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Army Gear - Air Eagle / Night Glider

I may have skipped a day with the Army Gear sets, but you all knew I'd be back for more, right? Well, never fear because on we go with the Combat Medals set, today featuring the Air Eagle / Night Glider!

Since this piece also turns into a jet, like the Air Wings / A-10 Fighter, the text on the card indicating such is no longer a 'typo' - though I suspect it just stayed consistent for all eight medals in the set, regardless of form and function. Click the image above for a few more shots of this next entry in our rare Army Gear Combat Medals collection!
Posted by charlie on September 16th 2010, 08:15 AM
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September 16th, 09:33 AM
This is the only medal I own. I found it in a toy shop in Pennsylvania last year for a buck in a bin of other 90s toys that were obviously picked up on clearance. I suppose it's proof that they did make it to America, even if it was only for a brief time.
September 16th, 09:44 AM
As is the case with so very many of these recently-vintage toy lines, it would be fascinating to learn more of the back story, especially concerning the end of product life, and the ways in which sets squeaked out to market like these.

After all of the thought, care, design and effort that goes into creating a line from scratch, that so many of them apparently fade away before a single product year has even come and gone is a shame. At least someone who was behind this line managed to get their beloved Combat Medals out to some form of cut-rate retail before the door closed for good!
September 16th, 09:46 PM
The thing to remember is that toys are a business. Sometimes the line is blurry because of the fun aspect to them - the popular refrain being "why can't we/why didn't we get XXXX?" But in the end, it comes down to equations and theories.

I can use Transformers Animated, as that is a recent example. They thought the line would run at least four years and planned that many toys and seasons of the toon, but the show was canceled early and the line did not sell as they wanted. They still made a good amount of toys, but we didn't get a TON of characters shown on the toon. In the end, you wind up with a bunch of guys whose steel molds had been paid for and created when the line was officially axed (Ironhide, Rodimus, etc), guys who existed as mold/paint studies (er...Cliffjumper? Wasp in Bumblebee mode? I forget now), and guys who never made it past a concept drawing (hell, take your pick - Strika, Dirt Boss, etc). Once the flow of money cuts off to development, forget everything that hasn't had molds made. If the molds exist, it becomes a dollars and sense question of there being a buyer who is willing to take the stock of the item and release it somewhere. If a run of the figures were made, it becomes a question if the figures can be converted to cash somewhere or if it is cheaper to destroy them.

As Charlie knows, I've wound up with production run samples of some weird stuff like Gi Joe Extreme Mayday and the 2nd wave of KB Manimals. They were produced in some quantity, but where did they go? Right now, in Africa, there could be hundreds of kids playing with brightly colored Gi Joe aliens that collectors here would sell their nuts for. (I had once read a story about the apparel that has to be disposed of when a Super Bowl team loses, read here:
It could be that there are hundreds of Manimals rotting in a warehouse somewhere, but more likely they were destroyed.

So, the existence of a 2nd series Army Gear would say that the 1st series sold well enough to warrant it, but how long can a concept like this work? I suppose if we track down a Galoob catalog from that year, we can get the answers. Some toylines that we consider as waves were really delayed releases within the same year.

As a slight aside, MEGO was great at making quick decisions about products that were in dying lines. The amount of rare-in-the-US Micronauts and Black Hole and etc would speak to that.

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