Transformers Armada: Jetfire with Comettor by Hasbro

Moving on to another one of my high points in the Armada line is Jetfire. The first time I caught glimpse of Armada Jetfire I was pretty torn. I wasn’t so sure about his robot mode, but I was in love with his vehicle mode from the very start. I was also happy to see that the name Jetfire went to a suitably worthy design. Once I finally found him and brought him home I couldn’t put him down and the uniqueness of his robot mode really grew on me. Let’s check him out…

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The shuttle mode is gorgeous. A little toyish looking? Maybe. But I really dig the overall design of this shuttle. He’s more of a battle shuttle with missiles mounted under each wing and a pair of guns as well. There is a ridiculous amount of sculpted detail on this thing, from the panel lines to the little grills and intakes and if you open his payload doors there’s even a bunch of shematics etched on the inside of one of the doors. I think I owned this toy for months before finally taking notice of that stuff, but it just goes to show you how much love went into even the smallest details of this guy. Unfortunately, I think it was pure hate that went into his electronics, as Jetfire has one of the most annoying electronic gimmicks I’ve seen in a while. Push his back tail fin down and the thruster cone lights up and he starts this long-winded countdown, followed by sensors beeping. It’s an infuriatingly long sound clip and it has a hair trigger.

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Jetfire also has what I believe to be the best Minicon connectivity of almost any toy in the Armada line. He has three live Minicon ports: One on the top, which activates his spring loaded tail fins, and he has one on each wing that drops each missile. But the coolest thing isn’t really a port at all, its the way Comettor transforms into Jetfire’s front landing gear and plugs in under his nose cone.

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Transforming Jetfire is pure craziness. Stuff flops all over the place and for a while, he’s just a hollow mess. But he’s surprisingly easy to convert and the process is really clever. I’m not all that much a fan of Jetfire’s head sculpt, but it doesn’t go so far as to ruin the figure for me at all. I just wish they would have gone with something that looked a little more Transformer-y. Two of his thruster cones retract into his feet, which is really cool as it would aid in his ability to fly. The third thruster assembly becomes a rather unweildly, but serviceable weapon. You can position his wings in a variety of ways. I believe the official position is angled up over his shoulders, but I like to put them down, coming off his back. Jetfire has a good amount of articulation and he’s chock full of strong ratchet joints. His arms feature universal movement in the shoulders and hinged elbows. His legs rotate at the hips and his knees bend.

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Jetfire’s Minicon is Comettor and as already hinted at he’s something of a triple changer. In addition to his landing gear mode, he also has a little moon buggy alt mode and can take on a cool wheeled robot mode. Afterall, how many Transformers have wheels instead of feet? At least outside of Beast Machines. Granted, his colors are a bit bland, but he’s definitely one of the more unique Minicons out there and his connectivity with his big bot buddy is fantastic.

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Like most of the Armada molds, Jetfire was repainted and re-released as Powerlinx Jetfire. I really wanted to include some shots of the repaint, but the batteries in my camera had other plans. If I’m motivated enough, I may edit today’s entry with some additional photos, but chances are I’ll just save all the Armada repaints for a Powerlinx Week sometime in the future when I’m hard up for material. He’s also capable of joining with Armada Optimus Prime, but there just wasn’t enough alcohol time to make me attempt that for today’s entry. Either way, Jetfire here is a really fun an innovative toy, and certainly one of my favorites in the toyline.

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Transformers Armada: Wheeljack with Wind Sheer by Hasbro

I’m back from the weekend, hung over refreshed and ready to go, so welcome to Transformers Armada week. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but new acquisitions kept forcing me to put it off, but now I have the time to take a week and look at some of my favorites and least favorites of this line. It was technically Robots in Disguise in 2000, which brought me back to Transformers collecting, but that was a strange hodgepodge collection of toys that lacked any real kind of unity. Armada came a few years later and really struck a cord in me. There seemed to be a lot more G1 influence and I instantly fell in love with the whole concept of the Minicons. So, let’s press on and take a look at the first figure for the week: Wheeljack and his Minicon Wind Sheer.

