[GI Joe Post-25th and beyond] A Real American Military-Industrial-Entertainment Complex

Posted by gingaio 


Compadres, please pardon my effusiveness.

The figure above has been receiving much praise across the nerd boards, and indeed, like many others, I’ve been salivating over pictures of this toy for about a year.

In hand, this toy is not just a marvel of design and engineering; I think it trumpets a new figural toy paradigm.

Am I being melodramatic?

Imagine if an SOC was released that was anime accurate down to the tiniest detail, had perfect transformation (no parts swapping), and was tougher and more “playable” than a Takatoku 1/55 valk. A unicorn, in short. Low-Light would be the 3 3/4 –inch analogy.

Admittedly, not much of an analogy because toy figures are way easier to design than transforming toy robots. Still, it’s been—what, forever?—since I’ve held a toy that is so utterly and wonderfully infallible.

If I were to nitpick, I’d say that of the 14 or so accessory bits*, many are incredibly tiny and are consequently prone to loss or damage (there’s a removable bullet the size of a starved flea). That’s not so much a problem as an embarrassment of riches. Put away the accessories save for the rifle and backpack, and voila—you’ve got the most accurate, beautiful, and durable toy version of this character that’s ever been.

Mr. Crush already mentioned the new Snake Eyes as indicative of what Hasbro has accomplished, but I’ve so far been laying off the Pursuit of Cobra line in favor of figures that are strict adherents to the designs of the original characters.

Perfect homages, in other words, that also happen to be perfect toys. Low-Light has deliciously tight joints all around, and the material used seems more robust than that of its 25th predecessors. Whether that’s just the excitement talking or not, the figure does feel a lot sturdier than those of the 25th line.

The recent Toy Fair photos have provoked new bouts of slavering. Sci-Fi looks incredible. Ditto for Zarana. And though the GI Joe Club’s Dial-Tone looks like a reuse of 25th Anniversary parts, there’ll always be a soft spot in my heart for the 1986 line of Joes.

If Hasbro keeps doing what it’s doing, and assuming the QC holds up, the 30th anniversary homage line could go down as my favorite toy line ever.

For a much more detailed review of this figure, go here:

[www.generalsjoes.com]

*The last figure I had with this many parts, including a rifle that could be broken down into multiple components, was the 12-inch Hot Toys Golgo 13, and that figure, IIRC, actually had less accessories.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2011 03:53PM by gingaio.
Attachments:
open | download - Low-Light.jpg (85.6 KB)
gingaio Wrote:
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> Am I being melodramatic?

Not at all. It's should be a downright fucking embarrassing to other toy companies that these figures were selling for, like, $6 a pop last year and they're so fucking good. These toys put out at lonely fat girl prices but deliver varsity cheerleader levels of quality. I can't think of a single other toy line that has put its mouth where my money is and done it so well and so hard that I felt obligated to let it spend the night even after we were finished.


> If I were to nitpick, I’d say that of the 14 or so
> accessory bits*, many are incredibly tiny and are
> consequently prone to loss or damage (there’s a
> removable bullet the size of a starved flea).
> That’s not so much a problem as an embarrassment
> of riches.

Agreed. Except I would add this one addendum before I declare toy nirvana. Thigh swivels and rocker ankle joints (as seen on some of the recent Star Wars and Marvel Universe figures). Especially the ankles. It doesn't seem right to me that some Star Wars figures are now more poseable than a Joe. To my childish brain it is a horrible, horrible paradox 30 years in the making.


> Mr. Crush already mentioned the new Snake Eyes as
> indicative of what Hasbro has accomplished, but
> I’ve so far been laying off the Pursuit of Cobra
> line in favor of figures that are strict adherents
> to the designs of the original characters.

Don't be a fool! That Snake Eyes is the best damned toy incarnation of the character ever. With its swappable heads(!), removable knee pads, and "commando vs. ninja" gear it does homage to both of the first two classics. Hell, it can also stand in for the Resolute version. You really, really need to get one. And a Cobra S.W.A.T. trooper, too. Those doods are totally decked out with gear, including tasers!


