SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review…GI Joe 50th anniversary “Shipwreck” and “Cobra Commander” two pack

I picked up these at Toys ‘R’ Us in Spartanburg yesterday.  I’ve had my eye on them for awhile…some time back I saw them there and a larger assortment of Fiftieth Anniversary GI Joe products in the “adult collector” section.  They were a bit pricey, though cool enough for me to stare at for awhile and consider a purchase.  I saw them get marked down a few weeks ago, and finally decided Shipwreck and Cobra Commander were a cool enough deal for only $9.99.  Longtime SpartanNerd readers know that I already reviewed a couple of GI Joes, though I am certainly not hardcore.  In fact, I’m not even close to as awesome of a fan as some other reviews of this I’ve read on the internet already.  So I’ll be offering my humble opinion on what isn’t really an impulse buy, but something a little different for me.

First of all, the packaging.

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The package appears as a simple cardboard back and a blister.  The back has text in four languages.  Not sure what the “52501” over Snake Eyes is.

It is a good package, but when I carefully opened it at home, I made a discovery that really got me going!

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Using my nifty Father’s Day pocket knife, I separated the plastic blister edge and saw that the cardboard becomes a kickstand for MOC display.  This was SO BEAST!  I was opening this at 11:15 at night…It was my intention to photograph the next day, but I went ahead and broke out my photography stuff when I saw this!

I’m not a Mint on Card collector.  But this is notable, and I’ve seen no other reviewer mention this.  SO “NYA Nya nya!”

Anyways.

Opening the box reveals this.

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Multi-lingual bio cards and just the blister with everything you’ve already seen!

Back when the SpartanNerd was a kid, you would purchase GI Joes, and then cut off the bio cards from the back of the package and keep up with them.  Maybe.  If you didn’t destroy the package too badly, and could find some scissors.

These two bio cards reveal the name, and other details of the character, but the little story provided leaves alot to be desired.

(I later discovered that this set of toys is based on a comic called “The Hunt for Cobra Commander.”  It sold for 25 cents, and I will have to see if I can find that to complete the display.  The bio cards evidently depict events from the story, Cobra Commander escapes on a boat, and Shipwreck pursues him in his own boat.)

I’m not sure If I find it more annoying that it is printed in four languages or not.  Why not make four different packages, one for each language, and then you have more space for cross sells and better bio cards.

Next.  Tragedy.  When I tried to get the little silver knife out of the blister for Shipwreck, the pressure caused it to launch from the package across my kitchen.  And I haven’t been able to find it!  I didn’t really care for it…it was all silver, and reminded me for of a knife without a handle.  So sorry, guys.  No bland boring silver knife in my review!

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Here is Shipwreck with all the pieces I extracted without incident.  I removed the tactical jacket, and was surprised with he classic “NAVY” tee shirt underneath!  This is a great sculpt with lots of details.  He has glued-on details, like the holster for the pistol, which also comes with a SILENCER!  This is stored on the holster as well!  There are ammo packs and little details sculpted on, and the paint is gorgeous!  This is a small scale figure, and the paint apps rival most of my beloved six-inch figures!  Shipwreck comes with a couple of other guns, described as M4’s by the SpartanTeen, (who knows way more about guns than I do.)  And he also comes with his iconic parrot.  I don’t remember if I owned Shipwreck as a kid.  It seems like I must have.  I really remember this parrot, though.  And finally, there is a great GI JOE stand with pegs…this time with his name on the base.

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Here is Shipwreck up and ready for action.  I had a hard time getting the weapon in his hands.  His hands are small, and the handles just don’t seem to want to cooperate.  Notably, this was the case in the vintage toyline as well.

But look at this figure.  Isn’t it incredible!  He appears absolutely intense holding that rifle.  He will make a proud addition to my nerd closet, and later my music classroom!  Below is a more casual pose with Shipwreck.

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Notably, the bird doesn’t really fit anywhere.  It didn’t come with a stand.  Shipwreck can only hold him on the tips of his finger, and even this is dubious.  The parrot could probably sit on the “bar” on the back of the military vest, but I think that is supposed to serve the purpose for mounting an oxygen tank, or am I wrong?

So shipwreck has an incredible sculpt and paint job, and I played with him for a good thirty minutes to get good pictures of him.  He has some trouble holding his weapons, and the can’t even hold the little pistol with silencer, at least not firmly.  But still, for display purposes, I could make it work.  I don’t won’t to dock any points because the aesthetics of the thing are so doggone incredible!

So what about the other figure…the one that really caught my eye?  Growing up, I was always the evil Cobra guys when me and my brothers played GI Joe.  So Cobra Commander was why I bought this set, though Shipwreck turned out so incredibly well.

