Land of Black Gold, The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn, Tintin Merchandise

Tintin Meccano! First Tintin merchandise revealed.

Finally we have the first images of Tintin Movie merchandise. For months now we’ve wondered about possible toys and figures. This is our first glance.

Although you won’t find this on their site anymore, Toys News put up a post on their website with the following picture. The following is cut and pasted from the post. Take a GOOD look at this photo.

Meccano will create model replicas of three of the vehicles from the Tintin movie, due for release in the UK on October 26th 2011. The licence has been agreed for the UK, France and Benelux countries.

The famous comic book hero is about to come to life again in the first of a trilogy, ‘The Adventures of Tintin and the Secret of the Unicorn’. Directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Peter Jackson, the film uses synthetic imaging and motion capture to replicate the look of the original artwork.

The film depicts Tintin’s (Jamie Bell) first encounter with Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) and the discovery of a clue to the treasure of his ancestor Sir Francis Haddock. Daniel Craig plays Red Rackham, the pirate who attacks the Unicorn.

Meccano has paid close attention to the detail of the replica vehicles from the film, creating three models from its traditional metal nuts and bolts construction.

The models include a 4×4 vehicle (290 pieces); a Seaplane (340 pieces) and the Unicorn sailing ship (630 pieces). The models are due for release in the UK in September.

The replicas are suitable for children from eight years-old, but will equally appeal to older Tintin enthusiasts.

At first I could hardly believe these were real. Something about the whole thing just seemed wrong. All the images on the box are the same images shown in Empire magazine. Does Meccano really only have those images to go on? However it’s possible they will come up with a more complete cover later. But these may really be the finished products. I think we should consider that the picture of Tintin on the cover of Empire magazine months back was not a slightly unfinished picture just made for a magazine,but actually a one hundred percent finished product that will appear on a myriad of merchandise from now on. I don’t see them all using the same picture,but if Meccano stays with that cover,you can bet the official movie based toy line will use something like it.

And now to the question we are all wondering: what in the name of Khemed is the Thompson’s red jeep doing in this picture?  Just in case any of you out there don’t know all of the Tintin album’s vehicles by heart, the red jeep recreated by Meccano appeared in Tintin in The Land of Black Gold…and has NOTHING so far as we can tell to do with any of the stories revealed so far to be in the film. Remember when Thompson and Thomson drive into the city fast asleep with their hair growing in all different colors? Either yet another album is going to be mixed into the story somehow with The Crab with the Golden Claws, or only the jeep itself will be.

A third possibility would be that Meccano just wanted to create a third vehicle for it’s toy line and borrowed one from a different Tintin book. As much as I would love to see something like that happen in the future with other merchandise rather than companies limiting themselves to only what is seen in the film,I don’t find that likely here because the jeep really doesn’t have that prominent of a role. The moon rocket or the jet from flight 714 would make more sense. The red jeep must be somewhere in the film. Why? How? Only time will tell. Due to the similarities between Khemed and Morocco,and the picture on the box in the Sahara, I do think that for now we can assume it will show towards the beginning of the movie.

It surprises me that Meccano would include the jeep at all,even if I had already known it was in the film. Granted,it’s cool to see ANY Tintin vehicle taken to the toy shelves,but the red jeep from Tintin? I have a hard time seeing little kids begging and crying to their grandmothers to buy them ”Tintin’s jeep”.  If I were a kid it wouldn’t have me jumping off the walls in excitement if I saw it in a catalog.

Having said that,what kid WOULDN’T want a toy Unicorn to play with or a model of it to build after seeing the movie?  I see that selling very well.  The seaplane is also very nice. All three models look very much like the book’s drawings. I like the looks of all three. I may even buy them. If I don’t it will only be because I’m buying something else made off the movie I like better. And I believe there will be a lot of options to choose from. Out of all the Multimodels Meccano has for sale, NONE of them are versions of something out of a movie. Meccano could have picked to copy something from a racing movie or something like that,but they chose Tintin. This is significant. If the companies that rarely or never base their toys of movies are getting the rights to Tintin,what can we expect from those that almost stay in business solely making toys off of new movies? I am seriously hoping a Lego Tintin will come out. They have already done Indiana Jones,Star Wars,etc If Meccano can do Tintin,Lego could easily do their own version. I would just love to build a Lego Marlinspike Hall or Unicorn ship. Hey! If any of you readers have contacts at Lego,I’m telling you it would be a great idea! Seriously! It would sell!

This was not what I expected to find as our first photo of Tintin merchandise,but I guarantee it won’t be the last. I anxiously look forward to seeing what else comes out. It’s only a matter of time before you will be able to find your own pullback Unicorn in a Happy Meal.