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A lot of Transformers continuity has come and gone, but man was it strange back in 2003 to get a brand new Transformer named Wheeljack and have him be an Autobot turncoat to boot. Like most of the figures featured this week, I don’t have a packaged shot, but Wheeljack came in his vehicle mode on a horizontal card and included a rolled up instruction sheet, a collectible card, and his Minicon buddy Wind Sheer. I actually had a MOC example of this figure for quite a while, but after searching through a bunch of totes to no avail, I later found that I sold it off on Ebay a few years back while doing some Spring cleaning.

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The first thing to notice about Wheeljack is that while there is defintely an homage at work here, it sure as heck ain’t based off his G1namesake Wheeljack. Nope, with his Lamborguini style auto mode, this guy defintely looks more like G1 Sideswipe than anything else, and even more so when we get to the transformation. The next thing I tend to notice is the fact that his Autobot insignia has been violently scarred off of his hood and replaced with a smaller Decepticon logo. I could go on about how this played out in the cartoon, but the cartoon was crap, so, let’s focus on the figure. It looks pretty bad ass on the figure.

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I’m not usually a big fan of painted windows on my Transformers cars. I like the use of transparent plastic, but Armada was big on painted windows and honestly, it sort of works with this figure. As with all Armada figures, Wheeljack has Minicon ports, and in this case three of them. Two of these are the dead ones on the spoiler, that don’t activate anything but still let you pile Minicons on board. Unfortunately, these ports are too close together to be much use with a lot of the Minicons. The live port on his roof activates his attack mode, which raises his gullwing doors and exposes his concealed missile launchers.

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Wheeljack’s transformation is very simple, and very reminiscent of that G1 Sideswipe homage I mentioned earlier. He wears his hood as his chest, which places the scarred Autobot symbol in another position of prominance, and his trunk folds out to become his legs. Even his head sculpt is pretty similar to G1 Sideswipe, complete with the little horns too, although he does have an uncharacteristic gold face. [Certainly no surprises why he was repainted as Shattered Glass Sideswipe for Botcon 2008. -FF] He’s a pretty well proportioned figure, although he’s got some major hollow legs going on down there, and he’s pretty back heavy. We’ve also come to expect a lot more articulation in our Transformers since ball joints have become commonplace. Actually, I guess they were pretty commonplace in Beast Wars and Robots in Disguise, so in a lot of ways Armada was a step backwards in that respect, and Wheeljack here certainly proves it. The only really useful points of articulation are in his shoulders and elbows. He can also hold his missiles as swords or clubs.

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Wind Sheer is a cool little stealth bomber that mounts nicely on top of Wheeljack’s car mode and thanks to the matching color scheme looks pretty good there. I really dig his transformation, partly because bits don’t fall off of him as with some other Minicons, and because he really does have a pretty solid robot mode.

There’s no doubt that Wheeljack here is a throwback to G1 in terms of sculpt, transformation and articulation. But then I make no bones about the fact that that’s why I like him. He’s a simple, sturdy toy with a nice classical look to him and his Minicon and gimmick are well designed and don’t do anything to ruin the aesthetics of the toy, unless you count making him backheavy. Granted, when it comes to defending my fondness of this figure, I usually find myself up against some overwhelming odds, so there’s a good bet your mileage may vary.

Weekend Off

In case you hadn’t guessed already, I’m taking the weekend off.

Not a lot of new acquisitions planned for this week. Not a lot of new stuff turning up around here, so I haven’t been buying much of anything.

So I’m going to dig into the past with another themed week. Tomorrow, Transformers Armada week begins.

Lata,

GI JOE SpyTroops: Patriot Grizzly Tank by Hasbro

Rounding out this impulsive little GI JOE week, I thought I’d throw in at least one of the Joe’s vehicles. It’s also one that I didn’t have to dig into a tote to get because a) it’s too big for my totes and b) I love it so much that I keep it displayed on a shelf. Yeah, it’s another one of those shining moments of the SpyTroops Dark Ages, the Patriot Grizzly Tank. Considering a tank is such a commonplace military vehicle it always struck me as odd that the Joes didn’t have more of them. Sure, there was the Mauler, but it was a poor substitue for a real tank… something like this one.

