9/13/2009

GI Joe 25th Anniversary Original 13: Grunt

Continuing on with the "Heavyarms saw his picture on the box and was fascinated with the character" meme, we pick up with Grunt. Check out that card art. Grunt's the guy that grabs his M-16 and charges into the firefight. The other Joes got laser guns and bazookas and mortars and missile launchers or got to be commandos. Not Grunt, he just got a rifle.

5 Grunt

How does an eight year old boy reconcile this, though? All the other Joes have some sort of specialty, what about Grunt? I had a friend that actually had the audacity to suggest that "Grunt" was just a grunt. A generic soldier. Cannon fodder. As in, there was more than one "Grunt." A retarded idea if you ask me. GI Joe is the code name for America's highly trained special mission force. There's no room for average grunts there. Besides, Grunt had a real name, Robert Graves. When I was a kid I decided that Grunt was GI Joe's ├╝ber-soldier. He did soldier stuff, and he soldiered like no other soldier had ever soldiered. He did it all, walked point, reported for KP duty, could hold his own in a firefight. Grunt was the member of the team that did the dirty work, from taking watch at 3am to performing flanking maneuvers in the field to walking right up to a Cobra HISS and dropping a grenade in the cockpit.

Grunt, like Grand Slam, did not get a single-card release but instead was another store-exclusive, released in one of the three "Senior Ranking Officers" three-packs available only at Toys R Us. Grunt came with his helmet, knife, handgun, UZI, and a giant M-16 with an underslung grenade launcher, which I didn't like so I replaced it with a cooler M-16 I got from the great folks at Marauder, Inc.

8/24/2009

GI Joe 25th Anniversary Original 13: Grand Slam

Here's another Original 13 member that was originally released as a vehicle driver. Well, actually he was released with the Heavy Artillery Laser (HAL), so I guess he wasn't really a "driver." Except for a different head, the Grand Slam figure released in 1982 was indistinguishable from Flash, he even had the same red oven-mitt pads. In 1983 Grand Slam's pads were repainted silver and he was included with the GI Joe JUMP Jet Pack.

For the 25th Anniversary Line, Grand Slam was included as the driver for the Target-Exclusive Night Spector, which was a olive-green repaint of the classic Joe flying submarine, the S.H.A.R.C. Since it was Target-exclusive, you either found this thing on clearance on an endcap or you didn't find it at all, I don't think there was an in-between. The three Target-exclusive vehicles (blue Cobra HISS, the Night Specter, and the A.W.E. Striker) all cheaped out, the file cards were printed on the side of the box and they did not get stands so Grand Slam is the only 25A O13 character that didn't get a stand with his name on it.

4 Grand Slam

25A Grand Slam is just a straight repaint of 25A Flash. Just like the original Grand Slam, his only accessories were a helmet and visor...no weapons or any kind...so I bought an extra Flash and gave Grand Slam his XLM-1A Laser Rifle. I also had an extra Joe JUMP pack laying around, so he got one of those since the 83 version came with one, too. Like Clutch, Grand Slam wasn't really high on my interest list as a kid and I guess I gotta blame that on the fact that he was a vehicle driver as well. Also, I probably just assumed Flash was included with the HAL since he looked the same as Grand Slam and was already they team laser expert and was more awsum.

8/22/2009

GI Joe 25th Anniversary Original 13: Flash

So, with today's figure I realize that I maybe shouldn't have gone with the idea of posting them in alphabetical order. Flash actually is the one figure that I would say embodies all this stuff, this "remote admiration/interest" I had for the Original 13 characters. I mean, I was a Flash fan. Here was this guy, he had green fatigues just like the other guys, but was a little different. He had this visor on his helmet, and these weird (read: cool) oven mitt pads over his uniform. The other Joes were carrying carbines while this guy was packin' HEAT. His card art suggested to me that Flash was the guy the other Joes called when it was time to bring the pain. And his codename..."Flash"...is there a better name for a guy who is the team laser rifle expert?

