Monday, May 31, 2021

2021 Rarities and Oddities Month

I've got an even dozen posts coming in June for Rarities Month.  There's some interesting and odd stuff.  This year, though, I'm going to be away from the Joe world for the month of June.  So, you'll see posts every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday during the month.  But, I won't be online to promote them on my various channels.  I'm heading out of the heat and into the mountains for a month and am not taking my computer with me.  So, please stop by, comment and enjoy.  I'll respond back when I return in July.  But, enjoy this year's selections.

1994 Joseph Colton Mail Away, Pre-production, prototype, Green Gun

Unproduced BJ's Roadblock, Red

Saturday, May 29, 2021

1993 Monster Blaster APC - Around The Web

 The Monster Blaster APC is one of those vehicles whose time has finally come.  After being ignored for years and years (even with a Cobra themed repaint offered at retail) it seems collectors have come around to the quality of this vehicle.  The late release date and Mega Marines subset got many to ignore the Monster Blaster.  But, the vehicle is on par with early Joe releases and is full of play value.  There's a little bit of content on this thing out there.  It's highly photogenic.  So, I hope more people take advantage of it in coming years.  Here's the best of the Mega Marines Monster Blaster APC from around the web.

1993 Monster Blaster APC Profile

Monster Blaster APC by Lava Boss

Monster Blaster APC by Nekoman

Monster Blaster by tituslester32

Monster Blaster APC by Slipstream80

Monster Blaster APC at - Including the variants

Monster Blaster APC by HCC788

Monster Blaster APC at Reasonably Intelligent Rambling

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

1992 Dice

Everyone knows Tomax and Xamot.  They are two peas in a pod and the characters are forever intertwined.  Though the years, Larry Hama and Hasbro tried to tie a few figures and characters together.  But, rarely did they really stick outside of the main media.  Missing was the alliteration that created the pneumonic device for people to perpetually associate two characters.  In 1991, two characters appeared in the comic, though, who solved this.  In 1992, Slice and Dice appeared as action figures.  And, while the characters were linked in character and name, they did not share any aesthetics aside from being in general martial arts garb.  

One of the things about Dice in the comic is that he interacted with the 1991 Snake Eyes uniform.  And, this Dice actually works better with that mold of Snake Eyes than it does with the Ninja Force version from 1993.  The 1992 Ninja Force figures are less of a departure from traditional Joe construction than the 1993 figures.  Dice, and the rest of the 1992 figures) still maintain the o-ring and have traditional Joe construction.  They can not wear backpacks and do have the ninja action feature.  The main drawback of the figures is that they can not be fixed should the o-ring snap without prying the torso open and then re-gluing it in some way.  

While a lot of the 1990's ninja story line in the comic was overdone, it also had some good stuff.  The Night Creepers were a fun addition to the mythos.  I always felt that Slice and Dice would have been better served to lead that faction.  Their look fits with the Night Creeper motif.  And, the Night Creeper Leader was not a great character.  (In the comics, Aleph, worked fairly well, though.)  Slice and Dice leading that army instead of the Arashikage clan would have been less intertwined and might have given the characters more life.    

I mentioned the 1991 Snake Eyes earlier.  And, it is against this figure where Dice finds his greatest use.  I like the look of the two of them together.  The 1991 Snake Eyes is more a ninja and less a commando without being 100% ninja.  It's a nice balance and helps him fight against Slice and Dice since his advanced skills are a better match against two foes rather than one.  I also use Dice as the leader of various ninja factions.  For some reason, I see Slice as more independent and working on his own whereas Dice takes on leadership responsibilities.

As a sculpt, though, Dice is well done.  He doesn't have so much detail that it overwhelms him.  But, he has enough.  His boots are a bit odd.  They have huge knee pads.  But, I'm more forgiving of things like that when they match the rest of the aesthetic.  The purple color is offset by silver and black details, putting the figure square into the color scheme of classic Cobras.  His chest is adorned with throwing stars and grenades: a not so subtle juxtaposition of old and new world combat styles.  The most interesting part is the head.  Dice's face is obscured by a helmet covering his eyes.  But, it also has lines that protect his face.  It's a design that works for Dice.  It kind of looks like a spider hugging his face.  But, it adds to the creepiness of the character and would be an intimidating look for battle.

