As usual, the Convention started with a sprint that quickly led to the abrupt halt that is known as “pre-registration”. Actually, to be fair, the lines were not bad at all this year, and I give all the credit in the world to the line monitors who did an absolutely awesome job. They all deserve commendation. Especially for those damn orange vests they had to wear.
In all seriousness, the lines all moved at a very brisk pace and things went smooth as silk. I did have to step out for about 40 minutes to help Mark Bellomo unload his car down through the freight elevator, which added some excitement. Click the “Read the rest of this entry” link below to get a run down.
Because I was a club volunteer, I didn’t have a whole lot of time to absorb the Con Exclusives, but these are my thoughts after a few days of reflection:
- Vacation in the Shadows Boxed Set – Very nice! The Red Shadows all moved very well, though there is some o-ring tightness leading to a bit of sideways leaning. Just another small problem with the o-ring construction that may not be an issue with these sets going forward. Interrogator is an excellent figure, though his head is a bit on the small side. Upon close examination by myself and Dune Echo, it certainly looks like his helmet is simply a vintage helmet hollowed out and tooled up. Looks fantastic. The Red Torches were much nicer than I feared they might be, too. BTR heads fit seamlessly, and they mesh with the set very well. Black Major and Flint both round off a very well made set that didn’t have any of the o-ring breakage or thumb issues of the SWAT/Headhunters set in 2008.
- Z-Force Silver Mirage – Freaking gorgeous! Always loved the Mirage as a kid and having it in the bad ass Z-Force colors is all the better. I really love how this came out.
- 3-Pack (Lifeline, Jammer, and Gaucho) – These all came out pretty well, too, though Jammer has some serious o-ring issues. He really is tough to stand up straight. I’m going to try swapping his out and see if it’s any better. Lifeline is quite nice, and is an interesting addition as the Z-Force themed medic. Gaucho looks very cool as well, and I love how the integrated him into the Z-Force color pallet. A nicely retooled ball joint head with the classic swivel head is icing on the cake.
- 2-Pack (Natalie Poole, Lt. Dolphin) – These two were… okay. I’ll be honest, I didn’t have a clue who Natalie was, and upon doing some research I can see her place in the Action Force/Action Man mythos, but part of me still wishes we got a Quarrel. Hell, they could have even used the same Sonja Blade head! I would have had no issues with that at all…in fact, I’ve done it in the past for a custom. Lt. Dolphin was pretty decent, too, using the Muskrat tooling with the Comic Pack Steeler head. That head still looks really tiny, but overall it works nicely. The Kayaks were a nice touch to finish the set off. Probably my least favorite figure pack from the 2010 Convention.
- Red Shadows Staff Car – I’m pretty mixed on this one. I would really prefer actual G.I. Joe vehicles, but I understand what the current status is on tooling for these items. I can see where this belongs in the Red Shadow lexicon, and the paint scheme is really impressive. But going forward, I’d almost prefer we don’t get any vehicles at all rather than cast off Indiana Jones or Star Wars items. Heck, take the vehicle budget and run off some different figures. I can’t imagine the money differences are that huge.
- Red Shadows Secret Bunker – Like the staff car, I’m just not sure where to put this. It’s not very versatile, it was pretty expensive ($48) and it really doesn’t do a whole lot besides sit there. I can potentially use it in some of my dio-stories, I suppose, but ultimately, the play value just wasn’t there.
- Para-Drop Flint – An obvious homage to Action Man or the Adventure Team, this Flint certainly is… bright. I almost wish they’d found a way to get a different head on there and just call him “Action Man” but I can understand the budget limits, I suppose.
All in all, the set was quite nice. I loved most of the figures, wasn’t especially wild about the vehicles, but overall it was a cool set and a nice way to “send off” the o-ring figures. Images are below. Keep in mind these pictures were taken in a dimly lit hotel room with very yellow walls. You can bet that when I get the official review posted soon, the images will be MUCH better!