Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Original AJ's Toy Boarders Series 1 & 2

Green army men are simple toy soldiers that are about 5 cm (2 inches) tall and most commonly molded from green or other colored relatively unbreakable plastic. They are sold in plastic bags or buckets, and often include different colors such as green, tan, or gray, to represent opposing sides. They are soldiers typically from World War II era.

For most of us boys, we all remember playing with our green army men. Because they were inexpensive and virtually disposable, they were the main stay in our toy boxes.
They encourage a variety of creative types of play, because they can be set up in so many different ways. I remember burning them with candles to recreate the effect of a platoon caught in a  flamethrower ambush!

So how do you do a modern twist to these evergreen army men? 
Look no further than AJ's Toy Boarders
These are basically army men doing less violence activities like SKATING!
A really cool idea.
In the pipeline, there will also be snow boarders, BMX and surfers in all plastic glory!

The packaging is typical of how army men were packaged.
The skaters come in plastic bags and we have already seen 2 series of skaters produced.

There are 24 skaters in each pack with 8 distinct pose and skating style.
In series 1, we get:
1) Pushing 
2) Nose Grab
3) Smith
4) Cruishing 1
5) Cruishing 2
6) Manual
7) Tail Grab
8) Ollie

For these type of figures, there is nothing much to comment on the sculpting as these are original designs. 
The only thing I can comment is the concept and I think it is a very smart and cool concept. I always love toys of old given a cool modern twist. 

Series 1

Nose Grab


Cruising 1
Cruising 2


Tail Grab

In series 2, we get:
1) Bomber
2) Front Lipslide
3) Girl Cruising
4) Filmer
5) Backside Boardslide
6) Switch
7) 50/50
8) Tailgrab

Series 2


Front Lipslide

Girl Cruising

Backside Boardslide



Overall, I think these figures are downright cool. They will appeal to toy collectors and skaters. They are inexpensive and will make perfect christmas gifts to your toy collectors or skaters friends.
Heck! You can even play with these skaters with your green army men. 
Get your skaters @ AJ's Toy Boarders!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

SideShow Crimson Guard

The Crimson Guard is an elite organization under the Cobra Command dedicated to protecting Cobra Commander.
They are often referred to by a phonetic spelling of their organization’s initials, as “Siegies” (in the comics).
I have been impressed with Sideshow's 12" GI Joe line.
So impressed that this line has become a secondary toy line that I collect.
Till date, I have gotten Snake EyesStorm Shadow & Cobra Viper.

The Crimson Guard is another iconic & cool looking figure from the GI Joe universe.
Under the GI Joe 3.75" toy line, the Crimson Guard was first released as part of the fourth series (1985). He was also available in 1986 and was discontinued in 1987.

I have always liked the design and feel of the packaging for this line and the packaging here is no different from the other characters from the GI Joe line.

So how does the Crimson Guard fare when blown up to 12" scale.
Hmmmm...I must admit I am not liking the sculpt.
At this scale, the lack of details really shows and makes the overall figure look unrealistic.
Compared to the Cobra Viper, this pales in comparison.
Maybe Sideshow could have added in more details or chrome up certain areas.
To me it just looks bland.
However, I am liking the uniform. The jacket is well made and uses a realistic looking leather material. This adds to the realism of the figure. Attached to the jacket are Affixed Rank and Medal Badges.
The front panel of the jacket can be taken out and re-attached.
Sideshow uses magnet hence making it very easy to put on and take off.
With this function, it also helps to hide the backpack strapes. After you have attached the backpack to the figure, you can just put back the front panel onto the jacket.
Unfortunately at the time of photo taking, I did not realise this hence the the backpack straps are visible in all the photos. 

For weapons, the Crimson Guard comes with one standard issue rifle, a .45 Assault SMG with Folding Stock (with suppressor) and .50 Caliber Automatic Pistol. We also get a couple of magazines for the weapons.
Other items are a bayonet, 2 Flash Bang Grenades & 1 Magnetic Mine.

I like that the bayonet can be attached to the rifle.

There is a left hand drop leg holster in which the .50 Caliber Automatic Pistol can fit into.
Mine was a pretty tight fit and I had to use some force to get it in...please be careful, you don't want to break either the pistol or holster.

There is the standard stand with the Cobra insignia.

With the figure, you get 2 extra pairs of hand and the standard 'stepping' boots which is common issue for Sideshow's GI Joe and Star Wars (trooper) line.

What I really like about the accessories is the backpack.
The scale up version looks really cool.
Not only does it look good, Sideshow went the extra step to make it functional. The backpack actually opens up and you can store all spare ammo clips as well as the grenades inside.

Overall, this is a nice figure to add to my 12" GI Joe collection. I bet it would look good as a platoon of Crimson Guards!
There is an exclusive version which comes with an extra unmasked head sculpt. Nothing to shout about so the non exclusive is good enough for me. 


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