Dice didn't include much gear.  He just had a silver axe and a silver bo-staff.  The staff is cool as it's a rare weapon to appear in the line.  And, he can hold it with two hands.  Again, a novelty.  There's also a black figure stand.  But, that's it.  The figure seems under-accessorized to me.  But, he's in line with the 1992 Ninja Force figures.  It was not until the 1993 series, with the introduction of weapon trees, that Ninja Force figures started included a wide array of gear.  The nice thing is that it seems that Dice's gear is unique to him and it is well paired with the figure.  And, he can hold and use both weapons at once.  So, he makes for a nicer display than some 1993 figures where you have their surplus gear lying on the ground around them since they can't hold all their swords and knives.

Dice only appeared in the 1992 series.  While Slice would be repainted twice, Dice never saw such resurrection.  In 1993, though, the Dice mold was used for the Red Ninja figure.  This figure is obscure and hard to find and has gotten expensive in recent years.  Dice's body was then used for the Mortal Kombat Kano figure.  This figure has a base body in white with silver and black highlights.  There really isn't a good Dice head to match it, though.  Otherwise, it would be a fun look for Dice and you could make customs of all white Slice and Dice characters from Mortal Kombat bodies.  And, while the Slice mold returned in the 2000's, Dice did not.  Of the two, he's definitely the less popular with Hasbro...which seems odd as both figures are excellently done and really need to be released as a pair.

Dice figures are not pricey.  While dealers will ask $15 or more for a figure, there's plenty of them available on the open market.  You can get a mint and complete Dice for between $7 and $10 without too much trouble.  Carded Dices will run $40+, though.  Which seems to be a pretty big disparity between loose and carded.  Usually, you only see figures from the '80's with that type of gap between carded and loose.  This might imply that the 90's carded stock is drying up and will soon be in line with 80's figures or that loose Dices are under priced.  Or, we might just be in a weird bubble and two years from now, we'll be wondering what the heck everyone was thinking.  But, the loose prices on Dice are such that everyone should have the figure.  He looks good, needs to be pared with Slice and makes an excellent foil for Snake Eyes.  Few cheap figures have so much going for them.

1992 Dice, Ninja Force, 2001 Big Brawler, ARAHC

1992 Dice, Ninja Force, 2004 Ninja Strike Red Ninja Viper, 1984 Stormshadow

1992 Dice, Ninja Force, 1994 Snake Eyes, Shadow Ninjas

Saturday, May 22, 2021

General M Bison - Around The Web

M Bison has long been a figure that Joe collectors have integrated into Cobra.  Mostly, it was the Street Fighter G.I. Joe figures.  But, those who had this Shadowloo HQ figure from the Street Fighter Movie line found a much better figure to lead some of their Cobra legions.  Not a ton of content on this guy out there.  But, here's what I could find.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

1986 Claymore

My first recollections of the Mission to Brazil set come from the fall of 1986.  The set showed up at my local Toys R Us store and was a mainstay of the Joe aisle for the rest of the year.  Eventually, the sets found their way to an endcap where they were stacked so high that they would fall of the shelves if you took down a box to look at it.  It was here that I held the box in my hand on each of our family's trips to Toys R Us.  I looked over the figures...unsure if I really wanted them.  The odd colors and familiar molds seemed a bit out of place in the Joe world of the time.  But, the more times I saw the set, the more I wanted it.  Despite, this, though, I never actually asked for the set.  But, my parents must have seen me staring at it, reviewing the contents and reading over the storyline.  Because, on Christmas morning in 1986, the Mission to Brazil set was under the tree.

