G.I. JOE: RETALLIATION (HASBRO)
“G.I. Joe is the world’s greatest special-ops fighting force with top-secret ninja training from the toughest of masters. Led by ultimate ninja commando Roadblock, these elite heroes defend the globe from the evil forces of Cobra. Fight your way to protect the innocent and defeat the guilty with the G.I. Joe Battle-Kata Blaster Toy! The adventures you imagine will sometimes call for a blade and sometimes for a blaster. This Battle-Kata Blaster toy is a 2-in-1 battle combo! In blaster mode, fire the included darts when the battle calls for marksmanship. But when your enemies move in close, switch to blade mode! You’ll be double trouble for evil with the Battle-Kata Blaster toy!”
Since its inception in 1964, the G.I. Joe brand has been subject to all sorts of changes over the years. They were basic soldiers, peace-loving adventurers, an anti-terrorist organization full of colorful characters, ’90s action heroes, and movie stars. And, apparently, also a gun? Weird. So, how about a look at some merch from the best live-action G.I. Joe movie starring the Rock, G.I. Joe: Retaliation!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Battle-Kata Blaster figure was released in 2012, as part of the mass product drop for G.I. Joe: Retaliation. This means that, like all of the other products for Retaliation, the Blaster was on shelves almost a year before the film it was meant to tie-in to. Yay for proper coordination of movie makers and merchandisers! As you would expect from toyline that’s the original source of the term “action figure”, this blaster that is not at all a figure was the undisputed centerpiece of the product line. And how could it not be? Check out this poster! This bad boy’s front and center! It was going to be a star! An up and comer! So, how’d this thing turn out in toy form? Well, it stands 5 1/2 inches tall and it’s got…ummm, like some movement, I guess. It’s hard to classify it as articulation. Like, the little latch at the top moves back and forth. And I guess the trigger counts as some movement too, though it can’t really hold any poses beyond “waiting to be pulled.” The point is, you won’t really be getting poses beyond what you see here. The Battle-Kata Blaster was sporting a brand new, totally unique sculpt, based on its appearance in the film…more or less. It’s supposed to be a Colt 1911/Kriss Vector mash-up with some stuff tacked on it, and there’s kind of this brass-knuckles set-up around the grip. It’s reasonably well-sculpted, though obviously a little softer on the details than the look from the film. Can’t imagine why they wouldn’t want 100% accuracy on something like this. The right side is definitely this thing’s “hero” side; the left has all manner of screws and what not visible for all to see. The Battle-Kata definitely has some stability issues. Keeping it upright under its own power is very difficult. Just getting it to stay up for the photos seen here was quite a bit of trouble. It’s going to definitely need some assistance. As far as paint goes, there’s not really much for the Battle-Kata Blaster, since it goes for the molded plastic color approach. Said molded plastic mostly orange and green, which everyone knows is just the most aesthetically-pleasing color scheme of all time. But, if they don’t do it for you, Hasbro’s been kind enough to also throw in some pale grey. You know, for kids. Hands down, the best piece of the paint, though, is that “Caution” warning you not to swing this thing at people or animals. Because the last thing you want a weapon to do is to harm anyone. That’s just outlandish. There are two action features built into the Battle-Kata. The first is a missile launching feature, which works in conjunction with that weird trigger movement thing that was going on. The missiles don’t go particularly far, but I guess it’s a neat gimmick. Plus you can store the extra missiles in the two ports on the face of the blaster. There’s also a slight transforming gimmick (because Hasbro is just all about that cross over), where you can unhook the handle from the gun and connect it to the front. One good pull later and, boom, it’s a knife…a really warped and slightly scratched up knife. There’s not really any way for it to like hold the knife or anything, but you can kind of rest them up against each other. Not the best display option, but I guess it works.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The Retaliation product was all sort of a strange beast, but no stranger than this one. Movie accuracy really isn’t there and the gimmick is kind of strange. It doesn’t scale with any of the other product either, making it an all around odd offering. I mean, it can’t even stand on its own. What’s it good for? I don’t really know, but there it is nevertheless.