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No packaged shot, but like the Ringneck, the Patriot Grizzly came in a big window box minus the window. It’s a terrible design for a toy that actually had bits that could come off of it. I can remember seeing a bunch of these at KB Toys with all sorts of damage, missing bits, or other problems. Oddly enough, despite it’s size, the Grizzly required practically no assembly. As a result, it’s really sturdy hunk of plastic, so you can rough house with it all you want. Even the barrel is removable so if you snap it off, you can just pop it right back on. And did I mention it’s big? Big enough that I couldn’t shoot it in my usual staging area.

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The Patriot Grizzly features a beautifully detailed sculpt, complete with panel lines, vents, equipment, and other compartments. The treads are simulated and molded in plastic, but the tank rolls along on concealed wheels. The vehicle is finished in a desert camo motif and pre-applied stickers include the GI JOE logos on the sides and an array of Cobra emblems to catalog confirmed kills. The tank has a radar dish, a whip antenna, a minigun on the front, and two small swiveling gun emplacments. The machine gun pegs into one of the hatches, or you can remove it if you want to button up. The tank is designed to hold figures in three stations: One in the driving slot, one in the front gunner placement, and one in the machine gun hatch on the top. Of course, the tank is littered with pegs all over, so you can really load this baby up with figures. The only problem is that the pegs designed for the SpyTroops era of figures don’t work with the modern Joes.

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One of the coolest things about the Patriot Grizzly is its electronics. There’s a handle concealed in the back tha folds out like a joystick. Using this control you can rotate the turret left and right, move the tank forward and backwards, and rapid fire the huge stock of missiles that are fed into the main gun from the hatch on the main turret. Just about every movement the tank makes is accompanied by nice sound effects. The engine rumbles, the treads squeal, and the machine gun fires off bursts. It’s lots of fun to take this baby for a spin and it usually sends my cat running for cover.

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The Patriot Grizzly remains one of my favorite Joe vehicles. It has a great sense of realism to its design, it’s sturdy enough to survive storage and rugged play, and the electronic gimmicks actually enhance the toy without crapping all over its design or aesthetics. I still long for the day when Hasbro might build a Joe tank with a removable top so that you can actually have access to the interior, but the until then this one will have a place of honor in my collection.

GI JOE Valor Vs Venom: Cobra Sting Raider by Hasbro

The impromtu GI JOE week rolls onward with another Cobra vehicle from deep within my totes. Will this be a Cobra only week? I don’t know, maybe. Right now I’m just making it up as I go along and going with whatever strikes my fancy. Today we dip beneath the waves to look at the cool little one man Cobra submarine called the Sting Raider. Of course, not to be confused with the more recent Sting Raider, which was a repaint of the vintage Cobra Water Mocassin. [Look back far enough, as I’m sure I featured it here on FigureFan. -FF] Just a heads up, the pack-in figure with this vehicle was the Electric Eel. He sucked and is no longer part of my collection. I have since paired this sub with the very awesome 25th Anniversary Collection Cobra Diver, released in 2008.

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No packaged shot, but suffice it to say this baby was released in 2004 as part of the dubious Valor Vs Venom line. Let’s just get right to the toy. The Sting Raider is a little attack sub that holds one figure under a glass domed cockpit. I love this thing so much because with it’s stingray inspired design it really looks like something that could have shown up in the Sunbow cartoon. Since the Cobra Diver was released, I’ve grown even fonder of this little toy because the color scheme matches the Cobra Diver so well, that it’s like they were made for each other. The Sting Raider is sculpted with lots of detailed panel lines and has Cobra emblems printed right on the wings. Mine have started to scratch off a bit from being bounced around in a tote for four years, but I think it gives it a nice whethered look. There are some pre-applied stickers too, which have held up pretty well.

