#1857: ASP-7

ASP-7

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“From the newly-created footage in Star Wars: A New Hope – Special Edition.”

Those words are proudly splashed across the front of this figure’s packaging.  Remember when that actually would have excited people?  Remember before Lucas kept changing and changing them, and just generally ruining everything?  Pepperidge Farm remembers.  And me; I also remember, which I guess is more relevant for this site, isn’t it?

The ASP-7 was one of the many additional CGI characters added to the original trilogy during Lucas’ first CG-laden Special Edition fever dream, and is, admittedly, one of the less offensive additions.  He just hangs in the background and carry’s some metal bars around.  At least he doesn’t dance in front of the camera…or shoot first…or sound like Temuera Morrison.  Point is, things could have been way worse for old ASPy here.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The ASP-7 was released in the 1997 assortment of Power of the Force II, right on top of that whole “Special Edition” thing.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has…articulation.  An exact count’s a little tricky, because it’s hard to tell what’s actually a proper joint, and what’s an un-articulated joining of the plastic.  The general gist is that this guy’s just not terribly mobile.  His sculpt was an all-new offering, and has remained unique to him.  It is simultaneously a product of its time and completely different than the rest of the line it hails from.  He’s honestly far more screen-accurate than a good chunk of the Power of the Force figures, but at the same time, that’s not saying a lot.  As a mid-90s CG model, the ASP-7’s movie counterpart was pretty devoid of detailing, and was quite rudimentary.  This figure follows suit, so while he may not have the wonky proportions of a lot of his compatriots, he also lacks a lot of the fun detail work that really allows most of the line to shine two decades later.  The paintwork on the ASP-7 is decent enough.  Like the sculpt, it matches very closely to the on-screen appearance.  Those rather generic filler gradients of the animation model come through perfectly clear here.  On the plus side, this is undoubtedly an area where it looks better on the toy than in the movie, because this styling of paintwork is fairly common place, especially in toys of this era, so he ends up looking alright.  He’s packed with a single accessory: a pile of bars, just like the ones he’s seen carrying in the movie.  I don’t think you can come up with a better accessory than that, can you?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The ASP-7 is the penultimate figure in the selection of them I grabbed over the summer during one of Lost in Time’s sidewalk sales.  He was grabbed first and foremost because he was a figure I didn’t already have, but also because, hey, kinda nifty robot, right?  I know the actual review segment here was kind of rough on him.  He’s not the finest offering this line had, not by a long shot.  But, as with so many of the figures in this line, I still can’t help but kind of love this little guy, warts and all.

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#1843: Lak Sivark

LAK SIVRAK

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“The Shistavanen Wolfman, expert hunter, tracker and Imperial world scout meets the mysterious Rebel Florn Iamproid, Dice Ibegon. The two would eventually become Rebel Warriors and fight in the Battle of Hoth.”

When looking to fill the Mos Eisly Cantina with an assortment of visually interesting creatures, the effects team initially set out creating all sorts of new and unique creatures, the likes of Panda Baba, Momaw Nadon, and even Greedo.  But, sometimes you don’t have time to make an expensive and unique costume, so you just have to make due with an off-the-shelf wolf man costume.  Thus began the life of Lak Sivrak, the cantina patron that George Lucas hates, precisely because he’s just an off-the-shelf wolf man.  For the 1997 special edition, Lak found himself replaced all together, with a totally new alien, but that didn’t stop him from getting an action figure as a consolation prize.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Lak Sivrak was released in the 1998 assortment of Power of the Force II figures.  The figure stands 3 1/2 inches tall (because of the slouch) and has 6 points of articulation (unaffected by the slouch).  Have I mentioned the slouch?  It figures somewhat prominently into this guy’s sculpt, which was brand-new at the time, and has remained unique to him.  It’s a pretty decent offering.  As an alien, he’s not held back by this biggest issues that plagued Power of the Force, being far less stylized looking that his compatriots.  Sure, he’s still quite stylized, but he looks less so, and that’s really the important thing, right?  The aforementioned hunch falls in line with the typical pre-posing of these figures, but when it’s applied to a wolf man creature, it’s certainly less noticeable than it would be on the likes of Han or Luke.  Maybe that’s just how he stands all the time.  We don’t know, we’ve only seen him that one time, and he was sitting down.  Weird wolf man posture canon confirmed.  You heard it hear first, guys.  Lak’s paintwork is pretty standard faire.  It’s clean, it matches well with the source material, and there’s enough small detail and accent work to keep him from looking too bland, so I think we can call that a win.  Lak is packed with a blaster pistol, a “vibro-blade” (whatever the heck that is), and one of the freeze frame slides, offering up proof that, yes, this guy really was in the movie.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Lak is yet another more recent addition to my collection, though recent is becoming increasingly relative in these reviews.  I picked him up from one of Lost in Time’s sidewalk sales back during the spring, alongside a whole slew of other figures.  He’s nice enough, and has the virtue of being something of a talking point, due to his disappearance during the special editions.  And hey, if nothing else, he’s a pretty sweet Wolf Man figure, right?

