Saturday, April 30, 2022

Olhos de Fenix - Brazilian Exlusive Spirit Iron Knife - Around The Web

The 1984 Spirit is a classic figure.  He has a major issue, though, in that the light blue shirt and sleeves tend to discolor very badly.  Even properly stored figures are starting to go.  And, as the color fades and yellows, it ruins the aesthetic of a great toy.  For some reason, though, the blue plastic used on the Brazilian release of Spirit (Olhos de Fenix) does not fade.  And, it is a brighter, more brilliant blue than even the Hasbro figure had in 1984.  

This creates a great version of Spirit.  And, there's actually a good amount of content featuring the figure.  The upside is that you can still get quality Olhos de Fenix figures with relative ease.  The downside is that you'll now pay triple digits for the privilege.  But, if you love the Spirit character and are tired of faded blues, this might be the way to go.

Olhos de Fenix Profile

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

2018 Asa Negra - Red Laser Army

Back in 2001, there was still not a central documentation platform for all the figures released in Brazil.  What archives that did exist were incomplete, especially for figures that were similar to the Hasbro releases.  As such, from time to time, "new" figures would pop up.  Usually, these were vehicle pack ins or from a series that was not featured on one of the cardbacks in various archives.  So, when a Brazilian collector told me he had an Asa Negra figure available, there was no documentation as to who the character was or what figure mold he used.  My Brazilian friend was able to scan in a cardback and I was able to see that Asa Negra was a repainted Headhunter Stormtrooper figure that was fairly similar to the Hasbro release.  It was kind of a letdown.  Especially since he wanted so much money for the figure at a time before Brazilian swivel arms had really begun to take off.

Asa Negra loosely translates as "Black Wings".  The original release from Brazil was a barely repainted 1993 Headhunter Stormtrooper figure that was carded with a glider.  This Red Laser figure borrows loosely from the Brazilian figure that would have been made in either late 1994 or 1995.  He feature the grey color base.  But, it's offset with gold highlights.  The most noticeable tribute to the original figure is the red goggles.  Little details like this allowed Red Laser figures to be tied back to the Brazilian or Argentine counterparts.  In the case of Asa Negro, it created a figure that is different enough to stand on his own and rise above the rest of the grey figures that were also released in 2018.

Red Laser and Black Major took very different approaches to producing factory custom figures.  While Black Major focused on army builders and maximizing the number of repaints from each, full figure configuration, Red Laser focused on characters and concepts that would mix and match the parts library.  This was nice as it offered a fuller, more developed range of offerings for collectors.  Though, in some cases, I do think Red Laser went almost too obscure.  Asa Negra is a case in point.  Prior to the Red Laser release, only the most die hard collectors knew who Asa Negra was.  And, only a small subset of them had any interest in really owning the figure.  So, the name, Asa Negra, wasn't nearly the selling point of, say, a Ghost Mortal.

The upside is that this Asa Negra turned into a really nice figure release.  In fact, it's a better way to use the character than if you owned the original Brazilian figure.  I see most Red Laser characters as early Cobras.  They were freelancers who worked for the Commander when he was still building Cobra.  Most were outcasts from other organizations or known mercenaries who were looking for a payday in the safer location of the US.  Here, Cobra Commander would use the valued skills of his new hires to carry out his early objectives.  He didn't much care if they were killed, so long as they got the job done.  And, he could keep them at arm's length should they be captured.  Asa Negra was among those early contractors.  His robotic appearance was frightening and he served to train Cobra's paratrooper corps.  I don't know how he will meet his demise, yet.  But, you can be sure he didn't survive into the mid 1980's as the Commander cleaned up those loose ends as Cobra became larger and more financially successful.

When the art mockups of these figures were produced, the skull tampo on a Snake Eyes head seemed risky.  It was the type of thing that was probably going to go wrong.  But, it didn't.  In fact, the skull print lived up to the hype and worked on every figure on which it appeared.  And, the upside is that all three uses of it are different enough that you can use the figures together without them seeming too repetitive.  Skullbuster's is the classic skull.  Shadowtracker's is the day-glow, horror skull.  And, Asa Negra's is the metallic, brass skull.  It's a nice mix of approaches that keeps the figures from seeming too similar while also getting the full value out of an expensive paint mask.

