Monthly Archives: May 2012


GI Joe Adventure Team
Land Adventurer
12 Inch Scale
By: Hasbro
$9.99

Back in December of 2006, Hasbro teamed up with Hot Topic to release a reproduction of the classic Adventure Team Land Adventurer. A year later, they also released a full set of repro Adventure Team figures to Walmart. As you may recall, the Adventure Team was all the rage in the 1970’s and it saw GI Joe reinvented as more than just an army man.


In my opinion, there’s no difference between the Hot Topic and the Walmart reproduction Land Adventurers. Some folks say there is a difference. But I can’t tell the difference, myself. Basically if you get one, it’s more or less the same as the other. If there are differences, they’re minor.


The Walmart repro Sea Adventurer was my first Adventure Team figure, but the Land Adventurer has come to join him. Can the Land Adventurer prove to be the best Adventure Team member around? Will he finally catch that pesky mummy? These answers and more if you read on!

Packaging:
Classic 12 inch GI Joes came in what has become known as the “coffin” box. It was named as such because the long cardboard box is just the right size to fit Joe inside. In that way, it resembles a coffin. The boxes themselves are also absolutely beautiful. Man have I come to appreciate these boxes over time.


There just isn’t anything on the shelves today with the type of pizzazz that the Don Stivers artwork has. This is a replica of the “Kung-Fu Grip” style packaging, which is slightly different than the original AT boxes.


The sides of the box feature artwork from some of the other sets that were available at the time. There’s a disclaimer at the bottom mentioning that these are only shown for historical depiction. Inside the Land Adventurer is placed in a plastic shell to help hold him into place. He also has a few twist ties locking him into the shell. The vintage figures were just loose in the box, but I think this shell/twist tie formula is MUCH better.

The shell itself is removable. The box is simply taped shut with two tape closures. The box itself is very nice, made of a firm cardboard stock. It’s the perfect place to store your Joes and it’s one of the few packages that is both collector friendly, but also useful. The retro Hasbro logos on the bottom are just icing on the cake.

Sculpt:
Even though the Adventure Team were new Joes in the 1970’s, they were built off of the base of the regular GI Joes of the 1960’s. These replicas follow suit and are built off of the 2003 reproduction molds that were made for the regular GI Joes. However, in essence, these are the same designs that GI Joe has had for decades.


Of all the Adventure Team reproductions, the Land Adventurer is right up at the top in terms of being the best. The Man of Action and the “black” Adventurer might be better, but the Land Adventurer is easily the most popular. His short flocking was popular with some collectors, as it offered a new twist on the figure and his hair color is a nice brown. He doesn’t have the issue that the Air and Sea Adventurers had, with their hair color being too bright.


Mind you, no AT Joe enthusiast would mistake this for a vintage figure, but that’s to his benefit. He greatly resembles the vintage figure, but seems modern in some respects as well.


The costume is a nice reproduction of the vintage and probably looks quite a bit like the original version. It’s just right for catching pygmy gorillas!


Something about this figure just works. I think the Adventure Team have a timeless charm.


This guy is sturdy too and ready made for backyard adventures. This is where a toy like the Adventure Team thrives. A kid with an imagination can have hours upon hours of fun with a simple toy like this.


And it’s great that these repro figures are so sturdy. The flocking may fall out a bit more than the originals, but I haven’t had too much issue myself.


He feels rugged and ready to play. Maybe not as much as the vintage Joes, but a heck of a lot more than most modern action figures.


This guy was made for the vast landscape known as the backyard…


Also he’s good at punching politicians!

Articulation:
Hasbro has barely modified Samuel Speers and Hubert O’Conner’s original GI Joe articulation model at all. The only difference here is the Kung-Fu grip, which I still think it amazing. Land Adventurer actually has more articulation than many of the new GI Joe figures on the shelves today.


Yes, that is the same picture from my Sea Adventurer review with the Land Adventurer’s head pasted on. So sue me!


This GI Joe can last a lifetime. Even if his inner string breaks, you can restring him and get his articulation back to working again.

Accessories:
When the GI Joe Adventure Team made the transition to Kung-Fu Grip, they came with a rifle. However the repro Adventure Team sort of serve as a “catch-all” version of the AT, so they include the more popular standard black shoulder-holster and pistol.


The original Adventure Team figures all came with a silver Lebling revolver with a black handle. And the AT repros also all come with that… EXCEPT the Land Adventurer. For some reason the Land Adventurer got a change in weapon.


He now carries a black Luger. Not of the Lex variety. Why the change? I can’t say. People just like it better that way. What? Oh right, nobody knows why Hasbro made this change, but I like it. Adds a little variety.


You also get all the removable clothes and a gray plastic AT dogtag with metal chain.


Value:
These guys originally went for $10 at Walmart and $15 at Hot Topic. Either way that’s an outstanding price. Today you can expect to pay anywhere from $25-$40 on the secondary market for the Land Adventurer. It’s a steep price, but this guy is worth it.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 10
Sculpting – 9
Paint – 8
Articulation – 9
Accessories – Holster, Gun
Value – 10
Overall – 9.5 out of 10


There’s really not much difference between the Adventure Team members or the repro figures. The differences are all in the hair color, face paint and outfits. Still each guy manages to have a lot of character and a personality all their own. The figures are top notch fun and I enjoy them a lot.


“THE MUMMY IS REAL!”

Big and little kids would enjoy these guys. Hopefully Hasbro brings the repros back out for another round when GI Joe celebrates another milestone birthday in just a couple of years.


