Saturday, August 18, 2012

Soldier Force A10 Air Strike - UPDATED!

Bought in France during Christmas (2008), it was a very hard to find item. A precious A10 (G.I.Joe Rattlers included, our collection must have around half a dozen now) and very realistic details. A gem!

One of Chap Mei collector´s "Holy Grails". And for some time thought to be but a prototype for package pictures.

Included items. Not many accessories, but who cares? That A-10 was all it was needed!

A great machine, with notorious similarities to G.I.Joe´s 1984 Cobra Rattler mold.

 The "Warthog" is a very appreciated aircraft for not only it represents air to ground "God´s wrath", but it´s a different airplane in so many aspects it cannot be mistaken by any other. As a toy, this one is near perfection.

Landing gear detail and weapons nests. As the real thing, this A-10 comes fully loaded and ready for tank busting.

The chin gun is not an incorporated 7-barrel Avenger, but a nice twist in design.

The weak spot here is the cockpit. I can´t understand where they were headed. Strangest of all that is strange, the actual CM figure won´t fit the airplane.

Engines detail (great).

... and interesting cockpit bubble turret gun incorporation. The gun goes through it when open.

Figure: Captain Red A-6

 Figure: "Lieutenant Cooper - Tank Commander".

This is a marvelous piece of toy engineering and if you can find it, be sure to GET IT!

The camouflage looks awesome, the scale (for a toy) is fairly accurate.

Weapons array.

Bombs can be dropped and missiles shot away!

Really big tanks/bombs.

Very nice graphics...

Only a couple of accessories for this set, but the main attraction is the A-10!

But this backpack / parachute is one of the most decently 1:18 scaled backpacks from Chap Mei!  And looks sweet!

A-10s... always in pairs!

Status: Unavailable


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Super Zoids: Slime

Worlwide known as Malder, this Zoid has a somehow complicated history and dates from 1985 originally (Japan). While it is said the European version (the one you will see here) dates from ´86, it´s actually printed MCMLXXXV (1985) on the back of the box.  

This seemingly innocent looking mutant Red Zoid has a hidden armoury of deadly cannons in his shell. He´s fearsome when roused!!!

1985, Tomy UK, Ltd.

Included parts. One missile is missing. This European release came with one extra missile, that was actually really extra since there was no place for it.

Included pilots: 1.

Like most Zoids of its time, came with a "attach the accssory labels in places you think best" note. So for all review purposes, I´ll just show you the actual toy. 

Red Zoid Slime, EMZ-001. All known versions of Malder/Slime have only two caps on the side of the shell. This one comes with 3, like the future Dark Malder.

Weapons platform slides outand reveals a gunner station.

Front section of the shell flips forwards to reveal the missile launcher.The european release had the spring removed, meaning one cannot shoot the missile it sticks in there. This model comes with 2 missiles, like said above. But the missile launcher only has room for one. A later model had a double missile system.

Snail-type Mutant Zoid has room for two 1/72 scale figures but only include one "mind rider".

This Zoid is powered by a small wind-up motor providing cool but weak locomotion. Head comes in and out of the shell while it goes forward.

"Zoids, easy to build, fun to collect."



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Zoids2 - Zoidzilla

Probably the most iconic Zoid, the most stunning and fearsome looking, the Gojulas

While it had lots of versions in Japan, this European 1996 release was the 2nd, for Zoids2, and always a winner!

TOMY, 1996. European box.

1/72 scale, complex assembly with many fragile connections. When done, a beauty!

This is the terrifying Tyrannosaurus Rex from the Zoid world. When assembled it reaches the height of 28cm (11in).

... its arms and head move and its mighty feet leave a path of destruction...

A terrifying sight to all its enemies...

Especially when a sinister and bright green glow sparkles from its cold eyes and fang filled mouth. 2 "AA" batteries are needed for the cockpit/mouth light.

2 "C"size batteries are needed for its incredible locomotion.

On/Off switch and motor view. This Zoid weights around 1Kg(2.2lbs)! While the box promotes it as easy to build, it is not that easy, and certainly not for a child. In the end, every minute was well spent!

Squeezing claws on movable arms.

Only one "Mind Rider Pilot". And sits between the eyes of the mightiest Zoid!

14in (36cm) from nose to its heavily armed tail...

Zoidzilla, Gojulas... has left the biggest footprint ever in Zoid world. The most amazing machine in the battlefield.