Asa Negra's quality is top notch.  The intricate paint masks on his head and chest are crisp.  And, the golden color is a departure from most other Red Laser releases.  He features Snake Eyes's head, done up with the gold skull mask and red goggles.  The countenance is the highlight of the figure.  He then features Clutch's chest.  This was a part I was most looking forward to.  And, Red Laser got good use out of it.  It gives the figure more depth when posed with pre-1985 Cobras.  His arms, legs and waist are non-descript.  But, his gloves (that also encompass the cuffs on his shirt) help make him stand out a bit.  He's not overly done in paint applications.  But, he has enough to not look cheap.  And, the tight joints and quality plastic give the feel of a real figure we could have played with back in 1984.

Asa Negra's accessories are sparse.  He included a grey version of the 1984 Firefly's rifle and a grey grenade.  The grenade is small and the type of thing that's easy to misplace since it neither fits into his hand or includes any type of holder.  Firefly's rifle is a solid sculpt.  But, I've found it doesn't mesh with every figure.  Having it in grey is nice.  But, after tons of releases in black in the early 2000's, the need for more Firefly rifles has definitely diminished.  Personally, I re-outfit him with other grey weapons from other figures.  Both the Snake Eyes Uzi and the Mutt Mac-11 work with the figure.  While Asa Negro doesn't need a helmet, it would have been cool for him to have some sort of pack.  A recolored JUMP would have matched his specialty, too.

2018 Red Laser Army figures have dried up.  You'll pay a substantial after market premium for most of them.  Asa Negra is seen less often than many of the Joe figures.  But, you should still be able to find one for $30 or under.  That's a lot for this guy.  But, much of the repetitiveness of the grey and black figures is lost to passed time.  So, a single figure like Asa Negra can really work in a collection.  And, as we aren't likely to ever see Red Laser's molds return to production, this is probably the final attempt at Asa Negra that we'll ever see.  I find Red Laser's figures to be great ways to expand the early Joe mythos, before Cobra got too big.  And, as there's also lots of heroes against whom they can battle, the figures really allow a collection to flourish.

2018 Red Laser Army Asa Negra, Black Wing, Factory Custom, Black Major Gold Head Steel Brigade, GHSB, Stalker

2018 Red Laser Army Asa Negra, Black Wing, Factory Custom, Black Major Python Patrol Stormshadow

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Funskool Chuckles - Around The Web

Chuckles is a figure of which I would have loved a repaint.  His mold opened itself up to a myriad of fun colors that would have made sense.  But, instead, we only got the Funskool Chuckles as an option for a variant of the character.  The upside, though, is that the Funskool Chuckles is excellent.  The bright, vibrant colors stand out.  But, the figure wasn't that common until more recent years.  So, there isn't a ton of content on him out there.  But, enjoy what I could find.

Funskool Chuckles

Funskool Chuckles, Cutter

Funskool Chuckles, Cutter

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Super Cop - Funskool Exclusive Packaging

In late 2001, a large cache of unknown figures were uncovered in an Indian warehouse.  This included a set of vehicles in a box and a carded figure as well.  This single carded oddball which used parts from the 1986 Hawk, Iceberg and Sgt. Slaughter was named Super Cop.  Almost immediately, collectors enjoyed the figure and were willing to shell out 3 or 4 times the cost of a current Funskool figure to acquire Super Cop.  He was ubiquitous for a time.  But, slowly, he somewhat faded out of memory as collectors moved on.  Once he had been absent for a while, he came back as new collectors discovered both the figure's overall quality and relative scarcity.

When the Super Cop discovery was made, the figure became instantly available in the US.  In short order, you could get them for about $12 or $13 from most US dealers of the day.  But, the stock was limited.  And, while collectors in late 2001 and early 2002 were easily able to get a Super Cop, the figure sold out and became a bit tougher to track down in fairly short order.  Within a decade, you didn't see too many Super Cops for sale.  And, now, they are a rare sight, indeed.  Even with a large number of them in the hands of collectors, they haven't permeated the collecting aftermarket.  This is likely due to the collectors who have them, deciding to keep them.  The figure is odd while also being a near perfect rendition of what it set out to be.