3 Flash

I think that what I always found interesting about Flash was that, at least according to the card art, Flash looked to be easily the most sci-fi-ish of the Joes. The other guys had machine guns and pistols and bazookas and crossbows, but not Flash. He had the thing that could burn through the armor plating on a Cobra HISS, and then cook the snakes inside. This was before I saw any of the GI Joe cartoons where as soon as the fit hit the shan everybody just reached for their standard-issue laser rifles and Flash just chilled in the ready room playing video games and reading Popular Mechanics.

The stupid thing is, through all this interest and love I had for the Flash figure, I never actually asked my parents to buy one for me. Oh well, the 25A version is good enough for me. Flash was only released as a single-carded figure, and was actually the one that got me wondering if it would be possible that Hasbro would released all of the Original 13 in 25A form. In fact, the 25A Flash figure was only the fifth version of Flash released since 1982.

8/20/2009

GI Joe 25th Anniversary Original 13: Clutch

Our second O13 figure was not a single-carded figure but a vehicle driver. Clutch's ride of choice was the Multi-Purpose Attack Vehicle (VAMP), and thankfully he was included with the 25th Anniversary release of the VAMP. Or more appropriately, thankfully Hasbro released the VAMP in the 25A line. Strangely, the 25A box art boasts that the VAMP includes the figure "Double Clutch." I'm glad Hasbro thought to put his correct codename in his stand.

2 Clutch B

Unlike the regular figures, I didn't really care much about the early Joe vehicle drivers, I guess because their character art was usually never included on the back of regular figure cards. Also, because young Heavyarms knew that Cobra vehicles were where it was at. However, the VAMP has actually grown on me, probably because its olive green paint job fits so well with the the figures. And I just realized that was a little gay.

2 Clutch A

Anyway, Clutch is on of the few Original 13 I don't really have any attachment to but I'm glad he's part of the collection. Just check out that non-reg facial hair.

8/17/2009

GI Joe 25th Anniversary Original 13: Breaker

For me, there were three milestone, or "gold standard" toy lines during the 80's; Star Wars, Transformers, and GI Joe. Sure, there were other good lines, MASK, Centurions, He-Man, etc. but for me, these three were the pinnacle of toy-having. Chances are, if you were a boy in the 1980's you had multiple toys from at least one of these lines in your toybox. More than likely, you had at least one from all three.

I have said before that life in the Heavyarms household was rarely stimulated by television, so I didn't have the exposure that most other boys my age had to Transformers and GI Joe, namely, those 30 minute toy commercials claiming to be afternoon cartoons. To date, I have seen maybe 5 Transformers episodes, probably even fewer GI Joe episodes. No, my love for these two toy lines was fertilized by that big steaming pile of manure otherwise known as my imagination. What characteristics and personalities my GI Joe toys had was based solely on the info I got from their file cards, and sometimes from just a picture from the back of another toy's card.

1982 was the year that GI Joe hit toy shelves, and it did so rather ambiguously at first, with 13 characters that are now known in Joe circles as the Original 13. Later years became more colorful, with more memorable characters but for 6 year old Heavyarms, the guys in the plain old green fatigues (the uniform most of the Original 13 wore) were the ones that captured my imagination. When the 25th Anniversary line debuted, I didn't think it would be possible to own all 13, but a few single-carded figures, 5-packs, vehicles, online- and store-exclusives later, I am proud to present the Original 13 GI Joes, 25th Anniversary style!

1 Breaker A

First up is Breaker, the Joe Communications specialist. Breaker's card art suggests a guy that always in the thick of things, yelling into his radio requests for air strikes and artillery support.

Breaker was actually released twice in the 25A line, both released in 2008. First in a comic 2-pack alongside Destro and a reprint of Issue 14 from the Marvel's GI Joe comic series. This version came with webgear with painted details, a pistol, backpack, helmet and radio headset, a stand that said "CODENAME: Cpl. Breaker," and a bubble. Apparently in the comics Breaker had a reputation for being a gum-chewer.

