Wednesday, July 17, 2013

#304 SECRET WARS – TOWER OF DOOM (1984)





The Secret Wars toy-line had among its references two big playsets: the “Tower of Doom” (this one) plus the “Freedom Fighter”. The first of these two was the villains fortress, while the second one was a platform for the Turbocopter with two big cannons for the good guys.

Both are relatively big and take a lot of space, but since it was offered to me at such a low price (20 Eur) I couldn’t say no. I’m glad I have it, because it is a toy I played as a kid with. A friend of mine had it, although he didn’t have any figures from the Secret Wars toy-line. We used it with Masters of the Universe, although these are much bigger.
Well, the Tower of Doom fortress is mint on box, and I didn’t applied stickers yet. I will show the whole contents of the box, and then I will try to review the building with its nice features Without assembling all parts, this review will be rather bad, but I’ll prefer that to opening vintage toys which are still in their original packages.

Needless to say, it is quite an impressive playset, I hope the pictures can give you an idea of it.

Ok, this is the box of the playset. This box was intended for the Spanish market. Internet search reveals that the American box is a bit different, since the back of it is made of white cardboard and depicts the toy with all its features. This version of the box is decorated with the same picture in both front and back sides. This picture is very appealing since it depicts a bunch of well known characters: Kang, Dr. Octopus, Dr. Doom and Captain America. The tower is shown over a stormy sky with a bit of fog, it’s a great picture.  In a smaller square the tower is shown from backwards in a picture with a child playing with the figures, so you can realize the real size of the toy.


The sides of the box highlight 6 features of the tower in independent frames:

  1. Observation turret
  2. 3 levels (floors) of action
  3. Secret compartment
  4. Trap in door turns to prison
  5. Platform lift
  6. Gliding seat over control panel


I will came back to these features later, now, let’s go with the contents of the box.

  • First and biggest part is the fortress itself. It cannot be disassembled, nor can be removed the lift of the doors to the prison. The walls of the fortress are hollow.
  • Second part is the turret that can be placed over the fortress, it came already mounted, with seat, side cannons and internal mechanism. By pushing a button on the frontal shield, the seat falls down, and with it, the figure sitting there.

  • Third: a bag that includes the gliding seat. I didn’t opened it, but it seems to be the best feature in the playset. Quite impressive that seat, and very fragile too. The seat part, by the way is the same than in the previous turret.
  • Fourth: A small bag including a grey shield plus some lenticular images. Unfortunately, European releases came with the images of one of the figures that were available apart. In America, each playset and vehicle had it’s own images, that you couldn’t get anywhere else. In this case, I got Dr. Octopus’. Each box included a shield in red in the case of the heroes or in grey if the vehicle or playset is intended for the villains. Every shield has a peg (red shield: round, grey shield: rectangular) that activates some mechanism, or reveals some hidden feature. In this case, the shield opens a secret compartment in one of the walls of the fortress.





  • Fifth: Instructions sheet. Nice that not every feature was described in the box… in the instructions we read about the secret passage/door to the lab, that can be opened from the inside as an emergency wayout.
  • Sixth: Stickers sheet, still unused.

  • Seventh: Mattel Spain's quality control sheet (virtually indistinguishable from those included in She-Ra: Princess of Power, Masters of the Universe, and other Mattel toylines).




Here’s a view of the fortress from the outside


And here’s from the inside.


Of course the Tower of Doom doesn’t look that well without the stickers and the gliding seat, but it is still quite impressive as is. A few more pictures with some figures over it, can be found in other Secret Wars entries.


To finish the article, I'll just go through the instructions leaflet:

Contents:


How to place stickers:

Assembly of the gliding seat:


How to activate the feature of the observation turret:
How to open doors or keep them open:
How to open the secret compartment:
How to open the secret passage:


And finally, how to use the secret shield:




FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: TOWER OF DOOM
  • Alternate Names: TORRE ACORAZADA (Spanish)
  • Toy Line: Secret Wars (Wave 1)
  • Year: 1984
  • Company: Mattel (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the playset: Around 40 cms high

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