Wednesday, August 11, 2021


THIS IS AN EXCELLENT KIT FOR science-fiction and fantasy lovers. It’s to 1:48 scale, and is based on a TV series from the 1960s.

Mat Irvine: Land of the Giants (LOTG) was an Irwin Allen TV show, with a plot loosely based on the flight of a suborbital spaceship, the Spindrift. The craft was travelling from Los Angeles to London, when it went through some sort of space warp which sent it to crash-land on a mystery planet, where things are a dozen times larger than normal – including human-like giants, who regard the Spindrift crew as 'little people.' 

A lot of time in the two-year LOTG series was spent with the Spindrift crew defending themselves from assorted giant-sized creatures, although I should point out that the particular scenario depicted by this kit never actually existed on screen, being based on publicity artwork. However, three of the Spindrift crew, Captain Steve Burton, Betty Hamilton and Dan Erickson, are shown here using a safety pin as a weapon.

The giant snake resembles a diamondback rattlesnake, with appropriate markings shown along the body, and a ‘rattle’ tail. The box base shows the built-up and painted kit, which is helpful if you need assistance with the snake colouring. The grass-textured base has three separate tufts of plastic grass, and indentations where the figures can stand. There is also a LOTG nameplate, which can be added if you wish. 

As a bonus with this kit, there is a new card backdrop. One side is printed with plain grass, the other side has Spindrift in the background. 

And here’s what Doll and Hobby have to say:
“...When the suborbital transport Spindrift travels through a tumultuous, glowing space warp, crew and passengers crash-land on an Earth-like planet where all things – including animals, plants and people – are an incredible 12 times larger! Unexpectedly stranded in a savage land, the crew of the Spindrift must use their wits and stamina to stay alive in this overwhelming new world, a veritable Land of the Giants ®!”

Some history
The Aurora Company ceased in 1977, but has since retained a devoted following with modellers. This has applied especially to its range of figures, many of them based on characters that appeared in movie and television shows. 

Aurora came from a time when collectibility of old kits wasn’t on the agenda, as modellers always wanted something new. Most old kit tooling was destroyed, so Aurora could reuse the mould components for new kits. 

But later generations of modellers wanted to build these old kits. So retro-engineering was developed for the kit world, by taking an original kit and making a new mould from it. This applied to one of the two Aurora LOTG models. The moulds for the Spindrift survived intact, but this giant snake kit is a good example of retro-engineering. 

Polar Lights (note the play on the Aurora name) retro-engineered the snake kit, issuing it in 2002. However, it has long been out of the Polar Lights range, but now we have a fresh opportunity with this kit from the Doll & Hobby Georgia company (D&H). The kit comes with the colourful new box design, and card diorama backdrop.

About Irwin Allen
Irwin Allen (1916-1991) was an American producer and director, most noted for his quartet of 1960s-era TV series, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Time Tunnel, Lost in Space, and Land of the Giants. Later, he earned the title ‘Master of Disaster’ for movies like The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure.   

Doll and Hobby is part of the CultTVMan (CTVM) organisation. Thanks to CEO Steve Iverson for the review kit.

Scale stats
Doll and Hobby Georgia: Land of the Giants
Scale: 1:48
Assembled size: 255 mm (10 in) wide, 135 mm (5.25 in) high
Parts: 22 plus card backdrop
Manufacturer’s ref: 1816

The box base (below) shows an assembled and painted model, useful for details, especially on the snake. 

Completed model (below) with backdrop showing the Spindrift. The snake is finished as per the illustration, but with a final coat of thinned Tamiya translucent yellow to give it that ‘silky snake’ look.

Box (below) for the previous Polar Light issue. This was a reproduction of the old Aurora box, with just a change of name.