Tag Archives: GI Joe

Legion Class – Warpath, Viper, and Groove (Transformers Generations)

Three Legion Class figures went on a recent holiday with me from California to Europe. I like taking the small guys since they fit easily in my backpack.

I ended up taking pictures of them on a Roman wall built in 71AD in the city of York, England.

I like the Legion Class figures. Warpath and Viper are better than Groove in this lineup.

Groove’s motorcycle mode is a bit stout.  He is extremely wide.   It is a pretty good representation of a futuristic bike, but it looks a bit too much like a scooter for my taste.

Groove is a bit gangly as a robot.  His legs are extremely long, and he has some strange articulation.   I don’t like his head being hidden as far as it is.

Warpath is on the top 10 of my favorite figures, when looking at the G1 design.  In tank mode, the brick red color really lets you know who this is.  As soon as we had Megatron, it was pretty easy to guess that Warpath was not far behind.

Warpath’s head looks great.  It is the flat back head that we know from the previous designs of the figure.   He does lose points with me in robot mode.  Of course, anyone who knows Warpath, knows he is known for having the cannon mounted right in his chest.   Not so in this release.  Too bad, but there is not much they could have done with this reuse of body.

Viper is a repaint of Powerglide, with a new head. This figure has been a long time coming. Many have been wanting a GI Joe/Transformers crossover for years of this figure. Finally we have it. Small scale, but better than nothing.  He is called Viper, named after the main troopers in the Cobra army, though his vehicle mode represents the Cobra Rattler, which is a take on the A-10 Thunderbolt II, or the Warthog.    He has the markings of the Cobra Rattler on his wings, with the Cobra marking being tweaked to also carry the Decepticon insignia.

In robot mode, he is just Powerglide with a new head.  But boy does a new head and paint really make a difference.  He looks great, and he looks like he could be a part of the Cobra team.

Once again, some good Legion Class figures.  Viper and Groove actually fit in with the Combiner Wars larger scale figures.  Viper becomes a gun, like Powerglide, while Groove becomes a chest piece for a combiner.   Warpath is in the Combiner line with name alone.

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Wait a minute, didn’t GI Joe finally die?

Nope!  They may have made a new channel for themselves, and the shelves at the stores may be empty, but there are still GI Joe figures and vehicles trickling onto those previously mentioned empty shelves.   Today I found the Black Dragon, Cobra’s VTOL airplane.  They also had the VAMP, but we just had one of those, and this one looked just the same.  So I went with the new vehicle.  And boy am I glad I did.

Some fantastic box art for the new Black Dragon.  The vehicle comes with a Cobra Air Trooper, and he is a pretty great figure on his own.  Of course only coming with one gun, but the mold is nice and he has a great futuristic helmet molded on.

Somebody was listening.  NO STICKERS!!!!  Not even one!  That seemed to be the biggest complaint that people have about every single toy line involving said stickers.   But I sure hope you are not afraid to build.   This vehicle comes in something like 15 pieces, not including the bombs and figure.   The pieces are all molded in black with red paint highlights.  The red paint is not very good, light in some areas to allow the black to show through, and bumpy too.

When the vehicle is finally built, it has rotating turbines, folding wings, an opening cockpit, retractable landing gear, opening bomb bay doors, and a second pop-out gattling gun.  There is not much more that you could require your vehicle to do here.    Two buttons on the top either rotate the wings forward, or drop the bombs.

Pilot is in, wings are out, and we are ready for takeoff.

Here is a side view of the Black Dragon in flight mode.   The body reminds me of the Nerf footballs with the tail attached to the back.  That gives me a sense that this plane can really move, since I know I threw better when there was a tail on my football.  This vehicle has a really nice design that says it is futuristic, but could be in our skies in the next couple of years.

A little hard to portrait the bombs being dropped without a video.  Pressing the button on the top of the plane will drop the two bomb bays, and 8 bombs will be dropped.  That is a lot of bombs for this little plane.   On top of that, a second, larger gattling gun also flips out to give extra fire power.