1 Breaker B

The second time Breaker was included in the RAM Cycle vs Flight Pod vehicle set, along with a Tele Viper pilot for the trouble bubble. This time Breaker only included plain black webgear, a pistol, a helmet, and a stand that just said plainly "CODENAME: Breaker."

8/10/2009

Millennium Falcon Collection, Day 14: Extraordinaire

So, here it is, the gem of my MF collection, the piece de resistance . This Falcon was actually a display piece at Toys R Us stores across the country. It is not in-scale with the actual prop used in the movie. Instead, it is a large scale mock-up of the POTF2 version right on down to the decals. There were only about 700 of these ships made.

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Around 1998 or so (I'm not really sure), the Rosie O'Donnell show held a raffle that you could enter to win one of 500 of these beasts. About three or four months after we entered, I got a note that I had won the ship. There was a letter that I had to sign that said I would never use it for profitable purposes or sell it . I had to have this letter notarized and return it. A month or so after that, there was a giant-ass box waiting for me at the front door.

This thing is huge. Standing on its tail it is six feet tall. I included my Legacy Collection Falcon as a size reference. For the first three years or so of my marriage it was suspended from the ceiling of my play room. The only thing you could do was sit under it, though. I said it was HUGE. Sadly, they were given away on an "as-is" basis, and as you could imagine, the couple of years most spent on display were rough on these ships. Mine show evidence of being under a skylight, it is very yellowed near the right rear of the ship, which would be the part directly perpendicular to an overhead skylight. Several of the decals have fallen off as well, and one of the electric lights from the top has fallen in the ship. It's still a beautiful piece though.

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6/04/2009

Millennium Falcon Collection, Day 13: The Legacy Collection

12 OTC 1

OMFG. What else can you say about this thing? I got it from my wonderful, beautiful, sweet, gorgeous, patient, loving, caring, kind wife for our wedding anniversary last year. It is, without a doubt, the greatest single Star Wars toy/play set ever created. Where to start? The thing's loaded with electronics and sounds. There are five or six buttons througout the outer hull, each one that plays multiple sound effects. The engine lights up and glows blue. Any time you move something on the ship, it makes a sound.

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The landing ramp opens automatically with the press of a button. It makes a sound, and two bright LEDs on the underside of the hull illuminated the ground on either side of the ramp.

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You can pull the "hidden" cannon out, and it will fire a spring-loaded missile. You can't see it in the above photo, but for the first time an action figure-scale Falcon comes with a lower quad-cannon.

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On the left side of the ship is a hatch that opens up to reveal the Falcon's escape pod. Opening and closing the hatch, as well as removing and returning the escape pod to its port also play sound effects. On the side of the hull directly above the pod in the photo is a knob that, when twisted, will rotate the satellite dish.

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The cockpit is large enough to fit four figures. The front seats slide forward and back to accommodate different sized figures. There are lights on the rear bulkhead behind the rear seats. The interior of the cockpit is incredibly accurate...

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...as is the rest of the interior. The chess table lights up and comes with tiny little figures. The couch around the table is curved just like the real thing.

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The console and chair Han is sitting at are very close to what is seen on screen, as is the tiny little seat Obi-Wan is sitting on. There is even a training remote included. The same knob that rotates the satellite dish moves the little arm the training remote hangs from. Directly beneath Luke's and Obi-Wan's is the hatch that Han and Lando Calrissian climb through to perform repairs on the ship during The Empire Strikes Back.

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Although the ship has two quad-cannons, it only comes with one gunnery chair. Not terribly disappointing, though, considering how great this thing is. You can see the lower quad-cannon through the window behind Han.