1986 is an odd year.  Every year, at Christmastime, I got a flagship gift.  It had been the G.I. Joe HQ in 1983.  I got a Whale in 1984 and a Moray in 1985.  (I tried for the Flagg, but it was not to be.)  In 1986, though, I didn't get a large toy as a present.  In fact, I have no recollection of even asking for anything like the Terrordrome.  I had bought myself a Tomahawk in October of that year.  And, my youngest brother did get a Night Raven, too.  But, I have no memories of my large gift that year.  I do know that I got a new dirt bike around this time.  I paid for half of it, though, as a deal with my parents.  Maybe that was the gift.  But, it was out of character for me to have to pay for part of my own Christmas gifts.  Family photos offer no clues as we rarely took pictures on Christmas morning.  (A mistake I'm not repeating with my kids.)  So, I don't know why I didn't get a big toy for Christmas that year.  But, I did get the Mission to Brazil set.  (There was also a Dreadnok Ground Assault set.  Maybe that was my "big" gift.)  And, that ended up being a gift that helped define my Joe world until my final days of childhood.

By the end of 1986, my Joe world had turned into a complex, ever running story.  My adventures would stretch for weeks with character growth, death and defeat as central themes.  To prevent this from exhausting my supply of Joe characters, I had to come up with army building figures for the good guys.  This was where the Mission to Brazil set fit in perfectly.  The recolored Mainframe, Dialtone, Wet Suit and Leatherneck all became nameless specialty troopers who could die with impunity and not affect the main characters of my Joe story.  Each was integral to my story as the Joes could now withstand the might of Cobra, suffer casualties and not cost me one of my favorite figures or characters when one of them perished.  I have profiled all of the figures in the set (and, now, Claymore twice!) due to the importance this set played during my final year of childhood play.  

But, the cornerstone of the playset, this Claymore figure, never got the chance to take a place of prominence in my collection.  I had some stories in mind for him as I stared at the mountains of sealed boxed at my local Toys R Us stores.  And, when I got the set, Claymore was really the highlight.  But, he simply didn't last.  His crotch snapped almost immediately.  And, the character of Claymore never got a chance to really join my collection.  Instead, he was an idea.  But, that idea never blossomed into anything more since the character didn't have a figure to play out his role.  So, Claymore remains one of those figures that got away.  He would have been great and probably a key player in my childhood collection.  But, the fragile figure prevented that.  And, by the time a nice Claymore came around, I had far too many new figures to really take time to explore the character that Claymore could have become.

Claymore's construction is problematic.  He features Footloose's head (that would also later appear on Rumbler), Flint's arms and waist, Dusty's legs and the Tele Viper chest.  On one level, seeing so many different figures used to create this amalgamation helps distinguish him from any of the originals.  But, the Tele Viper chest is both rather distinctive and oddly proportioned.  This gives Claymore an asymmetrical appearance.  But, the bigger issue is that the parts were not engineered to work together.  If you have ever looked for Claymore figures, you see a high number of them with broken crotches.  This is due to the fact that the Dusty legs are larger than the 1985 Flint's legs.  So, they are much more likely to break the crotch on the Flint waist than the legs originally designed with the waist piece.  By 1986, I didn't break figures.  But, I broke Claymore just trying to sit him into a vehicle.  And, I did it damn near the day I got him.  (The crotchless figure you see in the photos below is my actual childhood figure.  His joints and paint are almost pristine because I broke him so quickly.)  With that bit of bad luck, Claymore was relegated to second or third tier status among my Joes of the day.

Claymore's colors are interesting.  The bright yellow base can be troublesome for collectors.  On the 1993 Leatherneck, the color is ridiculed.  But, on Claymore, the 1986 release year makes the community more forgiving of the banana colored pants.  But, the figure is amazingly detailed and features intricate paint masks that place layers of brown, black, silver and green onto the various features of the figure's parts.  The brown and green are earthly and grounded.  This offsets the yellow and makes the figure appear less bright than he actually is.  I do feel that were Claymore a carded release, he would not be as well regarded.  Collectors are always more forgiving of harder to find figures.  But, Claymore is a nice match for the rest of the class of 1986 and looks right at home with them when on display.