This particular Super Cop was produced on February 14th, 1996.  The card has a 1994 copyright.  So, it's likely that Super Cop was manufactured for at least that duration.  We know that most of the parts that were used for Super Cop were recalled by Hasbro for use in the 1997 G.I. Joe series.  So, Super Cops were not made after those molds were returned to Hasbro.  This release window is long enough that Super Cops should exist in decent numbers.  But, we've also learned that Funskool figures produced in the 1990's have not become commonplace and remain substantially more difficult to track down that their production numbers would suggest.

The main point of interest on Super Cop's card is the unique artwork.  Super Cop looks like he's kind of dancing.  It's a weird pose, but not too far removed from many vintage Joes.  The main difference is the quality.  Funskool's later unique card artwork was less polished than Super Cop.  So, this card better fits with the aesthetic of the time.  You'll note the gun barrel peeking out behind the Cop on the title of the card.  It's an unnecessary, but fun little detail.  Super Cop is also drawn to match the figure parts that were used.  You can see Iceberg's arms and Hawk's legs.  The chest is a little different and isn't a perfect match for the figure parts.  And, Super Cop's head is thinner than Sgt. Slaughter's.  But, Slaughter's head is a perfect look for what Super Cop is supposed to represent.

While the figure's card art pretty closely matches the parts that were used, his weapon does not.  Super Cop features a larger rifle on the card while he only included the tiny Chuckles pistol.  The weapon looks like a cross between the rifle included with the Talking Battle Commander Cobra Commander and the rifle included with Crazylegs.  We know Funskool had the Crazylegs rifle at the time.  And, it was pretty unlikely they had the 1992 Cobra Commander figure.  The figure does, prominently, have a pistol in his chest holster.  So, this is likely the source of the smaller pistol actually being included.  

Another point of note is the smaller bubble space on the card.  This is because Super Cop was actually posed in the bubble.  Instead of just standing like all other Joe figures, he was actually posed so that he was kneeling down.  And, his arms were raised up with the pistol glued into his hand.  This glue wasn't strong and seems to fall out of the hand rather easily.  But, this was a completely new orientation and presentation for a Joe figure.  It was a bit awkward, for sure.  But, it's another thing that makes Super Cop stand apart from his Joe brethren.

One key point of Super Cop's card is that it has no mention of G.I. Joe.  This is the likely reason that the figure was not found sooner than 2001.  With other Funskool promos (like Streethawk), the G.I. Joe name was branded on the card.  So, enterprising sellers in India knew where to market the figures.  Super Cop lacked that Joe connection.  So, it wasn't until people were scouring Indian warehouses, looking for older, more valuable Funskool releases to sell the growing ranks of American dealers that the figure was "discovered".

The cardback features the great little write up that Super Cop is a weapons expert who always gets his man.  It's not much of a characterization.  But, most people are going to use the figure either as a different Sgt. Slaughter or something completely new.  The main tidbit on the cardback is the cross sell for the police jeep and Super Cop bike.  Both of these were available in the 4 vehicle back that also included a Super Cop figure.  The Police Jeep was available into at least 2020 and is one of the few Funskool vehicles that remains affordable today.  Super Cop's bike may have a few variants and has gotten harder to find since it was mostly available in the boxed set.  

This figure cost Rs48 in 1996.  That's about the equivalent of Rs240 today.  Or, a little over $3.00.  During the Funskool import era, figures cost between Rs65 and Rs72 in India.  So, the $4.00 we paid in the US was a substantial markup.  (Especially since US dealers bought the figures for less than retail.)  But, it was still a good deal when you consider shipping and loss during transit.  It also shows how cheaply Joe figures could be made.  It's tough to swallow a $20 price point for new figures when you know that most of that is just a collector tax that falls directly to Hasbro's bottom line.

In the two decades since this figure was discovered, made available and aged out of the collecting community's general conscience, he's gotten super expensive.  Mint and complete figures will run in the hundreds of dollars these days.  (Though, I think $450 is excessive.) and even the cardback will cost you more than $20.  But, Super Cop's short supply from 2001 has caught up with him.  And, it is hard to find a sample.  I'm grateful to have been around and kept my figure from 2001 as I'd otherwise not own him.  It's a great figure, though.  And, it's unfortunate that he's priced out of the reach of many modern collectors.