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For a small toy, this thing is loaded with little gimmicks. It sits on three tiny wheels, so if you aren’t going to float it in a fishtank, it’ll still sit nice and level on the display shelf. [Although, if you have a spare DCUC Flight Stand from Mattel handy, that works well too! -FF] The canopy lifts up to reveal the roomy cockpit. The Diver can actually fit inside with his oxygen pack on and you can dump all the rest of his gear in there too. The steering column is hinged so you can flip it back when he’s inside and clutch the sticks in his hands. The front of the sub has a big red capture claw, which is spring loaded and slams closed at the press of a button. The wings are hinged at the tips and can be pulled out to expose a pair of firing missiles. The engine fans rotate on the back independently of each other for controlling the pitch and yaw of the sub. There’s even a little swiveling aft gun under the tail.

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The Cobra Diver is a great figure, although I think he tends to get overshadowed by the equally awesome (ok, possibly more awesome) Cobra Eel that was released as part of the 25th Anni. Collection in the same year. Yep, remember, this figure came out about four years after the Sting Raider and it’s crappy pack-in figure. Sure, he’s basically just a repaint of Torpedo, but this is one repaint that works really well. The paint apps are nice and clean and he comes with a ton of accessories. You get a removable facemask with a hose that connects to his removable oxygen pack. He has a pistol and a knife that fit in the holster and scabbard, and he gets an assault rifle, although I think Torpedo’s harpoon gun would have been a better fit. He’s also got a pair of pegged flippers for his feet.

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I could spill a lot of electronic ink over whether or not Valor Vs Venom totally sucked or not. I tend to think it gets treated a little more harshly than it deserves, but then I’ve long since purged most of the VvV figures from my collection. Maybe someday I’ll commit myself to better analysis of the line, but for now I’ll just point out that at the very least it spawned an occasionally decent vehicle, as evidenced by this awesome little Sting Raider. I’m guessing I paid around ten bucks for it, which is not bad at all for what you get. I’m sure you can pick it up nowadays for next to nothing, or you could opt for the more recent repaint.

GI JOE SpyTroops: Cobra Ringneck Armored Transport by Hasbro

What the hey. Since we kicked off the week with a couple of GI JOE vehicles, and I promised to go Lego-Free for the rest of the week, let’s just stamp a GI JOE theme on the week and be done with it. I’ve dragged a couple of totes out from the bowels of my closet to see what we can come up with. Today we’re going to look at another of my favorites in the Cobra arsenal: The Ringneck.

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No packaged shot, as I’ve had this thing for quite a while. It was released as part of the SpyTroops line way back in 2003, and it’s one of the shining moments of what was largely kind of a dark time for GI JOE, at least in terms of my interest in the line. If you’re curious, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a shot of the box via the InterWebs, but it’s worth noting that like most vehicles in this series, it was released in what was basically a window box without the window. Yep, it exposed the toy to the elements, which often increased the chances of it getting broken, having kids stick gum to it, or just have the shit beaten out of it right there on the store shelf. I bought mine new and it was full of dust right out of the package. Fun!

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The Ringneck is an armored transport and the main reason I love it is because it looks like something right out of World War II. It doesn’t really look like a Cobra vehicle, because it’s grounded too much in reality and it’s missing some of the Rube Goldbergesque stuff that Cobra engineers seemed to love. Yeah, there are a few odd gimmicks, which I’ll get to in a minute, but overall, it looks more like something you’d get in the Forces of Valor line than GI JOE.

The Ringneck rolls along on six heavy wheels and it features a main cannon attached to a great looking armored dome. The viewing slits and heavy riveting really give it that vintage vibe. There are also two smaller gun emplacements on each side. Pull the lever in the back and you can make the two gun emplacements swivel in unison while sound effects are activated. The main turret rotates and the cannon does fire a missile, but I removed mine a while back because I liked the exposed borehole of the barrel better, and now I can’t find it. As for the sound effects, I can’t remember what they are. The batteries in mine must have died a long while ago and frankly I’m afraid to open the compartment because the batteries in there have probably fused into one piece from corrosion. You can remove the two gun pods and set them up as gun emplacements, which seems like a really lame tacked on gimmick that I try to forget even exists.

