Just for fun, I decided to compare several Galaxy Laser Team figures with the Star Wars characters who inspired them. Or did they? On closer inspection, some Galaxy figures are entirely different from those they supposedly portray. Star Wars may have inspired some of the Tim Mee brand figures, but both sets are distinct.
Chewbacca and Chompsnuffa
The main similarity between Star Wars’ Wookie and the Galaxy Fur Alien is the fur. Granted, the Galaxy figure was an attempt to take the place of the Wookie, but the facial features and weapon are entirely different. My suggestion for those who paint their figures is to use very different colors on these funny fellows. An imaginative modeler could get a very distinct miniature from the Galaxy fur alien just by creative use of paint. Green fur? Maybe...
Darth Vader and Magnutto
Darth Vader is a very distinct character. Side by side with the supposed Galaxy Laser team version, they are very different figures. The Tim Mee counterpart looks like a Marvel Comics character. Thigh-high boots, a pectoral chest-plate and pro wrestler belt are very different from Vader’s clothing. The helmets are also unique. The Tim Mee figure wears what looks like a variant of an open-faced Greek helmet. His cape is shorter and so is his weapon. A light-club? With a little work, it could be a Greek-type sword. Again, a creative painter could make the Tim Mee figure look stunning.
X-Wing Pilot and Soldier with Pistol
These two have more in common than the other pairs. Helmets, though distinct, have a similar overall shape. However, the pilot is obviously in a flight suit. The Tim Mee figure could be anything from a security officer to Buck Rogers type soldier. He wears a very different outfit and unique boots that seem to flop over the top like those of pirates. While he could fit in the realms of Buck Rogers, Death Star personnel or Rebel infantry, he is unique enough to stand out. It is all in the paint work.
Tusken Raider and Turto-lob
These are so distinct as to have no middle ground between them. The Tusken is a desert character. If not humanoid, it is still likely mammalian. The Turto-lob (Turtle + lobster) is reptilian with a bird-like beak, buggy antennae and lobster claws. Still and all, both are cool aliens to add spice to your spice adventures.
R2D2 and the Washboard Robot
Mistakenly called "droids" in the movies, short tin-can robots were a common feature of the Star Wars franchise. (Droid is short for android, a robot having a basic human shape. C3PO from Star Wars, Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation and the Terminator are androids. R2D2 and his type are not.) R2D2 is a small, cylindrical machine with a dome top and three legs. By comparison, Tim Mee’s Galaxy Laser Team robot is a flat, rectangular-bodied machine with two legs.
Small robots like both of these examples were common in the Star Wars movies. Another movie using small robots was Silent Running with Bruce Dern from 1972. He had a pair of two-legged, boxy robots. Cute robots seem to have been a thing of the times. For instance, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, a 1970s show, had a comical little robot named Twiki. (Think Hello Kitty goes Andriod: Twiki.)
Of course, Star Wars was not the only inspiration. Three of the characters in the Galaxy Laser Team had other origins:
The two astronauts in the Galaxy Laser Team are somewhere between Gemini and the Space Shuttle. One pose is reminiscent of the early MPC "Mercury" type astronauts. The other has similarities to two other poses. However, these Galaxy astronauts are more modern. For instance, the air supply on the astronauts’ backs tells the tale. The MPC astronauts have tanks similar to a scuba diver. The Galaxy men have a boxy pack instead. It would have been more like that worn on the Space Shuttle. The Apollo air pack was much larger, wider and taller.
What happened to the woman with console? She is apparently based on the female crew of the original run of Star Trek. Unlike the others, there is no previous plastic figure on which she might be based.
The Galaxy Laser Team is a good source of affordable 50 to 54mm scale space figures. Because they are different from the characters of popular sci-fi movies, there is a lot of leeway as to how they can be painted and their use in games. A skillful modeler could get more than a few good conversions from them. The recent Hasbro "Star Wars" plastic figures are a great asset, but they will be getting scarce due to discontinued production. Perhaps Airfix will reissue their fantasy space men soon. They can accompany both of the aforementioned sets of spacemen.