Friday, May 19, 2017

FSS 5.0 Gaucho & Xamot

Time for another FSS 5.0 review! This one will be quick, primarily because of the weakness of the two figures from this shipment.
The characters for this shipment are fairly interesting but a little bit lacking in my opinion. Gaucho and Xamot are the two figures for this round.
 Gaucho is the Action Force mechanic that is just a straight repaint of the exceptional Gung Ho figure. Automatically, this makes this figure quite awesome, but I really don't have a use for a Gung Ho clone.
 It's true that the original figure of Gaucho was just a simple repaint of the original Gung Ho, but I'm just not very interested in keeping him. I'm thinking that I've already found a new home for him. Not a bad deal for FSS 5.0 in terms of figures kept vs figures sold. Gaucho will be the only one from FSS 5.0 that doesn't stay in my collection.
 Xamot is from the brief Shattered Universe story line from the Club's original comic in which members of the Adventure Team get trapped in a universe where Cobra are the good guys and GI Joe are the bad guys. I don't recall the details; I'll have to go back and check out the stories again.
 Interesting concept and the figure execution actually turned out pretty well. The idea of the twins in suits is one that quite a few fans have been interested in. As the money men behind Cobra, I prefer them in suits.
 The biggest issue with the Xamot figure is the size of his head. It's huge! Much like several of the recent new head sculpts from the Club, it is very over sized. I'm not sure where the body comes from. I think it's the same one used by the Club for the Joe Colton Convention exclusive from a few years ago.

Not a bad figure, but not one of the best. One more shipment to go! Raptor, Steel Raven, and the "mystery" 13th figure (GI Jane?).

FSS 6.0 recently came up for subscription. Price increase and a due date just a couple weeks ahead of the Convention. I wonder if folks will choose the FSS over Club exclusives at the Convention?


Monday, May 1, 2017

Pokemon Go

Yeah, I'm a Pokemon Go fan/addict. I'll freely admit it. Well maybe not as bad as some folks, but I've got to hit at least one Poke stop a day and catch at least one a day to get those streak bonuses!

If you're a somewhat regular reader of this silly ass blog, you obviously know that I like taking pictures of my action figures. Hmmm.... Pokemon... realistic pictures... Time to dig out the tub of my daughter's Pokemon toys from when she was younger!

So here's a photo dump of a bunch of pictures that I've taken over the past several days! Have fun!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

FSS 5.0: Ambush & Scoop

Well, the mystery is over! The delayed 2nd shipment of FSS 5.0 finally arrived. It's Ambush and Scoop!
Let's take a quick look at these two figures. I have mixed emotions regarding both of these characters. Ambush was decent enough back when he first appeared, but he never really connected with me as a great character. Scoop was quite different; I really liked the character. Of course, there's his first animated appearance in which he is initially a traitor to GI Joe. I don't recall the whole story, which is probably a good thing.

To me, the idea of an embedded combat journalist is a great idea for a GI Joe character, especially in my personal twisted GI Joe world. More on that later when I get down to the Scoop figure.

In terms of the Ambush figure, I'm just generally indifferent to the figure. I try to be a Club loyalist, but I'm really not very thrilled with their build of Ambush. There are just too many odd issues. I know, I've said it before and I'll say it again - I don't know the process that the Club has to go through in the design of the final figures.
See? He looks pretty slick, all loaded up with all of his gear. Sure, the weapons don't match what he originally had, but I don't really recall what they were and I don't feel like looking them up, has your answers! 
The head sculpt is great! It was originally used for General Mayhem figure that came with one of the Convention sets. Repainted, it works great for Ambush. It would also make for an awesome Abraham custom from The Walking Dead (pre Lucille encounter of course).
Here's the primary issue with Ambush - that neck... He's got an extra vertebrae in there, I suppose. "Giraffe neck" seems to be the current descriptive term for these types of situations.
Another issue is that the forearms are a bit too long and just make his arms seem a bit too long. Gear him up and pose him and he'll be just fine. The Club also chose the two=part torso first seen in a Dusty figure from the 25th Anniversary series. Those body styles are a bit dated. Perhaps the Club could have gone with another more modern body. I don't know.
Next up is Scoop. In my bizarre twisted GI Joe world, he's on the top of Cobra's hit list of GI Joe personnel, much more dangerous than Snake Eyes or Roadblock after he burned his souffle. Scoop, along with Mainframe and Sparks, are extremely dangerous, because they get inside the Cobra data structure and find the evidence that Cobra isn't this benevolent protector of the American people. Mainframe and Sparks are the computer geeks, while Scoop gets the video evidence of Cobra atrocities. 