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By design, the Ringneck holds four figures, with one riding in the main turret and one in each of the smaller gun emplacements. The fourth, which may be the river has the unlucky job of riding directly under the main cannon, while being the most exposed against enemy fire, and all he gets is this little pea shooter that must be hard to work with while driving. There aren’t any peg holes for other figures, but there’s plenty of room for troops to sit on the back and ride along.

The Ringneck came with a Neo Viper figure, which I’m sure I don’t have any more. At least I’m sure enough that I didn’t want to invest in a fruitless search through half a dozen totes of GI JOE figures. But that’s cool, because as far as I’m concerned, this thing belongs to my Battle Armor Cobra Commander.

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I don’t know that the Ringneck is high on most fans’ lists of favorite Cobra fighting machines, but I really dig it. It’s a pretty simple toy and what gimmicks it does have don’t really wreck it in anyway. It’s also a really solid toy. You could probably roll this thing crashing off your front porch and it would come away more or less unscathed. As I mentioned earlier, SpyTroops wasn’t a stellar time for GI JOE figures in my book, but there were a handful of really good vehicles turned out around this time for both sides.

GI JOE The Pursuit of Cobra: Cobra HISS with Driver by Hasbro

Somewhere on FigureFan, I’m pretty sure I did a commentary on what was shown at Toy Fair last year. I’m also pretty sure I spent some time there pontificating at how much I hated the Pursuit of Cobra HISS toy. The thing that really stuck in my craw about it was how Hasbro incorporated the elevation feature last seen in that terrible HISS TYPE IV design. I eventually warmed up to it a little bit as I saw better pictures, but I was still in no rush to get one. Unlike the Fury from yesterday’s feature, I probably would have never picked up this vehicle if I hadn’t found such a good deal at it at Ross. Let’s see if it managed to win me over.

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Yep, love that Pursuit of Cobra packaging. It’s a simple box with fantastic artwork on the front and a nice picture of the toy on the back, detailing its many features. Unlike the Fury, the box for the HISS is really thick and even bowed out a little on the sides. There’s a window showing off the HISS Driver figure and his filecard is printed on one of the side panels. Open up the box and pull out the tray and you can instantly see that you’re going to have some assembling to do. It’s nothing too complex, but I think it’s pretty cool to be getting vehicles that actually need to be put together again. I was also happy to note that I scored a black one and not the crappy brown colored version that shipped first. There’s also a ton of stickers to apply, but I skipped a number of them, either because they don’t show up well against the dark plastic or they’re in spots that I’d never notice.

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Once I got this baby together I was suitably impressed by its size. Granted, a lot of it is because the chassis rides so high on the suspension, even when it isn’t in the elevated position. Still, it’s fair to say that it dwarfs the original HISS. It’s an extremely formidable looking vehicle, easily capable of greasing its wheels with the guts of GI JOE fools. It still has the iconic triangular treads that every HISS vehicle has had since Cobra rolled the first one off the assembly line way back when, but the rest of it has been completely overhauled. The first of my favorite updates is the discontinued use of the clear cockpit in favor of a completely armored one. It’s essentially what Pursuit of Cobra did for the Tiger Ghost Hawk. It makes more sense and it looks better. Second, gone is the rear gunner position for the poor Cobra who might as well have held up a sign that said, “Look at me, I’m a target!!!” Instead, there’s a drop down hatch under the back for a gunner to sit, fully encased in the HISS’ armored bowels. Oh, did I mention it has real rubber treads? Major points for that.

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The new armaments consist of a double chin gun right under the cockpit, a belt fed machine gun and a shooting missile launcher. The later two can be positioned in any of four hardpoints, with two located on the top and one on each broadside. I’d love to get a second one of these just to load all the weapons on one of them. And then there’s that elevation feature. It’s not nearly as ridiculous as it was in the TYPE IV HISS, but it still seems pretty useless. Unlike the MARK IV, however, you don’t need to elevate it to get into the cockpit, so you can conceivably forget that feature exists at all. I know I will!