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This is the med bay, which is immediately aft of the boarding ramp. There is a small hole which supposedly is going to fit an accessory that comes with a figure or pack of figures later in the line. To the right of the med bay are a set of double doors that allow access to the rear of the ship, but there is no access to what is beyond.

What else can I say. This is an impressive ship, the highlight of my collection. I know its pricey, but I just can't recommend this enough to any Star Wars fan.

6/01/2009

Millennium Falcon Month, Day 12: POTF2

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This version of the Falcon was released in 1995, and really it is nothing more than the original Kenner Flacon with a fancy paint job and some electronics added. It's not to scale by any stretch, but it's still a necessary ship to add to any Star Wars vehicle collection.

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The only bad thing about this ship is that it was originally designed to fit the old-style Kenner action figures, so you can't really fit the larger, beefed-up POTF2 figures in the cockpit or the gunner's station. That's why I've got my old Star Wars figures manning the battle stations. You can also fit the more recent figures in the ship. There's no way that the POTF2 Han Solo or Chewbacca are going to fit in the cockpit, at least at the same time.

11 POTF2 3

For those who don't have one, all the normal stuff you'd expect to move will move. The satellite dish and quad-cannon rotate, landing gear and boarding ramp extend and retract. The one bad thing is that because of the placement of the front landing gear, the Falcon is a little front heavy and will have a tendency to tip forward.

11 POTF2 4

The interior may seem a little sparse, but compared to the interior of the other Kenner ships or even the AT-AT, its downright spacious. There's the chess table, a smuggling compartment, and gunner's chair. It was also fun to open this ship and put it together, there were a lot of decals to put on and that's something I've always enjoyed doing with my toys. The detail on the inside of the ship? That's one, big, continuous decal.

This version of the Falcon has been eclipsed in recent years in terms of being really impressive, but its still an awesome ship and one I'm glad to have in my collection.

5/30/2009

Millennium Falcon Month, Day 11: POTF2 Carrying Case

10 POTF2 Case 1

Released in 1997 as part of the Power of the Force line, I believe this was the first time this case was available. I don't think it was made for the original run of Star Wars figures. The space inside the case are rather large, and I don't think it would have held the smaller original figures very well. The case came with one of two exclusive figures, Wedge Antilles or an "Imperial Scanning Crew" member.

10 POTF2 Case 2

The case has room for 18 figures (plus one that you could stash in the cockpit area). I'd like to tell you that when I got this case I was thinking "Millennium Falcon collection," but that ain't the case. Believe it or not, this was the first time it was possible to buy a Wedge Antilles figure. That's right, folks...aliens that appeared for half a second in the Cantina or Jabba's Palace? They probably had a figure for that. But the only rebel pilot to participate in the destruction of both Death Stars AND the Battle of Hoth, well, you had to wait until 1997 to get his action figure. He was available again a year later in a "Cinema Scenes" three-pack along with Ten Numb and Arvel Crynyd, their claims to fame being Nien Numb's brother and the guy that crashed into the Executor's bridge, respectively. This version was a less beefed up version and also had a removable helmet.

10 POTF2 Case 3 There were actually two variations for Wedge. Originally, he was released with the piping on his shoulders painted white and Luke Skywalker's helmet markings. This was quickly rectified, and I'm pretty sure the error variant is pretty damn pricey on the secondary market. But why would you want a Wedge figure with an inaccurate helmet, anyway?

10 POTF2 Case 4

I think the 15 year wait was worth it, though. Just look at the level of detail on that helmet. There's no way that would have been possible on the vintage figures.

5/24/2009

Millennium Falcon Month, Day 10: Galactic Heroes

9 GH MF 1

I have resisted most of the ships from the Galactic Heroes line. They're just so cool looking (to me) that I'm scared I'd want to get them all. The only one I've allowed myself so far is the Falcon (although I have been tempted by Darth Vader's TIE Fighter and severely tested by the Rebel Snowspeeder and I'd be all over a AT-AT.)