Back in 1968, if you were tough, you were an astronaut. If you don’t believe me, just check out this ad for Ben Rebhuhn’s “famous” strength courses. Of course we now know that most astronauts are not rock hard muscle gods, but in fact, nerdy dudes with high IQs… But don’t let that ruin your enjoyment of the mighty muscle making scam. He’s going to give you 50 pounds of MIGHTY muscles. Just like the astronauts! Including the Mighty Grip! I wonder if that’s like Kung-Fu grip?

You have to love this ad, because it’s so not politically correct. It goes on and on about how if you don’t have a bunch of muscles, you’re a sissy boy. Naturally, these ads were all over the comic books back in the day. Who wants to read those funny books? Nerds who need to learn how to be tough like Ben Rebhuhn!

Of course the best part of this ad is the testimonials, featuring pre-Photoshop picture manipulation. Felipe Mendozo shouldn’t worry about his fat, he should worry about the fact that he has no neck!

I have no idea how many astronauts with abs of steel this crappy book of calisthenics likely produced, but I’m sure it was in the dozens.

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Captain Action
Captain Action (Basic Edition)
12 Inch scale
By: Round 2
$29.99 Retail (Currently Exclusive to Toys R Us)

I’ve never been much of a 1:6 fan, for a variety of reasons, but often just because of space. But, like many, collectors, my tastes shift and I go through fads in my own collection. Case in point: Captain Action!

When I first saw photos of the figure, I was a bit intrigued. When I finally saw the guy on the shelf at TRU, I was immediately enamored with his over-the-top design and colors. I didn’t have the cash, so I let him go. For weeks I didn’t see him again, and in the interim I wondered why every other place I could buy online had him listed for 10 dollars more than TRU. Wait, Toys R Us is charging LESS than everyone else? Better buy a lottery ticket.

After I opened him, I got the bug and just HAD to know why he was cheaper. Turns out I bought the Basic version of Captain Action, the Deluxe version costs a bit more, but comes with more extras. And the collector sweats hit me. O Lawd, there’s a better version? The pared down Captain Action I bought was only $29.99, and so far is apparently limited to TRU.

So how does the Basic set stack up against the Deluxe? Do I regret buying the smaller set? Read on!
Continue reading


Build-n-Brawl
Sgt. Slaughter
3 3/4 Inch Scale
By: Jakks Pacific
$6.99 (price varies)

Right around the end of the GI Joe 25th anniversary figures, Jakks released their version of a modern 3 3/4 Sgt. Slaughter in their WWE Build-n-Brawl line. It offered a chance for many fans to finally create the Sarge in a modern 25th styling. The Jakks figure became quite rare and sought after. Shortly after Hasbro released their own SDCC exclusive 25th figure, which became even more rare and twice as valuable.


Today I’m taking a look back at this version of the Sarge and I try to use his head on a GI Joe Retaliation figure. Want to see the results? Then you gotta read on!

Packaging:
These came in simple blister cards. Jakks doesn’t do very impressive packaging on nearly anything. There’s a picture of Slaughter on the card and that’s about the best thing I can say as far as the design goes.


The back shows off the rest of the series and the buildable Elimination Chamber. See the gimmick with these figures is that they all came with a piece to build some sort of arena part. Be it a ring or a cage or what have you.

Sculpt/Paint:
One of the big draws to this figure was the excellent head sculpt. When this figure first hit, it was the only Sarge head sculpt around that could be made to fit on GI Joe 25th style bodies. And even now that a real Sarge has been released, many folks still prefer this Slaughter sculpt.


The likeness is good and the body itself is just okay. It’s not a terrible rendition of the Sarge, as it looks more or less like his Deluxe Aggression figure. However, the body has a bit too much going on in terms of bulging muscles and such.


I actually think the frame isn’t too bad for a somewhat accurate Sgt. Slaughter. It has a nice big barrel chest and smaller legs. Just like the real man. However that also makes the figure very top heavy and hard to pose. His huge biceps are a nice unintentional nod to the old GI Joe figure, which always had the biggest arms around.


There’s some decent sculpting and paint to replicate Slaughter’s real life wrestling outfit. Which of course, is slightly different than what he wore in the GI Joe universe.


Scale wise, he fits in nicely with old school Joes, but he’s too small for the 25th style figures. So close and yet so far.


Jakks did put a bit of attention on the details though. It’s one of their nicer efforts in the BNB scale.

Articulation:
The Deluxe Aggression style is shrunk down here and it has a ton of articulation. You can pose Sgt Slaughter quite freely. However, he can’t stand very well. He’s not as bad as some figures out there, but the wonky proportions cause him to fall over.


Still you can do quite a bit with him if you have an imagination.


And he seems sturdy enough that he won’t break.

Accessories:


He comes with one section of a woefully underscaled Elimination Chamber. Yeah… Pretty lame. Nice idea though.

Custom Potential:


I like everyone else, bought this figure to make a 25th style Slaughter. Unfortunately, I’ve never found the body I quite like. I was hopeful that the new Rock/Roadblock figure would be my salvation. It fits and the body looks good, but there are some differences in skin tone.


Apparently the SDCC Sarge head is a perfect skin tone match for the Roadblock body. But given that the SDCC Slaughter figure is worth it’s weight in gold, I haven’t ever taken it out of the package. You know, incase I ever need to finance a new home or buy a black market organ. So I guess this will do for now.

Value:
At his original price, this wasn’t a bad figure. Even if you’re only getting him for his head, he’s not bad. Jakks didn’t do amazing things with the BNB line, but sometimes they got it right. Sgt. Slaughter was a pretty good “right” for them.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 8
Paint – 8
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Elimination Chamber Piece
Value – 7
Overall – 7 out of 10


This is a decent little figure, but he’s mostly custom fodder. Of course this isn’t the first time I’ve tried my hand at a Custom Sgt. Slaughter figure. It probably won’t be my last either, maggot!