Claymore's gear is not good.  He includes a green version of Footloose's helmet that is not painted.  It is often mistaken and you see many, many Claymore figures with an incorrect helmet.  (Sometimes, you can find a Footloose with a Claymore helmet, though.)  The helmet matches the green color of Claymore's vest.  So, it's a nice match.  Claymore also included an Uzi.  My version included a 1985 Snake Eyes Uzi.  It is indistinguishable from the original release of the weapon.  There are also reports of Claymore's that included the 1986 Uzi that was originally packed with the 1986 Low Light and would show up again with Law in 1987.  In the late 1990's, there were a great deal of sealed Mission to Brazil accessory sets that were available from various dealers.  These mostly included the 1986 Uzi. But, seeing as how these were sold 20 years ago and I'm the only one who remembers them, it's possible they are another false memory.  I have not seen a sealed set with the 1986 Uzi in a long time.  Every collector has their preference on weapon.  But, I feel Claymore looks out of place with the 1986 Uzi and that his filecard art shows the 1985 version, too.  As a kid, I needed Claymore to have a backpack.  The excellent 1986 Hawk backpack is a color match for Claymore's green helmet and body.  So, to this day, I consider this pack an essential part of any Claymore figure.

Claymore was released just this one time.  (There may be a European variant that does not have the cammo pattern on his pants.  But, I'm still not convinced these aren't production errors rather than variants.)  The character never returned in the vintage line and was even ignored in the repaint era.  He didn't appear until a convention set in the 2010's.  All of the figure's parts were eventually released in Brazil with their original molds with some then moving on to India.  In the early day's of online collecting, repainted Claymore's were a staple of customizers.  Some used parts from the 1985 figures.  But, Claymore's were easy enough to find that customizers would even repaint an extra that they might have lying around.  It's a shame that collectors didn't get to see Claymore return.  A repaint of this parts combo in different colors would have been nice.  But, a new take on the character would also have been welcomed in the 1990's.  

There are very few rare G.I. Joe figures.  But, there are some that are rarer than others.  And, Claymore (along with his set mates) is probably the least produced 1986 figure release.  (AVAC would take the honor.  But, later mail aways increased his availability.)  And, while there are figures from the 1990's and 2000's that were produced in far fewer quantities than Claymore, his key release year raises his desirability far over those other figures.  So, you'll pay a substantial premium for the figure.  While Claymore was always expensive, he got a nice boost in the 2000's when he starred in a comic.  This appearance spiked the figure prices.  While they did subside when Joe hit pricing doldrums in the early 2010's, the price of Claymore's has since skyrocketed and he's one of the most expensive vintage, American figure releases.  A mint and complete version with the correct helmet will fetch $100 to $225 depending upon the filecard's inclusion or just general sentiment at the time.  The helmet is the key accessory, though.  And, you can get a nicely conditioned Claymore with no gear for around $70.  Since Footloose helmets are good enough and his uzi is easily findable, that may be the way to go.

Aside from rarity, though, I don't see a compelling reason to own the figure.  Claymore didn't appear in the vintage comic nor the cartoon.  If you didn't have the Mission to Brazil set, you would have no knowledge that this character even existed.  But, for many collectors, having a complete set from their childhood years, even if that includes figures they never owned as kids, is a priority collecting goal.  And, since Claymore is both prone to breakage as well as paint wear, you get premium prices for premium figures.  I own a nice one because I had a childhood connection to the figure.  But, even my Claymore broke quickly and he was never a vital part of my childhood adventures.  The four repainted figures from his set were far more key to me and they remain more relevant from a memory perspective.