#1829: Grand Moff Tarkin

GRAND MOFF TARKIN

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“As one of Emperor Palpatine’s most loyal administrators, Grand Moff Tarkin devised and administered the construction of the first Death Star battle station. The governor ruled a large section of the Outer Rim Territories, including Tatooine, with an iron fist of terror and brutality.”

Though a prominent character in the franchise’s first installment, as an old guy in a grey military uniform, Wilhuff Tarkin hasn’t been the most toyetic character from the Star Wars movies.  As a matter of fact, Tarkin was the only major character to be completely absent from the vintage line.  His first action figure would come over a decade later.  I’ll be taking a look at that figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Grand Moff Tarkin was released in 1997 as part of Power of the Force II’s second year.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has the usual 6 points of articulation.  Tarkin sported a brand-new sculpt, which would remain unique to him (Captain Piett would make use of a similar selection of pieces, but they were just different enough to be…different).  It’s a decent sculpt, and an early break from the extreme proportions of the line.  I mean, sure, he’s still got a bit more bulk than Peter Cushing ever did, but compared to some of the others in the line, he was downright normal looking.  His face even sports a halfway-decent likeness of Cushing, certainly one of the best human likenesses Power of the Force II produced.  While he lacks some of the sharper detailing that a lot of the aliens from this line got, all of the important details are there, and he certainly still looks respectable.  The paint work on Tarkin is clean and fairly simple.  There’s a little bit of slop on some of the silver parts, but it’s minor.  Tarkin is packed with two different styles of blasters: one small, one mid-sized.  Not bad for a guy who never carries a single blaster in the movie.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve mentioned a few times before in these PotF2 reviews that my cousin Patrick and I sort of had this shared collection of these figures.  As such, there are a number of figures I never personally owned, which I still have some memories of.  He had a Tarkin, which was sadly lost on the beach on one of our family vacations.  That stuck with me for a while, and I never did get around to finding my own.  I got this one during a sidewalk sale at Lost In Time Toys over the summer.  Tarkin’s a decent figure.  Sure, there have been better versions of the character over the years, but for his first go, this one’s pretty darn good.

#1826: Garrett

GARRETT

QUEST FOR CAMELOT (HASBRO)

“Garrett dreamed of becoming a knight in King Arthur’s court when he suffered a terrible accident that robbed him of his eyesight. Angry and ashamed, he retreated to the Forbidden Forest to live the isolated life of a hermit. In his dark world, Garrett has become a fierce fighter and is ever resourceful in transforming nature’s work into booby traps for survival. His constant companion is Ayden the Falcon who serves as a set of eyes for him.  After rescuing Kayley from Ruber’s evil cohorts, Garrett is persuaded to join the race to find the enchanted sword Excalibur and return it to King Arthur”

Check it out!  As my faithful readers are undoubtedly aware, today marks five years of me running this humble little site.  In honor of such a milestone, I’ll be spending today taking a look at a figure of some significance to me.

