Tagged: Renegades

Cobra Black Dragon VTOL Review

By Loran

With the miniscule amount of toys G.I. Joe Renegades seems to be getting, it’s a miracle we’re seeing any vehicles at all, especially one that isn’t the Coyote. We did get to see the new HISS in action (which I still need in some form), and the HISS is always great; really, it isn’t G.I. Joe without one. But there was one vehicle from Renegades that stood out to me, one that just jumped out, mostly because it was a variation on the Osprey, one of my all-time favorite pieces of military aircraft. Sure, it’s not as big as it is in the cartoon, but that sure doesn’t hurt it.

The Black Dragon VTOL takes its name from another faction in the G.I. Joe Universe, one introduced through the collector’s club back in 2005. Really, I think it’s an attempt to keep the copyright, but hey, the name works well enough. This heli is sleek. I swear, I’m gonna need a few more of these. This whole aesthetic goes perfectly with my vision of Cobra, always being one step ahead of the game in terms of military tech. On that note, actually, I might grab one of these to paint up in an Iron Grenadier color scheme. I can definitely see a lot of these patrolling good ol’ Castle Destro.

Like any good vehicle, there’s “some assembly required” and it really impressed me how Hasbro fit a vehicle this big into a box smaller than that of the VAMP. But there’s one thing that won me over: NO STICKERS! Yes, all the detail on this puppy is painted, and it looks fantastic. Stickering vehicles is okay until there gets to be over, oh, FIFTY for a single vehicle? I remembering buying a case of 25th Anniversary vehicles back in 2009, and it took me about four hours to put the stickers on all of them.

This vehicle has a good selection of gimmicks that don’t hurt it in ANY way, shape, or form. Both wings can be positioned to the rear and with a push of a button they swing into place. The second button opens up a pair of containers each loaded with four bombs and deploys a machine gun. AND IT WORKS! AMAZING. Continue reading

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Renegades Duke Review

By Loran

Oh, Duke… as I’ve said before I’m not a Duke fan. The Joe team belongs to Hawk, no questions asked. But, the Renegades cartoon made Duke somewhat cool, by playing him off as a different character. He seems to work better as a “main character” type, the inexperienced greenhorn who’s new to the team, not the commander. But, like him or hate him, I’m kind of obligated to have him on my team because of his role in the franchise’s history. I don’t mind this so much, so long as the figures themselves are good… and this one certainly is.

Unlike the Renegades Cobra Commander who had more of an animated look to him, Renegades Duke goes for a more “intermediate” style, and it really works. His outfit is clearly that of the cartoon, but a few touches make him look like any other Duke figure. And that’s a good thing! Mixing animated and “realistic” styles never really works for me. I can’t put my finger on it, but it just looks weird to imagine an Autobot team that has Classics Optimus, Animated Jazz, and Movie Bumblebee standing side-by-side. That’s why I never got into the Clone Wars toys: I didn’t have enough Star Wars figures to try going for two separate collections.

Duke’s head sculpt is one of the best head sculpts for the character I’ve ever seen. It’s not QUITE as good as the Pursuit of Cobra Jungle version or the 2005 Comic Pack figure, but it’s up there. His eyes are very blue and his hair even has some drybrush work to it to give it more “life.” I’m also glad they didn’t give him a tan. The whole “Jersey Shore” look unfortunately turned a lot of people off Renegades before the show aired, and that was a damn shame. Continue reading

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Renegades Snake Eyes Review

By Loran

The Renegades keep marching in now, with another constant of the G.I. Joe Universe: Snake-Eyes! Yeah, I figured I should just get the “big three” out of the way first, or else I’d probably never buy them. I always like to focus on the side-characters first and make up my own backstories for them and whatnot, then add all the “big names” later on. I mean, there are always gonna be Snake-Eyes and Duke figures, but how often do we get, say, a new Low-Light, Airtight, or Sci-Fi? Not often enough, I would say… and I still need to find a Low-Light…

Renegades Snake-Eyes borrows heavily from Resolute Snake-Eyes. Actually, that’s a lie… pretty much his entire mold is Resolute Snake-Eyes. That’s not a bad thing, mind you; Resolute Snake-Eyes is a great mold! I remember searching high and low for him back during the first movie and the total elation I experienced when I finally did find him. Admitted, I already had the mold from that Target-exclusive four pack, but I still wanted the full experience. For awhile he was my default Snake-Eyes, up until the Pursuit of Cobra Wave 3 one came out. Come on, we all KNOW you can’t top that one.

