Monthly Archives: March 2011

Marvel MiniMates Toys R Us Wave 9

A bit strange since it has mostly X-people, but Spider-Man thrown in there.   Oh well.  Here are the quick pics for you.

Not the best wave.  There are some messy paint apps, as well as the gauntlets.   All of the gauntlets have hands that are way to small to grip anything.  Not a good thing in a line of figures who have to grip.


Not too bad. Magik's hair does not stay on well, but Warlock is okay, but the yellow paint does not match on all body parts.

Both Cannonball and Shatterstar suffer from the poor paint and tiny hand syndrome.

Wolverine has some bad paint, especially around the shoulders. Dark Magneto is the best painted figure, but his feet keep falling off because of the big boot covers.

Ironically the two non X-Figures are actually the best painted and hold together well. Lizard's tail is molded into the back of the jacket. Would have been nice to see separate, but not a big complaint.

I sure hope this lousy paint is not the future of MiniMates.  If so, their days are numbered in my collecting.   Nobody here is an absolute must-have for me, but it is always fun to get some of the more obscure characters.


GI Joe Indepth (Part 3)

The RAM Cycle.  What is better than a motorcycle?  A motorcycle with a gatling gun on the side.

The RAM Cycle was one of the first 3 3/4 inch vehicles to hit the market in 1982.  It is really neat to have one after finding that out.  And after 29 years, the molds are AMAZING!!!!  Everything fits well.  It has so many little parts and doors.   There is a hatch on the side of the gun that opens so it can be worked on.   The pods on the side come off and open up.  There is a hidden handgun in one of the boxes, though it is a little out of scale.

Don’t like it as a RAM, or you don’t like the side pods?   Well, you have a few options.  Want a vehicle you can easily repaint into a different battle than the Desert Battle?  This is the vehicle for you.   Very customizable by removing parts.

The rider is Sandstorm.  This is his first figure.   The original did not have a driver as it was made in 1982 where you did not always get a figure with a vehicle.  He has a removable helmet that is very similar in look to Copperhead of Cobra fame.

I am really happy with these reprints of come classic vehicles.   They are holding up extremely well, and work very nicely with the more modern GI Joe Figures.
Next time, I am going to take a look at a classic Cobra vehicle going back to 1985, but… you guessed it, looking great after all these years.

GI Joe Indepth (Part 2)

Today is a look at a classic from 1985.  How do I know that?  It is stamped right into the bottom.  But other than that, you would have no clue that this is a vehicle that has be reissued over the past 26 years.

I am talking about the A.W.E. Striker.

This is one of the smaller boxed vehicles that you can get.  It is a really nice size for someone who wants to have a few vehicles in their collection, but don’t have the room.

This version is a black and tan… no, not a Guinness and a Bass.   I am talking colors.   We have seen everything from the olive drab to a cocktail mix of colors for both teams.  This one we get a little mud splatter on the fender and some muddy tires.  I do think it would have been nice if the mud on the wheels matched the mud on the vehicle’s body.

Along with the A.W.E. Striker, driven by Night Fox, we get a plethora of great extras.  A machine gun with bullets and a backpack for holding the rounds.   Two hand guns and a shotgun.  A hat and a helmet.

There is a bit of a problem with Night Fox, since he has a holster on, his vest sits really high on his body.  That is not the best look for him, but really hard to fix since the holster does not have a break in order for it to be removed.

The parts are amazingly crisp and sharp for being so old.   Not to mention that there are a lot of the molds from that far back that have been lost.  I guess since the debut in 1985, it saw light again in 1992 as the Eco Striker, 1995 as the All-Terrain Cruiser for the Stargate movie, and then came back in a variety of colors as the A.W.E. Striker again in ’01, ’03, and ’08.

It is one of those great vehicles that made the smooth transition from the classic GI Joe line to the more refined and less riveted version we have today.

How about that independent suspension?   Pretty slick.

As with all of the versions of the AWE Striker, the engine cover is removable.   I am really leaning toward painting my engine to give it a little extra something.   I do wonder why we have a black and tan vehicle, but a green engine cover.   I guess to point out that it is in fact removable and you should by the toy.

And finally, in his helmet with night vision, Night Fox is ready to take on the threat of Cobra.  Now he just needs a co-pilot to take charge of the roof mounted cannon.

