Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Dickie Toys Holiday Camper Review

Who remembers the pure awesomeness of the EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle from the movie Stripes? Such a silly ass movie, but still a load of fun. Wouldn't it be awesome to have something similar to the EM-50 for 4" action figures? 
What I would really love to have would be the Coyote from G.I. Joe Renegades, but it only reached the prototype stage. Too bad, I would have liked at least two of them!
I don't really recall where I first saw the Holiday Camper from Dickie Toys. I'm pretty sure that I saw a custom version of it somewhere on a G.I. Joe related web page or Facebook page. I was able to locate it on Amazon, but I hesitated at first and the price jumped up beyond what I was willing to pay. 
A few weeks ago, I checked again and the price was down to around $26.00! I quickly ordered it and just a few days later, I had my own Holiday Camper for my G.I. Joe team!
The packaging was a bit beat up, but who cares? It didn't take me too long to free it from its cardboard prison. 
For this review, I took quite a few pictures to try and capture all of the features and details of the the camper. Way too many for just one post. 
I've decided to create a separate page for all of the pictures and my thoughts about the camper. Click here to check them out!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

SDCC Revolutions: Roadblock

Roadblock! Roadblock!
ROADBLOCK!!!
Yeah, he's really the reason that I bought this set. I like most of everything else, but Roadblock is really the star of the set, at least to me.
This version of Roadblock comes from the short-lived GI Joe Renegades series. Renegades was an amazing series, with kind of an A-Team feel to it in general. Cobra was portrayed as a multinational company that had insidiously infiltrated society. Much of that vision of Cobra influences my own fictional GI Joe world.

A version of the Renegades Roadblock was revealed alongside the unreleased Coyote truck. Oooh, that would have been sweet!

I don't recall the build, but I'm sure the body was quite different. Hasbro resurrected the head sculpt and the vest, but used the Roadblock/Rock body from Retaliation. The combination works great! 

While the Resolute version of Roadblock was pretty cool, and the Rock/Roadblock version was awesome. But this guy... He's now my default Roadblock. The Roadblock of the original 80's characterizations is gone, replaced by a Renegade!
The team is finally together! Wait, what about that Snake Eyes? I never really liked the Renegades portrayal of Snake Eyes and never really liked the figures and never bought any of them. City Strike Snake Eyes works well enough for me!

I'm so thrilled that I was able to secure this SDCC Revolutions set! If you were able to get the set, which is your favorite figure?

SDCC Revolutions: Jetfire

I remember having the original Jetfire Transformer figure and just loving it. I liked it more as what the original Transformer was - a Macross Veritech. Hell, I remember when I bought him at the same KMart where I bought my first GI Joe figures. There was a huge display of them, dozens and dozens of them. And I only bought one. Crap.

Unfortunately, I sold him off several years ago to help us get past some rough financial times. Sad, but necessary at the time. 
I'm not a huge Transform fan, I've liked some of the comic stories much more than the toys. There has been an amazing change in the design and engineering of the toys for quite a few years. When the vehicles transform, you actually have an action figure. Usually a well made one!
The look of Jetfire in his fighter jet mode looks enough like the original version so that I really like this figure. Plus he still reminds me of one of the later advanced Veritech fighters from later Macross series.
That's pretty much where the connection with Macross ends. But how does he stack up against the rest of the SDCC set? He's definitely got them beat on the height difference. I think that he works well enough that I'm quite pleased with using him right alongside the regular figures.

Well, what about his jet mode? Maybe his alternate mode just mimics the form of a jet fighter and doesn't have to be in "scale". Works for me.
I think that Jetfire makes for a great part of the team!
The Micronauts look pretty cool hanging out with him. I'm guessing that they are much closer in scale to each other over the 4" figures.
Jetfire is a definite keeper!

Looks like there's just one more SDCC Revolutions review to do!

SDCC Revolutions: Action Man, Rom, & Dire Wraith

Next up on the SDCC Revolutions mini reviews - Action Man, ROM, and the Dire Wraith.
I've had plenty of exposure to Action Man, specifically the 12" versions that came out several years ago. I have no idea what's going on now with GI Joe's British cousin. So what about the figure?  Decent, but still kind of a miss. The biggest issue is that his head is a bit too big for the body. And what's the deal with that Tron suit that he's wearing?