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This Falcon came with four figures; Bespin Han Solo (I don't know where I got the ANH version of Han pictured, but he's the pilot of this ship), Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2(not pictured). It's also loaded with sound effects. The button on top of fthe quad-cannons makes the cannons move back and fort (in and out) and also makes a firing sound. There is another button on the outer hull that makes a couple of "the Falcon's engines won't start" sounds. There is are two buttons inside the ship. If you press one a couple of times will make a few "R2-D2 fixing the ship" sounds. Once you do this, you can press the button on the outer hull again and it will make a "Falcon jumps to hyperspace" sound. Every time you press the button after that it will make the classic "Falcon fly-by" sound. This is only temporary, though, because as we all know, the Falcon is a piece of junk and its only a matter of time before her engines give out again. The inside of the ship is pretty much what you see here.

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Unfortunately, this ship was a Wal-Mart Exclusive. It was widely available in the store at the time of its release, but for some reason this thing goes for crazy money on the secondary market. Its a nice little piece to add to your collection, but I don't think its worth what sellers are asking for it by a long shot.

5/17/2009

Millennium Falcon Month, Day 9: Star Wars/Transformers Crossover

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FEB 2007

So, this is one of the first posts I ever made at this here blog. I'm working on a new light box so I can photo larger stuff, and thought I'd recycle this seeing as how its topical and all.

I got this for my birthday, so I don’t know where it was purchased. I know that I’ve seen this toy on sale at both Wal-Mart and Target recently, so you should be able to get it at a decent price.

To be honest, this line of figures has never really appealed to me. Counting this one I’ve only got three of the figures and I’ve gotten all of them as gifts, I don’t think I would have ever gone and bought these for myself. That being said, I AM a collector of all things Millennium Falcon (my wife would ask, "What AREN'T you a collector of?"), with several different versions of the ship. After getting this one out of the box, I think it will make a welcome addition to the collection.

Robot Mode
The Falcon is comprised to two figures, Han and Chewie. What's nice here is that, when transformed into vehicle mode, none of the characteristics from robot mode show through. However, in robot mode each figure doesn't just look like a chunk of the Falcon with a head stuck on top. Each bot features some characteristics of the actual character they represent exhibited.

SWTF Falcon 2

The Han figure (we'll call them mechs) tries to convey the image of Han from Episode V. The lower legs and feet have some dark gray highlights reminiscent of his black boots. Han's overall scheme is designed to evoke the uniform he wears through much of the first part of The Empire Strikes Back. The thighs are painted brown to represent his pants, and even feature yellow "Corellian bloodstripes" on the sides of the legs. The shoulders and lower arms have some dark blue as well, that hearken back to his dark blue jacket. The head isn't a BAD representation, per se...it kind of captures Han's furrowed brow and poofy 70's haircut. When you consider that these are only supposed to be mechs and not the actual, living character, it works. There's even a neat little headset molded on the the figure's head. The figure itself, however, just sort of fails. Because of the transformation, part of the Falcon's hull forms a kind of pair of wings and the "torso" is very big and bulky. That, coupled with the figure's tiny feet, makes the thing very unstable and top-heavy. The arms are another shortcoming. Because of the way the toy is designed, the shoulder armor doesn't allow the arms to be positioned horizontally. You can't take Han's arm and raise it up so that it looks like he's firing a blaster, you can only pose him to make it look likes he's firing from the hip or just holding his blaster kind of nonchalantly. The upper quad cannon is Han's blaster. There is also a hole on the "wings" where you can insert the radar dish, which must be removed when transforming into robot mode. Compared to the other figures in this line, the Han figure is just kind of...average and not really fun.