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The HISS comes with a Driver figure, which is extremely faithful to the original design and the one seen again in the 25th Anniversary Collection. In fact, the head is practically identical. New touches include a strap on breastplate and backpack. He comes with a revolver and a Cobra standard that can be plugged into one of the holes on the HISS.

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If ever there was a fine example of why it’s bad to prejudge toys based on some quick photos from a convention, the Pursuit of Cobra HISS is definitely it. I hated this thing the first time I saw it. Yeah, when I saw some better photos, it started to grow on me a little, but I still wasn’t excited about adding it to my collection. Now that I actually have one in hand, I’m completely in love with it. The size, the design, the modular weapons, the rubber treads… it all really clicks. It’s one of the coolest Cobra vehicles I’ve seen in a while and easily a worthy successor to the mainstay of the Cobra land fleet. Simply awesome.

GI JOE The Pursuit of Cobra: Cobra Fury with Alley Viper Officer by Hasbro

Holy crap, it’s GI JOE on FigureFan! Seems like it’s been a long time, but between poor distribution in my area and too many other things contending for my money, I haven’t been buying a lot of GI JOE stuff lately. As luck would have it, though, I was out shopping this weekend and decided to duck into Ross when I found both the Cobra Fury and the Cobra HISS sitting on the shelf, all by themselves and just one of each, and there was no way I was going to turn them down. I’ve been looking forward to getting the Fury since I saw the first pictures at Toy Fair last year, and this is actually the first time I’ve seen it at any retail store in my area. Let’s see if it turned out as good as I expected.

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The Pursuit of Cobra packaging is beautiful and it definitely makes me want to buy the toys when I see them. The packages are all themed to some specific mission, and the Cobra Fury is part of the Urban Strike Mission. The front has an exciting piece of artwork showing the vehicle in action and the back shows off a nice photo of the toy itself, while detailing many of its features. There’s a cut-out window on the front of the package to show you the figure you get and his filecard is printed on one of the side panels. The Fury’s box is remarkably thin, and when you pull out the tray inside you can see why. The vehicle comes in several pieces and the chassis is really flat. You also get an instruction sheet, a sticker sheet, and a catalog/poster. Everything is really packed in there like sardines.

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As a vehicle, I have no idea what you’d call this thing, or even if it has anything close to a real world counterpart. In the world of GI JOE, it’s an urban assault vehicle. Obviously, it’s main armament is the huge dual cannon mounted on the top and it also has a number of missile and rocket hardpoints, plus a minigun mounted dead center in the front. There’s room for two drivers in the front cabin and a gunner up top on the turret. It’s pretty well sculpted with a lot of detail and there’s a ton of stickers to apply. I had fun applying a lot of the stickers, but a number of them are pointless since the black lettering doesn’t show up against the dark plastic.

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The Fury’s main gimmick is the elevating turret. It pops up, which allows a secondary cannon to swivel around from the back and face forward. This also reveals a mine dispenser on the back. Give it a pull and it starts dropping land mines. There’s also a flip out weapon on one side and an opening panel on the other that can offer engine access or just be used for storing the extra missiles. I like the Fury’s design and the way it packs a lot of weaponry and gimmicks without getting too outlandish or crazy. I also like the fact that the running boards are equipped with pegs so you can load this thing up with troops.

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Unfortunately, there are some disappointing things on this vehicle as well. The pop up gimmick on the main turret feels really wobbly. When it’s extended it sits at an angle and really doesn’t look convincing at all. It also tends to knock the firing missile launcher off the hardpoint when you extend it. And while the chassis itself is nice and sturdy, the plastic on some of the additonal parts, like the side hatch and the driver seat doors, feels kind of soft and cheap. I don’t think it’s in danger of easy breakage, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see stress marks turning up before long. It sure doesn’t feel like the quality of plastic we were getting on the 25th Anniversary vehicles or even a lot of the Rise of Cobrastuff for that matter.