I sort of see him as an enhanced human or at least someone wearing a powered suit of some sort. Cool figure, but still not sure how to integrate him.
Yeah, like integrating ROM will be easy! ROM was a rather clunky large scale figure from the late 70's that appeared in comics in 1979. The comic started slowly, but it really developed into an amazing series once other space knights were introduced. The Dire Wraith subplots were also pretty well done, at least as far as I can remember.

The figure turned out... okay... I think everything works out until we get to his legs, they're just too short when compared to the rest of the body. But still... Holy crap, I've got a GI Joe scaled ROM figure! Pretty frikkin' awesome!
How about ROM's enemy, the Dire Wraith? Absolutely fantastic! I'm not sure where the body came from, but it works quite well. Hasbro integrated the mutant zombie viper arms into the execution of the overall design and it works out quite well.
Look at this head sculpt! Simple, yet very creepy. That damn, wide evil grin is so cool! Just so alien and creepy! I love it!
How do I integrate this creep? Not sure, but I could definitely tie him into the mutant zombie viper figures, especially when you add the mutant arms. Not sure exactly how yet, but it could work.

A couple more SDCC Revolutions reviews to go. Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

SDCC Revolutions: Matt Trakker, Leoric, Micronauts

Let's get these SDCC Revolution reviews underway. For this post, I will be looking at Matt Trakker, Leoric, and the Micronauts.

I'm generally indifferent towards MASK and the Visionaries. I never bought any MASK sets when they first appeared way back whenever. I liked the 3 3/4" scale over the MASK figures. The Visionaries were a little larger than GI Joe and weren't of much interest to me. I think I bought one figure.

The Micronauts toy line and comic actually predate GI Joe by at least three years. When I first read the Micronauts comic, back in 1979, I was immediately enthralled. The stories by Bill Mantlo combined with the art of Michael Golden were just phenomenal. Just amazing stuff, but to me, the toy line didn't live up to the comic. I had a few of the Micronauts toys, but I never really went GI Joe nuts over them.

So let's take a quick look at these new versions based on the Revolutions story lines. A quick disclaimer: I haven't read much of any comic book in the past several years. I think I may have read the first couple years of GI Joe by IDW, but I've been done with comics for quite some time. So basically, I have no idea what the whole Revolutions concept is about. 
First up is Matt Trakker from MASK. The character first appeared in the GI Joe line in 2008 as a cool nod to the MASK line. 
Oh look, he's now black! Yeah? Who cares?
This new Matt is equipped with same basic gear as the original 2008 version, same helmet and chest gear. He's got a new body but I'm not really sure of the origin of the build. Works great wherever it came from. Damn fine head sculpt as well.
So how do I add this guy into my weird world? My thoughts, currently, is that he's a highly skilled engineer and has developed an integrated suit that works with a modified XP-14. My idea is that the suit interfaces with the controls of the jet, giving a much faster response time based his mental connection.

I've sort of got an idea that he destroyed the first experimental SkyStriker because he exceeded the limitations of the air frame of the plane. It basically started to tear itself apart due to the stresses that he put it through. The new SkyStriker, that version from last year's SDCC set, is a much more structurally sound aircraft. Yeah, sounds silly, so what.
So what about Leoric, the leader of the Visionaries? Wow, so much baby blue. Ugh. I just can't figure out how to integrate this guy. I've read suggestions about him begin kind of Asgardian, in that his technology is so advanced, it looks like magic to us. Maybe...
The head sculpt is great, looks like the animation models for Hector Rivera from the GI Joe cartoons. Maybe I'll figure out a different use for the head. Leoric is unfortunately at the bottom of the list in terms of ranking the figures. The Micronauts? Well, they're in a different category.
I like them and I don't like them Yeah, I get the idea that they are tiny characters, but the execution is just a bit lacking. Paint apps for figures of this scale can often tend to be clumpy and lacking in detail. Really unfortunate. Due to the lack of articulation, these guys are designed well enough, but just a bit of a pass. Oh, I would prefer an awesome Acroyear figure in the same size as the 4" figures.
Baron Karza is such an awesome character, the Microverse version of Thanos or Darkseid. So cool, but so disappointing at this scale.
Acroyear is actually well designed, but only after considering the scale in which he was made. I wish he was bigger. Oh well.

Stay tuned for more quick looks at the rest of SDCC Revolutions!