SWTF Falcon 3

The Chewie mech, however, is a completely different story. There are brown "fur" highlights from his head to his feet. These little highlights are completely hidden in vehicle mode. The feet even have little clawed toes. (Do wookies even have clawed toes or any toes, for that matter? I don’t know, but why the heck wouldn’t they?) The legs start out narrow near the hips and gradually widen to the ankles and the feet are those big, clunky, shuffling feet of a wookie. The torso is, again, narrow at the hips and widen at the shoulders giving the mech a powerful appearance. The upper arms are molded completely in brown and are textured to give the appearance of fur and there are brown "fur" highlights on the forearms as well. The lower "quad" cannon is actually just a double barreled cannon that is removed to become Chewie's bowcaster. The Falcon's cockpit is removed and can be placed on a hole on either of Chewie's shoulders, sort of like the battery/rocket launcher on G1 Soundwave. That brings us to the figure's head, and this is the feature that really makes this a great figure. The head evokes a fierce wookie warrior, baring his fangs. It also shares the brown fur motif found throughout the rest of the figure. However, if you look a little closer you see that the "fur" is not fur at all but actually a series of lines and cables. Up close the head is completely mechanical and robotic looking (or at least a mechanical facsimile of an organic head), but seen from afar the figure simply looks like a wookie dressed in a suit of armor. Chewie's mech figure more than makes up for the shortcomings of Han's figure.

SWTF Falcon 4

Vehicle Mode
It works, and it doesn't. Let me explain. I'm not going to complain that the vehicle is out of scale. I understand that the toy's designers basically had to make a flying saucer transform into two relatively convincing humanoids. So sure, the Falcon may be too thick for it's length, or too long for it's width or whatever...it's still in the shape of the Millennium Falcon and it's still got all the little bits and pieces and hunks and chunks in the right places. No one is going to look at this and confuse it for the ship from The Day the Earth Stood Still, so in that sense the vehicle works. Each half also features a battery powered light and sound feature operated by a button. The front section lights up (actually in the same exact place that the Falcon for the 3 3/4 in. action figures lights up). By pressing the button and letting go you can hear someone doing a passable Harrison Ford impression saying some classic Han catchphrases like "I’ve got a bad feeling about this." By pressing the button and holding it down, you hear the sound of the Falcon's quad cannons firing. The back section lights up where the Falcon's engine exhaust is located. By holding down the button you hear the sound of the Falcon's engine roar and the light come on. By pressing the button and letting it go, you can hear such classic Chewie catchphrases as "Rwoooaaarhhh" and "RwoooAAARRRHHH."

SWTF Falcon 1

My problem is with the accessories. The upper quad-cannon, the cockpit, and the radar dish are all way too large. These are actually removed during transformation, so it's not like they are hiding Han's head or Chewie's foot inside. The result is that the abnormally swollen cockpit, which could have maybe passed for a shoulder-mounted cannon, ends up looking like Chewie has an abnormally swollen cockpit on his shoulder. The freakishly large upper quad cannon becomes Han's freakishly large blaster pistol. I've always questioned the placement of the radar antenna on the Falcon because the gunner in the upper quad could have accidentally shot the antenna. Well, on this toy the gunner doesn't have to worry about SHOOTING the dish so much as he has to worry about knocking the antenna off with the barrel of the cannon. Then there's the placement of a spring-loaded missile launcher on the toy. Okay, so the Falcon had torpedo launchers, but in the films, these launchers were placed between the mandibles. The spring-loaded missile launcher is on the left side of the hull and it sticks out about 3 inches, which makes the Falcon look like it's flying around with a mutant pitot tube (Hey, there’s the name for my next band, The Mutant Pitot Tubes. I called it first!).

Final Verdict
In the end, what it looks like, at least to me, is that the toy designers did a fantastic job of designing the Falcon itself. Then they had to go and screw it up by making all the parts that stick out just too darn big. The Han mech is OKAY, no worse than any of the other figures I have, but Chewie's mech alone COULD justify full price for this toy. If you find it on sale, I’d say pick it up.

Because some fucking Chinese porn douchebag bloggers are spamming this post, comments have been disabled.