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The Fury comes with the Alley Viper Officer figure and I’ve got absolutely no complaints about this guy. He looks fantastic and he’s a welcome addition to my collection since the carded PoC Alley Viper has been really tough to find in stores and rather pricey online. He doesn’t come with any guns (ok, I guess that’s one complaint), but he does come with two combat knives, both of which fit into scabbards molded onto the figure. There’s a ton of sculpted detail all over this figure showing off all his pouches and gear. His helmet is removable and has a visor that can be raised and lowered too.

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When they first showed the Pursuit of Cobra vehicles at Toy Fair last year, I really wanted the Fury and I was kind of cool on the HISS. Now that I have this thing in hand, I can’t help but be a little disappointed. It’s still a cool vehicle, but I guess my imagination really ran away from me when I saw the pictures, and in person it just doesn’t live up to the anticipation. I’d still recommend getting it if you find it, especially if you can grab it at Ross for $11.99 like I did. Hell the figure alone is practically worth that. Overall, an ok vehicle, better if you ignore the elevating turret gimmick, but there are just a few little nagging things about it that keep it from ranking up there among the great Cobra attack vehicles.

Lego Atlantis: Typhoon Turbo Sub (#8060)

[I’ll impose upon you to endure one more Legos feature today before I go Lego-Free for the rest of the week. I’ve actually got one more big set I wanted to look at, but I’m saving it for next weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be happy doing this stuff all week, but I really want to hit some areas that I’ve been neglecting so far this month. With that having been said, bring on the bricks! -FF] I’ve put together my share of tiny little subs from the Atlantis line, and now it’s time to finally tackle one of the bigger ones in the series. This time around it’s the Typhoon Turbo Sub, a one man submersable with some heft to it, not to mention some pretty cool armaments. Let’s take a look.

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The box contains one instruction booklet, one sticker sheet, a baggie with a pair of 3D glasses, a couple of loose engine parts and three baggies containing a total of 197 pieces. Actually, it’s probably 195 if you subtract the two loose engine parts. The 3D glasses are a gimmick that allow you to go online to the Lego Atlantis site and see some 3D stuff. It’s probably cool for the kids, but mine went right into the trash. The 197 pieces consist of two minifigs and the Typhoon Sub. There’s nothing else in the set so you know right away that most of the parts are going straight into the sub.

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The minifigs include one Shark Warrior and a diver. The Shark Warrior is the exact same figure we saw in the last set I looked at (Wreck Raider) and the diver is, well, they’re all basically the same with different heads. The Shark comes with a trident and a Treasure Key, the diver comes with his mask and oxygen tanks and a set of flippers.

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The Typhoon itself is pretty big with lots of cool gimmicks and features, and it’s overall design reminds me of the Naboo Fighters from Star Wars. It has a fairly complex build to it, mostly because of the mechanism that allows you to automatically rotate both engines 180 degrees just by working the lever on the bottom of the sub. By flipping the engines, you expose a capture arm and a huge missile launcher. The way the whole system works is pretty cool, especially since I had no idea why I was building it until the whole thing was done.

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Besides the hidden missile launcher, the Typhoon’s armaments include two flick firing missiles on the front, there are four headlights, an antenna, and the tail engine rotates to allow the sub to change heading or pitch. I really like that I’ve finally got a sub in this line that actually has an enclosed cockpit and not just a set of handlebars that the diver hangs onto.

Despite having just a tad fewer pieces than the Angler Fish Attack set, I definitely had more fun building this set than any other Atlantis set I own. The engineering in the Typhoon’s gimmick is cool and the whole thing looks really great on display. It may not be a fair comparison, since I like the vehicles better than the beasts, but either way, I highly recommend this one. I got it for just under $20 and it was well worth the price.