…and, that’s really the main problem with this figure. Until Hasbro (somehow) tops it, Wave 3 Snake-Eyes will remain the DEFINITIVE version of the character, and all other versions will just be living in its shadow. Sure, you can do some gimmicky figures like Temple Guardian, but no matter what, they won’t beat the real thing.

In fact, the only NEW parts to this figure are the arms. The head is the same as the alternate one we saw in the Wave 3 version. A nice head for sure, though I would’ve liked to see something new. Personally, the visor look never did much for me. I always preferred goggles, and one of my favorite molds for the character is the 1991 “Hockey Mask” version. I don’t know why, but I always dug it.

The new arms work well enough, avoiding the wrist problem Duke had. I don’t see the point of giving someone like Snakes the dual-joint system, since it’s not like he has any rifles to hold. The hands themselves are nice and tight, and Hasbro was smart enough to NOT band the gun to his hand itself in the package. I hate it when they do that.

Unlike Duke, Snakes got off with a pretty good assortment of weapons. He comes with two swords, a knife, a sai, a backpack, and some kind of phase machine gun? It’s odd, but it suits Snakes. Not only does he come with a lot of weapons, but he can actually store them all! Wooo! The sai and knife store in his backpack, the gun on a new-sculpt holster, and his swords in… some kind of pouch thing? Whatever, I’ll run with it.

If you already own Resolute Snake-Eyes in some form, you’re really not getting much new here aside from a pair of new arms and gear. Between him and the Wave 3 Snake-Eyes, the choice is obvious, but if you can’t find that fantastic figure or if you like Renegades, he’s good enough. Snag them from FPNYC before they disappear just like the show did!

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Renegades Cobra Commander Review

By Loran

G.I. Joe Renegades was probably my favorite incarnation of G.I. Joe of all time. In many ways it felt like G.I. Joe how I would have done it, namely the whole “Cobra is watching you” angle. The show was absolutely fantastic, and it was clear that the writers were having a blast with it. At the 2010 G.I. Joe convention, I got to see the panel that the show’s creators were hosting, and one of them said, “We’re writing this show for us, in the hopes that kids will like it, too.” A great way to approach writing a children’s show in a franchise you love, in my opinion.

I absolutely LOVE the design for Renegades Cobra Commander. It’s a departure from designs we’ve seen previously yet it’s still immediately recognizable as him, unlike his design from the movie. While I liked the design from Rise of Cobra, it’s really hard for me to use it as the “original” Cobra Commander because of how different it is. Plus, I don’t exactly like the idea of the Commander being disfigured. I always saw him as someone who just wants his face concealed. After all, remember what Fred VII said: “It could be anyone behind that mask…”

Indeed, my enthusiasm for the Renegades design mostly comes from how it was executed. Instead of looking like a straight-up dictator, Cobra Commander now looks halfway between “dictator” and “businessman”. There is nothing showy about this design. It’s very nondescript, and looks more like he’d be seen behind a desk instead of some elaborate, snake-shaped throne. I like my Cobra Commander behind a desk, running Cobra like a business enterprise. Something about that seems a bit scarier to me.

Both of the Commander’s facemasks from the cartoon are included; the half-mask from the first part of the series and the more “traditional” full mask from later on. As much as I like the mask from the earlier portion of the series, it doesn’t work for me in plastic. The skin tone is just TOO white, even for something that’s supposed to be cartoony. A lighter skin tone like the 2000-2001 figures would have been far more effective. The “classic”-style mask is a bit better, and probably how I’ll be displaying mine. I actually got the helmet from the DVD Battles figure to fit on it, and I love the way it looks. I wonder if I could find a hat and make an Old Snake custom… Continue reading

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