Thursday, June 30, 2016

Random Thoughts on FSS Figures Part 2

Time for another quick look at some of the FSS figures from the past couple of years. Let's jump right in with...
Bombstrike - the sister of Barrel Roll and Blackout. Hasbro created an interesting backstory for  these siblings that never seemed to develop too much. Maybe in some of the more recent comics, I don't know. Great job by the Club! Another top five FSS figure!
Frostbite - last year's "mystery" #13, not too surprising for some fans. He had already been introduced in his Tiger Force colors in a previous convention set, so it was really a no-brainer to bring him back in his original colors. Exceptional work! Another for the Top 5 FSS!
Big Ben - structurally, a very nice build by the Club, but that new head sculpt just really puts this figure into one of the top tier figures. A simple build, but very effective.
Wide Scope - hey look, the shock trooper body! Surprise! Again, that body just works. Is he a dog handler or a sniper? Both?
Hit & Run - almost spoiled by fan outcry of wanting the green camo paint on the face. It turned out pretty well, looks enough like skin tones with green over it, not a solid green. Just don't zoom in on the stubble on his chin.
Nunchuk - combat ninja. Oh my god, another ninja! The original figure was a bit goofier than his Ninja Force companions, but I think the Club did alright with this guy. I'm glad they gave him booted feet rather than ninja shoes. I also wanted him to have better web gear, more military styled than ninja styled.
Sure Fire - actually from FSS 1.0! I picked him up at last year's Joelanta. Decent build, great accessories. One of the lower priced FSS 1.0 figures out there.
Keel Haul - another favorite that brings back some cool memories about the original figure. I never had the Flagg, but I was able to get Keel Haul as a give-away prize at Chuckee-Cheese. Weird. 
Cool figure. Looks like Dennis Weaver to me.
Barricade - I really liked the original figure. I've always liked the concept of combat armor. The Club used the Delta suit bodies and legs but kind of missed it on the arms. Armored, but a little too short. Again, I don't know how the Club works out their designs when they are working with Hasbro, but he's decent enough. I need to dig out a shield for him to use as well.

That's it for now with a quick look at some of the FSS figures from the past few years.The last shipment of FSS 4.0 figures should be arriving soon. Hopefully sometime this week? I'm guessing the shipping schedule got pushed back with the recent JoeCon. Hell, I wish they would have shipped out to arrive that weekend. All the fans at home could have gotten them prior to all of the Con attendees. Hopefully they'll show up soon

Tiger Forse Outback and Sneak Peek and the "mystery" female figure as #13. I'm guessing that it will be a Tiger Force themed shipment and we'll get Tiger Force Jinx. Hope to find out soon!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Random Thoughts on FSS Figures Part 1

With the announcement of a renewed relationship between the Club and Hasbro, as well as FSS 5.0 and maybe even FSS 6.0, I thought I would drag out a few basic pics of various FSS figures from the past couple of years for a quick recap of some highlights.
I'm still limited in my photographic endeavors right now. I'm hoping life will settle down in a few months. Time will tell. 
Bullhorn - great build by the Club, very basic but it still works. The web gear rocks (i want more) and the gear is decent too. That dang headband had to go. 
Pathfinder - Not a bad build by the Club, but not one of the best. The brush cutter is decent enough, but I'm not going to tie him to it.
Night Force Falcon - an update of the Falcon from the BBTS Marauder set, but I like this one better. I changed out the web gear with the set from Spirit from BBTS Marauder set. Another excellent web gear from Hasbro.
Jammer - I don't really know much about him or how he can be incorporated. I do know he needs new web gear. Still searching. Decent build though.
Repeater - so much win! Using the "Rock" body as a base, Repeater joins the ranks of the big dudes and I'm okay with that! Everything works with this guy. Easily one of my top 5 FSS figures.
Tollbooth - my sentimental favorite, but he's not without his flaws. Those legs make him quite a bit shorter than nearly everyone else. Interesting to compare him to some 25th and RoC figures; he's really not that short.
Cross Country - not an FSS figure, but so damn nice. He's the membership incentive figure from three(?) years ago? I don't know the parts used for the build, but everything works just great together. A new head sculpt and vest make him extra awesome.
Spearhead - or is it Bullhorn's twin brother? Same exact body and head sculpt used later for Bullhorn. I can't fault the Club too much like some do, mainly because this body just works for so many different types of figures.
Muskrat - Using parts of Jungle Attack Duke from PoC and modern era legs, Muskrat comes in as another shorter troop, which is just fine because everyone isn't six feet tall. #Tollbooth The biggest drawback is that his hat doesn't fit securely on his head. Time for some rubber cement!

