Hasbro G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra Sandstorm Hasbro, 2010
Day #119: March 29, 2011
G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra "Target" Exclusive Vehicle with Figures
Item No.: Asst. 91770 No. 97729 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Helmet, rifle, RAM Motorcycle Action Feature:n/a Retail:$6.99 Availability: November 2010 Other: Originally was going to be a Target exclusive, actually sold at Ross stores
Because of the short life of the G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra on store shelves, figures like Sandstorm hit the shelves late. How late? After Pursuit of Cobra hit shelves, and long after people assumed these would actually ever reach US store shelves. That late. The figure is part of a wave of 4 figure-with-vehicle sets, all of which were meant to be Target exclusives-- it even says so on the box. In the end, these wound up at Ross stores, a clothing discounter known for taking closeout toys here and there. The entire wave sold out quickly, leading to speculation that the run was unusually small-- although fans have found these sets in early 2011, so it's possible more are out there.
Standing just about 4-inches tall, Sandstorm is a clever reuse of mostly existing parts. The torso was from the suit found on many movie figures, but on the whole the figure is basically Movie Shipwreck, but with Kamakura's head and some new paint. The figure holds together well and has excellent articulation, as always-- just as good as pretty much every other Joe since 2007, actually. I did have some difficulty getting his hands to hold on to the motorcycle handlebars, although that's largely my own impatience over the quality of the product. His piercing blue eyes pop out from behind his mask, and as an added bonus he comes with a helmet. Safety first, right?
The RAM motorcycle is a redeco of the existing toy-- except now, it's brown, and has some more movie-themed labels. Like with most recent Hasbro products, the stickers do not necessarily fit where the instructions say. You may need to either cut them down to size in order to fit (the saddlepack, for example) or just deal with not putting them where they belong. It's quite irritating, and something that shouldn't be an issue in 2010-- stickers should go where the instructions say, period. Especially if you're working from a toy mold that's over 25 years old. The bike is a pretty nice little toy, the sidecar gun detaches, there's a kickstand, and the wheels roll freely. It's just that with this figure, it's not necessarily a perfect fit.
Since I liked the look of this figure, I had to go track it down. Given the price of about $7, I'm glad I did but I can't say it's worth paying a premium for this one. It's a good figure, but the bizarre story of its almost non-release is probably what drove me to pick it up for the site. It's interesting, but it certainly isn't going to delight you to any grand extent. It's good, and were it released to Target as planned, I'd say it's a safe bet I may never have purchased this one. Although I will say this-- this wave of vehicles had some of the most gorgeous G.I. Joe packaging from Hasbro since the 1980s. Boxed toy collectors absolutely should pick up this item.
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