Monday, May 27, 2019

The Zeros - Mark IV

Each year, I've looked back at underappreciated posts on this site.  2018 was a weird year in that traffic was constant for the first 6 months before it almost doubled over the summer.  Then, in the fourth quarter, it plummeted.  Supposedly, Google changed their algorithm around this time due to the demise of Google+ and it greatly affected the number of people who visited the site.  Things seem to have normalized, now.  But, the traffic patterns are interesting, nonetheless.

Below are the least popular posts of 2018 that I think deserve more love:

Mexican Lobotomaxx

Historically, foreign exclusive figures have been among the most popular profiles on my site.  Add in the fact that this was a monster whose write up was released on Halloween and you have a recipe for...failure?  Barely 200 people read this profile of a rather hard to find figure.  But, the fact that Lobotomaxx is an unpopular alien and his Mexican variant is barely a shading difference and you get a figure that didn't grab people's attention.

1994 Mexican Lobotomaxx, Lunartix Alien, Star Brigade, Major Bludd, Cobra Viper

Rarities - Unproduced 2004 Desert Patrol Figures (Convention Prototypes)

Even Rarities month produces a dud every now and then.  When these figures were show at the 2004 Convention, the set looked like it wasn't great, but had some promise.  The final production figures, though, didn't hold up.  The excellent Ambush paint job you see here never saw the light of day and the resulting retail set faded into obscurity...just like this post.

Unproduced, Prototypes, 2004 Desert Patrol, Stalker, Ambush, Tunnel Rat, Snake Eyes, Ambush, Dusty, TRU Exclusive

1993 Flak Viper

Few collectors share my passion for neon 1990's army builders.  In 2017 and 2018, this figure fascinated me and I slowly built a little army of them.  Yet, the profile was super unpopular despite it being one of my personal favorites for the year.

1993 Flak Viper, Battle Corps

2001 Pathfinder

With this guy, I get it.  It's a boring repaint of a character that no one remembers.  At least the original figure was distinctive.  This 2001 version was lost in the sea of olive drab banality that defined 2001.

2001 Pathfinder: TRU Exclusive, ARAHC

2005 Iron Anvil

While these figures seem to be well like by collectors, they remain super cheap for convention army builders.  The profile got little attention: which is unfortunate for such a great mold that was finally painted in a proper manner.

2005 Iron Anvil, Cobra Viper, 2006, Iron Grenadier, Convention Exclusive, Viper Pit

So far, 2019 has been pretty solid.  We'll see what the rest of the year brings.  We should be in about the final 6 months of the Joe renaissance that's driven up prices.  That should take us into 2020.  If Hasbro gets the Snake Eyes movie going, that could change the landscape again: either for better or for worse.  But, I'll keep plugging along and hope you'll come along, too.  Thanks for the great year!


  1. The Iron Anvils are a real surprise, but in a way, it makes sense. Overall, the community seems much more forgiving and even interested in neon 90's figures nowadays. That being the case, it erodes a lot of the Anvil's appeal, with their only real purpose being an alternate color scheme for the Battle Corps Viper.

    Also, no one reads anything on my site besides posts about factory customs.

  2. Pathfinder was nice with original accessories with the V.A.M.P. set, but that one with the A.W.E. Striker was in no way any competition for the 1990 Pathfinder.

    The second-release-with-neon (or simply brighter colors) figures are figures I avoided if there were originally figures with colors more favorable to me.

    Desert Patrol fits in my mind in the span of multi-packs that could have been so much more and then that period of retail (and online) makes me think of the "newsculpt" vs "oring" division.

    Iron Anvil is a fine recolor but I just didn't feel like they fit with the Iron Grenadiers as well as a repainted Annihilator could have. Or even a repainted T.A.R.G.A.T.. There was no characterization to this figure that grabbed me and the "Jinx" pack and parachute felt... cheap. It seemed like Destro's little army got way more generic and larger than the origins of an army of handpicked bodyguards that were "DESTRO'S ELITE TROOPERS" originally.
    I would have preferred to have the Iron Anvil figure repainted as a more traditional Cobra Vipers as originally released.

    1. Annihilator's tooling MAY have been lost (along with Voltar, Darklon and Wild Boar). We know TARGAT's mold wasn't and they got it back for Coil Trooper. And for some reason Ferrets were now Black Dragon Troopers.

      That leaves Nullifier, maybe a Nullifier V1 repaint could've been neat. It's an odd figure, though.

  3. I cannot think of much to say about Mexican Lobottomax, he's the least distinct of the Lunartix recolors.

    Yeah, they dropped the ball on the desert set in a few ways.

    Flak Viper V2...I don't hate them. I think the gun being neon reddish...doesn't do him any favors.

    Was Pathfinder 2000 or 2001?

    I've yet to get an IRON Anvil. Yes, they aren't too expensive, but someone always wants it more...probably to add to the rows they have on a shelf somewhere.

  4. Pageviews may not be a reliable indicator of whether a post has been read or not. I usually read the posts on the front page and only open the specific page if there are comments to read.