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No incidents in getting Cobra Commander out of the blister.  I was surprised to find that his head has a round silver painted piece that the helmet fits over…I expected it all to be one piece.  Cobra Commander isn’t meant to be displayed without the helmet, so I’m not bothering to show that to you.  But nevertheless, that is an extra piece!

The black and red color scheme for Cobra Commander…I had never seen this, and yet it feels so right!  He is usually blue, with the blue hood.  Red and black are reminiscent of the VIPER soldiers prominently featured in the cartoon…(if my memory serves me right!)

He comes with a Cobra stand.  A cape.  A hood.  A knife that sheaths to the side.  A pistol.  A futuristic looking machine gun.  And two…grenades?  Bombs?  Vials of chemical?  Really, when I first saw them in the blister, I thought they were shoulder pauldrons!  Nope.  They appear to be red canisters of what is probably toxic.  I vaguely remember “plasmatox”…”Chemical Z” or something like that.

Cobra Commander’s sculpt is every bit as impressive as Shipwreck’s, but the black paint hides some of the details.  He has some silver and gray accents.  It’s the red that makes this work.  The red shoes remind me of Ronald McDonald!  And yet, they work here because he is Cobra Commander.  A guy who builds underwater bases that rise above the sea!  A guy who is feared for his ego because of his style.  Destro even comments often about Cobra Commander’s excesses.  So he can get away with Black and Red.  It will make him look better flying the Night Raven!

Oops.  Got carried away!

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I found in posing Cobra Commander, he has more problems than Shipwreck.  His ankles are weak.  Not usually a problem for small scale figures that don’t weigh all that much anyway.  But it matters here when you are trying to get him to stand like you want and are fiddling with getting the guns in his hands, which are even worse than Shipwreck’s.  Cobra Commander can’t even hold his knife, nor the two red bomb things, which are extra bummers.  He can barely hold the pistol.

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He looks great with his hood and cape on.  I have to point out that the hood snaps on tightly to the ball joint, but the way it hangs down and touches his shoulders prevents you from articulating his head any.  AND THEN I had trouble removing it.  I was really afraid of breaking the peg.

But look how menacing he appears!  I can see him appearing on every channel around the world now, making his demands and waving that pistol!

Overall, I am going to award these figures a 5/5.  While there are some problems, I’m not entirely sure they aren’t just the SpartanNerd’s impatience with 2.5 inch figures.  I’m used to the larger scale.  But compared to the Star Wars Black Series Rey, the sculpt is better.  The paint is better.   And this is by the same company.  (Hasbro.)  What gives?

So the SpartanNerd awards 5/5 to GI Joe Fiftieth Anniversary Shipwreck and Cobra Commander.  Do you agree or disagree?  Would you like to see more reviews of GI Joes from the SpartanNerd?  Let me know that as well!  I don’t collect Joes.  But these two are incredible, and the two I reviewed from Dollar General a couple of years ago were also pretty good.  I am in a place where I am wondering what to do with this burgeoning blog.  I am running out of room for my items.  Maybe GI Joe will give me a shot in the arm.  Lego really hasn’t done it.

 

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SpartanNerd Unveiling…Gundam Sweet Beats!

Girls.  Maybe I have girls on the brain?  I recently ordered some more “Fluttershy” My Little Pony card sleeves for my Liliana, Heretical Healer Commander deck.  I reviewed “Rey (Jakku) & BB-8.”  And today I decided to unveil my secret project, mentioned almost a year ago.

I have slowly worked on this project, with the SpartanTeen and SpartanKid hotly curious about what I was going to do.  (In their minds it was a kind of contest.)  I promised them I would do something they never saw before, something almost entirely original.  And something with a cheap budget.

The SpartanTeen put together a fantastic Master Grade Gundam Sinanju.  SpartanKid put together SD Build Burning.  But I went a completely different direction altogether.

Today I unveiled “Gundam Sweet Beats” to the SpartanChildren, and am revealing her to the world!

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Gundam Sweet Beats is a combination of spare parts from two different Super Deformed kits and also the Strawberry Shortcake “Sweet Beats” doll.  Review Here.

Sweet Beats usually just hangs around strawberry plants.

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Sometimes she rips it up on guitar.

But in a rare mood, she completely transforms into a glorious giant robot, powered with strawberry scent!

Now to talk about the project a little bit.  I mentioned in my review that the doll has an unsightly waistline, as well as hair that you can’t do much with.  Well I made the waistline problem EVEN WORSE by melting a slot into it so that the jetpack can fit on her properly.

