Hasbro has of late been a little sporadic in showing their love for the Dreadnoks, and that’s a sad thing for someone who loves them as much as I do. Granted, most of my affection goes toward Ripper, Buzzer and Torch, but there have still been some cool additions to the gang since they first debuted. Now, it’s been a while since we’ve seen anything from them. They weren’t featured at all in the Rise of Cobra movie, nor did they get any of the “off-screen” figure treatment that also came out of the RoC line. It’s only fitting that they finally get a nod inThe Pursuit of Cobra. Bring on the Doom Cycle!
The Doom Cycle is one of the smaller, Alpha Class vehicles, but don’t let that deter you. The few PoC Alpha vehicles we’ve seen thus far have been so much better than the puny, simpistic, and overpriced ones offered in The Rise of Cobra line. You wouldn’t think that a motorcycle designed for a 3 3/4″ figure could be all that much to crow about, but Hasbro sure put some real love into this thing. As an Alpha Class, the toy comes in a simple window box that shows off the cycle and figure very well. The back shows photos of the toy and Shadow Rider’s filecard can be found on the bottom of the box. The insert can be removed and converted into a little backdrop diorama. These backdrops have been hit and miss with me, but I absolutely love the one that comes with this toy, as it’s basically a burning apocalyptic city-scape that I can imagine using for all sorts of things.
The Cycle itself is a three wheeled chopper, cast mostly in black and grey with a little red. The sculpted detail work on the engine is very nice and the gas tank has great custom artwork with the words “Doom Cycle” and a screaming skull. An additional paint app or piece of clear plastic for the headlamp would have been a good touch, though, as it is it’s just left grey. The Cycle rolls along really well on rubbery tires and it’s designed to work perfectly with the figure, so you don’t have to wrestle with him to stay on.
The hidden (ok, not so hidden) weapons on the Doom Cycle reminds me of one of the old MASK toys. Press the button near the back and you deploy a fan of blades. Press the button on the front button and two shotguns flip up by the handlebars and two skewer blades deploy by the front wheel. The great thing about these gimmicks is that they really don’t detract from the design of the toy itself. I’ll admit, the fan blades on the rear don’t strike me as all that useful, but you can’t go wrong with a pair of combat shotguns mounted on your handlebars or two giant blades protruding from the front of your bike.
And then you also get the new Dreadnok figure, Storm Rider. On paper, Storm Rider may sound somewhat generic. Yeah, he’s a biker dude in a leather jacket and blue jeans, but he’s executed really well. His jacket is personalized on the back with “Dreadnoks” and “Australia” and the sharp detail in the tiny badge on his pocket is very impressive. His arms have various finely illustrated tatts, including the Cobra emblems partially obscured by his rolled up sleeves. His right leg has a sculpted holster, which will hold the revolver that comes with him. His mask is black with what looks like two streams of bloody tears coming down and really reminds me of Raziel from the Soul Reaver games. Even if I wasn’t starved for a new Dreadnok figure, I’d still love this guy. And he suits the Doom Cycle perfectly.
Storm Rider’s black mask can be removed by popping his head off and on again. It looks good on him when he’s riding, but I like the figure just as much with it off. The face sculpt is good (is that a little James Marsters in there?), his shades are sculpted to his face, and he’s got a cool little gray mohawk sculpted onto his bleached white hair.
I do have a couple of nits to pick with this figure. First off, his hands seem to pop off pretty easy, and they’re small enough that you need to be careful about losing them, so if you get him, be careful! Second, his elbow hinges are painted black, which looks rather unsightly against the skintones of his arms. Lastly, my Storm Rider will not stand for love or money, and a figure stand was not included. I robbed the one in the pictures from one of my RoC figures. Hasbro seems to frequently change their minds a lot as to whether to give pack-in figures stands or not and it can get a bit aggrevating.
As most of the Dreadnok’s have signature weapons, Hasbro gave Storm Rider here some kind of spike shooter. It looks like an industrial power tool, like a nailgun of some kind and it has a hose attached to it. You can peg the weapon onto the Doom Cycle and there’s a place to plug in the hose too, but the hose just danlges when Shadow Rider is using it while off the bike.
Even with the few missteps, I absolutely love love both the Doom Cycle and Storm Rider. I’ve wanted a generic bike for my Dreadnoks for a while, and this one certainly fits the bill. If space weren’t such a concern for me, I’d have no problem picking up three more of these for Torch, Buzzer and Ripper. But first, I’d have to pick up Buzzer as he is still woefully absent from my Dreadnok gang. First the Ghost Hawk and now this. After the average-at-best Alpha Class toys from Rise of Cobra, it’s so nice to see some really decent stuff coming out in Pursuit of Cobra.