Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Cobra Hired Mercenaries

Sometimes Cobra needs to open up the checkbook and pay for some professionals. Once in a while, other toy lines pop up with some pretty decent figures that would work well with the GI Joe/Cobra conflict.
These three came to my attention over the past year or so and I decided to add them into my collection.
 Deathstroke
From the DC line. He certainly looks cool, but his articulation is crap. The arm articulation is the biggest factor. Deathstroke can't hold a weapon in anything close to a proper two-handed grip. I see this figure as an analogy to the Batman V Superman movie (which I haven't seen yet). Looks impressive from the outside, but once you're into it, you'll find yourself faced with disappointment.
Crossbones
An excellent figure from the Marvel line from Hasbro. Decent articulation, a bit limited based on the bulk of the figure. He still works well enough with GI Joe/Cobra figures.  
Winter Soldier
I've seen this figure for a while and I continued to pass on him. I finally saw one at 5 Below and still passed on him. Finally, in a "what the hell" moment, I bought him. Decent articulation, but still a bit lacking in the two-arm firing stance. The hands aren't that great either. Still a decent figure. Worth the $5.00!

Have you found any figures out there that you can integrate into your GI Joe world? Sound off in the comments!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

FSS 4.0: Bullhorn

One of the best of FSS 4.0 so far! Some might say that the Club went the lazy route, but I'm not going to complain. The Shock Trooper body is just a great base to make just about any military figure. Somewhere, someone has a list of all of the different figures that have used this body.

Plus the Club went with that Dusty head sculpt that has been used multiple times by both Hasbro and the Club. But it works here. Minor skin tone changes, different hair color, and maybe some face camo and you've got new figure.
Bullhorn comes with a decent amount of gear. He's got that sniper rifle (blurry in the foreground), a gas mask, the tan thing, and Lowlight's sniper rifle. I really don't like that sniper rifle in the foreground. It is a bit too big and bulky and is difficult for figures to hold. No worries, I've got plenty of other weapons.

I've seen comments about that tan thing. Is it a hi-tech bullhorn? Or is it a parabolic mic, able to pick up a variety of sound sources. Fred from JoeBattlelines first brought that to my attention. I haven't read his justification for the idea yet, but it still has merit to me.
Hey, Bullhorn, the 90's called! They want their headband back!
Much better. The headband can just go away.
See what I mean about this head sculpt? Everybody is using this look! Who else did I miss? I know I missed the latest blue Dusty, but who else is there?
Another quick thought - unrelated to figure design and more of a Hasbro issue that a Club issue. I really hate the stand holes in the heels of the figures. I know some of the Retaliation figures had these due to the new rocker ankles, but more and more figures are getting the holes in the heels.
I just don't really like the way the figures stand with the heel holes. They are too forward on the stand. Ideally, a mid foot hole on the right foot and a heel hole on the left would be great for a figure. 
 "He's a maniac! Maniac... on the floor! 
And he's dancing like he's never danced before."
 No... Must stop...
"Boom, boom, out go the lights!"
There's not much else to say about this figure right now. The Club did a great job with Bullhorn. A simple effective creation. Oh yeah, that web gear rocks. Originally seen on the first wave Retaliation Cobra Trooper, it proves that Hasbro can create decent items and screw it up with bad colors. I'd like to have more of these sets of web gear.
I'll wrap up with a quick look at the sniper rifle in the case. Still an awesome piece. Bullhorn is going to need a backpack to carry the bipod and the silencer.

My spin on Bullhorn is that, yes, he's a negotiator, but if push comes to shove...
Bullhorn will get the job done.

Monday, April 25, 2016

FSS 4.0 Bullhorn & Inferno BAT

Surprise! I just reviewed the 3rd shipment on Friday and shipment 4 arrives on Saturday! Cool stuff!
 Bullhorn & the Inferno BAT are the next up for review. But as I stated in my previous review, the Inferno BAT isn't going to stick around. Yeah, I like the BAT concept and have around two dozen of the 25th anniversary BATs as well as a couple of the black Resolute BATS, three Jungle BATS, and two of those 50th Arctic BATS. I have enough right now. Would it be cool to have a few Inferno BATs? Yeah, sure, but also expensive. They would cost more to troop build because I've had more of a tight fist with my money in recent years. I'm willing to pay Club prices for one figure, but not so willing to pay that for multiple.
 Let's take a quick look at the Inferno BAT in package. The card art is very vibrant and well presented. The Club did a great job with this figure. 
The whole GI Joe/Cobra story is often full of some very odd, weird bits of science fiction elements. This is a pretty weird story. Pretty crazy stuff..
The design of the Inferno BAT looks pretty cool. Interesting choice of accessories. It's tempting, but I think I'm going to let it go.
Bullhorn turned out pretty good. The Club went to that same well that they've been to before - the Cobra Shock Trooper body. I really can't blame them. It is a great base body for a figure.  
Intervention Specialist? I need to read the file card a little more closely to try and understand what that actually means. Is he a hostage negotiator? Personally, I don't think so. I see him more as a possible negotiator, but also one who would be the one to take the shot if needed. 
Stay tuned for a more in depth review of Bullhorn freed from his plastic prison!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Randomness, Episode Whatever

I like me some Helix. I will always argue that Helix is the best figure to come out of the Rise of Cobra collection of figures. She is just a bad ass. 