I really need to write more about my crazy world.
 So how did the Club do with the figure? Well, he's quite orange, but I don't have a huge issue with the color. The Club  reused the head sculpt from Sky Patrol Airborne from the Convention set... last year? Unfortunately, for both characters, the helmet is part of the head sculpt. A little tragic, but I'm sure it's a cost savings to the Club.
While it's great that the Club used the camera from the boxed set from several years ago, it is a bit outdated in terms of modern technology. A more modern camera would have been better, especially one that Scoop could have actually held. Again, that would require new tooling from the Club. I'm okay with the camera. He does also come with a microphone and a green walkie talkie that was temporarily misplaced for his photo shoot. Pretty much outdated tech, but the Club uses what it has access to.
I'm also glad he comes with a weapon. These guys are members of GI Joe. You don't just walk off a Hollywood set (Quick Kick) or the circus (Star Duster) and become a GI Joe. You are active military and you get recruited to the team. Then you go through the training process. I've seen hints of special forces training, it ain't easy stuff. I'm sure nearly all of the team goes through it. I have my doubts for some of the characters. I wouldn't expect Admiral Keel Haul having gone through the ground troops training sessions.
So for these two figures, I'll have to give a "thumbs up" for Scoop, and a "thumbs half up" for Ambush. We're up to eight figures having been released from the Club for FSS 5.0. That means that there are five more to go, with the unrevealed #13 in that count. Or is #13 truly unrevealed? The Club did reveal that it would be a female character.

Someone got the wrong stand with their Scoop figure and it had "GI Jane" on it. Hmm... I'm interested. Am I upset at the spoiler? Hell, these are just action figures, big deal. I'm interested to see the build of the figure? What's the head sculpt look like? Are they going to use the ample torso from the Pythona figure? Time will tell!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Time to move along?

To be honest, I am so tired of the 80's mythos of G.I. Joe. Yes, it was awesome, but it's 30+ years old. Yes, it was campy goofiness, but it's 30+ years old. 
In my opinion, the cartoon gave the characters voices while the comic book gave the characters... character. Again... 30+ years old. 

Personally, I'm done with both mythos of G.I. Joe. I have no "canon" for G.I. Joe. The characters are essentially the same but, for me, they now exist in the 21st century. My mental Joe world exists in the modern world. 

I've retconned the past to be a rather insignificant part of my G.I. Joe world. 
Nostalgia is fine, but I'm over it. And I just grow weary of the praises of the past storylines. Yeah, don't get me wrong, that was some awesome stuff. Larry Hama defined G.I. Joe for me. 

Disclaimer: I don't read the current comics and haven't read a G.I. Joe comic in several years. I know the characters have been updated.
Hell, I've had a bit too much wine tonight and I'm rambling. 

Hopefully my rambling is reasonably intelligent. (See what I did there?)

This is my silly ass blog. So I get to rant or ramble however I like. Feel free to rant or ramble along with me or against me. Just be decent. That's all, just be decent.

So what are your thoughts? Are you still stuck in the 80's or can you (cue the song) "Let it go"?
Ramble away. Be reasonable. Be somewhat intelligent.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

FSS 5.0: Sneak Peek & General Flagg

Sigh... Can I get through one review of FSS figures without finding issues?

The official second shipment from the Club has been delayed again, so they sent out the 4th set of figures - Sneak Peek and General Flagg. When I first saw the reveals online, all I saw were just quick pictures of the carded figures. Initially, they looked great and this appeared to be a great set of figures.

I get home that afternoon and there in the mailbox is my shipment. Woo Hoo! Right? 


They're awesome, right?

One minor problem... The Club chose the same head sculpt for each character and they both shipped together. Sigh...
Individually, each figure turned out great. Both are great builds and deserve a closer look.
Let's take a look at General Flagg first.

The General Flagg build is simple and effective. I know others out there on the interwebs dig down deep into the builds that the Club does, but I'm not 100% sure of the parts choices. I know that the torso is from a Firefly figure from Retaliation and it works great for Flagg. I'm guessing that the legs come from the Shock Trooper figure (another Club source figure).

Accessories are light with Flagg. Machine gun (MP something...), pistol, briefcase, and that hat.

The briefcase originates from the "money-bags Destro" figure. It's a great case and a great choice for Flagg. He certainly can't be carrying around a case full of money. The insert in the case is simply the static stacks of money with new paint apps/detailing but the oddness of the sculpt of the money just doesn't work with the new deco. The hat is a bit over sized, especially on the Airborne head sculpt. Overall, General Flagg turned out great, but...

Let's take a look at Sneak Peek. Is this the third version of Sneak Peek from the Club? Maybe just the second. Last year, for FSS 4.0, the Club released a Tiger Force version

This version aligns more closely with the original o-ring version of Sneak Peek. It's a good build and captures the general look of the original figure. Accessories in line with the Tiger Force version, but the periscope is just a bit too bright green. Many have observed that the 'scope is a bit out of date with modern technology, but it had to be included for that nod back to the original figure.

Sneak Peek was always bit of a boring figure to me, but I think I'm digging him a bit more. Someone online mentioned that perhaps he should be a drone operator. Sounds good to me! Another win by the Club, with just the nagging issue of these two being twins. Ugh...

I figure that the easiest solution to the Wonder Twins aspect of Flagg and Sneak Peek would be to swap out Flagg's head. The Airborne head sculpt is just a bit too young looking for a General. Sure, Flagg is supposed to be a young General, but... c'mon. For now, I'm trying out this Marauder head sculpt for General Flagg. The first criteria for the head swap is "how well does the hat fit" and the second would be "how well does the head rest on the neck post."

There may be a post in the future about who finally becomes General Flagg. I've got a few more ideas for head sculpts.

The Club did a great job on these two figures, but it seems a bit unfortunate that they chose the same head sculpts and both figures wound up in the same shipment. FSS 5.0 is still a strong set of figures. I'm looking forward to who comes next!