Sunday, March 24, 2013

Joelanta 2013

Well another Joelanta has come and gone. I don't recall how many shows I have been to, possibly at least five to six, maybe more. I think I went to a show or two before the national Joecon was here in 2006 (I think).

Maybe I've been going to Joelanta for eight years?

I wanted to primarily post pictures of the day, without too many comments. I hope you enjoy!

I was also fortunate to be able to talk to FlagPoints that evening and talk about my day at Joelanta.

You can check out the FlagPoints podcast right here

Monday, March 11, 2013

GI Joe: Retaliation Ninja Combat Cruiser

Party rockin'! It's not just a Ninja Combat Cruiser!

It's a Ninja Party Cruiser!
When I first saw pictures of the new toy-related toys from the movie, I knew I wanted one of these vehicles.

Based off of the Pursuit of Cobra VAMP, the NCC looked like a great upgrade.

Once I got one in my hands, did it measure up to my expectations? Yes and no...

The VAMP appears to have a chassis that can be easily customized with different parts to give it different features.

In this case, the existing rollbar was removed, allowing for a two-part roof structure to be put in place. With predetermined slots, there was room to add four doors to the new frame.

An addition to the new roof was a large hole designed to use the missle rack from the upgraded POC Snowcat (Wolfhound?).

It works well enough and isn't too over-sized. The missle launching feature of the rack is a great play feature for the toy.

In a side-by-side comparison, the differences stand out. The thumb-wheel for the front end winch is gone. There are other features from the VAMP that didn't make it over to the NCC.

Many of those features are sorely missed. Especially considering the price that I paid for this vehicle. I am actually convinced that this vehicle was deliberately over-priced at this one particular Target store that I bought it from. This particular store is located in a "higher income" area on the southside of Atlanta and I have noticed previously that items at this store are often more expensive than the prices for the same item at another store just a county away.

Enough griping about stuff that really doesn't impact me too much. Just pisses me off a little. Since I'm long gone from the retail environment workplace, I don't really give a shit.

The key pieces that I noticed that were missing and could have improved the NCC were the side mounted smoke cannisters and the rear spare tire.

The smoke cannisters can easily be fit into the existing tooling of the NCC if only Hasbro had included them.

The rear tire is another matter. The rear bumper of the NCC is a different unit than the bumper for the VAMP and does not have space to allow the tire to be mounted in the post of the body of the NCC/VAMP. Too bad, that would have been cool to have on the NCC. No room for spare fuel cans, either.

Hasbro saved some coin with the shitty driver figure. I guess the savings went to the roof structure. Tooling exists for the older bumper, tire and fuel cans. Surely it wouldn't have been too difficult to add a few more pieces.

Overall, I am pleased with the NCC, or VAMP Mk2 as far as I'm concerned. The plastic of the roof framework seems very light weight. The blue coloring of the body is just a bit wierd to me. I would prefer the more traditional green military color pallette for this new VAMP.

And thankfully, the ninja logo seen on the hood in the early pictures is a sticker! No thank you to big ninja stickers on the hood of my vehicle!

I think I might like at least one more, maybe two. We'll see.