> The recent Toy Fair photos have provoked new bouts
> of slavering. Sci-Fi looks incredible. Ditto for
> Zarana. And though the GI Joe Club’s Dial-Tone
> looks like a reuse of 25th Anniversary parts,
> there’ll always be a soft spot in my heart for the
> 1986 line of Joes.

Don't forget the ever purple Techno Viper. He'd look perfect next to Sci-Fi.


> If Hasbro keeps doing what it’s doing, and
> assuming the QC holds up, the 30th anniversary
> homage line could go down as my favorite toy line
> ever.

With the goldmine of nostalgia that Hasbro (and others) have uncovered with recent products it's mind-boggling how much awesome stuff is out on the shelves these days...
Gcrush Wrote:
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> Don't be a fool! That Snake Eyes is the best
> damned toy incarnation of the character ever.
>
I've got no reason to doubt you. Only problem is that I'm pretty OCD when it comes to "show accurate." Snake Eyes shouldn't be wearing boots. He should be wearing a sexy skin-tight bodysuit.
>
> Don't forget the ever purple Techno Viper. He'd
> look perfect next to Sci-Fi.
>
Knew I forgot something. And I'm buying two of those Skystrikers (one to display in my car's trunk). I think the Alley Viper was the figure that really started to turn the corner as far as Hasbro exploring how much detail and how many accessories it could pack into one of these little figures.
>
> With the goldmine of nostalgia that Hasbro (and
> others) have uncovered with recent products it's
> mind-boggling how much awesome stuff is out on the
> shelves these days...

It's funny--a few weeks ago, I saw a bunch of Mego-styled Ghostbusters figures at my Toy R'Us. They just seemed so perfect for what they were, and I hadn't even known they'd existed up to that point.
Professor GingCrush, is the red goggle visor clear so we can see his beady little killer eyes?

Seriously, with all the griping I see on the webs, I thought most old folks were missing the whole crazy detailed little toys out now. I don't collect Joes, or Jimmys, but did pick up a couple (three actually), including the SnakeEyes, the Bazooka, who comes with that bazooka, plus a whole quiver of bazooka bullets, and Roadblock, with his, uh, bomb that I guess he throws or something, and a whole detailed bullet chain for his machine gun. Silly good for the price is true.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2011 10:39PM by repairtechjon.
Yeah, Bazooka with his rocket rack is insane, and the figure totally captures the spirit of the vintage...more so than his buddy Alpine.

The visor on Low-Light is painted and not transparent, though for vintage accuracy's sake, I prefer it this way. You can remove the goggles, though, and many reviewers have mentioned that the face bears a more-than-passing resemblance to Tom "Sgt. Barnes" Berenger.
gingaio Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've got no reason to doubt you. Only problem is
> that I'm pretty OCD when it comes to "show
> accurate." Snake Eyes shouldn't be wearing boots.
> He should be wearing a sexy skin-tight bodysuit.

Ah, well in that case the 25th DVD set with Purple-Nurple Snake Eyes cannot be beat. Right color, right weapons, right clothes. I assume you have this.

Still, for commando action the POC version is the winner.


> Knew I forgot something. And I'm buying two of
> those Skystrikers (one to display in my car's
> trunk). I think the Alley Viper was the figure
> that really started to turn the corner as far as
> Hasbro exploring how much detail and how many
> accessories it could pack into one of these little
> figures.

Good call on the trunk display. I might have to get some extras to tie around my spare motorcycle. Maybe in a V-formation.

The POC Snow Job figure is riddled with accessories, too. I think that was the tipping point for me. I couldn't believe how much stuff they crammed into that tiny little bubble. Amazing.


> It's funny--a few weeks ago, I saw a bunch of
> Mego-styled Ghostbusters figures at my Toy R'Us.
> They just seemed so perfect for what they were,
> and I hadn't even known they'd existed up to that
> point.