So there's a quick look at a few of the various FSS figures from recent years. Part 2 coming soon!

The Corps! Lanard 2003

Normally, the figures from Lanard are not much to talk about. Limited articulation, odd sculpting and oversized features. For this particular crew of Corps figures, all of that applies, but these guys are still pretty dang cool!
I bought these guys way back around 2004. The GI Joe market wasn't that impressive at the time and these troops were just the low priced military figures I was looking for. I think they were less than a buck each and I believe the single carded Lanard figures may still be just under a dollar.

There is merit to these figures though, but they sure aren't GI Joe. They have swivel necks, decent arm articulation, waist movement, jointed knees, and t-crotch articulation. Not great, but they are toys after all. Clunky, oversized features. So what's so cool about them? The frikkin' paint apps! The detailing of the paint jobs on these guys are just amazing. For such low cost figures, the paint apps are very nice. Layers of fabric, creases in faces, paint on all of the sculpted details. These guys really look pretty cool as long as you take them for what they are - toys.

I'm pretty sure each of these guys are specific characters, but I don't recall who they are and don't really want to try and figure them out. So just gaze upon their awesomeness!

Friday, June 24, 2016

General Colton Revisited

Bruce Willis in GI Joe: Retaliation as General Colton worked for me. Plus it got us a Bruce Willis figure!!! Again, there's those pesky issues...
The body was okay and sometimes the eyes were painted a bit wonky. And he always seemed to have a smirk on his face.
I saw a simple custom version on the Facebook a while back created by a fellow GI Joe using the Flint body from the Danger on the Docks set from a couple years ago. I "borrowed" his idea, forcing me to buy that set even thought I really didn't want it. But it was worth it. I sold off the Eel and the raft and the VAMP is pretty cool. So this is the General in standard daily gear. Works for me!
I modified a Mouse body with "Ultimate" Duke legs for a Colton outfitted for some serious combat. The helmet is a bit goofy looking on him, but I think that's more of a head sculpt issue, but it works.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

New GI Joe in November!

New figures on the way! The Hasbro panel at this year's GI Joe Convention offered up a few treats for fans this year. It looks like five two-packs and two three-packs. No vehicles this year. As long as GI Joe is out there in the marketplace somewhere, that works for me.

Random thoughts ahead.

Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. This is a great two-pack that actually makes sense. These two have always been in conflict with each other, so why not? Hasbro pulled out two of the best versions of these iconic characters. The awesome PoC Snake Eyes (v54) and the Renegades Storm Shadow. 
While this is awesome, it would be one of my least desirable sets. I've got loads of this version of Snake Eyes and I've got this Storm Shadow as well. I can think of two reasons to get this two-pack; one to just keep unopened just because it's cool to have these two together and another just for the custom potential. This Snake Eyes, with a simple head swap, becomes a great GI Joe covert ops team member. I've got the "ultimate" Storm Shadow from late in the Retaliation line and he really is the best Stormy. With another "white" ninja, could they be two ninjas working directly with Storm Shadow?
A two-pack of zombie vipers! Hell yeah! I've currently got six zombies and wouldn't mind having a few more. Maybe two more sets?
Next up is Duke and a new Cobra character, Tombstone. The Duke build is interesting and looks like it has potential. I think I would switch out the vest for the more muted green vest from a Steel Brigade figure and switch out the head for a Renegades Duke (my favorite Duke head sculpt).
Tombstone is interesting. An unmasked Cobra operative and non-white.That's very bold of Hasbro to go with a black enemy soldier. That's been a rare occurrence in the history of GI Joe. I'm looking forward to this set.
Next up is basically a brand new set of figures; Heavy Duty and Stiletto. While Heavy Duty is not a new character and not really a new figure, I'm glad to see him get a modern update. Last seen, embarrassingly, during the Rise of Cobra line, this version is more in line with the character from the new sculpt era. Hasbro is using the larger "Rock" body for him and he looks pretty cool!
Stiletto is a fan-chosen figure from the GI Joe Kindle Worlds series of fan fiction. I don't recall her full story right now, but I believe she's a Cobra agent. Hasbro finally resurrected the Helix body and is using it for Stiletto; at least the torso. The arms and legs are from other female figures. Of course, she has a brand new head sculpt. Another great two-pack from Hasbro.
This last two-pack is a troop builder that includes an Iron Grenadier and a Cobra Viper. Excellent set, but do I really want it? I never really got into troop building Destro's soldiers. I do have quite o few of the IG heavy gunners that came with the Steel Brigade figure, but none of these particular versions of the Iron Grenadier soldiers. I do like them, even though Hasbro is using the more dated 25th anniversary figure. I just don't know if I'll actively pursue this two-pack, primarily because of the Viper.
"But, Tom, you frikkin' love the Viper!" True, very true, but I've got 14 of them! Seriously, how many more do I need? EVERY OTHER ONE I SEE! No, not really, 14 is more than enough. I've even got one still minty fresh on the card because the Viper is so awesome! I may just pass on this set.
Next up is one of the three-packs. This set looks like it includes a covert ops team, since they are all dressed in black gear. The first two, Falcon and Outback, look great and would be welcome additions to my collection. Outback seems a little off though. Hasbro is using the 25th anniversary head sculpt on a modern body. That combination makes his head look a little too small.
Another female character from Hasbro? And she's black? What? This is Shooter, the 14th original GI Joe character. Way, way back in the the very first issue of the Marvel GI Joe comic, there was a picture of a computer screen with the original 13 team members listed as well as one more character, Shooter. No picture of Shooter was shown at the time and the name came out as a nod to then Marvel editor Jim Shooter.
Many years later, Larry Hama revisits that origin story of GI Joe and fleshes out the Shooter character. She was an operative that was dropped in alongside, but unknown to, the original team in their mission to rescue Dr. Burkhart. It seemed like she was KIA at the end of the issue, but that doesn't matter that much in terms of making a figure of the character. I definitely want this set!

The last three-pack is another troop builder set and it is a winner! A SAW Viper, a Cobra Officer, and a BAT. The SAW Viper is great, and while similar to the Club version from last year's convention set, it is different enough to keep the Club version unique. 
The Cobra Officer is... female? What is going on at Hasbro? So many awesome changes with these figures! A female Cobra officer! How very cool! I'm ready for her to be a part of my collection and have her kick some Blueshirt trooper butt! Plus the Club is working with Hasbro on this set and is making their own three-pack of all female Cobra soldiers, each with a mask and different hair color. Excellent collaboration!
The third figure in this set is another BAT using the same exact mold from the 25th version. Who cares? That mold works so well and has held its own against any of the modern era of GI Joe figures. I can always use more BATs. I'll take at least three of these sets please!

That's the lineup for the new figures due at Toys R Us this November. Crap, I'll be up in Pickens County well before then. I'm going to need to find the nearest Toys R Us!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Oh The Horror!

I stopped by a local Family Dollar to pick up a card and, of course, had to walk through the toy aisle. Usually quite laughable, this item caught my eye.
Something about it caused me to invest one whole dollar into the purchase of this so much awesome toy.
Was it the sad, pathetic looking soldier? Scrawny legs and deformed head?
"Kill me... Kill me now..."
How about this awesome shield, hollow battering ram, and megaphone?
Nope, it was...
This odd looking machine gun. Something about the barrel of it brought to mind of some other weapon that I've seen out there in some other property.
I think it actually looks pretty cool.
Well, the tripod is a bit dumb looking, but the gun has potential.
It's going to need some glue.
The diameter of the post of the gun is just a little too wide for the hole in the roof of the VAMP. If I decide to keep the gun, I'll alter it before I do anything to the VAMP. But there's one major issue...
It rests too far back over the hole for the crew to man it. Not enough space for someone to fire the weapon.
One possible idea would be to move the gun forward in the mounting bracket. Possible. I'll work on it over the next few days and see what happens. Maybe it was worth that $1.07 that I invested in it!

Have you bought any piece o' crap items, hoping to reuse them for your collection? Let us know about it in the comments!