Today’s figure hails from the 1998 animated film Quest For Camelot, an attempt on Warner Bros. part to provide some competition to Disney’s resurgence in popularity during the mid-90s.  It was…less than successful, and it’s largely forgotten by most people, but the film, to this day, remains a favorite of mine.  The movie boasted a rather star-studded cast, which included one Cary Elwes in the role of the male lead, Garrett, whose figure I’ll be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Garrett was one of six figures in Hasbro’s basic Quest For Camelot line from 1998.  Garrett had a few looks over the course of the film, but one was definitely his “main” one, and that’s the one this figure goes with.  He stands 6 inches tall and he has 8 points of articulation.  The height on these figures is kind of interesting.  At 6 inches tall, he actually fits in pretty well with a lot of modern lines, but at the time of the release, Garrett was out of place with pretty much anything else available at the time.  Its especially interesting, since these figures were produced by Hasbro, who were running Kenner at the time, and Kenner were the masters of the 5-inch tie-in line.  The larger scale also gives him a slightly higher than average articulation count, though he’s still a little low by modern standards.  The animation models in the movie were rather streamlined and basic, and perhaps not the most conducive to actual three dimensional objects, so Garrett’s sculpt takes the basic design elements from the movie, and injects a bit more reality into him.  There’s some decent texture work all throughout the figure, with the best of it being on his vest and pants.  It actually looks like its made from a rougher material, as it would be in real life.  It definitely makes for a more visually interesting figure, and its impressive that they put this level of detail into him.  The paint work is definitely more on the basic side, letting the sculpted work do most of the heavy lifting.  As is the case with a number of my older figures, this one’s taken a bit of a beating, but he was pretty solid when he was new.  Garret includes his seeing-eye-falcon Ayden, his staff, a couple pieces of made-up armor, and a knife.  The armor’s goofy and totally made-up, but its otherwise a quite nifty selection.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, it’s the summer of 1998.  Your boy Ethan has just finished his first year of school, and is about to enjoy his very first summer break.  And then he takes a tumble down a flight of stairs, breaking his collarbone, and getting saddled with an uncomfortable brace that can’t get wet.  Looks like no summer pool fun for this guy.  This, it should be noted, gets him all the sympathy points, which, if you’re Ethan, translates to all the action figures.

Garret here was one of the first of a number of action figures I received to help cheer me up after I broke my collarbone when I was 5.  I got him from my Nana, just a day or two after my fall.  I’d hasten a guess that he might have been a quickly repurposed “congrats on finishing kindergarten” gift, but hey, I’m not going to complain, right?  He was accompanied by a promise that once I felt up to it, Nana would take me to see Quest For Camelot in the theatre, which she did not too long afterwards.  Garrett, like a lot of Quest For Camelot-related things, accompanied me throughout a lot of notable events, and fills me with all sorts of nostalgic fervor.  He’s actually a pretty solid figure to boot, which is always a big plus when looking back on these older figures.

#1824: Superman – Quick Change

SUPERMAN — QUICK CHANGE

SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (KENNER)

“Danger arises in an instant – just the amount of time Clark Kent needs to transform himself into Superman, the Man of Steel.”

Following up on the success of Batman: The Animated Series, the creative team moved onto DC’s next big offering, Superman.  Superman: The Animated Series wasn’t quite the smash success its predecessor was, but it’s remained my personal favorite of the bunch.  Sadly, it wasn’t quite as well treated by merchandising.  It got its own line of figures from Kenner, mostly made up of variants of the main character.  I’m looking at one of those today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Quick Change Superman was one of the handful of Superman variants from the first series of Superman: The Animated Series from Kenner.  He’s the second of two Superman variants in this first series that could pass for a standard Superman…in one configuration, at least.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation.  The mechanism that allows his “quick change” feature means he has no neck articulation, but he still has the waist movement, which puts him ahead of most figures of the same stylings.  The basic figure is actually rather similar to the Capture Net Superman.  The posing of his hands is swapped, and the cape is cloth, rather than plastic, but otherwise he’s the same basic set-up, with the same strengths and weaknesses as that figure.  As a whole, a pretty decent offering.  The paint also matches pretty closely with the Capture Net offering, but my QC Superman is from later in the run than my CN, so he’s actually got eyes this time, which certainly looks far better.  Of course, mine’s also taken a bit more of a beating, so I guess it’s kind of a wash.  To facilitate his quick change feature, he’s got four clip-on pieces: a head/torso combo, one for each of his legs, and a backpack piece that clips onto the torso.  The overall end appearance is of Clark Kent, with a polo shirt, khakis, and a back-pack.  Definitely a different look than we usually see for Clark.  Maybe he’s gone hiking or something?  It’s certainly better than most attempts at Bruce Wayne.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Quick Change Superman was the first figure I got from this line, not long after getting the show’s premiere episodes on VHS, so I was pretty pumped to find him.  It was on a late-night trip to Toys R Us with my dad, while my Mom was out of town for a bit.  I remember that I got this figure and the 1960s Batman: The Movie on VHS, and my Dad and I sat up and watched the movie while I opened the figure.  He remained my standard Superman for a very long while, and even now he’s definitely a favorite of mine.

