Review by Iain Delaney: Thunderbirds 2086 is the 1982 Japanese anime series loosely based on the original 1964 series, Thunderbirds. It is known as Scientific Rescue Team Technoboyger in Japan, thus the label on the box of this toy. Although not considered canon, the series is an indirect sequel to the original marionette show. International Rescue is now a large, multinational organization, an areology built on an island in the South Pacific has replaced Tracy Island, and instead of the original five Thunderbirds vehicles, there are now eighteen. In typical anime fashion, some of these vehicles can merge and form larger machines, but thankfully not a giant humanoid robot.
The box contains the pieces needed to build the first three ’TB’ vehicles: TB-1, TB-2, and TB-3. TB-1 is mostly white space plane, TB-2 is a large, blue, rectangular cargo carrier, and TB-3 is yellow, multi-wheeled all-terrain crawler. The party piece of the set is that the three combine into one large vehicle.
The models themselves are easy to build and molded in separate colors so that they don’t need painting. No glue is needed either, since all the parts snap together. The ’Moderoid’ brand is a relatively new line of plastic model kits from the Japanese toy manufacturer Good Smile Company. The snap-fit mechanism is reasonably tight but nowhere near as good as the kits from Bandai, especially the Gundam model kits. In either case, edge cutters are the best way to separate the parts from the plastic tree. This is the only tool you really need, but tweezers are useful in applying the decals which are tiny. I gave up trying to put the dashes in between the letters and numbers because they were too small to handle and position properly.
With the three ships assembled you can merge them by splitting TB-3 in half, attaching one half to either side of TB-2, then unfolding the undercarriage of TB-1 and snapping it into place on top of TB-2.
The result is something that is not really attractive or that makes much sense; but it is screen-accurate. It’s a must-have for fans of this obscure series, or Thunderbirds completists. The Thunderbirds 2086 model kit is priced at $74.99 US and is available from the Big Bad Toy Store.
Iain Delaney was born in the UK but moved to Canada at an early age. The UK heritage explains his fascination with British TV SciFi, including Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, UFO, and, of course, Dr. Who. After fumbling through high school, he fumbled through university, emerging with a degree in physics. With no desire to pursue graduate studies he discovered that a bachelor’s degree had little to no job prospects, so he took up a career in computer programming. In his off time he reads, watches TV and movies, collects toys, and makes attempts at writing. To that end he has a small number of articles published in role-playing game magazines and won two honorable mentions in the Writers of the Future contest. He is working on an urban fantasy YA trilogy and entertains delusions of selling it to movies or TV.