Next Up:   A cancelled vehicle snatched up by Ross, and you might want to be on the lookout for one.

GI Joe Indepth (Part 1)

We are in the middle of a whirlwind of GI Joe vehicles and figures.   We have some of the standard stuff we have been seeing at Target and Walmart making an “after Christmas” comeback.   We also have stuff showing up at Ross and the like that were cancelled for one reason or another.

Today I am looking at the stinker of the current stuff.

There are a lot of people out there looking for the Sand Serpent:

This is Cobra’s Desert Battle version of the Night Raven.  Of course if you went to a few Target or Toys R Us stores in the last part of 2010, you will remember the black version being on super sales.  Originally for $39.99, these were being sold for $19.99.    I am pretty sure that is why these were cancelled.  Of course if Hasbro had already made them and gotten ready to ship out, they will want to sell them.  In comes Ross with a nice $15.99 sale price.

Needing to see what was what, I had to buy one and see.  Opening it, it came in two pieces.   The front end is a sort of cocking mechanism for the missile launchers.  Adding in three batteries and you are ready for flight.

The color scheme on this is really nice.  A desert scheme in a sort of snake print with a white bottom. This vehicle is aesthetically pleasing, but that is where the goodness ends.

Problem #1:

The Landing gear.   I was really excited for the moving landing gear.  Then I was disappointed.  It is a one-piece design.  I would really have liked to see rolling landing gear or at least more details.

Problem #2

The body separation.  In order to shoot the missiles, you have to cock the gun to rotate the chambers.  A nice idea, but really bad in execution.  The two parts are loose and when you move around the vehicle and it feels a little cheap.  I think an different way to rotate the cartridge would have made for a much better jet.

Problem #3:

This one was the real killer for me.  Trying to be like the original Night Viper from 1986, this design has a drop down cockpit.  Unlike the original version, the first time I put the cockpit back in the closed position, it had a major gap around the front end, and it flopped around when moving the vehicle.


I just think of the original 1986 version of the Night Raven that was really big and really had some great features. If you are a collector of all things GI Joe, you might want to get this vehicle.  Otherwise skip it, it will just take up room.

Next up, a repaint from a 1985 classic that still stands toe to toe with the best of today.

Star Wars (it has been a LONG time since I bought any)

I saw a picture of the new Clone Wars Turbo Speeder, and I think it is time for me to get a new Star Wars vehicle.  It has been a really long time, but this one looks worth it.

I like the design of the separate engines.   Apparently there is a hidden gunners platform in the back.   And a place for an astromech droid behind the two seats.  It looks like the engines also fire missiles.   We will see.  This is supposed to be out this month.

Ross Dress for Less is apparently your GI Joe Headquarters

On my way home from work today, I stopped by Ross on a whim that there may be something that I want.  It has been slim pickings and a virtual desert for finding good toys as of late.   I think we are moving far enough away from the holiday season for the new stuff to show up.

I found a few GI Joe figures I have not seen before at the store, even though they say they are Target Exclusives.   There were also some Wal-Mart two-packs I had not seen before, but I did not get them today.  There were also a few Transformers.

Ram Cycle with Sandstorm and the Cobra Flight Pod with Elite-Viper.

Go forth and expand your armies.

Toy Show last Weekend

Got a bit of stuff last weekend at the Toy Show in San Jose.  Not the world’s biggest toy show, but there is some pretty good stuff there.  My goal was to actually buy something. 🙂  Got that one covered.

So the total for the day is one Star Sapphire Wonder Woman, three of the new GI JOE figures, eight Hot Wheels (old and uniquely cool looking), and a Binaltech Grimlock.  Those of you not familiar with the Binaltech line, it is similar to the Alternators line that came out here in the US.  This is one really heavy car with metal car panels.   Opening everything and a finished interior.

So I have lots of fodder for the upcoming week of blogging.   Look for Wonder Woman to come first, followed by Grimlock and then the GI Joe figures.  The GI Joe figures are some of the best I have seen to date.  You will really want to get your hand on them if you have not done so yet.

Not to mention the rest of the weekend where I found another new GI Joe figure as well as the  newest line of Marvel Minimates.   My desk is overflowing with fun stuff.  Can’t wait to share it all.

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