#1823: Wonder Man

WONDER MAN

AVENGERS: UNITED THEY STAND (TOY BIZ)

“Simon Williams became Wonder Man as a result of scientific experiments that bombarded his body with tonic energy. Now his eyes glow with power and he possesses superhuman strength, speed and durability. Originally an enemy of the Avengers, Wonder Man soon realized he had been manipulated into attacking the team and now he uses his amazing powers as a full-fledged Avenger. Wearing his Avengers symbol ring, this mighty hero will always heed the call, “Avengers Assemble!””

After the success of X-Men: The Animated Series, Spider-Man: The Animated Series, and the Iron Man and Fantastic Four segments of the Marvel Action Hour, in 1999, Marvel tried their luck again, with a cartoon based on The Avengers.  Titled Avengers: United They Stand, the show placed its focus on the typically more supporting Avengers, rather than the likes of Cap, Thor, and Iron Man.  Also, unlike prior Marvel cartoons, it leaned heavily on selling the toys, leading to some…interesting design choices.  It wasn’t incredibly well-received with the fanbase, and only ended up lasting a single, 13-episode season.  But, like I said, it was definitely designed to sell toys, so it got a pretty decent run of those.  Today, I’m looking at my favorite member of the team from the show, Wonder Man!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The initial assortment of Avengers: United They Stand figures were spilt into two series.  Wonder Man was officially part of the second, but they were all released at the same time, so it didn’t really matter in the end.  Anyway, Wonder Man was a big guy on the show, and that’s reflected with this figure, who stood just shy of 6 inches tall and had 9 points of articulation.  Wonder Man’s movement is an interesting mix.  He’s got ball-joints hips, and hinged ankles, which weren’t standard issue at the time, giving him a leg (heh) up, but due to his two separate action features, the arms are limited just to cut joints at the shoulders, and rather restricted ones at that.  On the plus side, his sculpt was actually a pretty good one.  The only other figure I’ve looked at from this line, Ultron, took some liberties with the show’s design (to the figure’s benefit, in Toy Biz’s defense), but Wonder Man follows the trend of the rest of the line, crafting a fairly show accurate figure.  He still departs from the show design a little bit, just so he can fit in a little bit better with some of Toy Biz’s other figures from the time, but you can definitely see where the inspiration for the figure came from.  He’s definitely a stylized figure, but I feel it works pretty well.  The head in particular really seems to get down the character’s personality quite well.  Wonder Man’s paint work is actually pretty impressive.  Not only is the base application very clean, but he’s also got some nice variation in the finish on areas such as the boots, and some very well-rendered accenting on his legs, arms, and face.  They even included the distinctive red reflection on his sunglasses!  Mine’s taken a little bit of beating, of course, but has certainly held up better than other figures from the same era.  Winder Man was packed with a life-sized version of his Avengers ring from the cartoon (not entirely sure why, but there it was), and nothing else.  It makes him one of the lightest packed figures from the line, but he’s also the largest, so I guess it works out.  He does have the two action features previously mentioned.  The first is a light-up feature, which lights up his hands and sunglasses.  Why?  Not a clue.  I’d say it was related to his ionic abilities, but those are usually purple, and these light-up red.  The second is a punching feature on his right arm.  It’s rather basic; push down the lever on his back, and the arm swings up.  Again, I have to ask “why?”  Certainly there were better, less-articulation-restricting features to work in?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I am an unabashed lover of United They Stand.  I vividly remember awaiting its premiere, and, of course, its accompanying toys.  I wanted the whole line-up, and made detailed lists of the exact order I’d be buying them in.  Wonder Man was at the very top of the list; my absolute most wanted figure in the set.  Unfortunately, United They Stand marked the first time I really ran into troubles with distribution and scarcity on such a line, so I kind of had to take the figures in the order my dad was able to find them for me.  Wonder Man ended up as the fourth figure I added to my collection, procured for me by my dad after he stopped at lord knows how many stores on his way home from work.  This guy remained a favorite of mine for quite a while.  Ultimately, he’s not without his flaws. Most of them are related to those shoulders, and just how locked in place they are.  That said, I still kinda love this figure, and I still kinda love the show he’s from.