Fuck Mego. I always, and still, hate those things. They're like the potted meat of action figures, existing in a painfully obvious and perpetual identity crisis. Always trying to pretend they're something they're not while never fully committing themselves in any particular direction... Are they dollies? Are they action figures? Are they awesome? All trick questions because they answer to each is NULL.

Having said that, if one were to enjoy Mego figures, then, yes, the recent Ghostbusters dealies are pretty accurate to the spirit and quality of the originals. Another well executed nostalgia line.
More announcements of new figs. Pics from Hisstank.

Lifeline? Yes! The accessories again are staggering. Why the hell is a pacifist medic carrying a big-ass gun? Who cares?



Airtight w/ removable helmet? Yes!



Sci-Fi? Yes! And apparently, someone made a Korean bootleg Mason and sent him to the Joe con to take pictures.



Still not sold on Skystriker-Scream, but the box art--front and back--is genius.





Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/02/2011 10:52PM by gingaio.
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mcfitch (Admin)
OMG! Even I thought that was me and so did my girlfriend.

These figures really are great looking and that's from someone that has no love for GI Joe aside from the first 2 waves when they were still green military. The bike with sidecar/cannon was much loved when I was a kid.
-Mason

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matthewalt "I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!"
"The bike with sidecar/cannon was much loved when I was a kid."

Ew.

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
mcfitch Wrote:
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> The bike with sidecar/cannon was much
> loved when I was a kid.

Far and away that motorcycle with the sidecar gatling cannon was the single greatest GI Joe ARAH toy ever made...I loved that thing dearly...the reissue was a terrible let down...as has been 99.9% of all of the newest round of ARAH stuff...
fel9 Wrote:
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> mcfitch Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The bike with sidecar/cannon was much
> > loved when I was a kid.
>
> Far and away that motorcycle with the sidecar
> gatling cannon was the single greatest GI Joe ARAH
> toy ever made...I loved that thing dearly...the
> reissue was a terrible let down...as has been
> 99.9% of all of the newest round of ARAH stuff...

I loved that toy as well. The first couple waves of GI Joe toys were great, IMO. The jetpack launch pad for example, the HAL, and the bridge layer were some of my favorites. I was still enjoying it when things like the Stinger came out (the black VAMP?), but once you got into the more fantasy-based stuff and things like Sgt Slaughter being part of it... well, that's when it fell apart for me.

More serious than thou
Fujikuro: Dude...that landing pad for the jump pack has been park of my warhammer 40K battlefield scenery for almost 20 years now...as well as other bits and pieces of ARAH stuff...You know I had some of the bigger toys (skystriker and the big hovercraft thingy) but the smaller stuff always seemed so much cooler...
mcfitch (Admin)
fel9,
Pics of the 40K terrain now! I agree about the little stuff. I had and loved the hell out of the hovercraft (AND the pilot had a Red Sox hat!) as well as the F-14 and many tanks and such, but Rock N' Roll was maybe my favorite GI Joe toy. That or Storm Shadow.
-Mason

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matthewalt "I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!"
mcfitch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> fel9,
> Pics of the 40K terrain now! I agree about the
> little stuff. I had and loved the hell out of the
> hovercraft (AND the pilot had a Red Sox hat!) as
> well as the F-14 and many tanks and such, but Rock
> N' Roll was maybe my favorite GI Joe toy. That or
> Storm Shadow.
> -Mason

....And Rock N' Roll was 100% always the rider of the aforementioned machine gun sidecared motorcycle...

As for the terrain I'll have to dig it out and set it up. I haven't played in a year or so it has gotten pushed to the back of the ol' man closet. I have been meaning to get it out though because I have a young nephew who is just about the right age to start hanging the old geek hook in front of...cue evil laugh...
Was watching the latest episode of Superjail! and especially loved the hilarious intro of the GI Joe parody cast. Sanjeev and Gingy should love this. As usual, the whole fucking episode is a glorious masterpiece. Totally not safe for work, but completely appropriate for viewing with friends and lovers.
How has it come to be that I've never seen a single episode of this show? Brilliant stuff, man. I need figures of Black Face and Blow Job--stat.