Okay, sure, she's a Mary-Sue, but so what? Isn't Snake Eyes the male equivalent? Maybe his real name is Gary Stu? Whatever. I don't give a rat's ass. She's a bad ass figure and a bad ass character in my GI Joe world. 
Is she a genetically advanced experiment? A programmed super soldier? Hell, Black Widow from the Avengers is a Mary Sue, so why not Helix? 

Oh, and she is so photogenic! I've got three Helix bodies in my collection. Plus one minty fresh Helix. Ooh, she's purty!
This is the Bulma head sculpt from the movie DragonBall Z line. Crappy body but beautiful head sculpt. For a while, I just used Bulma as her code name, but a recent post in a Facebook group yielded a suggestion of "Spiral" as her name. Great connection to Helix, so she has become Spiral. There's almost an innocence to her face, but she's deadly as well.
Helix again, just because she's Helix.
This is the Scarlett Witch head sculpt. Works well enough on the Helix body. Someone suggested a spiral/helix related name, but damned if I can remember it now. I need to look up Helix in a thesaurus and see what works.

Three deadly ladies. If you have information that they need from you, just go ahead and give it up. Less painful in the long run.
The Renegades Tunnel Rat is a damn fine figure. Just great sculpting and a well done head sculpt. I blame Monte Williams for my new-found obsession with Tunnel Rat. When he was taking pics of Joe scaled figures, he always created some amazing pics with both Helix and Tunnel Rat.
I have never understood why Tunnel Rat, vintage or modern, had to carry around such a massive weapon. If he is meant to be able to creep around through creepy, dark, tight areas, wouldn't a smaller weapon be more effective?
Megatron? Another indirect inspiration from Monte. He posted a picture of a similar custom and I thought I would give it a shot. He kinda' got "pissed" at me because mine turned out a little better than his. That was pleasing to me.

Is he really Megatron? Maybe. Well, not the Transformer Megatron, but perhaps some alien Megatron from some alternate reality. Perhaps some techno-organic being bent on the destruction of organic life? Sure, why not?

That's about it for this post. I need to go take more pictures. Life is about to get crazy this summer and the collection has to get packed up for a while. I need some back stock of photos so my lazy ass can do some more posts.

Hey! Yeah, you! What are you up to? Leave me a comment! 
Validate me! Later, friends!

FSS 4.0 Pathfinder, Jammer, and Barricade

As usual, I'm late with new reviews of the latest FSS figures. Of the six that have arrived so far, I've only kept four. Law & Order and the Night Creeper have gone to new homes. Whenever the BAT shows up, that will probably be the last one to leave my collection from this FSS collection.


Pathfinder was a bit of an odd figure when he first appeared back whenever. Combat gardener? The Club did a decent enough job with the figure, but he's far from perfect. It's tough to get "perfect" from the Club. I still argue that they are restricted by what Hasbro allows them to use.

I think more of "this is the best we can do with what we've got" rather than :let's piss off some fan-boys!"
The Short-fuze head sculpt works well enough. There are several issues with this figure. There's a problem with the hat not fitting well enough. And the vest, oh boy! Too big and bulky. Not so good. The base figure is pretty decent; good combination of parts. A decent effort, but not one of the high points of FSS 4.0. But who is? I'm not sure yet.
Jammer... Who the hell is Jammer? Okay. cool. the Club goes to the Action Force roster and pulls out a figure. Apparently, Jammer was a repaint of Stalker back in the day and the Club decided to go with him as a member of FSS 4.0.

So how did they do? Not too bad. Not great, but better than Pathfinder. The Club had a new head sculpt of Stalker that they used for the last convention set and dropped it on this tired body. The same body that circulated through Dollar General as the $6.00 "Duke" figure. Oh wait, he's got new hands!
Jammer still turned out to be a decent figure. Issues? Yeah... Dammit. The harness that was originally on him blocks the hole for his backpack. The backpack is nice! It's the new mold of the Dial-tone communication backpack. (Missed the Club figure of Dial-tone, dammit.) Problem - it doesn't fit snugly. Crap. Also, the new head sculpt is a bit of a melon head on top of this body. Massive compared to Pathfinder's pin-head. Another almost win by the Club.
So why is Barricade here? Because I'm lazy and/or busy and didn't review him when he arrived. I ditched the Night Creeper Ice Ninja figure that came with him. Sold him off. Looked okay, but an expensive troop builder.
Now, I have always liked Barricade. I thought that the original figure was pretty dang cool. I loved the idea of armored troops. I think I had been reading "Starship Troopers" around then, so he really connected. Somewhere, I've got a custom painted original Barricade in green and olive drab. Bad ass paint job, if I do say so myself.

I'm okay with the Club's version of Barricade, but there are still issues. I'm not thrilled with the blue weapons and I'm okay with the spring loaded weapon. A great link to the original figure and that's okay. 

As discussed elsewhere amidst the wilds of the interwebs, the arms are the biggest issues.I've got to agree. I'm okay with the reused head sculpt. I'm okay with the color palette. And the arms are okay... but just a little too short. 

So what happened? Why didn't the Club use the arms that originally went with. They had the arms when they made Voltar as a convention figure a couple years ago, so what gives?
The Delta 6 helmet worked out pretty well. It's a tight fit, but it will do. I'm still not sure how to integrate him into my "world". I like the armored Delta suit troops. Combat armor rocks. But they can't run super fast because that's stupid.

Three decent figures, but not the strongest pieces from FSS 4.0. Shipment 4 should be heading out soon. I don't know who is next. There have been a few cases where shipment 5 went out early. Interrogator and Cobra Commander's son, Billy! Excited about those two, hoping they live up to the hype!