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.
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.
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.