Special thanks to Britto for this info! Keep up the great work you guys!


and the now empty from which the above was pasted.


  1. admin

    Interesting to note that the idea that it will be trilogy of movies is still being put around. It was confirmed that there will only be two movies two years ago!


  2. Stephen

    Hmm…Two years is a long time. There’s a spanish expression that says ”no hay dos sin tres” literally ”there is no two without a three”. If this makes money (and it will) and the next one makes money (which it might) I would not be surprised one bit to see a third movie.

  3. Proman

    “Interesting to note that the idea that it will be trilogy of movies is still being put around. It was confirmed that there will only be two movies two years ago!”

    That isn’t quite true. There is a difference in planning only two movies ahead and confirming that there will ONLY be two films. According to my sources, not only was a screenwriter for third film already hired, if things went well they weren’t going to stop at three other or four or five.

    But it’s all speculation for now, The thing is that Spielberg and Jackson are not limiting themselves to any strict time table but in due time the second film, will go into production. Let’s just concentrate on the first film and have faith in the rest.

    About that logo, I HIGHLY doubt that they will keep something that wasn’t even from the movie as their logo for too long. I also don’t find it too odd if that’ll they got for now, but as we get closer to the release of the film I’d expect it to be replaced with official movie artwork.

    P.S. That vehicle reminds me of Lupin III green jeep from intro to season 2. Awesome stuff!

  4. Stephen

    I agree Proman,I was thinking the same thing. It is very unlikely they release a model unicorn with a box that has the Unicorn nowhere to be seen on it 🙂 They probably DO only have those pictures to work with for now,or are not allowed to reveal what they have yet.

  5. Pe-ads

    I think the jeep is in the line because it’s a car. Meccano does lots of cars.

    If only Lego would do a line o.O That would get be interested.

    On an unrelated note, can I use HTML tags in the comment form like ’em’, or ‘b’?


  6. Mike Dutton

    I believe I know why the jeep is there. The jeep might be used in the film after all. Let’s not forget that this isn’t a Tintin book, and that it’s a Tintin film. Perhaps it will be like Lake of Sharks, where it will incorporate elements from different books, and maybe even have certain things rearranged?
    Let’s say for a minute that the Thompsons join Tintin and Haddock by arriving in the Moroccan Port driving the jeep. We all read Empire, well most of us did. They even mention extra comic relief regarding Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, claiming there is a scene where the Thompsons are arguing about whose sidekick is whose. Something like that didn’t happen in the books, so there’s one example of the movie having creative liberties.
    Want another liberty that they’re going with? Well, two new characters are in the film: An American Inspector and a female Moroccan journalist. Supposedly there is a third, but I don’t know yet.

    Thing is, this film is going to have many creative liberties, and we need to start getting prepared for that. Otherwise we’ll consider it an unfaithful adaptation and even hate it. I’ll tell you one thing right now, though: You won’t see all of The Secret of the Unicorn in this film. It’ll cut off before it gets to the last scenes. Red Rackham will most likely be the next film. Why else are the Bird Brothers and Professor Calculus uncast?

    Indeed, some things have little significance, but if they’re in a place where they don’t belong, that doesn’t automatically mean bad. Yeah, it’s not a part of the books, but it is just a jeep. If the moon rocket was in this film, then I would understand, but it’s just a jeep. No one needs to get worked up over it.

  7. Stephen

    I honestly am not sure if you can or not. go ahead and try it out.
    @ Mike Dutton:
    I completely understand. If we expect it to be the exact story from the books we will certainly get disappointed. But although part of the goal is to keep Tintin’s character and story true to Hergés work,there will of course be liberties. Thinking it over maybe that entire hallucination scene from Land of Black Gold will be in there,since little is shown about the Thompsons voyage to Morocco. It would be very interesting to see them doing a bit of detective work on that side of the story. In reality they really don’t do much of anything in the crab with the golden claws,and I doubt the audience would actually believe they are secret service agents if Spielberg doesn’t give them more of a role. I laugh so hard whenever I read their parts in the books,they really deserve a good part of the movie. The jeep would fit in nicely in the dessert,it just surprised me to see it there. It probably is because it’s a car. I look forward to see what liberties they come up with,and I really think that that ”whose sidekick is whose” idea is a great one 🙂
    I will say this though: if Tintin has a love interest with this Moroccan reporter,I’m gonna be mad. It is interesting though that there is not a single female character in any of the books in the film unless Bianca shows up (with the exception of the lady in the phone booth). I suppose girls will demand something be done about that.
    I agree with you on the fact that the story must continue in the next movie or we would have a calculus,but this doesn’t explain the bird brothers not being gone. Could they have substituted them for another villain? Allan? Silk? Just speculation….