I am surprised by the amount of violence, though. Didn't realize this stuff could get past the censors. Reminds me of vintage splatter-anime.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2011 03:33AM by gingaio.
gingaio Wrote:
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> How has it come to be that I've never seen a
> single episode of this show? Brilliant stuff, man.
> I need figures of Black Face and Blow Job--stat.
>
> I am surprised by the amount of violence, though.
> Didn't realize this stuff could get past the
> censors. Reminds me of vintage splatter-anime.

Well, I've only recommended the show to you at least twice on the board. I figured it was time to ante up with a clip. That show is the best goddamn thing on television ever. And I don't say that lightly. Well, maybe I do. But that's because I generally despise the medium. Anyway.

The hyper-violence is one of the defining aesthetic features. It's like taking a middle-school kid's notebook drawings and putting them to life in a surreal prison sitcom bent on the painful, exaggerated transgression of our society's taboos. This is what The Simpsons or South Park would look like if they were possessed of excessive testicular gravitas and LSD. It's good that it comes in small doses. More than 15 minutes of the stuff at a time would send your brain tumbling into slip-space.
Gcrush Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well, I've only recommended the show to you at
> least twice on the board. I figured it was time
> to ante up with a clip.
>
D'oh. I should have clarified this earlier on in our friendship, but because of the rather intimate nature of receiving and offering TV show recommendations, I've only ever accepted such recommendations via Facebook. In fact, for future reference, here are the channels through which I'd prefer to communicate:

-TV show recommendations: Facebook

-Movie recommendations: My university email address

-Music recommendations: Obscure Japanese Toy Board Populated by Frumpy Old Men

-Advice on life: Twitter

-Tax Advice: Handwritten letter signed with tears of empathy

-The "Look at what sexual positions I've consigned my Loincloth Lenny figures to!" announcement: Immediate phone call

-Japanese toy news and discussion: Not sure where we should talk about this. Hold off until further notice.

-Marriage/Funeral announcements: The Yahoo email address I created so that I could post on dog-lover forums that I hate dogs.

-Party invitations: One of those online surveys where I can rate my willingness to attend on a 1-6 scale.

-The "Hey, I thought this was interesting" or "Hey, I was wondering how you're doing" message: Typed, double-spaced letter in 12 pt. Times New Roman font. Include a Works Cited page with 6-8 academic sources.

I'll have more as I think of more. Thank you for understanding, Mr. Crush.
gingaio Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In fact, for future reference, here are the channels...

So, the usual then?

Keep a weather eye on the horizon for my smoke signals when I bid on your auctions.
mcfitch (Admin)
I picked up a few of these as handy candy for my desk. I have to say they're surprisingly well made and have a ton of accessories. So far Beachhead is a keeper.
-Mason

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matthewalt "I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!"
SO love the '86 Joes. That line produced the Viper, the best figure of all time. This Dabney Coleman figure is the shiznit--so accurate to the original...almost. Hasbro got lazy with the body reuse (Dreadnok Buzzer). Consequently, you've got the silly shoulder pad, but at least the company was good enough to erase the skull from the belt buckle. And the gear. My goodness, the gear is as important as the figure itself.



Picked up the Snake Eyes on Mr. Crush's recommendation, but I haven't been able to convince myself to open it yet. Not...show...accurate.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/19/2011 11:08PM by gingaio.
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Finally got around to opening the Snake Eyes that Mr. Crush recommended a while back and it's pretty swell. With all the gear that's already on the figure (2 knives, 2 swords, a pistol, a submachine gun), there are still about 4-5 additional accessories/weapons (the pistol and uzi with removable silencers are a killer touch).







Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/2011 02:59PM by gingaio.
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Sanjeev (Admin)
Aiight...that's pretty dope. I get the impression that the general quality of these guys is somewhat inconsistent? Is there a Snake Eyes this nice with the later eye-visor-thing?
Sanjeev Wrote:
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> Aiight...that's pretty dope. I get the impression
> that the general quality of these guys is somewhat
> inconsistent? Is there a Snake Eyes this nice with
> the later eye-visor-thing?


YES! The same one in the picture. It comes with TWO heads - Commando Head and Ninja Visor Head. It's so fucking awesome. People should own at least two of these.
Oh, and the new Iron Grenadier is teh titz, too. Comes with the smart-gun from Aliens.

The new General Hawk is basically dressed as a Space Marine. And one of the newish Dukes had a pulse rifle.

Between all those parts the only thing we're missing is a Ripley Joe.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Gcrush Wrote:
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> YES! The same one in the picture. It comes with
> TWO heads - Commando Head and Ninja Visor Head.
> It's so fucking awesome. People should own at
> least two of these.

Oh my bad--I didn't realize this was the same one you originally mentioned with the removable kneepads and all that. I'm feeling it.
Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I get the impression
> that the general quality of these guys is somewhat
> inconsistent? Is there a Snake Eyes this nice with
> the later eye-visor-thing?

The hips on mine (metal ball joints) are a bit loose, but that's par for the course with a lot of these figs. I thought Hasbro had turned a page after I got Low-Light, in which every single joint was sweet-ass tight. Oh, well. It's not a deal-breaker, and certainly not for a figure this good. Besides the hips, all the other joints are nice and solid.

Give it a shot, Reverend.

A very comprehensive photo-review here, with pics of the alternate head:

[generalsjoes.com]





Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/2011 06:39PM by gingaio.
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Gcrush Wrote:
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> Oh, and the new Iron Grenadier is teh titz, too.
> Comes with the smart-gun from Aliens.
>
> The new General Hawk is basically dressed as a
> Space Marine. And one of the newish Dukes had a
> pulse rifle.
>
> Between all those parts the only thing we're
> missing is a Ripley Joe.

Seriously? Aliens homage? You're getting me all hot and bothered, man. Interesting how they went with the Predator homage last time--Billy and Predator.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/2011 06:45PM by gingaio.
gingaio Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Seriously? Aliens homage? You're getting me all
> hot and bothered, man. Interesting how they went
> with the Predator homage last time--Billy and
> Predator.

It's true. The Grenadier and Duke's guns are straight outta Aliens. They're not even trying to hide it.

And, yeah, I noticed the Predator homages, too. Like Shadow Tracker. If that dood were an alien he'd have nailed the part.
Sanjeev (Admin)
gingaio Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A very comprehensive photo-review here, with pics
> of the alternate head...

"Both of Snake Eyes' wrists tilt forward, which allows the figure to grip his sword with two hands"



...



Sanjeev Wrote:
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> [RAGE GUY]

I don't get it?
Sanjeev (Admin)
I didn't know "rage guy" HAD to be rage. I was attempting to express my experiencing a mild stroke (in a good way) upon learning he could point a sword away from him. I kinda have to get this toy.
Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I didn't know "rage guy" HAD to be rage.

Yeah, me neither - it's a little ambiguous. But...


> I was attempting to express my experiencing a mild
> stroke (in a good way) upon learning he could
> point a sword away from him. I kinda have to get
> this toy.

...now I get it. You really do need to grab at least one of these Snack Eyes. You can pop off the knee pads and other gear if you want to go all ninja. But it's better to have two - one for each identity crisis.

And if you want a Storm Shadow to go with it, wait for the Renegades version to come out later this year. It covers everything about SS as well as this one covers SE.
mcfitch (Admin)
That Snake Eyes is pretty sweet looking. I need to nab one for the office. And I can't recommend Beach Head enough. As far as Storm Shadow goes the armored version with the naginata (not the shitty desert one) is pretty rad as well.
-Mason

Edit:
Good: [www.hasbro.com]

Not so good:
[www.hasbro.com]

Friggin' awesomesauce:
[www.hasbro.com]

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Matthewalt "I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!"