Funskool Super Cop, MOC, Cardback, Filecard, India, Sgt. Slaughter, 1986 Hawk, Iceberg

Funskool Super Cop, MOC, Cardback, Filecard, India, Sgt. Slaughter, 1986 Hawk, Iceberg

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Red Jackal (Action Force Exclusive) - Around the Web

Destro is an iconic character in the Joe line who is defined by his steel mask.  In Europe, though, the figure mold didn't debut as Destro.  Instead, it was released as Red Jackal.  At it's core, Red Jackal is very similar to Destro.  But, I'd argue that Red Jackal is better just because he doesn't have the open shirt.  Though, he could stand a bit of pain on his necklace.

Red Shadows are probably oversaturated, now.  I liked them as a smaller, more localized organization that eventually morphed into Cobra.  A guy like Destro helped facilitate that from his various identities that he used on each continent.  Red Jackal was his European persona and one that he abandoned after he completed Cobra's assimilation of the European organization.  I never saw Red Shadows as a threat on the level of Cobra as they had less time to organize and, tended to be more fanatical.  (This is why the early Cobra Troopers, heavily pulled from old Red Shadows ranks, were quick to die rather than disappoint their new Commander.)  As the Red Shadows died off within Cobra, the Commander replaced them with a different breed of recruits who were less driven by fanatical ideology and more focused on the ways in which Cobra could improve their life.  The Commander offered them financial hope, like minded compatriots who felt their country abandoned them and a sense of camaraderie in that their cause was just.  This fueled loyalty but also subjects who were willing to die for the cause, but not just because a battle didn't go their way.  This made them more dangerous in the long run.

There's a bit of Red Jackal content out there.  In the early days of collecting, it was pretty easy to track them down.  And, they were, maybe, $20 figures at the turn of the century.  Even into the late 2000's, Red Jackals were obtainable and affordable.  Now, that's not the case.  The figure is expensive.  And, the premium probably isn't worth the slight uptick in quality over the cheaper and more available 1983 Destro figure.  But, the one time commonality allows for some content volume you can check out below.

Red Jackal Profile

Red Jackal Diorama

Red Jackal Bubbled Vehicle Driver

Red Jackal by dreadnokdread

Red Jackal by the kraken wakes

Red Jackal by Slipstream80

Red Jackal by 00zxcvb

Red Jackal by jdoublebigape

Red Jackal by rnrhero

Red Jackal by G.I. *Jock

Red Jackal by kushviper

Red Jackal by Slipstream80

Red Jackal by 00zxcvb

Red Jackal by Cherry Bomb Toys

Red Jackal by Action Jackman

Red Jackal by action_figure_collecting

Red Jackal by slipstream80

Red Jackal, Destro, Palitoy, Action Force, Red Shadows, 1984 Stinger, Plastirama, Ninja Ku, Argentina, Cobra Black Ninja, Mail Away Steel Brigade, Black Major, Stinger Trooper

Red Jackal, Destro, Palitoy, Action Force, Red Shadows, Black Major Red Shadows Cobra Invasor, Red Laser, Laser Exterminator

Red Jackal, Destro, Palitoy, Action Force, Red Shadows, 2016 Black Major Tank Trooper, Red Laser Army Muton, BAT, Battle Android Trooper

Red Jackal, Destro, Palitoy, Action Force, Red Shadows, 1984 Stinger, Plastirama, Ninja Ku, Argentina, Cobra Black Ninja, Mail Away Steel Brigade, Black Major, Stinger Trooper

Red Jackal, Destro, Palitoy, Action Force, Red Shadows, 1984 Stinger

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Funskool Spearhead

I've been reviewing Joes for a long time.  Every now and then, I scroll back through old profiles.  I do this now to validate old memories and also research the hobby happenings of the time.  This brings many of my old photos to light and I see them again, recalling the circumstances of their creation.  One such photo I recently stumbled upon was from a summer of 2001 profile of the Night Force Muskrat.  In the background of those photos was the Funskool Spearhead.  I have now owned this figure for 21 years.  That's three and half times longer than any vintage Joe was part of my world.  Yet, in all that time, I have little recollection of using the figure.  And, in looking through other photos, the figure rarely shows up outside of a few appearances in the early 2000's.  And, yet, this is a spectacular figure that is superior to the American release in most every way.  And, even if you consider the Night Force version of Spearhead to be better, the price and availability difference between the two still tilts favorably towards the Indian release.  