#1819: Cobra Officer & Cobra Trooper

COBRA OFFICER & COBRA TROOPER

G.I. JOE: THE REAL AMERICAN HERO COLLECTION (HASBRO)

“The COBRA Officers are “officers” in name only.  The only real rank they have is over their own little squad of Cobra Troopers.  They are among the meager handful from the teeming ranks of COBRA Troopers that, for some reason, whether it’s previous experience, personal ambition or dumb luck, manage to show some level of initiative, organization or leadership skills.  Ultimately, somebody has the keep the ranks together and moving with a purpose, so that even these bottom-of-the-barrel COBRA forces can achieve their given objective, because nobody else wants the job.

The COBRA Troopers are the most basic, bottom-of-the-barrel soldiers in the COBRA regime. They have to work their way up to even become Vipers. They come from all over the world. They are thugs, mercenaries, pirates and assorted lowlifes that have committed so many atrocities that they only organization that will have them is COBRA. They are given the most basic level of training, which amounts to little more than organizing a handful into a reasonably cohesive group, giving them the most basic of uniforms, handing them equipment, and telling them to go out and cause trouble. The COBRA Trooper divisions were the first of COBRA’s notable forces. They’re not specialists. They’re not qualified for anything than the most low level of infantry. They only advantages they have are pure nastiness and sheer numbers.”

For part four of the Day of the Vipers (!), I’m not actually looking at Vipers at all.  Weird, huh?  Yeah, there were *technically* no Vipers released in 1998, but I’m focussing pretty heavily on that “technically.”

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Cobra Officer and two of the Cobra Troopers were released as one of the three triple-packs of figures from the second year of The Real American Hero Collection.  That’s a lot of numbers going on there, isn’t it?  Don’t worry about it too much. The key thing about these two figures is, that despite the name they may be sporting, their both effectively Viper figures, using the Viper/B.A.T. hybrid body introduced with the V5 Viper.  Presumably, the original Officer and Trooper molds were lost, and, as with so many other figures in the 97-98 lineup, they had to improvise a bit, grabbing the just recently frankensteined Viper from the preceding year.  So, they’ve still got those square butts.  Poor guys. 

Paint is what differentiates them.  The Officer is grey, which was a change for that rank, but makes him easily distinguishable.  The Trooper goes for a more familiar dark blue.  The Officer has larger sections of silver, with gold accents, while the Trooper gets the reverse.  Curiously, neither of them actually gets a Cobra sigil.  Maybe they’re trying to be more covert?  Both figures included the same accessory selection.  A pistol, a rifle, a stock, and a backpack.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

These guys are absolutely on the “Ethan was already buying a bunch of Vipers” train.  I wasn’t planning to get them, given their comparatively bland appearance, but I was already getting 7 others, so what difference did these two make?  I was actually a bit baffled by them at first, since I wasn’t able to find any reference to Vipers in this style, but eventually realized they weren’t Vipers at all.  So I didn’t have to buy them.  Great.  Nah, I’d probably have bought them anyway.  I actually ended up liking both of these more than I’d expected to.  That said, in my mind, I’m always going to consider them Vipers.

Once again, All Time Toys helped me out with these.  If you’re looking for old Joes or if you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1818: Viper

VIPER

G.I. JOE: THE REAL AMERICAN HERO COLLECTION (HASBRO)

“Vipers are the backbone of the COBRA Legions. They are the bottom of the pyramid, which leads to the hierarchy of material wealth and power within the organization. When COBRA received word that G.I. Joe operations had been shut down by U.S. Government, he promptly began recruiting more soldiers. Within weeks, the most cruel, greedy, back-stabbing lot – joined the ranks; tripling the original size of their ground forces. All Vipers are issued a combination assault rifle/grenade launcher, along with a three day field pack. Multi-layered body armor and wrap-around acrylic/composite helmets with built-in radio telecommunications gear are standard issue. This equipment and a bad attitude makes them very dangerous opponents. Vipers are highly motivated, and superbly trained. However, to make them follow orders, the punishment for failure is to be left on the battlefield when the B.A.T.S. (Battle Android Troopers) are deployed. This is due to the fact, these Androids are programmed to shoot and incinerate anything that moves in front of them. That is the last thing any Viper would want, better to take his chances with the real enemy. Vehicle Specialty: COBRA Flight Pod a.k.a. “Trouble Bubbles.””

