This review comes a little late because I wasn’t planning on reviewing anything today but this fellow came along and I decided he’d be a fun change of pace. Actually this review is about 18 years late because this figure came out around 1991. And what was the box office summer smash in 1991? City Slickers of course! This however is not a City Slickers figure review. It’d be awesome if it was though.

No this is of the other box office smash of 1991, ROBIN HOOD! No… No it’s not that either. How about the not-so box office smash, The Rocketeer! Yes this is a review of the Rocketeer Bend-ems figure from JusToys that came out around 1991. I haven’t been savoring this figure for 18 years, rather I just bought it off EvilBay a while back.

Why review it? Well because this site is all about pop culture baby! And what could be more hip and relevant than a rubber figure from a movie that didn’t do so well. But let it be known that the Rocketeer is all kinds of awesome and that’s why he’s getting a review now! As Cheech Marin said in Ghostbusters 2, “Better late than never”.

Packaging:
There are two parts to this package review. First the package as I received it. It’s dirty, busted up, stains on it and clearly someone removed a price tag. And now something for our under 18 audience. Kids, before electronics and Skynet ruled the world they had something called “Price Tags”. Back then we didn’t need computers to tell us the price of anything and we didn’t have price scanners in the stores. There were little stickers called price tags that told us what the items cost. And these were on EVERY item. Unless you went to K-Mart, which was notorious for not putting them on their items in order to sucker you into taking it to the checkout in hopes that you wouldn’t take it back and would just buy it no matter the price.

Where was I? Oh yeah, so the package is in pretty terrible condition. In fact the bubble has been broken, thus exposing this figure to air for 18 years. Usually I feel bad opening a package, especially something vintage, but in this case I feel GOOD taking poor Rocketeer from his ghetto home.

The package itself though is clearly beautiful. Sure, it’s covered in muck now, but in 1991 this thing must have been a beauty. The back of the package tells the story of the Rocketeer and has some great artwork. As does the front. There’s even a dark blue image of the Rocketeer’s helmet that can’t be seen unless you take the figure out.

But if you take the figure out ripping the bubble, the picture would be destroyed. Thankfully I just cut my Rocketeer out. Or finished ripping the middle of the bubble. Perhaps he was trying to escape his home before he biodegraded?

All in all this is a nice package. I don’t get too excited by packages often, but this one has a very retro appeal to it. I’m keeping this card, even if it smells like raw sewage.

Articulation:
Technically bend-ems have no points of articulation and yet, EVERYTHING is a point or articulation. See the whole figure is poseable wire underneath rubber. That sounds like a good thing, but often it’s total ass. This would be one of the latter accounts. You can move Rocketeer’s arms and legs some and twist his torso a bit, but he’s not good for a ton of poses.

One of the problems with bendy figures is that over time the wires either break or come out of the figure. In this case, one of the wires is already poking out of Rocketeer’s foot! Before I ever even posed him. Where’s the quality control?!

Sculpt:
This is a bend-em. He’s not going to be a masterpiece. Still even grading on that curve this guy is far from perfect. For starters his body is too fat. He’s chunky all over. Apparently ol’ Cliff Secord hasn’t missed a meal in some time. He’s supposed to be 6 inch scale, but he’s really more like 5 1/2 or so, which back in 1991 would have made him perfect to fit in absolutely ZERO toy lines.


“C’mon fellas, group hug!”

Still it’s not all bad. The helmet and rocket pack are really good representations of what they’re supposed to be. This isn’t the Medicom Rocketeer but it’s got nice detailing on both. They tried to give him baggy aviator pants, but it just sort of looks like fat Rosie O’Donnell thighs.

The paint ain’t nothing to be proud of either. Rocketeer’s coat is red as opposed to brown, but I can see the comic stylized look they were going for. The gold helmet is actually painted nice and shows some “age” though I don’t know if that’s because of the package being open for 18 years (The whole figure is dusty and bit funky) or by design. Either way it works.


TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!

The rocket pack is painted pretty plain but looks nice. The rest of the figure’s paint is pretty sub par and it’s got a fair amount of slop. Such is life when dealing with old bend-ems.

Accessories:
Typically bend-ems don’t come with anything. Actually, do they even still make bend-ems? It’s like who really wants a bend-em? Aside from Gumby I’ve always thought bend-ems were dumb. It’s “For the parent who doesn’t love their child enough to get them a decent toy, get ’em a bend-em!”… But I digress, because Rocketeer does have an accessory!

His rocket pack. It’s a separate piece! Why? Who knows but I’m thankful. See, I plan on cannibalizing this bend-em into something else and I needed the rocket pack. The rocket has both a clip and peg to go into the figure. It’s quite nice and an almost identical replica to the movie backpack. Thank you JusToys!

Additional Notes:
This guy probably spent the majority of his life in a dollar store. I’m sure he sat on the shelf for a good five years before someone for no apparent reason bought him. He then sat on the shelf of someone’s basement and/or attic for another ten years. He was probably carted out on a few yard sale days and no one bought him. He likely ended up on Ebay for probably another two or three years before finally coming to a family that will love him. Or at the very worst chop him up for customs.

Value:
I’m not sure what his original price was (Someone ripped off his price tag!) but I’m guessing about $3 or $3.50. In today’s market he’s worth $3. Of course back in 1991, $3 was like $8-9 now, so uh… He’s not worth that. So for you time machine shoppers, he’s a pass. I paid at least two or three times his original retail and guess what? He’s not worth that now either.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 4
Articulation – 2
Accessories – Rocket Pack
Value – 3
Overall – 4 out of 10

I’ve been pretty rough on ol’ Rocketeer. But I’ll be honest, there aren’t very many good Rocketeer toys out there. I’ve spoken to Shocker Toys about making a Rocketeer, but because the merchandising rights are locked up in Disney it’s unlikely we’ll ever see one. So what does that leave us with? Well this toy. He’s not bad considering there is so little Rocketeer junk out there.

The Medicom Rocketeer is the pinnacle of Rocketeer toys. This little rubber dude is something much less exciting. But with any luck I’ll be able to make a decent custom Rocketeer out of him. Still a little life left in Cliff Secord after all.

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