Mark Boudreaux’s gallery of shame

Unbelievable. As it turns out, the reason Hasbro’s new Millennium Falcon toy failed to correct any of the problems that plagued the original toy is… because they hired the same guy to design the new one!

Mark Boudreaux was apparently responsible for designing the original toy AND the new “BMF” version, which goes a long way towards explaining why they’re both so depressingly off-model. As I explained earlier, my biggest problem with either Falcon toy is the grossly inaccurate proportions, including a comically oversized cockpit and a pathetically undersized rectenna dish.

Here’s how the Falcon‘s supposed to look (image taken directly from Star Wars):

Note the cockpit (left) and rectenna dish (right) are approximately the same size.

Now here’s Boudreaux’s original version, beloved by all us ignorant children of the ’80s:

See the difference?

And here’s his latest failure, which looks almost as bad and costs way more money.

One area where clear improvement was made over the Kenner toy is the new boarding ramp, which now looks a lot more film-accurate (and makes a nifty sound as it automatically lowers!). However, while Han will likely be able to squeeze his way into the ship, Chewie and Artoo are denied access.

Even if they could fit up that narrow ramp, though, they’ve got a very steep climb!

Compare that inclination to the original Falcon set from Star Wars:

Even model kits from the ’70s managed to get the ramp inclination right…

…although Boudreaux never cared to (as this photo of the old Kenner toy shows).

When it came to his new version, though, Boudreaux’s biggest insult was to include one of his ill-conceived “Mini-Rig” toy designs, this bizarre one-man pod that fits into the port docking ring.

That space should’ve been used for an elevator tube leading to an emergency top hatch (as seen in The Empire Strikes Back and the 1978 TV special), as opposed to that so-called “escape vehicle” (as seen only in Boudreaux’s runaway imagination). What a waste of money and resources.

And just to further annoy obsessed Falconophiles such as myself, this new sculpt was clearly based upon the 32″ studio model built for The Empire Strikes Back, itself a much smaller and less detailed miniature than the original Millennium Falcon used for Star Wars (and for all the close-up shots in Empire). One dead giveaway there is the absurd testicle-like protrusion on the front mandible wall, just ahead of the cockpit, which never existed on any other model or full-scale set mockup apart from the 32″ Empire model.

These bizarre protrusions on either side of the top cannon are even more inexcusable, as their only reason for existence is to trigger (non-existent) missiles from the top cannons, and don’t represent any version of the Millennium Falcon.

I’d go on, but I can see you’re clearly sick of hearing me whine about this toy, and would rather see my recent Transformers, Gundam, Battlestar Galactica (and of course, new Star Wars) acquisitions. I promise I’ll upload some new content eventually…  -_-

If you really do care about the BMF, however (and some of you obviously do!), you’ll notice I’ve expanded my previous entry about this toy with further photographs as well… ’cause I just can’t quit bitching about it!

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7 Responses to Mark Boudreaux’s gallery of shame

  1. Paul says:

    Thanks for the link. You do realize it’s a toy designed to accommodate action figures and not a scale model, right?

    • tekering says:

      Thanks for providing such a great picture, Paul! Your question is a useful one, as it illustrates the problem with American toy designers like Mr. Boudreaux: “scale model” and “toy” should be synonymous concepts, not mutually exclusive ones. A toy designed to accommodate action figures should be to scale with said figures. That’s hardly an unreasonable expectation.

  2. LEon says:

    Thanks for the detail sharing. Please go bitch on for the review for the M.Falcon. it’s fun reading.

  3. Rob says:

    Hi, just stumbled across this website. Very interesting but as Paul says this is a toy. Tekering, your comment “A toy designed to accomodate action figures should be to scale with said figures. That’s hardly an unreasonable expectation” is absurd. The designers were obviously told that the figures would be standard 3.5 inch. An actual scale MF would therefore have been something like 4 feet wide (I’m sure you can work out that actual size!) and cost far more than any parent would pay. These are toys, they’re for children. If you want ‘realism’ buy the scale model. The fact you’ve bothered with such a long tirade about this stuff suggests you’ve never grown up! Get over it.

  4. Henry Jones says:

    It’s just a toy though.

  5. Bumlover says:

    You are an insult to most decent, sane Star Wars collectors out there. The BMF is not supposed to be to scale. Hardly any of the toys are at all. If you want one to scale then get the Revell snap-on version. Hasbro must take into consideration things such as tooling, materials and price.

    A to scale with the 3.75 inch figures would be huge and beyond the budget and space capacity of the majority of the collectors out there.

    Believe it or not the people that Hasbro employ are professionals who THINK before they DO. Maybe you should take a lesson from them.

    • tekering says:

      The earth is flat.
      The sound barrier cannot be broken.
      Women shouldn’t be allowed to vote.
      Homosexuality is a crime.
      Whites are inherently superior to blacks.

      What people consider “decent” or “sane” is defined by contemporary societal norms, and is in a constant state of evolution.

      History has shown us that new ideas are often ridiculed and rejected by the mainstream, regardless of their legitimacy. I’m no scientist, sir, but I understand how Galileo, Darwin, or Einstein must’ve felt when their fanciful notions about physics, biology and astronomy were summarily dismissed by their contemporaries. Yet each of them produced a paradigm shift in our understanding of the universe.

      My supposition is far less controversial: all I’m suggesting is that “toys” and “scale models” should not be mutually-exclusive. This Western prejudice against toys (and animation) as merely “for children” is outmoded and ignores years of international marketing trends that suggest exactly the opposite.

      Lego (based in Denmark) produced a 5000-piece Millennium Falcon nearly three feet in length, a set so popular it now sells for five times its retail cost. Hot Toys (based in Hong Kong) produced a three-foot Batmobile, a massive toy that sold so well that two even larger Batmobile toys have since been released. Bandai (based in Japan) produced a Gundam toy that stands five feet high, selling well enough to justify the production of a Zaku II at the same scale. And Attakus (based in France) already produced a Millennium Falcon to 3.75-inch action figure scale — a full six feet long, including the diorama base. (It’s constructed of resin, making it heavy and very expensive to ship, but they would’ve run into legal trouble if it was plastic. That’s Hasbro domain.)

      I think you underestimate the budget and space capacity of collectors, sir.

      And let’s not forget the precedent set by Hasbro themselves (based in Rhode Island), the seven and-a-half foot USS Flagg. A properly-scaled Millennium Falcon wouldn’t be nearly as large or difficult to sell.

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