Man, Hasbro really likes that thing about the Vipers being the backbone of the organization, don’t they?  It’s the Day of the Vipers part 3!  The Vipers, having been a regular feature of the line, made a reappearance every couple of years.  After 1989’s Python Patrol offering, the Viper’s tried out that bright colors thing in 1990, and then got their second new mold in 1994.  The less said about the latter, the better.  Fortunately, it was more or less a return to form for Version 5 of the Viper, which I’ll be looking at now!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Version 5 Viper was released in 1997, the 15th Anniversary of the A Real American Hero incarnation.  After a three year absence from stores, G.I. Joe returned, albeit in a slightly different form, all under the heading of The Real American Hero Collection.  The Viper found his way into one of the three Mission Packs, where he was released alongside one of the Flight Pods, or “Trouble Bubbles”, mentioned in the bio.  This figure marked an important change for the Vipers.  He uses the same upper body as the original figure, but for the first of many releases, the Viper is actually sporting the legs of the B.A.T., rather than the proper Viper gear.  In the years since the original mold Viper had been seen, it seems the mold for his legs had been lost, necessitating a replacement.  The B.A.T. legs work in a pinch, I suppose, though it does mean this guy ends up with a really squared-off backside.  He also got a brand new paint scheme, almost an inversion of his original.  It’s predominately a brownish red, with a blue vest.  It’s ugly is what it is.  Perhaps its due to my figure not being in quite as good shape as the other Vipers, but he just feels kind of washed out, ratty, and generally not as cool.  He reminds me of a supermarket on a Sunday morning.  He’s all florescently-lit, and pale, and full of that oddly dark and murky sort of despair…sorry, I went a very specific place there, didn’t I?  The V5 Viper mixes up things slightly on the accessory front.  He gets the same backpack as before, but a new, slightly less distinctive, sub-machine gun as his firearm.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The V5 Viper was not on the list of ones I was really looking for.  Truth be told, I didn’t actually know he existed.  But I found him while digging through all those Joes that All Time just got in, and at that point I was just too far into the Viper’s Den to say no.  He really lacks the flair of the last two, and I’d have preferred to find the V3 release, but another Viper’s another Viper, right?

Again, thanks goes to All Time Toys for helping me get this guy, and if you’re looking for old Joes or if you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1814: Shuttle Pilot Johnny & Drop Zone Race

SHUTTLE PILOT JOHNNY QUEST & DROP ZONE RACE

JOHNNY QUEST (GALOOB)

Johnny Quest is one of those properties that I’m quite familiar with as a concept, and know a decent chunk of trivia about, but that I’ve also not had a lot personal experience with.  I vaguely recall some reruns of the original series on Cartoon Network back in the day, but most of my experience comes from the little snippets I caught of the 1996 re-boot, The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest.  And, as with so many things, the things  I recall best about Real Adventures are the toys.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Galoob released a line of figures to tie in with the show, just titled Johnny Quest.  There were a lot of environment-specific variants of the main characters, sold in multipacks.  The figures in said multipacks rarely had anything to do with each other, as was the case with today’s pair, Shuttle Pilot Johnny and Drop Zone Race, who make up the “Dive ’n Strike” set.  No, I don’t know why it’s called that either.

JOHNNY QUEST

The title character was privy to nine different variants over the course of the line’s run.  And not a one fo them was his classic gear.  This one’s a very environment specific one, obviously built for a space mission.  There was at least one of those in the show, so its relevant.  The figure stands just shy of 3 1/2 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  Construction style-wise, Johnny is rather similar to a G.I. Joe, though perhaps a bit more rudimentary.  The proportions are reasonable enough, there’s some solid detail work on the various pieces of the suit, and the articulation is pretty decently worked in.  The helmet’s removable, and the head is actually quite a nice sculpt, matching up well with the updated design for Johnny from the cartoon.  I also like how the collar is designed, as it holds the helmet it place quite securely, while still being easy to remove.  The paintwork is fairly straight forward, if a bit worse for wear on my personal figure.  In addition to the removable helmet, Johnny was also packed with a laser rifle and an EVA pack, though my figure is missing those.