Status: On eBay soon

Friday, August 3, 2012

Tek Force Ro-Bo Jumbo

Catec´s Tek Force huge space battle station/robot/dropship/control centre is one of the most obscure vintage 80s toys ever.

Huge, heavy and actually very cool, looks like decent quality toy in the line of popular toys from the 1980s.

The box shows figures from known brands, which would end up in huge lawsuit these days (at least). The funny copyright notice reads: "CATEK (C) 1984. All rights reserved". From whom?

3 distinct forms: Ro-Bo Jumbo (main form which gives this toy its name), Control Centre and Battle Station.

The most impressive note about the box has to do with the details: "Motorized Control Centre with holding areas for figures and transformable vehicles and robots...". This would be alright, but then they pushed the envelope: "... such as STAR WARS(TM), G.I.JOE(TM), GOBOT(TM) ,TRANSFORMER(TM)". I´m not sure how trademark laws worked in 1984, but this would be a sight to be seen these days...

The 50x30x20cm (20x12x8in) box is quite heavy, around 2.6Kg (5.7lbs).  The whole concept reminds me of the Go Bots Command Centre transforming into the Operation Omega ship from model brand Hasegawa, but we´ll see that in more detail as this review is probably the longest I´ve ever done in pictures.

Comes inside a nice styrofoam box, all things in their places and small parts bagged, sticker sheet and instructions. I´d hardly consider it as a knockoff or bootleg toy since it doesn´t copy any particular vehicle from any line.

Included parts and stickers applied. A great load. Strange as no more Tek Force vehicles for this scale are actually out there (Catek also produced a couple of chariots for 5" figures like Masters of the Universe), and this actual set seems to be their swansong before being pushed off the market. I´m guessing those box graphics had something to do with it...

Main vehicle/station/robot body.

In this position, a 2 platform ramp opens up!

Top has a landing strip and the rear shows an equipment bay area.

Robot arms deployment.

While the landing strip is one of the pre-applied stickers, and being a long one, it´s always rolling in, or peeling off, it´s a normal thing, I guess. The top right image box shows the cardboard insert which is a more durable straight platform.

It can hold a considerable number of small vehicles in "Control Centre" mode. Pictured, a Transformer, one of the publicized brands!

The back includes a flipover (one must actually imagine the "auto-flip", since it has to be manually taken off and reconnected with the cannon side (already assembled).

Mechanical vehicles. Comes with 2, and each using 2 C-size (UM) batteries (not included). When working, 2 bulbs light up behind the red transparent plastic plates (hey, it was the 80s) and it moves forward. They make a screeching sound from the 9V engine and crank wheel scheme.

One curiosity: over the years, I´ve owned 2 of these (let´s call them rare) toys. One when I was a 6 year-old and one when I already considered myself a collector. Each had only 1 mechanical vehicle smoothly working. I´ve recently acquired another MISB set and same deal, the bulbs light on one of them, the engine is heard working, but I´m sure the crank wheel is loose by the 9V engine so there is no movement.

And here´s another one of Catec´s examples.

Free wheel vehicle. Comes with 2.

Yet another publicized brand to use with this set.

Cockpit. Holds two 3 3/4" figures. Looks like a Robotix cockpit too.

Mode 1: Control Centre.

Really big vehicle. Powered by the 2 mechanical vehicles, moves forward, left and right. Depending on which vehicles are at work.

Impressive sight, nonetheless. And all the lines seem to trace back to Japanese designs. However, this toy was made in China (box printed in Hong Kong). 

Mode 2: Ro-Bo Jumbo.

Using the mechanical vehicles as feet, it moves like the previous mode. Arms move very little.

In this case, the station becomes the combat robot, and since the main section is now vertical, forget the extra space for vehicles and figures.

Ro-Bo Jumbo is now controlled by 2 action figures of your choosing. Head (cockpit) moves 360ยบ.

On to the 3rd mode, my favorite mode, "Battle Station".

First, the tail cannot be attached, as pictured on the box. The instructions do not consider it nor does the (now inverted) section have a rail connection to suport it.

 Mode 3, "battle station" as instructed.

Still, a very cool looking dropship.

How big it is.

Ready to deploy whatever cargo it holds.

Or ready to receive! It´s actually the transforming factor. What was up, is now down, what was back is now front. 

My favorite ramp, a must for any conceived dropship, the touch and go concept.

Little under the 4" mark from belly to floor.

 While on air, gun turrets can be attached to the landing gear. Of course, it can´t land with these on.

On its own time, I know how fun it was to own of these. Finding one was the real problem. And still is!
Status: To be listed on eBay.