1986 Claymore, Mission to Brazil, Toys R Us Exclusive, 2020 Black Major, 1997 Snake Eyes, Tiger Force Starduster

1986 Claymore, Mission to Brazil, Toys R Us Exclusive, 2020 Black Major, 1997 Snake Eyes

1986 Claymore, Mission to Brazil, TRU Exclusive, Sci Fi

1986 Claymore, Mission to Brazil, Toys R US Exclusive, 1991 BAT, Battle Android Trooper

Saturday, May 15, 2021

1992 Talking Battle Commanders Stalker - Around The Web

The 1992 Talking Battle Commanders Stalker is a pretty solid mold with a weird head.  Sadly, this is the best coloring of the figure.  We did get one repaint in 2003.  But, that Tiger Force version also has limitations.  There's enough on this guy out there to enjoy.  But, there's so many other Stalker figures that are better that it's kind of rare to see this version be featured.  Here's the best of the 1992 Talking Battle Commander Stalker from around the web.

1992 Stalker Profile

1992 Stalker by fun_time_at_serpentors_lair

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Funskool Budo

As a kid, Budo was not a figure that I owned.  While my youngest brother got most of the 1988 series of figures, he didn't get a Budo.  From the card art, I wasn't overly interested in him.  But, then, he was in a fun issue of the comic where he's training to be a Joe.  I thought the character was OK.  But, never really thought about Budo again.  At some point in the 1990's, though, I acquired a complete Budo.  I stuck him on a shelf in my room, guarding some succulents and a weird temple incense burner I owned.  I liked the look of him and gave him Zanzibar's spear to augment his weaponry.  So, when I found another at a flea market, I bought him to give my temple a pair of guards.  These Budos stayed put until I moved out for good in 1997.  

That idea of Budo as a guard, though, stuck with me.  And, in my early Joe collecting days, I army built Budo figures.  Sadly, by the time the Funskool version was readily available in the US, I could only afford to army build a couple of figures and I focused on the Cobras.  But, knowing that this Funskool Budo included a grey sword, though, was enough to sway me to actually buy one at a time when I was extremely judicious in my figure purchases.  He joined my Budo army and got use in maybe one picture.  Then, he was packed away and never really did anything more.  The notion of a Samurai army wore thin and I sold all my excess Budo figures away.

A few years ago, though, I found the old Samurai Jack cartoon.  I really enjoyed the world building that was done in that endeavor.  Now, I see Budo as something similar.  He's a lone wanderer who fights for the side of good.  He doesn't look like much when facing a modern army.  But, he has his moments and his creativity and capability usually lead to much better results than you'd expect.  The notion of this loner warrior has existed in my collection for a long time.  Usually, it was reserved for martial arts themed figures.  And, Budo fits that motif.  The fact that his sculpt is something completely different really helps set him apart from a military figure and allows him to fit into a less structured narrative with ease.

The calling card of the Funskool Budo is the accessories.  While he includes the same complement of gear as the American figure, there is one important difference.  The Funskool Budo's sword colors are swapped from the American release.  So, you get a red scabbard and a silver sword.  So, by combining them, you get one Budo with both a silver scabbard and a silver sword.  In the days when Budo was a $4 figure, it made perfect sense to just buy one to get the sword variants.  Along with that, you get a helmet, sai and backpack that can hold his gear.  The helmet lacks the paint details from the Hasbro figure.  But, it still works well enough.

Budo was released for a good while in India.  And, he was one of the select figures who reappeared during a short Funskool production window in 2009/2010 to support the G.I. Joe movie release in India.  He was also released on a Russian card around 1998 or so.  If you check Budo figures from these various releases, they all have slight color differences with both plastic and paint.  Funskool has thousands of unintentional variants that occur just from differences in shading in the batches of plastic or paint.  So, you can go mad trying to track them all down.  But, usually, you can find the biggest differences across different releases.  So, the 2009/2010 figure will be different from those from the early 2000's and will also likely have slight differences from the Russian figure.  So, you can focus on those three first and then spend the remaining days of your life finding additional nuances.

Budo had only a few uses.  After the 1988 release, he got an odd repaint as a 1993 mail away.  The character of Budo was supposed to return in the Ninja Commandos in 1995.  There might have even been variations of his color scheme.  But, those figures were cancelled.  Fortunately, Budo's Ninja Commandos sculpt was used for the Mortal Kombat Movie Shang Tsung figure.  Budo was then shipped off to India.  Aside from the various carded figures, parts of the figure appeared in several promotional releases, often in exclusive color schemes.  His head even appeared on a Quick Kick body that made one of the stronger Funskool promotional figures.  Hasbro did not get the Budo mold back and it's likely still in India.  It hasn't been used in over a decade.  But, if it still exists, I'd buy another Budo repaint.