  8. Mike Dutton


    Tintin will not have a love interest. Nick Rodwell mentioned years ago that the whole idea was forbidden. He and/or other Hergé Foundation representatives were at the filming studio the whole time, supervising everything. The idea of giving Tintin a girlfriend would not have gone unnoticed.

    Also, I hear that the villain of the movie is in fact Red Rackham. I believe that the film will actually cut off after the story of Sir Francis Haddock, much like the two-parter cartoon did. We have Allan, Salaad and Silk in the movie too.

    And maybe the story will be turned in more ways than one, because the Castafiore is in the film. The story cannot be adapted in a horrible manner, because it wouldn’t have passed. Yeah, there’s a creative change in the story layout, but at least it won’t be on the same level as the Belvision series.

    I imagine people will go crazy if the adaptation is not word for word accurate, because people like to complain like that. But the thing is, many films adaptations change things often, so there should be no reason for Tintin to be an exception. People might consider it a bad thing for things to be tweaked and twisted around, but in the long run, it is just a film.

    One fear I keep hearing is whether or not Spielberg is Americanizing it. He most certainly is not. It’s directed by an American, but that doesn’t mean a darn thing.

    I also love how some people still continue to complain about the motion capture, how the characters have dead eyes and all that… They do not. The motion capture has never looked so good. I’ve recently seen a HD image of Haddock for the movie (the cabin scene image), and he looks like he’s a real person. The only reason people worry is because they think too much about Polar Express, which used a different kind of motion capture, contrary to what every one has said about it being the same method.

    This is the same technology that was used to make Gollum and King Kong for crying out loud. Are these people missing something??

    Forgive the long winded speech (I seem to do this all the time on here these days), but people never want to feel satisfied about something. Even on this site, once in a while, there’s a comment or a blog where people express concern over things without giving a more pleasing opinion until much, much later. It’s like many people want to focus too much on the bad, and let the rest be ignored. If anything, this will probably kill the Tintin movie franchise, and that’s sad. People are prepared to just turn away and not even blink an eye at what could be one of the most successful movies in the 21st century. Shame.

  9. Pe-ads


    I guess they could just add the jeep in. After all, it would be a way of getting an iconic vehicle into the movies.


    I totally agree about the changing thing. As I say to everyone I meet, film adaptations are *adaptations*. Directly transcribing a book to film would be horrible. The biggest example is Lord of the Rings. I once heard someone say “The LotR movies are awful! The acting is horrible and the plot’s messed up. To anyone else it’d be a good movie, but it’s not LotR!” I was just like “Wha? If it’s not good as LotR, either (a) view it as a random fantasy movie, or (b) stop whining!”

    The Tintin movie will be different, but even if it was the same it would be different. I know that sounds paradoxical, but let me explain. In the books, Tintin doesn’t really have that much character. Sure, he’s plucky, resourceful, and adventurous, but that’s about it. That’s why Tintin is so enduringly popular: when you read the books, *you* are Tintin: you project yourself (especially if you’re a boy!) into Tintin. After all, what boys aren’t plucky, adventurous, and resourceful? So by having Jamie Bell play Tintin, he’s projecting himself, his interpretation of the character, into Tintin. So they’re not going to be the same as you remember the books, mainly because Jamie Bell is Tintin, not you.

    As long as they keep Tintin’s pluck, resolve, youthfulness, and bad luck/innate talent in NOT finding a girlfriend, I’ll be happy 😀


  10. Your mother

    Tintin-Lego would be awesome! The Meccano thing is gonna flop, the Lego idea is way better. My own Lego Tintin and Captain Haddock… lol XD awesome!
    And by the way, I know why there aren’t many female characters in the Tintin comics! Hergé said that all his characters are caricatures and he won’t caricature too much women because he don’t wanna insult women. And that’s why!
    I know it because I got to a Tintin-museum in Belgium where they gave all details about the books and Hergé.

  11. Dave

    Gee – I really don’t like these things! My first thought when I saw it was that someone had scanned the images in the comics at 5 dpi. Don’t get me wrong – Meccano is fun and way cool to play with but obviously Moulinsart are in it for the money. And these things will cost twice as much as your average Meccano set. To top it off – I’ll put money on it that we don’t even get these in Australia. I am very curious to see if Lego will put out a range… Now there I WILL spend my hard earned cash!

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