Spearhead's color palette is his primary calling card.  Instead of being based on the brown and orange figure from Hasbro (like the Brazilian release of the mold was), this Indian figure was based off the 1989 Night Force color scheme.  The result is a figure with charcoal grey, dark brown a little bit of blue highlight thrown in.  He's pretty much a Night Force figure.  But, is also different enough from the 1989 Toys R Us exclusive that he can stand on his own.  It's an interesting choice from Funskool to go this route.  And, it makes me wonder if they only had the paint masks for the Night Force figure as a reference point.  (Though, his card art shows him in colors akin to his 1988 release.)  The manner in which Joe molds moved around the world remains extremely opaque.  And, it would be interesting to learn how certain figures were chosen for foreign releases and why they were given their colors in the new markets.

One thing that has always stood out on Spearhead is the figure's bulk.  He feels bigger and taller than other Joe figures.  And, the size of his helmet doesn't help.  He often looks awkward in photos.  I do think his torso is large, as Joe figures go.  It gives Spearhead very broad shoulders.  And, he features a long neck.  (Blizzard was the same in 1988.)  So, it can be difficult to use Spearhead parts for customs.  And, you don't see the figure as often as you'd think as I don't find him an easy subject of which to get a good photo.

And, that's the main reason why this figure hasn't really gotten much use over the years.  While he looks insanely cool, it's hard to get him posed in adequate ways that meshes well with other figures.  Really, I've never much used the 1988 Spearhead for similar reasons.  Even when getting out 1988 figures, specifically, for a photo shoot, I find Spearhead not fitting into the scene.  While I love his weapon, I find it looks awkward in his hands.  Oddly, I didn't find then when I have a version of it to Salvo in the early 2000's.  There's just something about Spearhead that makes everything look out of proportion with the figure.  Ostensibly, Spearhead should be up there with Dusty in terms of desert figures.  But, he's not.  And, he's never taken on an afterlife like his 1988 classmates Shockwave and Hit and Run have.  So, that leads me to believe that I'm not alone in find the figure just a bit "off".

Spearhead includes his full gamut of accessories.  He has a grey and black helmet, a cool grey colored gun and machete and then two other pieces that are more Funskool.  He gets a neon green backpack.  And, while this color may seem out of sorts, the reality is that it actually complements the figure very well.  It provides a splash of color and the dark colors of the figure help to mute the brightness of the green.  His bobcat, Max, is a bright orange color.  It's kind of a scary, irradiated look for the pet companion.  The paint on Max can be tacky, too.  So, you'll often feel a residue left behind on your hands if you handle one.  The bright orange reminds you that this figure is Funskool.  But, the overall colors on the accessories are a perfect fit for the figure and allow him to be among the more useful Funskool releases.

The Spearhead mold was used in its entirety 4 times and his parts were used on an additional figure.  The 1988 and 1989 Night Force Spearhead figures were the lone Hasbro releases.  Shortly thereafter, the mold went to Brazil where a figure named Baoineta was released.  This figure is similar to the 1988 Spearhead figure and has two variants.  Funskool then got the mold and started producing this Spearhead version in the late 1990's.  Funskool also used the mold for their Street Hawk figure.  Early releases used the Spearhead chest with later versions only retaining the legs and waist.  Funskool also produced a significant vehicle driver variant of Spearhead that is all brown and the mold also appeared in the Calcium Sandoz figure premiums by Funskool.  Most of the Funskool variants, aside from the carded version, are hard to find and relatively expensive.  So, this carded release remains the best and cheapest option for a Spearhead fan.

