Doom Cycle w/ Storm Rider
The Dreadnoks have been a core part of the G.I. Joe mythos for over two decades now, yet even though they're consistently portrayed as a motorcycle gang, we've never gotten a normal motorcycle (and no, the Dreadnok Trike doesn't count). In 2005, apparently a Machete and motorcycle combination was slated for the Robot Rebellion line, however we all know how that turned out.
Well, Hasbro makes up for some lost time with the release of the Doom Cycle, and they've accomplished something great. They managed to make a pretty normal looking chopper for the Dreadnoks, which also has some nice offensive firepower and cool play value.
The motorcycle appears to use all new tooling, though it is possible that some of it may have been pulled from the cancelled DTC Machete chopper. The rear snap-out blades hook into a standard DTC/Sigma 6 port, so that seems somewhat possible, though it would be tough to tell for sure. Sounds like a potential question for a future Hasbro Q & A session.
The base vehicle itself is designed like a real world chopper, which is very cool, and fits the Dreadnok motif absolutely perfectly. It's kind of funny to see it in the Pursuit of Cobra, however, considering Zartan's new design is pretty esoteric and doesn't seem to fit the street gang aesthetic much any more.
But even using a base chopper design, some fun play value is sculpted in here, too with a button-activated weapons system in the front that pops out twin wheel blades and flips up a pair of nasty looking offensive guns. As I mentioned before, the "fan blade" system in back also snaps out to provide some nasty destructive weapons that fits the Dreadnok philosophy to a "t". This vehicle really reminds me of the early Dreadnok adventures where they inflitrated one of the Joes Air Force Bases and tore up all of their vehicles...this seems like a vehicle perfectly suited to that sort of task.
I was somewhat surprised (pleasently) that there were no stickers included here, with the designers preferring a simpler approach, which works, in my opinion. There is a terrific paint app logo near the front of the bike with a flaming skull and the name of the bike, and in this case, I think less decoration is better, as it suits this real world bike well. The other paint applications are pretty straight forward with blacks and silvers, and the right touches of red here and there. All told, it's a basic look bike on the surface with some cool hidden weaponry, and I think it works perfectly as a Dreadnok vehicle.
The figure, I find myself a bit mixed on. I love the concept. Using Shipwreck's base figure tooling, you have a fairly straight forward looking punk rocker, but with Storm Rider being rubber-banded to the bike in the package, his feet end up a bit contorted and he has some trouble standing.
I love his short sleeves and tatoo decoed arms, but he does end up with some strange black-colored elbow joints that disrupt the flow of the paint a bit. I do think it might have worked better for them to produce the upper arms in flesh color and apply the black to the sleeves instead of the other way around, but I suppose there were probably technical reasons why they didn't do this.
As I mentioned before, the tatoos are incredible. Very nicely done. From the half-showing Cobra logos to the ornate decorations on the forearms, this Dreadnok looks like a 21st Century Dreadnok, and totally fits the role of biker in this day and age.
Making this figure look really unique, Hasbro gave him a new head sculpt with a much different hair style than we've seen before. His sculpted on sunglasses are great, and he looks very cool without the Cobra-themed scarf. Even with that scarf, though, I think he's got a terrific design aesthetic, and I find myself really drawn to this new character. He's a perfect match for the rest of the Dreadnoks.
Storm Rider comes with the scarf as I mentioned before as well as a nasty looking revolver that was repurposed from the 25th Anniversary line. He also comes with a great looking nail gun that's newly tooled and hooks into the back of the bike in a very cool way.
I will admit to being a bit dismayed at the lack of a stand. Neither Alpha vehicle comes with a stand for their driver, which is a shame.
One of the coolest things about getting a mainstream G.I. Joe line going again that isn't tied to past history or a film is getting some great unique new characters. Storm Rider is certainly that, and his bike is no slouch either. Compared to what we got with the Rise of Cobra line, I am immensely impressed in the Alpha vehicles for this first wave of Pursuit of Cobra, they are miles and miles better than most of what we got last year. For any Dreadnok fans out there, this is definitely a "must have". Heck, grab a bunch of them and outfit all your Dreadnoks with 'em!
Buy this vehicle at BigBadToyStore!