The hair has been improved.  I tried to make it really straight, like typical asian little girls to match the anime idea.  I never could get the natural “wave” out.  But still, I discovered by combing it compulsively, it slowly improved.

The “crown” piece from the gundam…well I thought I would “implant” that into Strawberry Shortcakes head.  Bad move.  Then she just had a hole in her head, and the crown wouldn’t stay on.  I super-glued some hair in place to cover the new wound, and went to plan B, which was attach it to the sunglasses, which I didn’t care for anyway.  Remember when I said the sunglasses needed something else?  Super Deformed Gundam’s decal stickers were perfect!

I had to do some destructive modification to some of the gundam parts, and Sweet Beats has FAT FEET.  So it was hard to get those feet pieces to become shoes.  But they work.  Barely.  The waist piece had to be cut, melted, and shaped to fit around her properly.  Those little engine things over her shoulders are actually the jet engines from  somewhere else on a different gundam.  And the things on her wrist are wrist pieces.

Finally, I thought I would go all out with the hair bow, and there still is a little work to do.  I intend to super-glue that to a real hair bow.  I thought about using the little one that came with Strawberry shortcake, but decided I wanted to keep that like it is.

I complained a little bit about Star Wars Black Rey (Jakku) having sloppy paint.  But of course my painting is WAY WORSE.  So maybe I should stop complaining?

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I got the idea for this project from the end credits of Gundam Build Fighters, which features a child in Gundam armor doing things.

I designed the project so that the pieces can be removed, and the doll can be played with as intended, in regular Strawberry Shortcake mode, or rockstar mode.

There ARE some “Gundam Girl” figures out there.  I wrestled with the idea of doing one of those…I also considered things like getting a Harley Quinn figure or Super Girl and gundamizing it…as much as people want to say that comic characters are over-sexualized, it was actually hard to find a female figure “nude” enough.  (It was my idea to make a sexy figure at first.)  In the end, it was better to go with cute.  And the super deformed parts match the “cute” motif better.

Gundam Sweet Beats will be on display in my music classroom!  I keep a lot of toys on display, but as I mentioned before, I don’t have many girls toys.

I’m not going to rate my own work.  Leave a comment and tell me what you think!

SpartanNerd and SpartanTeen Review…Neo Zeon Mobile Suit MSN-06S Sinanju “Ver-Ka” (Titanium Finish)

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Of all of the Gundams we have reviewed, the Sinanju is the most impressive.  In several ways.  This Gundam has a “titanium finish,” basically vac-metal plastic.  It makes it shine!  Combine this effect with the size of the figure at Master Grade 1/100 scale and the many accessories and even an additional stand, and you have an incredible item.  Above is the box.  And longtime readers know that the SpartanNerd really likes his foil!

This item cost $140, and we purchased the stand for an additional $20.  (The stand is usable with most if not all Gundams, but is detailed specifically for Sinanju Ver-Ka.)  This is a special edition, with the vac-metal.  The normal Ver-Ka would cost around $80.

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The box is almost entirely in Japanese.  As well as the instructions.  This is commonplace for basically every Gundam we have built.

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Above is the instructions for the decals and stickers.  The SpartanTeen used the regular sticker decals, rather than the water-slide decals.

I am going to show the Gundam in pieces, sort of.  There is so much here I had to “cull down” the amount of photos.

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The head really shows the small details.  The two “holes” on the side of the mask are meant to be vulcan cannons!  You can see the vac-metal and the plain gray plastic.  The crimson color goes well with the flat gray.  There is an eye detail that can’t really be seen because of the size and impressiveness of the rest of the head.

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Here is the backpack, showing all of its details in 3X faster mode.  (The legs also have details for “3x faster mode.”)  The backpack was the only truly “stupid problem.”  The backpack WOULD NOT attach to the figure as it was supposed to.  It works by a little slot mechanism that seemed to be obstructed by excessive plastic.  We solved the problem with some super-glue.  We checked other reviews of the figure, and found that ours seems to be an exception rather than the rule.

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Here the Sinanju stands, unarmed, and without his backpack.  It is very articulated.  The fingers all move like human fingers.  The arms move like a humans, the legs move like a humans.  It is a “super-articulated” design.  The shoulder armor and knee armor move to accommodate the most articulation.

The stickers are very much a foil item, and the Gundam doesn’t look right without those details.  All of the gold pictured here is a reflection of the flash of my camera!  That is how shiny it is!

The feet are on a rocker joint, and divided into toe and heel sections.

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The cockpit opens, revealing Char Aznable inside.  The cockpit is surrounded by yellow “psycho-frame” components.  The Gundam came with two different pilots.  One to stand beside on display, and one to stay in the cockpit.  The SpartanTeen (nor the SpartanNerd) can paint the tiny details required….We would if we could.  But that is a little out of our skill level at this point.

