is the ship’s main gun, a big artillery cannon that emerges from its back and fires cannonballs. No kidding, it fires marble-sized white cannonballs.

Finally the ship also includes light effects. Two AA batteries make the dark red panels on the sides light up, as well as the big thrusters on the rear end. No sound effects, but since I am in no way a fan of those, that’s just fine with me. Bottom line: the Brittania II is a beauty of a space ship.

Accessories: The Brittania II comes with a support ship called ‘Trafalgar’, a carrier-like ship that can dock on top of the Brittania or fly alongside it. The Trafalgar features an unfolding ramp and you can dock the four small space fighters that also come with the entire package on it, too. The space fighters have a small wheel built in, so if you put them on the (unfolded) ramp and push the button on the back, they are launched off the carrier and roll out (again, see video). The Trafalgar and the space fighters are little more than add-ons for the Brittania, but nice ones at that.

Remarks: In the 1930s Edward Elmer "Doc" Smith wrote the Lensman series, widely considered the first space opera and runner-up to the Hugo award for greatest science fiction series of all time (Foundation was the winner). The Lensmen were a corps of space cops who were given superhuman powers by a special lens. If that sounds familiar to you, you've probably read or watched Green Lantern, which was inspired by the Lensman. In 1984 the books were adapted as an anime series and by 'adapted' I mean that the names of the characters and certain themes from the books were slapped onto an unapologetic Star Wars rip-off. Harmony Gold edited four episodes of the series into a TV movie for American audiences, but neither series nor film really had that much to do with the books.

Toys were made for this anime, though, and apparently they were sold in Germany as well, because I had this ship here as a kid. Not sure when exactly, but I do remember it was among my favorite toys ever. It got lost at some point between then and now and just recently I tried to rediscover this childhood treasure, though I remembered next to nothing about it. So I went on Facebook with this drawing here and thankfully someone recognized it. And before I could make up my mind whether or not to dish out the large amount of cash needed to get one of these off ebay, my loving wife got it for me for our anniversary.

I'm probably very subjective here, but the sheer amount of childhood nostalgia tied up into this toy space ship makes it impossible for me to be anything else. Simply put, I love this thing. The design is sleek, the gimmicks are plentiful without overpowering the toy, and the sticker designers catered to Asian stereotypes by writing "Blittania" on the sides. How can anyone (and by anyone I mean people like me who had this toy as a child) not love this thing? Seriously, though, it's a very cool space ship toy, even by today's standards. Good luck finding it for less than 300 Dollars, though.

Rating: A



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