Doctor Who: “Revelation of the Daleks” Collectors Set by Character Options

Always happy to turn a buck off of the insatiable popularity of the Daleks, CO has devised three episode-specific sets that will not only give collectors a chance to pick up some more Daleks, but also a Classic Series version of the Dalek creator himself, Davros. Each of these sets follow the same basic pattern and include a Doctor figure, Davros, and two Daleks from the episode in question. They already released the 5th Doctor set based off “Resurrection of the Daleks” and are planning a 4th Doctor “Genesis of the Daleks” set, but today we’re going to look at the one based off of the 6th Doctor story, “Revelation of the Daleks” from 1985. It’s the only one of the three sets I plan on buying, and soon you’ll see why. [CO has since revealed a pretty awesome looking “Destiny of the Daleks” set too, which may have me rethinking my only buy one of these decision. -FF]

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The package is similar to what we’ve seen in other recently released Classic sets. CO has become pretty formulaic about the package design with these sets, and that’s not at all a bad thing. It features a blue pattern and the logo introduced in the 2005 series. The back panel features stills from the episode as well as a blurb about the 6th Doctor and a little bit about the episode’s story. The figures are arranged side by side in a long tray and the cardboard insert has a montage of images from the episode, including Davros in his little head-tank, which is actually how he spent most of the episode. The package is perfectly collector friendly so you can remove the figures and return them to the box for display.

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The Doctor figure included is a variant of the same old 6th Doctor figure we’ve already seen numerous times, and that tends to be the sticking point in each of these sets. If you want to get Classic Davros and some Daleks, you have to get a variant of a Doctor figure you probably already have in your collection. The reason I went with the Revelation set is that unlike that 5th Doctor figure, this figure actually has some new tooling, in that he’s wearing the blue cape The Doctor wore when first arriving on the planet Necros in the first half of the story. Ok, so the figure itself is actually identical to the one released on a single card way back when, but it does have the cape, sculpted in soft plastic, which is also completely removable. Funny, I’ve seen this episode dozens of times, but I never noticed until now that the ornamental stitching by the cape’s buttons are actually question marks. Cool! If you don’t already have a 6th Doctor figure, here’s a great chance to get him and he is a great sculpt.

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The Daleks in the set include one Skaro Dalek and one Necros Dalek. The distinction was pretty important to the story as Davros was busy on Necros farming dead people and turning them into a new army of loyal Daleks. The episode ends with a mini Dalek Civil War as Daleks arrive from Skaro to take the fugitive Davros into custody. I’m always up for seeing Daleks blasting away at other Daleks, so it’s nice to get one from each opposing faction. Both of these Daleks should look pretty familiar, as we’ve seen the sculpt before. To be honest, I’ve been a Doctor Who fan for almost 30 years now and even I get bored trying to pinpoint all the subtle differences in the Dalek designs over the years. If you have the Dalek that was packaged a little while ago with the 7th Doctor (based on “Remembrance of the Daleks”), you’ll recognize the gold and white color scheme on the Necros Dalek, but there are significant differences in the sculpt. The Necros Dalek and the Skaro Dalek, however, are repaints of the same sculpt.

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And then there’s Classic Davros, which is probably the figure that collectors want the most out of this set. Davros is an entirely new sculpt from the figure based off his appearance in the modern series and a really awesome looking figure. He’s appropriately smaller and more primitive looking than the Modern Series figure. The wires and framework on his head are a bit chunkier than screen accurate, but it’s forgiveable as they’re certainly more durable. There’s a maintenance hatch on the side of his chair, which springs open by pressing one of the sensor globes. It wasn’t seen open in “Revelation of the Daleks”, but I’m sure it’s here because the mold was designed to work with the “Resurrection of the Daleks” set where a technician opened the hatch to service Davros before getting turned into a mindslave. You also get a swappable hand with this set as Davros’ hand was blown off toward the end of Revelation. The damaged hand is bandaged and oozing green goo. Make sure you get it out of the package before you throw it out!

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I’m really happy with the way this set turned out, although it’s worth stating the obvious that I would have much rather had the option to buy Classic Davros as a single carded figure. Getting new Daleks is never a bad thing, but it would have been more merciful to my wallet if CO had given us a carded Davros and then release all the Daleks from these sets in multipacks like they have in the past. Don’t get me wrong, the Necros 6th Doctor is a cool addition to my collection, and when you get down to it, $15 a piece for these figures (the set cost me about $60 with shipping) isn’t off the charts.

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