5/14/2009

Millennium Falcon Month, Day 8: LEGO

8 LEGO MF 1

In the late 1990's LEGO released Star Wars vehicle sets for the first time offering both classic ships alongside newer ones from The Phantom Menace. This set came out in 2000 and retailed for $99.99. In 2004, LEGO released re-designed sets of all the classic Star Wars ships, the end result being ships that looked more Star Wars-y but less LEGO-y. I think the earlier sets hit that sweet spot of looking like actual LEGO sets, but still being recognizable for what they were.

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Unlike the newer version, however, there's only room in the cockpit for one figure. This set came with several figures; Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, and the star of our two month long monthly feature, Han Solo. This set would have been absolutely essential to fans of A New Hope because this was the only way to get Han Solo, Chewie, Cinnamon Bun Leia or C-3PO.

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In order to enhance the ship's play value (I guess), LEGO added a tiny little "escape pod" that ejects from the left side of Falcon. The upper quad-cannon rotates, and so does the sat dish. The quad-cannon also opens up for you to put a gunner in, but its really nothing more than an empty space where the figure stands, there's no chair or anything.

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While there are all kinds of hatches to open on the main hull none of them really provide decent access to the interior of the ship, in order to play around on the inside you have to remove the entire top portion of the ship. The upper hull rests on a single peg, so happily you don't have to dis-assemble the ship to open her up. The inside is a little sparse. You have a couch, a swiveling char, the chess table, and a smuggling compartment. On the left side is where the escape pod is stored, and on the right is the boarding hatch. However, there were several little tools and pegs included, so if you look in the photos you can see little wrenches and oil cans and stuff all over the interior, which I imagine would be accurate if the Falcon were real. Also, past the bulkhead behind Threepio in the above photo is another little storage compartment with two doors that can be accessed from the outside of the ship.

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This is the same location as the picture above with the chess table removed. Sadly, they didn't give us a little LEGO training remote for Luke to practice with.

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A view of the aft section where the smuggling compartment is located.

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"Hey down there! Could you give us a hand with this?"

This is probably my second favorite Falcon I own. Well, of the ones you can actually pick up and play with (hint, hint).

5/11/2009

Millennium Falcon Month, Day 7: MicroMachines Playset

7 Micro Machines MF 1

This playset was released by Galoob in 1995. It's got some really wacky proportions, and came with some figures that are even smaller (and less posable) than the figures that were included with the Action Fleet vehicles. It's not really a Millennium Falcon toy so much as it's a Millennium Falcon shaped playset for MicroMachine vehicles.

7 Micro Machines MF 2

The included figures were Han Solo (in a Bespin-style outfit), Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian (in his ROTJ "General" attire), his ROTJ co-pilot Nien Numb, Princess Leia (in ESB "inside the asteroid slug" attire, complete with a gas mask), C-3PO (holding his detached leg ala ESB) and a winged bat-like figure that is supposed to be a Mynock but doesn't look like one.

7 Micro Machines MF 3

The ship opens up like a clamshell with one half available for the included figures, and the other half for MicroMachines. On the figure side, there is a medical bay, several opening "smuggling compartments," a working boarding ramp, and a chess table. Turning the table makes the turret turn as well.

7 Micro Machines MF 4

The MicroMachines half has three hardpoints where you can attach MircoMachines, a "working" crane and that's about it. Turning the large wheel in the center makes the whole thing rotate, and each individual hardpoint rotates as well. It's not the best looking Falcon in the world, but its nice and heavy, so you could bludgeon the cat with it or something.

5/04/2009

Millennium Falcon Month(s), Day 6: Action Fleet

6 Action Fleet MF 1

The bad news: I'm lazy
The good news: Millennium Falcon Month has been extended by another Month!!!