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Here are most of the accessories.  I say most, because, the Grenade Launcher/Shotgun wasn’t ready at the time of the review.  Notice the “beam-effect” parts.  These are interchangeable with the axe, and with the shield.

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You can see, this opens up an incredible array of display options!  The shield is very large and impressive.  The SpartanTeen doesn’t prefer the axe.  (This is more of a SpartanNerd thing.  See He-Man!)

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The beam saber isn’t a lightsaber at all.  The beam effect is detailed and rippled, rather than being a straight lazer sword.  It did come with two beam effects, we just wanted the readers to see the hilt disarmed as well as armed.

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The gun has expandable options as well.  The scope can move, and you can add parts from the shotgun/grenade launcher.  (Not pictured.)  Notable, the shield has a place to store the shotgun/grenade launcher.

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Here is the Sinanju standing on his own.  The backpack adds a lot of weight, causing some balance issue, but not much.  Notable, it was easy not to have the legs snapped all the way in.  They kept coming off until the SpartanTeen figured out how to fully snap them in.  (Sorry, the lighting system took accidental damage, and so this picture and all the rest are using flash only

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Here is the Sinanju holding the shield an on his custom stand.  The stand is a separate item, and will be reviewed later.  But the stand is the perfect way to display this incredible investment.

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As we have done in the past, we are now going to give this Gundam a grade!

Here is our criteria, each item getting a score.  We would like to say ahead of time, this Gundam is almost perfect!

Each item gets a score…
1 Too wrong
2 not right enough
3 could be better
4 pretty good, but…
5 perfect
Construction
Was it difficult considering the level it is supposed to be?  4
Stupid problems?   3  (cables around the legs, and backpack had to be glued.)
Instructions easy to read?  5
Diagrams clear?   5
Stickers? Paint    5
Articulation
stands easily?    5
moves without falling apart    5
posable/interchangeable hands    5
lots of articulation points     5
Dynamic poses    5
Accessories
Weapons     5
holds weapons/appropriate weapons      4  (some problem holding the gun and shields.)
Stand   5  (available as a separate item.)
expansions    5  (see above)
Weapon storage   5
playability
durable     4
photogenic    5
holds weapons?    5
Reasonable Facimile to media representation    5
Aesthetics    5   (that shiny plastic is incredible!)
Figure-specific features
morph/ transform/ change form    5
action feature    3
LED lights   1
Diarama     5
Pilot included?  Does he fit in the cockpit or is he in scale or not.    5
To tabulate the score, we add up all of the values, and then come up with an average.
The SpartanTeen and SpartanNerd Gundam Evaluation Checklist says that the Sinanju receives a 4.92.  So far the only Gundam coming in higher is Char’s Zaku II-S (2.0), which had a score of 5.2.
What do you think?  Leave us some feedback in the comments!

SpartanNerd and SpartanTeen Review…Gundam Heavyarms XXXG-01H (Model)

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(SpartanTeen is commenting on the model, while the SpartanNerd is taking pictures.)

Heavy arms whole body is a weapon.

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Lots of details need paint, so the details will pop.

I messed up at first, and decided to trick it out with battle damage.

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Painting the joints makes them easy to come apart at the chest doors for the Vulcan cannons.

The hands are a pain.  The interchangeable hands make it easy for Heavyarms to drop his gun.

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Why didn’t the beam saber come with a blade?

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The chain ammunition comes apart easily, and the bullets go everywhere.

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It is very sturdy, and probably could survive three foot falls.

This is my favorite model so far.

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SpartanNerd/SpartanTeen Gundam Evaluation Checklist

1 Too wrong
2 not right enough
3 could be better
4 pretty good, but…
5 perfect
Construction
Was it difficult considering the level it is supposed to be?    5
Stupid problems?   2
Instructions easy to read?   1
Diagrams clear?   5
Stickers? Paint     5
Articulation
stands easily?   5
moves without falling apart    5
posable/interchangeable hands    2
lots of articulation points    5
Dynamic poses    5
Accessories
Weapons   4
holds weapons/appropriate weapons   4
Stand     1
expansions      1
Weapon storage     4
playability
durable     5
photogenic     5
holds weapons?      5
Reasonalbe Facimile to media representation     5
Aesthetics     5
Figure specific features
morph/ transform/ change form      5
action feature    1
LED lights    1
Diarama      1
Pilot included?  Does he fit in the cockpit or is he in scale or not.     5
SpartanNerd/SpartanTeen rate Master Grade Heavyarms XXXG-01H 3.68 out of 5.
(More pictures following.)
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