Monday, June 2, 2014

Merch Spotlight: Nightmare at 20,000 Feet diorama (Bif Bang Pow!)

I received Bif Bang Pow!’s Nightmare at 20,000 Feet diorama as a birthday gift from my good buddy Bill Huelbig about six months ago. I took pictures of it for my intended spotlight… which never quite happened. I have no excuse for this item slipping through the proverbial cracks, other than the fact that writing two blogs for eight months straight has been a bit overwhelming. I’ll attempt to rectify this oversight now.

When the first “Classic Moments” diorama (a San Diego Comic Con exclusive based on “The Invaders”) was announced, one of my initial reservations concerned the size: the promotional pictures made it seem big enough to be a big unwieldy for my purposes (never mind that the damned dimensions were readily available: 6.5” deep x 5.0” wide x 3.5” tall). I also wasn’t a fan of the sculpt (I think eliminating the Agnes Moorehead character entirely and just featuring the Invader and his flying saucer would’ve been way better). Another reservation was the price: $24.99 plus shipping, which seemed somehow unreasonable (however, I had no context to justify this conclusion).  Further, I had grown a bit disenchanted with BBP’s offerings in general, especially since their action figure line had essentially screeched to a halt (see here for the sad tale). When the second diorama (based on “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”) was announced, I found myself quite underwhelmed, and decided at that point to avoid the dioramas completely.

I did experience a bit of regret when the third diorama was announced (from “Eye of the Beholder”), which looked really impressive. But by then the “Invaders” diorama had sold out, and finances prohibited me from paying aftermarket prices (also, the completist in me couldn’t bear to buy some but not all of them), so I stuck to my guns and didn’t bite.

And then--- good ol’ Bill sent me the “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” diorama for my birthday, and all bets were abruptly off.

First off, the box is approximately the same size as those that house BBP’s TZ bobble heads, but the actual item itself is much smaller (6.5” wide x 4.5” long x 2.5” tall; again, having never bothered to check the specs, I was expecting it to be quite a bit bigger). I found the compactness quite appealing, and my original (unfounded) unwieldiness argument was immediately shattered. Plus---- well, the damned thing ended up being quite cool in general, so my original underwhelmed reaction was supplanted as well.

Have a look, kids.

If I have a complaint, it’s the fact that the Gremlin is painted the same gray as the plane, which makes him (it?) really hard to see. Just a few brushstrokes of a darker gray would’ve made a big difference (I’m certainly not expecting much detail at this scale). Otherwise---- a really solid piece. After my initial blasé reaction, I’m quite happy to wholeheartedly recommend it. Thanks Bill!

If you want your own (and why wouldn't you?), it's still available from Entertainment Earth. $18.99 plus shipping and it's yours.

So now the inevitable question arises: what about those other two dioramas?  The “Eye of the Beholder” diorama (which is still available for $29.99 plus shipping; I'm not sure why the price point is so much higher) is definitely something I want to pick up at some point. It appears that perhaps the line will stop at three (it’s been over a year, and a fourth diorama still hasn’t been announced), so I suppose I can swallow the aftermarket price of the “Invaders” diorama (I’ve still got some issues with the sculpting but, given the diminutive scale, it may be much less problematic) for completion’s sake.

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