I was about ten when Battlestar Galactica first premiered on British television and I was completely mesmerized and transfixed by it.
In fact, the very next day I dragged my old man (father) down to the local Toys R Us store to get me some of the new Mattel Battlestar Galactica action figures.
However in the 1970's, unlike today, toys like these were made to be played with, not collected, so most ended up being trashed after months play.
This is the main reason why they are becoming increasingly difficult to find, coupled with the fact that there are more and more collectors, like myself, who are trying to replace their vintage Battlestar Galactica action figures from their childhood. They have also become more popular recently due to the new re-booted TV sries, which I also loved.
Even the newer DST (Diamond Select Toys) seem to be becoming increasingly difficult to find, which is probably due to the fact that even though these were mass produced there was generally only one production run for each series.
Also the series has been finished for for a while now, so DST have stopped releasing figures, yet at the same time demand has been steadily increasing.
Despite all this values seem to be fairly reasonable and stable at the moment which I think is due to this being a small niche and the fact that although demand is gradually increasing there is still and adequate, although decreasing, supply of the figures.
It is my firm believe therefore, that over the coming years we are likely to see these continue to rise in value, especially for the vintage Mattel figures, as more collectors try to back track on their collections and replace the figures they lost in their childhood.
What figures are there?
Who released them?
How old are they?
What are the rarest?
Mattel’s original line of Battlestar Galactica action figures was released in 1978 and consisted of Starbuck, Adama, Daggit (the robot dog), two Cylons (silver and gold), Lucifer, Boltar, Boray (a pig headed creature), Ovion (a fly-like alien) and the Imperious Leader (a rather dull pink alien).
These figures weren’t up to the standard and quality of the Kenner Star Wars figures, however over the course of time, and particularly since the start of the new “re-imagined” series has resulted in a resurgence of interest in new Battlestar Galactica figures and merchandising as well as stimulating the market in the old vintage Mattel figures, which can still be found at very reasonable prices.
The first series of Battlestar Galactica figures was sold in 6 and 4 figure gift sets as well as the regular individual blister packs.
The second series was released in 1979 and included the original figures from series one as well as four new figures:
In 1979 Mattel released two 12-inch figures, a Colonial Warrior figure and Cylon Centurion Figure.
The Colonial Warrior was based on the original mold from Mattel's Major Matt Mason's Captain Laser figure and came with a laser beam, scanner device and Arial and the Cylon had the added bonus of a manually operated moving red eye and glowing chest.
Both these figures have become extremely hard to find in mint condition with their boxes intact, so are worth keeping a look out for.
Later, in 1980, Mattel also introduced a limited edition mail away Gold Cylon offer, in which you had to send in four proofs of purchase from any of the four figures in the series to get.
Mattel also produced five Battlestar Galactica ships, three which were based on ships featured in the show, and two made up ones. These were a Colonial Viper, Cylon Raider, Colonial Landram, Stellar Probe, and Scarab.
Initially each of these came with missiles that could be fired but after a child died from swallowing one they were replaced, so the earlier figures have become somewhat of a rarity.
The Colonial Viper was one of the best models that Mattel released and looked exactly like it did in the show and came with a small 2" viper pilot figure.
The Scarab was one of Mattel's "made up" vehicles and was never actually featured in the series. It came in 3 main parts, the command module, drive section and rocket launcher. The instruction sheet also wrongly labeled the figure that came with these vehicles as a Cylon.
Another vehicle released by Mattel that had nothing to do with the show was the Colonial Stellar Probe 30 which was based very loosely on the Colonial viper.
The Stellar Probe, like the Scarab, had nothing to do with the show and consisted of the command module, main body, wing unit, tail, thrusters, adapter, nose cone, and lift-off assembly.
The nice part with this figure is that by interchanging the parts you could make up to eight different vehicles. As with the Scarab there are two variations of this vehicle available, a grey version with firing missiles and a non firing version.
Artwork on the box also contained a picture of an early prototype Colonial figure with white arms and a red body rather than the final all red version which was released.
The Colonial Landram is probably the hardest Battlestar Galactica toy to find, with the exception of the Battlestar Galactica itself, of course.
The Colonial Landram was released in 1979 and was the last of the Mattel ships to be released and then only in Canada. It was was built to the same scale as the other ships and, as with the others, was available in both a non missile firing and a missile firing version.
There were two types of wheels available for the Landram, caterpillar tracks and plain wheels, in the same style as the Scarab, it also came with two small warrior figures that sat inside the cockpit. One of these sold on Ebay for $2,025.00 in 2006.
The Viper Launch Station came with the runway, two launch-able vipers, two laser turrets, solar sensors, catapult grip, and two raider targets. This is one of the more difficult items to find, particularly in mint condition with all the pieces intact and often sell more than $60
Then we have the Holy Grail of Battlestar Galactica collectibles, the one that everyone wants, The Battlestar Galactica Command Ship. This “ship” was to feature electronic sounds, launching vipers and was a massive 22 inches in length! It was, however, never released as it was deemed to be too expensive to produce and sell and hence why you will probably never see one for sale.
However, at least one prototype DOES exist and sold on Ebay for $5,100.00 in 2006.
Gift Sets 1978
Series 1 1978
1978 Series 2
1979 12" Figures