And finally the top-down view of the plane.  With the bomb bays attached, the plane has a more robust look to it.  The wings are skinny both top to bottom and front to back.  To solve the problem with breakage, Hasbro molded the wings in a material that is a bit softer than the rest of the plane’s plastic.   That is a good thing for the kids who like to see if their Black Dragon can fly.   They would only get that chance once.   At least this way, they will get more play out of it.   I don’t think the engines are heavy enough to make the wings droop over time.

So, there you have it.   GI Joe is still around.   I am still upset that Hasbro put the new GI Joe Renegades show on their own channel, The Hub, since I don’t get the channel in my area.   I was seeing some of the Pursuit of Cobra figures warming the pegs at most of the stores for a while now, and I figures we would never see this plane come out.  With the F-14 Tomcat flown by the Joes out there, I was a little more hopeful, but that one seemed limited too.     This is probably all we will see in the stores for a while now, so back to ThunderCats, and Hot Wheels for the time being.


Toy People give toys for birthdays

My sister is turning the big 3-0 this year.   So what better to give her than a toy.  Well not just any toy, a toy I made.   We are running through a superhero theme this year.  She gave me some superhero gear, so I returned the favor.

To start with, I needed a platform.   In order to make it something she can still play with, I went with a dicast Shelby Cobra 427.  Of course this one was in the very classic metallic blue with white racing stripes.  There is nothing wrong with that, but not very good for an undercover secret agent.  So I went with metallic blue racing stripes on a metallic black base.

Why so much metallic?  Well, her secret identity is Agent Sparkles (don’t tell anyone else).

Here she is, made from a GI Joe: Rise of Cobra Scarlett figure.  I took her apart and painted her to match the car.  This is the normal mode for the car.  The daily driver, but when there is a mission, we see the Cobra’s fangs.

A gattling gun can be attached to the car.  A platform with the attachment arm is placed over the passenger side of the car.   The gun and platform are painted to match the car.

To give it they playability, I made sure to use pieces that can move, rotate and elevate.  The gattling gun still works, turn the knob on the back, and the gun rotates.

Of course, a secret agent never has just one gun up their sleeve.  A rocket launcher can also be attached, when a bullet just won’t do.

A Shelby Cobra is darn fast, but there are times where a little extra power is needed, so a jet was mounted in the trunk and can slide out when needed.

And the joy of a diecast car is the ability for everything to open.    That was one of my main goals, to keep everything in working order.  It was a fun project.  The paint is always the tricky part.  But everything worked well.  It shipped with ease, and I got a very happy response from my sister.  Apparently she cannot stop playing with it.

Happy Birthday Sis!


Black H.I.S.S., a good find

I was online looking at a favorite G.I. Joe site, GeneralsJoes, and saw there was a black H.I.S.S. tank that came out after the first release of the gray.  I was really excited since the original HISS tank was black, and everything looks better in black.

Knowing that I saw a bunch of the HISS tanks at Ross on the toy aisle, I knew exactly where my hunt was going to begin.

Here is what you need to look for.  Look at the bottom of the box and look for the number stamp.  You will want to look for a number that is higher than 02381.   Mine was 02391.

Now for the fun part.   The tank.

Every piece of this thing is in black, and it looks mean.   I think they should have made it this way the first time.

If you are not familiar with the new HISS tank, you are missing out on some really cool transforming designs and an actual moving tread.  No more of the wheels underneath.

The original is a tough vehicle, but there would be something way scarier if the black one rolled over the hill.

I wonder if Hasbro was going to be making a color change to go with  a different battle scene.  The first HISS came out for the Desert Battle.   It seems that this new one would have been for the City Strike.  I don’t know if it was a tease for the fans, or if there was a drop in sales due to the economy.   Either way, if you are a fan of GI Joe, you will want to grab this one.

 


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.


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