GeneralsJoes first look at Boss Fight Studio’s Vitruvian HACKS

Typically my reviews are laced with heavy imagery and text, but once I got my hands on the first production releases of their Vitruvian HACKS line, I knew I had to actually show these in action.

I’ve posted a pair of videos on YouTube showing the Vitruvian HACKS Gorgons and Spartans, and will be releasing one shortly featuring the Blanks.

Have no fear, I’ll be doing my normal text and image based reviews as well, but I just wanted to get these out there in front of folks ASAP.  Please excuse my video review inexperience and check out this first look at the Vitruvian HACKS below!

Remember, these figures are currently available via pre-order at BossFightShop.com!

Part 01 – Vitruvian HACKS Gorgons Unboxing and Video Review

Part 02 – Vitruvian HACKS Spartans Unboxing and Video Review

Enjoy, and let me know how you liked them.  More standard reviews are coming soon!

G.I. Joe Convention 2016 Brochure Revealed – SKY PATROL… and MORE!

It’s JoeCon brochure day!  The most magical day of the year…

It’s the day when speculation of the upcoming G.I. Joe Convention Set can officially begin, and looking at the brochure, there’s going to be plenty of speculation to go around!

01-Sky-Patrol

Check out the brochure over at GIJoeCon.com and see that the Sky Patrol convention set has been confirmed!  But not just Sky Patrol.  The G.I. Joe Collectors Club also mentions the COBRA ADDERS featuring Sky Creeper, Air Devil Troopers and Night Vultures!  COBRA Air Commandos!  SWEET!

02-Figure-Lineup

The Air Commandos are some of my favorite obscure 90s G.I. Joe characters, and I am beyond thrilled to see them included here.  Not only that, but it also looks like the Club is dipping into the International Sky Patrol figures, Abutre Negro (Black Vulture) and Escorpiao Voador (Flying Scorpion).  Looking at the parts for these great international figures, you can see the club could easily repurpose their Cesspool head and other parts.

04-Abutre-Negro 05-Escorpiao-Voador

Plus, just looking at the brochure, it immediately becomes clear that G.I. Joe fans are pretty damn handsome.

03-Handsome

So Loveland, Colorado, June 16th-19th.  Will I see you there?

Keep watching GIJoeCon.com for the latest details!

GeneralsJoes Reviews Transformers: Combiner Wars Onslaught and Bruticus!

Today I finish off my Combiner Wars reviews with a look at the Voyager scale Combaticon leader Onslaught as well as the whole combined form of Bruticus!

Combiner Wars continues to roll full steam ahead, check out my Transformers review page, or click the links directly below.

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Transformers: Combiner Wars Bruticus

This review brought to you by the fine folks at Entertainment Earth!

Entertainment Earth

 

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The Combiner Wars theme, I’m happy to say, has had far more “hits” than misses, and I feel comfortable saying that Bruticus is another solid home run. Using the same connection template as the previous combiners, the limbs all say firmly secure, yet offer very nice poseability, as the other combiners do.

Perhaps what puts Bruticus over the edge is that he is a combiner team I actually owned part of when I was younger (as a G.I. Joe fan back then, I naturally gravitated towards the military theme) along with the Stunticons and Aerialbots. Unlike the Stunticons and Aerialbots, however, I don’t believe I ever owned the entire set of Combaticons, so this is like a new world for me, and it’s one that I like.

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Britucus’ very distinctive head sculpt is translated perfectly with this combined figure, and I love the broad, triangular chest plate. He looks imposing and powerful, and unlike Menasor, he doesn’t feel like he exists just to topple over. The wide stance of his legs (like Defensor) holds him in poses really nicely, and even though the individual Combaticons have some pretty different, distinctive colors, he still makes for an awesome combined character.

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Bruticus is great, all things considered. I think I may still like Superion the most (well, unless you count Devastator), but Bruticus is a close second, followed by Defensor. Menasor needs to rethink his outlook on life.

Transformers: Combiner Wars Onslaught

This review brought to you by the fine folks at Entertainment Earth!

Entertainment Earth

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It’s amazing what some minor changes can do to change one character into another, and those minor changes work wonders for Onslaught.

Obviously based on the Hot Spot tooling, Onslaught has just the right changes to completely redefine the figure into a different, more effective character. The elaborate hook and ladder system on his back in vehicle mode is now a triangular mount for his two cannons, and not only does it look more potent and deadly in vehicle mode, but the it converts nicely into an effective chestplate for Bruticus.

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The vehicle itself is narrow and sloped, like the fire truck, but still makes for an excellent military type vehicle, although not especially vintage accurate. Like Hot Spot, transformation is relatively intuitive and easily accomplished, and as cool as the vehicle is, the robot mode is even better. Articulation is spectacular, with great movement at all necessary joints. I love how imposing the armored shoulder pads look, and the intricate lined sculpting in robot mode is seriously impressive.

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Sculpting in the new head is nearly flawless, and it’s amazing to me how a featureless robot can express such emotion with the different positions of his head and body.

The twin cannons can stay attached to the back like you might expect, but are also removable and can be held as robotic guns, too.