RACE BANNON

Dr. Quest’s body guard and the inspiration for Brock Sampson of The Venture Bros, Race was the second most prominent character in this toyline, with seven variants produced.  Like Johnny, his classic red-shirt-and-khakis combo was missing from the line.  This one’s a little less environment specific than the space-faring Johnny, and could reasonably serve as a “standard” Race, I suppose.  The figure stands a little under 3 3/4 inches tall (which makes hims out of place with other 3 3/4-inch lines, since Race should be at least average height) and he has 11 points of articulation.  He uses the same style of construction as Jonny, which is fairly sensible, I suppose.  Of the two, Race’s sculpt is really the weaker offering.  The proportions are far more exaggerated, and his likeness is much further removed from Race’s show design.  Honestly, if you didn’t know this was supposed to be Race, you’d be forgiven for not piecing it together.  Race’s paint work is reasonable enough, being cleanly applied, and not looking quite as frantic in its design as some of the other schemes put out by this line.  His paint has also faired a bit better than Johnny’s, but that might just come down to the respective amounts of playtime these two got.  Race was packed with a big parachute contraption, a helmet, and a handgun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t recall exactly when I got these or the circumstances.  I’d say it was *probably* as a birthday present, though I could hardly tell you from whom.  I’d seen a few episodes of the show, and I was familiar with the characters.  Johnny’s definitely my favorite of the two, and got some serious play when I was a kid.  Race?  Well, the fact that he’s in as good shape as he is kind of speaks to what I thought of him.

#1814: Colossus

COLOSSUS

X-MEN (TOY BIZ)

“Born Peter Rasputin and raised on a Siberian farm, Colossus’ humble roots could not have revealed the life he would one day lead! Recruited by Professor X, Colossus left his home to begin a new life of danger and adventure alongside Wolverine and the X-Men! A powerful mutant, Colossus can transform his body into living metal, giving him a physical strength and invulnerability matched by few! But with all his power, Peter Rasputin is an artist at heart, and resorts to using his mutant gifts only when they are needed in the service of his fellow X-Men.”

Colossus is undoubtedly one of the coolest members of the X-Men, and has been a prominent one at that, but for whatever reason, he always seems to draw the short stick when it comes to media adaptations.  Well, at least the Deadpool movies have helped there, right?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Colossus was released in the “Battle Brigade” series, the 14th series of Toy Biz’s X-Men line.  It would mark Colossus’ second figure in the line, following his appearance in Series 1.  That figure was more classically inspired, while this one aims more for the super exaggerated, rather imposing Colossus that’s become all the rage since the ‘90s, meaning he fits in a little better with the line’s post Series 10 direction.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  While he lacks elbow movement, he does instead get a much wider range of motion on his shoulders, as well as cut joints on his wrists, which seems like a decent enough trade off to me.  Colossus’ sculpt was all-new, and it’s certainly…something.  I’m not entirely sure what.  He’s definitely large.  He’s definitely imposing.  But he seems a little wide for Colossus, at least by my eye.  There are, of course, a number of different interpretations of the character, but I can’t say this really matches up with any of the ones I’m really familiar with.  Something about the facial expression seems very un-Colossus-like to me.  I don’t dislike it, but he feels a little off.  Also, can we address that his hands are bigger than his waist?  That’s definitely a new issue for Colossus, who had traditionally been pretty thick in the trunk.  This…like I said, this is off.  (quoth Super Awesome Fiancee: “He’s a Dorito”).  The one area of the figure that’s decidedly not odd is the paint, which is actually pretty respectable…or at least it was before foolish child Ethan took him and played with him, thereby messing up a lot of the silver.  Why would I do that?  That’s so irresponsible!  Colossus was packed with an assortment of clip-on armor, which I don’t feel he’d have much use for, but hey, there it is.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Colossus didn’t begin as my figure.  He was actually my Dad’s, purchased alongside the Archangel from this same assortment, in one of the earliest memories I have of us getting figures right from the case.  When my Dad got the Collector Editions Giant-Sized X-Men set, he upgraded to that Colossus, and I got this one.  Admittedly, not the best of the Colossuses to be offered by Toy Biz in this era, but he has his own sort of awkward charm.