While the early 2000's era Funskool figures have gotten substantially harder to find and more expensive since the supply from India dried up, Spearhead hasn't really taken on any sort of aftermarket fame.  Figures like Trip Wire (Who many collectors of his release era army built!) are four or five times more expensive than a Spearhead.  But, you'll still pay around $25-$30 shipped for a loose figure.  It's tough to find them loose and complete.  You'll see lots of dealers asking close to $100 for a loose figure, but those don't sell.  Neither do the carded figures at $60.  You can get carded figures in the $40 range with patience.  But, will have more luck at $50.  I have a long history of opening $30 foreign release G.I. Joe figures.  But, I don't think Funskool Spearheads will ever get as pricey as Flying Scorpions or Urzors.  So, if you're missing the figure, he's not overly expensive to buy a carded figure and open him up.  He's substantially cheaper than an American Night Force Spearhead and close enough in colors to make the savings more than worth it.

Funskool Spearhead, Night Force, Beach Head, 1988 Mean Dog

Funskool Spearhead, 2004 Anti Venom Roadblock, Night Force, 2018 Kickstart, Red Laser's Army, Factory Custom, Bootleg

Funskool Spearhead, 2004 Anti Venom Roadblock, Night Force

Funskool Spearhead, 2004 Anti Venom Roadblock, Night Force, 2018 Kickstart, Red Laser's Army, Factory Custom, Bootleg

Funskool Spearhead, 2004 Anti Venom Roadblock, Night Force, 2018 Kickstart, Red Laser's Army, Factory Custom, Bootleg, MOC

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Abutre Negro - Random Photos of the Day

My foray into Brazilian figures was entirely driven by the Cobra Flying Scorpion.  It was a figure that, once I was aware of its existence, I had to own.  And, in the 21 years since then, the Flying Scorpion has appeared time and time again on this site.  I get him out relatively often for a super fragile figure.  And, there's a lot of different photo shoots in which he plays a central part.  Lost in the personal appeal that the Flying Scorpion holds for me, though, is that his Cobra team mate in the Brazilian Sky Patrol might actually be a better figure.  And, while I've owned the Abutre Negro figure almost as long as I've had a Flying Scorpion, he is used infrequently and takes an undeserved back seat the primary Estrela figure in my collection.

The Abutre Negro is black, silver and red.  The color scheme works with classic Cobras as well as later Cobra releases.  Originally, I matched him up with the 1988 Destro and team.  As Iron Grenadiers have lost prominence in my collection, though, this figure finds himself more on his own.  As a kitbash, the figure is well done.  Cesspool's chest is one that should have had more uses in the Cobra ranks.  And, Dee Jay's head recolored not only gives the figure a completely different look but also gives a bit of disguising face covering that was common on most Cobras.  In short, if you found this figure in the 1990's, there is nothing about it that suggests anything other than these parts were meant to work together to create this character.

Oddly, though, this figure remains pretty obscure in my collection.  I've only photographed him once since 2012.  Which seems odd since the figure is so well done.  I just haven't had occasion to get him out and use him as often as his quality demands.  Part of that was that I rarely use aircraft in photos.  The other part is that I'm hesitant to attempt to pose him too much in fear of the brittle crotch and thumbs getting broken.  I opened my figure straight off the card back in 2002.  So, he's always been more of a collectible than a plaything.  Hopefully, I can get some more photos of him in the coming years.

One point of interest to me is that I refer to the Flying Scorpion by the English translation of his Brazilian name of Escorpiao Voador.  Yet, for the Abutre Negro, I refer to him by his Brazilian name instead of the translation of Black Vulture of Black Buzzard.  I assume it's just laziness since Escorpioa Voador is more of a mouthful than Abutre Negro.  But, also, in my collection the Flying Scorpion figure is a different character.  So, I really only ever refer to him by his proper name in collecting forums.

So, yeah, Abutre Negros are stupidly expensive.  Patrulha do Ar figures were among the first Brazilian figures to be readily available in the US.  But, they quickly disappeared by the early 2000's.  And, as wave after wave of Brazilian Python Patrol and Tiger Force figures showed up in the 2010's, the Estrela Sky Patrol figures remained relatively scarce.  As they were late releases, it's likely that the stock that was common in the late 1990's and early 2000's was overstock that was purchased by dealers and resellers and few of them were actually toys.  (Much like the 1994 figures in the US.)  So, now you'll pay well over $200 for a mint loose and complete Abutre Negro.  It's a lot and probably more than the pleasure of owning the figure is worth.