Funskool Budo wasn't overly popular during the heyday of Funskool imports.  As the figure was very similar to the American figure there was little reason for many collectors to pick one up.  That malaise from the time has carried over and you don't see Budo as often as you do more popular figures like the Cobra army builders and major U.S. characters.  But, he's still fairly available and not overly popular.  You can get carded figures for around $20 if you are patient and act quickly.  But, the more common price is $30-$40.  The 2009/2010 variants tend to go a little higher as they were imported in far fewer quantities than earlier releases.  As American Budos tend to run in the $15-$20 range for a nice version, the Funskool release isn't too more expensive.  But, spending $40 or $50 to get a good figure with all silver weapons now seems like folly.  If you like Budo, though, the Funskool version is kind of a must own since it's a slightly different look for the character and you can still find them.

Funskool Budo, Samurai

Funskool Budo, Samurai, 1988

Funskool Budo, Samurai, 1988, Road Pig, Dreadnok

Funskool Budo, Samurai, 1988, Road Pig, Dreadnok, Red Dog, Slaughters Renegades

Saturday, May 8, 2021

1988 Stormshadow - Around The Web

 In 1988, Hasbro updated one of their most iconic characters.  Stormshadow was now a Joe instead of a Cobra.  The new look for Stormshadow was a huge hit.  33 years later, collectors still love the 1988 mold.  It was another perfect example of Hasbro really nailing a character update.  Because of this, there's a lot of 1988 Stormshadow content out there.  The figure is extremely photogenic and remains a collector favorite.  I don't use this figure enough and really need to work him into more photos.  But, for now, enjoy the 1988 Stormshadow's best content from around the web.

1988 Stormshadow Profile

1988 Stormshadow by thedustinmccoy

1988 Stormshadow by Hit and Run

1988 Stormshadow at

1988 Stormshadow by atticagazette

1988 Stormshadow by g.i. boyz

1988 Hit and Run by Flint

1988 Stormshadow by Evilface

1988 Stormshadow by Slipstream80

1988 Stormshadow by Scarrviper

1988 Stormshadow by gen_liederkranz

1988 Stormshadow by cyko

1988 Stormshadow by andrey_collector

1988 Stormshadow by yojoe_collectibles

1988 Stormshadow by rutbullet

1988 Stormshadow by joes_by_james

1988 Stormshadow by chewies_stuff

1988 Stormshadow by Kingpin_Toyz

1988 Stormshadow by HCC788

1988 Stormshadow, 1993 Slice, Ninja Force

1988 Stormshadow

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

2007 IG-88

In 1995, the release of the new POTF II figures to retail re-ignited my passion for Star Wars.  As I was still in school, I didn't have a ton of money.  But, every now and then, I'd treat myself to a vintage Star Wars figure or two.  Among the first figs I bought in the summer of 1995 was an IG-88 figure.  While I hadn't really loved the figure as a kid, the character had grown on me over the years.  So, I wanted to acquire a loose version of him.  I found one (along with a vintage Boba Fett) at the Vintage Phoenix store in Bloomington, Indiana.  I dropped way more money than I should have to buy them both (Ebay wasn't a thing, yet.) and set them on my shelf where they would, eventually, be joined by other figures that made their way into my possession.

As Hasbro released more and more new figures in the POTF II line, it seemed just a matter of time until IG-88 joined them.  1996, though, proved to be a frustrating time to collect Star Wars.  The 1995 releases were sold out pretty much everywhere.  The later cases including Boba Fett, Lando and the Luke X-Wing Pilot had not really saturated the market.  The 1st few months of 1996 were a barren wasteland of empty pegs.  Then, suddenly, in the spring, new waves shipped to retail.  These would quickly sell out for a while.  But, slowly, pegwarmers began to appear.  By May, stores were packed to the gills with Luke Dagobah and Han Hoth figures.  They were the only two figures on the shelves.  And, there were TONS of them.  As more figures were announced, it started to seem as if they'd never get to retail.  But, as August turned to September, stores started ordering more figures and new wave after new wave started to appear.