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Like the rest of the Combaticons, Onslaught’s colors are based more strongly on the classic toy than the animation, but work well in that regard, and as a lifelong G.I. Joe fan, I’m extremely attached to the military angle of all these Combaticon toys. Onslaught is a great vintage update and makes for a fantastic centerpiece to the Bruticus combiner.

GeneralsJoes Reviews Transformers: Combiner Wars Swindle and Brawl

I was greatly looking forward to getting my hands on Combiner Wars Brawl, a great looking tank that most assuredly, as the only completely new Combaticon, would be another great addition to my Transformers display.

What were my thoughts once I got him (and Swindle) in hand?

Check out my Transformers Review Page, or click the links below to find out!

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Transformers: Combiner Wars Swindle

This review brought to you by the fine folks at Entertainment Earth!

Entertainment Earth

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Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve always understood Swindle to be probably the most famous of the Combaticons, and one of the characters that has somewhat transcended his role as merely one part of the larger whole. That might be just because of my fascination with Transformers: Animated and the fact that he had such a distinct role there, but that’s the impression that I get.

Hasbro does a good job of taking the classic elements of Swindle and integrating them a bit more into an effective “combat” vehicle, using a healthy helping of Rook, but adding some very nice tweaks with some rollbars and more identifiable “Jeep” parts. The result is a bulky, armored combat jeep that manages to maintain all the hallmarks of the vintage original, yet plenty of more modern power while they’re at it.

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One of the best parts of the figure is the new head sculpt, which is chock full of that Swindle arms dealer character. With his trademark purple “sunglasses” and grimace, the head and face definitely resemble the Swindle that we know and love. He’s got a very unique head that is translated quite nicely to plastic form here, and I love it.

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With a nice mixture of orangish/brown, Hasbro takes some queues from the vintage version and both the vehicle and robot look the part. It certainly helps that Rook is one of my favorite base figures, too, and I’m really glad they’re leveraging him for both Swindle and Hound. It makes for a great base, and with just the right tooling tweaks, they look separate enough to work nicely.

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Swindle is pretty great. I daresay he’s the highlight of this wave of Deluxes for me, easily pushing aside Brawl, who I just assumed would be my odds on favorite.

Transformers: Combiner Wars Brawl

This review brought to you by the fine folks at Entertainment Earth!

Entertainment Earth

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Out of all the deluxe Combaticons, Brawl was probably the one I looked forward to most, simply due to his alt mode. As a G.I. Joe fan, I really dig seeing Transformers geared up as true military machines, even though I break out in hives thinking of the twisted up scale of some of these vehicles.

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Brawl is the one completely new figure amongst this crew of repaints, and in vehicle mode, I love it. The tank looks cool and distinct, standing out among the crowd, impressing with its armor and cannon when intermingled with repainted pick up trucks, scrawny fighter jets and sports cars. Brawl means business.

Unfortunately, once you get Brawl into robot mode, it starts to feel like maybe Brawl is going out of business. At first glance, he looks great. Broad shouldered, stocky, and very aggressive looking. Pretty much how you’d expect a tank that turns into a robot to look. But once you start posing him, you run into some annoying problems. His shoulders are connected at a very restrictive shoulder joint, connecting stubby arms directly to his torso, and limited his arm movements by a considerable margin. The result is a figure that can do little more than flap his arms or rotate them very close to his body. At the waist, there’s no real connecting joint either, so the top half of the figure just kind of floats there and doesn’t hold together, so he’s constantly pulling apart and is tough to move into a really nice pose. It’s disappointing, because these are two pretty key issues that, from a design standpoint, Hasbro has overcome, at least until now.

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Throughout the bulk of the Combiner Wars line, they’ve (almost magically) been able to mesh design with articulation, and give us two very effective modes without sacrificing play factor. In the case of Brawl, they don’t quite succeed, which is all the more frustrating since this is the only newly tooled figure of the wave. The hope would be that this one newly tooled figure would be great enough to rise above all the repaints, when in fact, it ends up drawing the rest of the wave down a bit.

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I love the colors, I love the concept, I desperately want to enjoy Brawl, but the fact remains that he’s the wave’s greatest disappointment, which is extremely unfortunate.

New items in stock at the Marauder “Gun Runners” store

Talk about a pleasant Monday surprise! Marauder “Gun Runners” revealed last night that they have stocked some brand new, unexpected items in their online store from Marauder Task Force!

First, they revealed a new unmasked head template, with white hair. There is a clean shaven version, a version with a goatee, and a version with a full beard. Check out some images below, and pick it up at MarauderInc.com!

But even better, they also revealed several new color combinations for Task Force figures! Several new black figures were revealed with different color highlights, as well as blue with black and white with black. The added colors for the gauntlets makes a HUGE difference and really breaks up the colors of the figures nicely. Great looking stuff. Check out the images below, and stock up that shopping cart at MarauderInc.com!

GeneralsJoes Reviews Transformers: Combiner Wars Blast Off and Vortex

While I anxiously await the arrival of my first shipment of FSS 4.0, I figured I’d wander back over to Transformers world to post a few reviews of the recently released Combiner Wars Combaticons. After all, they’re military vehicles, right? That kind of counts.

Check out all of my Transformers: Combiner Wars reviews here, or click the links below to hit them directly.

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