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/16/2011 09:55PM by mcfitch.
Sanjeev (Admin)
I don't mind so much that the Pursuit of Cobra Snacky isn't super-close to the cartoon incarnation of him...it's "close enough" for me. But is there an equivalent Storm Shadow--something that's accurate or "close enough"?

That naginata-armed one looks like it could be a great toy...but because he doesn't look at all like the cartoon, I have no connection to it...
Sanjeev Wrote:
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> But is there an equivalent Storm Shadow--something
> that's accurate or "close enough"?

The "25th Anniversary" SS was a pretty decent update on the first vintage figure. The ensuing "Hall of Fame" one was a good take on the cartoon model. The one pictured below is coming out at the end of this year. While not shown, it also includes a hood-less head that looks like the Renegades cartoon model.






Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2011 01:12PM by Gcrush.
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mcfitch (Admin)
Oh fuck yes to this SS. Sanjeev, the funny thing is that i liked the first few waves of GI Joe toys as a kid, and appreciated them as toys because I hated the cartoon. I feel the same way now; these are some awesome toys but I couldn't give a damn about the source material. Case in point; I LOVE Beach Head the most mainly because of my love for the Call of Duty videogames. He comes with a few of the weapons I prefer from the game and is outfitted like some of the classes I like playing. That and it's just a generally great action figure and perfect handy candy at work.
-Mason

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Matthewalt "I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!"
Sanjeev (Admin)
Oh I totally hear you. Heh...I didn't even like the cartoon much as a kid (oh, these dudes are "saving the world"? then why's my dad still an alcoholic? why's my neighbor's dad in jail? etc., etc...). Transformers was more alien-fantasy than ennobling-US-military...so I could stomach it better. BUT I was a latchkey-kid, so I watched whatever the fuck was on tv! :P

As such, for better or for worse, I have a connection to the animation models. Otherwise, they're "just action figures" to me!

I just looked up your other recommendations, G. The 25th Anniversary one looks okay, but the one above just looks better--in the same way the Pursuit of Cobra Snack Ears just looks better (more "realistic") than the more cartoon accurate purple-nurple. Same thing with the Hall of Heroes (not "Fame"). I think the upcoming one will make for a better companion to the Pursuit of Cobra Snake Eyes...


The Steel Brigade concept is goofy in hindsight, but is pretty cool when you're young and your brain is still not fully developed.

The removable helmet is a cool move, and as usual, you get a shitload of accessories. Also cool is the continued use of the new wrist joints (swivel + hinged).

Also my 8-year-old nephew came over this week (we're both on summer break and have nothing better to do with our time than mess around with toys, it seems) and he had a go at my office/toy chamber. He prefers the sleek & sexy & showy 25th Snake Eyes, citing the new one as "fat." I said that's what happens when guys let themselves go in middle-age.

Still, he's demonstrating admirable taste at such a young age. And a certain dislike for robot-mode Cyclonus. Must be the horns.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2011 01:37PM by gingaio.
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The Skystriker was one of those toys that, many years ago, I wept bitterly over not owning. I think if I had been given the chance to handle one, my mind would have exploded.

The lines are gorgeous--looking at it, it's easy to understand what ignited the aircraft otaku fire in someone like Kawarmori...now somebody tell him to stay away from designing Transformers. The wings/landing gears feature, despite being a massive space killer w/r/t displaying, is really fun. My grown-up hands are barely large enough to whoosh this thing around.

Unless you've owned one before, you really need to handle one in person to appreciate how massive this thing is.

A couple of things:
1) Wish the wings/landing gears were independent
2) The cockpit is plugged in upon assembly--Hasbro was teasing that it's modular, but it isn't. Once it's plugged in, it's not coming out. I cry manly tears for the two-seating cockpit that could have been. This is probably Hasbro's greatest crime in redesigning this piece. No more Maverick/Goose whooshing.

Here's the Skystriker with the Conquest FAST Pack attached:





Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2011 01:50PM by gingaio.
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