Again from the Star Wars revitalization period of the mid-nineties, this version of the Falcon belonged to the Micro Machines Action Fleet line, which were six-inch vehicles that usually came with one or to really tiny pilots (not shown 'cuz I don't know where it is. They were really tiny.) This mold was released three times; in 1997 as a single-pack and again in a Toys 'R Us exclusive "Classic Duels" two-pack along with a TIE Interceptor, and finally in a single-pack again in 2002.

6 Action Fleet MF 2

My memory's a bit sketchy but I'm pretty sure this is the version from the Classic Duels pack because I also have a TIE Interceptor. The Action Fleet, for me, was really neat because they were just the right size for you to run around the room with a TIE Fighter going "eeeeeEEEEEaaaaaahhhhh."

6 Action Fleet MF 3

I think that's what they meant by calling this line "Action Fleet" anyway, that you could run around the room staging mock Battles of Endor with the couch serving as the forest moon. The "action" on the ship itself is pretty limited. The canopy opens, which means you can loose the tiny little pilot figure easily. The upper quad cannon and the satellite dish swivel. The rear of the ship opens up to reveal a deck plate. The deck plate opens up to reveal what I assume is where Han Solo goes when he's making it with a hot alien chick because there's a nice big plush couch in there (pictured).

See ya next time. Until then, I'll be searching frantically for my tiny little Han Solo figure so I can swoosh around the room with my Action Fleet Millennium Falcon, pretending to pick up hot alien chicks.

4/24/2009

Millennium Falcon Month, Day 5: Collector Watch Case

5 Watch MF

My lovely wife (who is leaning over my shoulder and reading this as I type) snagged this one for me one day back in 1996 or 1997. I can't remember if it was a Christmas or a birthday present or what. I like it because it looks classy. You know, like some brushed aluminum antique Millennium Falcon or something. It also came with a Darth Vader watch, which was just a wrist strap with Darth Vader's head on it. Flipping the face open revealed a simple LCD instead of the lifeless face of Luke Skywalker with smoke billowing from his eye socket like I hoped. I still have the watch somewhere. I think.

BONUS ITEM: If you open up the case, there's a tiny little map of the galaxy inside! Unfortunately, the Kessel Run is not marked.

4/15/2009

Millennium Falcon Month, Day 4: Taco Bell

4 Taco Bell MF

During the big lead-up to the release of the Star Wars Special Editions, Taco Bell released a set of Star Wars themed toys with its kid's meals. Included in this set were a this Falcon, a Darth Vader & Yoda Magic Cube, a Puzzle Cube, a Balancing Boba Fett, a Floating Cloud City, and the slightly infamous Exploding Death Star (Which reportedly was recalled. To make the Death Star "explode" you press a button, which makes the Death Star spin and centrifugal force makes the Death Star open up like a flower. Supposedly these parts flew off during operation, forcing the recall and briefly causing a huge increase in demand for the toy on the secondary market. Nowadays, the Death Star typically sells for a few dollars more than the other toys in this set.)

This version of the Millennium Falcon is supposedly is a "gyroscope" and there is indeed a weight inside the toy that spins. It came with a rip cord that you insert to make the weight spin, but the weight doesn't spin very well, and the little peg on the bottom of the ship that it balances on is so thick that the gyroscopic function is really kind of useless. (And I've long since lost the ripcord that comes with it anyway.)

But I have one and you don't, so there.

4/07/2009

Millennium Falcon Month, Day 3: Burger King

3 BK MF

Yep. You read that right. Burger King.

This Falcon was part of a set of 30+ toys that Burger King released with their kids' meals in conjunction with Episode III: Revenge of the Sith circa 2005. The toys were all in the "super-deformed" style, and came in one of 5 categories; pull-back vehicles, plushies, wind-up figures, 3-D viewer figures, and water-squirting figures. They must not have been a big hit, because most of the Burger Kings in my area were selling complete sets of the toys for $25 bucks.

I enjoy this little version of the Falcon just because it's such a different and neat little take on the ship.