In October of 1996, I went to the local Wal Mart in my college town to get the oil changed in my van before I drove to my cousin's wedding.  While waiting, I wandered over the toy aisle and was greeted by rows and rows of the newly released Shadows of the Empire 2 figure packs.  1/2 of which were the Boba Fett/IG-88 pack.  I quickly bought one, opened him in the van before I left and then kept him under the seat in the back of the van until I returned home on Sunday.  This new IG-88 seemed vastly superior to the vintage figure.  Though, in reality, they were very similar.  But, I was satisfied to have the character in an ugraded form.  A few years later, though, Hasbro released another updated IG-88.  This one was an upgrade.  Though, the figure still wasn't perfect.  In 2007, though, more than a decade since my original hunt for an IG-88, Hasbro released a "definitive" version of the character on a vintage styled cardback.  This new release was tall, lanky, well detailed and very much a figure that made the prior renditions of the character obsolete.

At long last, I had the definitive IG-88 I had always wanted.  And, I quickly kind of forgot about him.  In the next couple of years, I managed to find updated versions of all 6 bounty hunters: which was kind of a thing for me.  But, the figure faded into the background as I lost a bit of interest in all action figures in the early 2010's.  I put my Star Wars figures away when I moved in early 2013 and didn't pull them out again until my kids were finally old enough to start playing with them.  When I did this, though, I did put this IG-88 aside.  He was fragile, which worried me.  But, also, he was a figure I wanted to keep nice.  So, he joined the animated Boba Fett, Admiral Raddus, Indiana Jones, Kit Fisto and a few other select figures in a special case that the boys were supposed to play with.

Sadly, my copy of this version of IG-88 still got broken.  I found him hidden in a pile of figures in my office: right arm snapped off.  After a quick interrogation of the kids, the middle boy came clean that he had broken it one night.  It's somewhat funny, though.  Back in the 1980's, my brother broke the right arm of his IG-88 figure.  I used that one armed figure for years, though.  (Being a droid allowed this to happen.)  So, my now broken figure is a weird mnemonic device that recalls my childhood memories of IG-88.  And, frankly, I'm glad the figure got a bit of playtime before falling apart.

Like all Star Wars figures of his era, this IG-88 isn't worth much.  He was cheap and available at the time and hasn't really caught fire like many other figures that were released in lower numbers in subsequent years.  IG-11's appearance in the Mandalorian helped bring this model of droid to the forefront of the minds of a new generation of fans.  And, my boys got me an IG-11 shirt for Christmas.  So, the figure has value to me for that reason.  Plus, this IG-88 also shows what Hasbro can do.  My kids love the detail and articulation on the figure.  But, the figure isn't designed to withstand rough play.  The 5 POA figures hold up much better.  But, my kids are now of an age where they are asking for articulation.  There just isn't much at retail for them to acquire.

IG-88, Vintage Collection, 2007, Saw Guererra, Rogue 1, Death Trooper, 3.75 Black Series

IG-88, Vintage Collection, 2007, Saw Guererra, Rogue 1, Death Trooper, 3.75 Black Series

Saturday, May 1, 2021

1994 Lifeline - Around The Web

The 1994 Lifeline is a great update to a classic character.  The colors remain true to the original version and the sculpt matches the specialty.  The figure's gear is perfect for a medical trooper.  In short, he's just great.  Despite this, the figure is incredibly obscure and remains a hidden gem among the line's final releases.  I bought this figure at retail and loved him from the start.  Yet, even I take him for granted and don't use him nearly enough.  There's a smattering of content on the figure available.  So, here's the best I could find of him from around the web.

1994 Lifeline Profile