Battle of the Planets
Diamond Select
Included in set:
Mark, Civilian Mark, Pearlized Mark, Princess, Civilian Princess, Keyop & Civilian Keyop

In 1972, the anime series called Gatchaman was released in Japan, and even today it's still considered one of the essential series in the development of the genre. When the series about a group of teenagers who work together in the G Force to stop the alien conqueror Zoltar and his minions from taking over the Earth came to the states, it was altered to be less violent and given the catchy name Battle of the Planets. In this series you find a lot of concepts that have been later used and reused (like the five vehicles that combine together).

Diamond Select has managed to take the famous license and run with it, creating an initial seven figure line up that may be hard to locate due to the fact that most of the figures are exclusively distributed to certain retailers. In the first series is Mark, Princess and Keyop, along with variants of each. There is a "Civilian" Mark, which is just the regular Mark figure without the helmet (exclusive to Electronics Boutique and Tower Records), and a "Pearlized" Mark (regular Mark figure with a shiny finish) that was limited to the recent San Diego Comic Con. There are also civilian versions of Princess (exclusive to ToyFare magazine and Tower Records) and Keyop (exclusive to Previews), but good luck in getting either.

The figures themselves look really good, as they are sculpted to mimic the anime. There are some nice details, like the clear plastic of the visor and the way the capes are sculpted. Little details, like the folds of fabric on the pants and boots really add to the overall quality of the sculpts. Diamond Select has managed to make a series that captures the nostalgic qualities of the series without trying to embellish them any. Each have limited poseability but come with a small assortment of additional items, including weapons and mini versions of their vehicles (dune buggy, motorcycle, etc.).

Expect the next series to include the rest of the team, Jason and Tiny, and their nemesis, Zoltar. Also expect to not be able to find them anywhere without a good bit of searching. This series is definitely for the collector. While you could take them out and play with them, the time spent looking towards getting a whole set may make you want to seal them up just for show. Fans of the original anime should take the time to at least find some of the normal versions to keep for their own.

- - Vane

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