STORM RIDER v1
Toy collecting is a lot like pimp’n; in that it ain’t easy. At least not for the humble working man. If I was a millionaire then toy collecting would be a cinch. I’d have separate rooms in my mansion, each filled with light up museum quality display cases for my various collections. It would be a spectacle to behold. But alas I am not a millionaire and so I’m forced to make tough toy buying decisions all the time. Every time a new toy comes out I need to first decide how badly do I want it, which is often quite badly. Then I need to decide whether I want to pay the specialty shop price (as they usually get the toys first) or do I wait and see if I can find it for less at Walmart. Or I could try to find one on ebay for even less. The Marvel Universe figures from Hasbro that I currently collect are a great example of how frustrating this decision making process can be. My shop gets these figures in first and prices them at $16.99 apiece. These figures are small (only 3.75”), usually have no accessories, and are often shoddily made with wonky joints. I’m trying to expand my collection and I want almost every figure that comes out but it kills me to drop $100 on every wave of 5 new figures. They’ll end up at Walmart for $10.99 a few weeks later but you never know which figures you’ll find. If I miss a character at the comic shop and then again at Walmart I have no choice but to turn to ebay. Sometimes I find loose figures for as little as $5 and other times I end up paying closer to $30. After being burned a few times I’ve opted to just buy them all at the shop at the $16.99 price point Though I do cringe when I see a figure I just bought for $16.99 on sale at Walmart for ten bucks a day or two later. You just never know.
Now I love G.I. Joe but I don’t buy every figure that comes out at retail. The ones I most often pass on are vehicle drivers. I simply have no room to display vehicles and they just end up in a box in the closet where they get all banged up. I hate to spend $40 on a jet just so I can get the pilot that’s packaged with it. I will do it on occasion but more often than not I’ll pass on it and then I cross my fingers that somebody out there will have bought the set purely for the vehicle and will now sell off the figure at a reasonable price to someone like me. This does happen sometimes. But it was not the case with Storm Rider. This figure was released in 2010 as part of the Pursuit of Cobra line which was basically a continuation of the Rise of Cobra movie line of Joe figures. The POC figures still had a movie aesthetic about them and carried on the story line from the film via their filecards. I wasn’t super keen on the movie based figures and passed on a lot of them. In fact I got so accustomed to ignoring Joe figures in 2009 that as the ROC line shifted into the superior POC I was a little reluctant to get back on board the Joe train. I was really hoping to see a return to the 25 anniversary style figures that I was loving so much before the movie came along and interrupted it but that didn’t happen and I was kind of annoyed.
When I first saw Storm Rider and his Doom Cycle I was torn. I really liked the figure but I hated the stupid oversized 3 wheeled motorbike that he came with. It was selling for about $25 and I just couldn’t justify the purchase. I saw it around plenty of times but always left it on the shelf. It was only after I ordered the exclusive Dreadnok 7 pack from BigBadToyStore that I suddenly felt that I needed to own Storm Rider. You see the Dreadnoks are my favorite G.I.Joe subteam. They’re a group of Aussie bikers led by Zartan, Cobra’s master of disguise, and his twin siblings Zandar and Zarana. Each one of the Dreadnoks released back in the 80s was fun and original. When the 25th anniversary/modern styled figures began rolling out in 2007 we were treated to updated versions of Zartan and the 3 original ‘noks, Buzzer, Torch and Ripper followed shortly by Monkeywrench. But then the movie line came along and it seemed as though we might never get the rest of the gang. I thought it was cool that Storm Rider was a brand new Dreadnok but he seemed less vital because my team was so incomplete already. But then Zarana was released as an SDCC exclusive and then the 7 pack came out thus completing the modern reimaginings of all the classic ‘noks and evening adding Zartan’s daughter Zanya and new sculpt era ‘nok Burnout to the mix. Now I had every Dreadnok…except for Storm Rider. So off I went to the store where I had seen him a dozen times before but of course he was gone. I couldn’t find this white haired tricycle riding idiot anywhere now that I actually wanted him. And so I turned to ebay. I couldn’t find the Doom Cycle and driver for less than $60 with the shipping factored in. I checked multiple times every week for months hoping to stumble across a reasonably priced loose figure but never found one with a “buy it now” option. I ended up bidding on a few auctions but always backed away once the price got over $35. Oh how I was kicking myself for not shelling out the $25 bucks at Zellers when I had the chance.
Well about 2 weeks ago I came across a $45 “buy it now” auction that included Storm Rider and another recent vehicle driver whom I previously passed on and was now kicking myself for it, Motor Viper. I did a little wheeling and dealing and got the two figures for $35, plus $15 shipping so I’m in for $25 a figure when all is said and done. I’m glad to finally have them but if I had just bought the damn Doom Cycle and Steel Crusher when I first saw them I’d have paid the same amount, owned these figures 2 years ago, had two extra vehicles in my closet, and saved myself a lot of grief.
But at last I have Storm Rider and my Dreadnok team is complete. Stormy is an excellent addition to the gang and I like him even more than I thought I would now that I finally have him in hand. Like the Dreadnoks of old he is very original. His entire body is just a repainted version of a previously released Shipwreck figure but so many little details have been added that you’d never know it. He’s got boots, jeans and a button up collared shirt which works really well for a biker. The shirt has a Dreadnoks insignia on the breast pocket and on the back. He’s got half sleeve tattoos on both arms with insane detail. Between the horrible lighting in my room, my crappy camera skills and lackluster camera I cannot capture the detail so i’ve stolen some pics from another review site to show you. The tats feature skulls and 8-balls and actually say Dreadnoks; it’s crazy. The head and accessories are the only newly sculpted items for this figure but they’re all amazing pieces. His head has sunglasses, a smug confident looks and a two-toned faux-hawk hairstyle that feels very modern. The older ‘noks suffer a bit form being overly 80s so this guy brings a much needed contemporary flare to the team. I love the white hair with gray hawk, it just looks great. There are very few white haired Joes out there. For accessories he has a removable balaclava which is super cool. Like the hairstyle the balaclava really makes him look like a modern day thug. He has a fairly traditional revolver that fits in the holster on his leg but he also has a gnarly bladed nail gun. This seems like a weapon he would have custom made out of some tools and scrap metal which is very reminiscent of the early Dreadnok’s weapons. The nail gun is even three-toned which is unheard of for a joe accessory. I love this figure and should have bought him ages ago. 9 out of 10.
For much better images check out Justin’s review here: http://generalsjoes.com/reviews/2010/pursuit_of_cobra/vehicles/alpha/doomcycle.html This guy has the best Joe site on the internet so be sure to add him to your favorites.