Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pursuit of Cobra Quick Kick

The "Pursuit of Cobra" line from Hasbro was generally a huge success. Hasbro ramped up the sculpting and articulation of these new figures and, for the most part, Hasbro created some incredible action figures.

Toys R Us picked up a couple exclusives while the brand seemed to flounder a bit at retail. Sales always seemed strong, but the GI Joe brand had been damaged by too much "Rise of Cobra" merchandise. Toys R Us had two figures as exclusives - Spirit and Quick Kick. When I saw pictures of both figures online, I knew that I really only wanted Spirit. I wasn't very interested in Quick Kick, he was okay, just not near as cool as Spirit appeared to be. Spirit was an incredible figure and illustrated Hasbro's ability to re-use pieces with minimal new tooling and create a brand new character.

While Quick Kick is a decent enough figure, I didn't have the burning desire to make sure that I got him. Plus TRU was never really nearby in my usual travels during the week. It had been recently reported that Ross had been picking up some of these TRU figures. I checked a few times with no luck.

Well, Twitter to the rescue! Recently, Jonabot80 offered up a couple prizes if someone could answer a couple questions that he would post on Twitter. I half-heartedly tried to answer the first question with no success. The second question would be for a POC Quick Kick figure and would involve identifying a file card. Count me in!

He posted an image of the file card and a quick read through and I knew who it was - Tripwire. I think I ID'd the card in just a few seconds. And I won!

Jonabot80 sent the figure to me a couple days later and not too long after that, Quick Kick was added to my collection!

Quick Kick comes with a decent set of gear. Most importantly, he comes with two important items that he had needed in the past - a shirt and shoes!

There is definitely a Bruce Lee inspiration for Quick Kick, all the way back to his original figure and continuing to this version. The shirt/vest is okay, I think it's a reuse from a Stormshadow figure, but it works well enough.

Two nice bits that come with him are the sparring gloves. It's not a perfect fit, but it works. I can imagine the little noises that Bruce Lee would make when sparring or fighting an opponent.

Quick Kick also comes with a sword and it does work a little better as being attached to his shirt, rather than in a back pack attached to his sash from the original version.

He also comes with a nicely painted set of nunchuks that has been molded in a soft enough plastic to allow for some decent flexibility.

He also comes with a Mac-10. A nice enough weapon and it works well with Quick Kick. Except that there is a bit of a problem, Quick Kick's hands are molded downward, so he really can't hold the weapon that well. I guess he could hold it a little higher with a gangsta kind of grip?

And the shoes! Check out QK's tennis shoes! Nicely sculpted with a little splash of paint. Great job, Hasbro!
While I wouldn't say that this is an exceptional version of Quick Kick, Hasbro did a decent enough job. I think that if he had been released as a general retail figure, he may have been a bit of a peg warmer. Maybe not. There's really not much else you can do with updating Quick Kick and remain somewhat true to the idea of his original version.

Hey, at least the guy has shoes now!

Thanks again to Jonabot80 for his Twitter contest!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

GI Joe: Retaliation - Ninja Combat Cruiser

Most all of the well visited GI Joe fan web sites have posted pictures of the new product related to GI Joe:Retaliation. As usual, I'm dragging up the rear. Oh well...

So I thought that I would start with one of the vehicles - the Ninja Combat Cruiser. Apparently, ninjas are going to be a key selling point for the new movie. Ninjas or zombies. Hey, how about zombie ninjas or ninja zombies?

And back to the topic at hand - the Ninja Combat Cruiser. This looks to be a remake of the POC/30th Anniversary VAMP. The new VAMP is an excellent vehicle and this new update really goes to another level.
It looks like the VAMP has received an upgrade to the roll bars of the previous version. The rear of the cab is enclosed and there are now flip-out doors for the sides. Similar to the 2nd version of the original VAMP back in the shadowy history of GI Joe - the 80's!

The missile launcher appears to be from the upgrade of the Snowcat called the Wolfhound(?). I never bought the Wolfhound, but it looks like the pictures that I have seen.

I am very interested in this new version; it really looks pretty sharp. A great troop transport for the Joes. And very reminiscent of the trucks that the troops used in the opening sequence of Rise of Cobra.
Just a quick glance at both of the vehicles can illustrate the similarities and the differences. I think that they can both work extremely well together, with the VAMP acting as a mobile escort for the more armored cruiser.

Oh wait... Okay, I like Snake Eyes and the whole ninja/Arishikage storyline, but...

The frikkin' ninja clan stickers have got to go.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Zombies, Freakin' Zombies...

So Hasbro went the popular culture route and added zombie vipers to the GI Joe - Cobra mix. It's not like they haven't done it before back with the Toxo-Zombie back in 1992.
Times have changed and it's time to revisit the zombie.

The concept based on the file card is that these are Cobra troopers that have been subjected to Compound Z and they have been turned into nearly mindless drones. So they really don't meet the classic concept of an undead flesh eating zombie.

But they still look cool as hell!

I would hate the idea of Cobra creating a virus that reanimates the dead for the purposes of undead soldiers. That could easily turn on them as well as the intended target.

So what the heck are they? One possible scary idea is based on what is hanging from both sides of the body harness. I first heard this mentioned on the Flag Points podcast. An excellent podcast, by the way! Twitziller noticed that the zombies have pipe bombs with detonators strapped to their harness. Holy crap! Cobra has created mindless drones to act as weapons. Just send one staggering into a Joe encampment or whatever type of target and BOOM, threat disabled.

The GI Joe design team at Hasbro did an excellent job with these creepy suckers. A highly detailed sculpt highlighting the zombie's rotting flesh.

Creepy goodness!
A lone Steel Brigade trooper gets caught in the grip of some Z's. Can he break free and save himself?

My custom mix of Shadow Tracker and Night Adder - renamed Voodoo - walks among the Cobra zombies. He fears no man, alive or undead.

My Cheetara custom figure gets ready to dispatch a couple Z's. Hope she sees the one behind her! I'm sure she has already caught its scent.

Female Joe agents in trouble, I guess. Helix shouldn't have a problem.

And another spin on the use of the zombie figure. Using perhaps the finest sculpted figure from the entire Playmates Star Trek run, species 8472 examines these curious creatures.

The idea was originally that the alien has released a bio-weapon into the atmosphere and the final organisms that were resistant to the new arrivals begin to die away, eventually leaving the planet ripe for colonization.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

This is some lame stuff

Yeah, my blog is a poorly updated mess.

I do have time a couple days a week but I'm just lazy when it comes to my blogs.

And the job is all consuming right now.

Still diggin' the Joes, but damn. Just not feelin' it these days.

Yeah, GI Joe 2 looks pretty frickin' sweet, but I'm just too... I don't know.

Gonna' be 50 this year. Am I finally growing up?

Damn, I hope not.