I hope that at some point the Pulse collection will move away from straight vintage homages and into more unique territory.  Producing a figure like this would be a strong way to get collectors something they wanted while not straying too far from purpose of the line.  I doubt it will happen, though, as releases have been too sparse so far for them to get into any deep cuts.

Abutre Negro, Cobra Black Vulture, Estrela, Patrulha Do Ar, Sky Patrol, Brazil, Palitoy, Shadowtrak, Red Shadows, Action Force

Abutre Negro, Cobra Black Vulture, Estrela, Patrulha Do Ar, Sky Patrol, Brazil, 1984 Rattler, 1986 Strato Viper

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Leopardo - Brazilian Exclusive Recondo - Around The Web

Everyone knows the major Brazilian exclusives.  They are either major repaints or completely new amalgamations that have captured the attention of the collecting world for over 25 years.  Lesser known, though, are the figures that are more similar to their Hasbro counterparts.  At first glance, a casual collector might not notice a difference.  But, every figure produced in Brazil is a unique release that has differences from its Hasbro ancestor.

Leopardo is the Brazilian version of Recondo.  Recondo is an iconic figure, so having a slightly different look for him from Brazil isn't a terrible thing.  The two main differences are the skin tone and the deeper shades of green on his hat and gear.  (It should be noted that there are variants in Leopardo's cammo pattern on his legs, too.  Just like the American Recondo.)  The slight differences make for a different look for Recondo.  

I was pleasantly surprised to find a good amount of content featuring Leopardo.  There are a lot of Brazilian creators who feature the figure.  But, he also appears elsewhere, showcasing that the figure was relatively easy to acquire in the 2010's for sane prices.  Now, that's less easy to do as Brazilian figures have drastically risen in price.  For a few bucks, this figure is a must own.  But, when you spend nearly $100 for one, the differences aren't really worth the premium over a Hasbro Recondo.

Leopardo Profile

Leopardo by comandos_em_acoa_gijoe

Leopardo by cobra_florence

Leopardo by 334inch_figures

Leopardo at the Attica Gazette

Leopardo by brazilvintagetoys

Leopardo by comandos_em_acoa_gijoe

Comandos Em Acoa Review

Leopardo by comandos_em_acoa_gijoe

Leopardo by cobra_florence

Leopardo by relinquished1979

Leopardo by action_1982

Leopardo by andrey_collector

Olhos de Fenix, Flecha De Veloz, Spirit Iron Knife, 1984, Estrela, Commandos Em Acao, Leopardo, Recondo, TNT, Plastirama, Argentina

Brazil, Estrela, Leopardo, 1984 Recondo, Ripcord, Plastirama, Fuego, Argentina

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Funskool Wild Bill - Around The Web

So, the whole 1982-1994 thing really burned me out.  That's why it kind of slow rolled to the end and I took a few shortcuts.  As such, April is going to be a light month.  Years ago, I called April "International Joe Month".  It never took off.  But, I'm going to heavily focus on non-US releases in April: mostly with Around The Web and Random Photo features.  I've one or two profiles to release, though.  So, they'll pop up.  Hopefully, that will give me some time to get re-energized for May.  And, if not, I already have most of the work done for Rarities Month in June.  So, there will be 12-15 new Rarities offerings coming then.

Until then, here's some of the various foreign figure content I've had saved up.  A lot of them, like this Wild Bill, don't have a ton of content as there just aren't too many photos out there using the figures.  A lot of the work done in the early 2000's when these figures were common is now gone.  So, I found what I could and encourage those who have some figures like this to get them out and take more photos.

Funskool Wild Bill Profile

Funskool Wild Bill Card Art

Funskool Wild Bill by gi_joeisthere

Funskool Wild Bill at

Funskool Wild Bill by Funskool Rony

Funskool Wild Bill by toysjoy357

Funskool Wild Bill 2009 Variant by retreat8090