INVID SHOCK TROOPER
So Christmas has come and gone. I had to take a few days off as I was busy with family stuff. But now that all of that is done I can begin reviewing my new toys. I had a pretty big toy haul this Christmas but most of that was stuff I bought for myself. If I was to get any surprise toy gifts I knew they’d come from either Vanessa or my brother Doug. Vanessa has actually been away at her parents place for the past 5 days and we have yet to exchange gifts. Her presents to me are still sitting under the tree taunting me. I expect her home later tonight though so by tomorrow I should be able to tell you about whatever she may have picked up for me. Doug however came through with flying colors. I bought him the recently released “Rockers” tag team wrestling figures as well as one of Marvel’s Oz hard cover collections. I thought I did well but those gifts fell flat in the face of Doug’s gifts to me. First off he bought me a Spider-Man hoodie that zips right up over my face to produce a fully masked look. It’s pretty cool but this is not a sweater review site so I shall move onto his second gift to me.
As a great brother would do (no offense Brian) Doug made note of my list of “white whale” figures that I think I mentioned in my Rancor review. The rancor was one of those toys that I had wanted ever since I was a little kid but just never acquired, probably in part because of the price tag attached. All of my most-wanted figures were of larger creatures from films and TV. While it was easy and affordable for my parents to stock me up with Star Wars and Robotech action figures, the larger items were a bit more of a challenge. And so I never got my Rancor from Star Wars, or my Kraken from Clash of the Titans, or my Invid Shock Trooper from Robotech. Robotech toys were near impossible to find in my area when I was a kid anyway so that was probably another big reason why I never owned this thing.
When I finally got my Rancor at Hal-Con this year I promptly reviewed it. In that review I stated that I could check it off my “white whale ” list, leaving the Kraken and the Invid as the next two items for me to hunt down. And so Doug began looking. He told me that the only Kraken he found was $300 so that was out of the question. I’m not sure how much he paid for this Shock Trooper but I look them up regularly on ebay and haven’t yet come across one in decent condition for less than $125. So when I opened this thing up Christmas morning I was more than a little surprised. It was not expected at all. I felt like a kid again. Thanks Doug.
Growing up me and Doug watched Robotech religiously and absolutely loved it. It was like a soap opera for kids and far more mature than anything else we were watching. The show had love, death, and even transexuals. Robotech was broken down into 3 distinct chapters, each focusing on a new generation of Robotech fighters. It was years later that I learned that these 3 generations were actually 3 totally separate cartoon series from Japan that originally had nothing to do with one another. When imported to America none of the 3 series had enough episodes of their own to air on television and so they were redubbed and reedited to link the 3 shows together. The first generation which was originally Macross in Japan is probably my overall favorite chapter of Robotech. The middle generation, which was originally Southern Cross, was okay but nowhere near as good as the first. The third generation, which was originally called Genesis Climber Mospeada in Japan, could have maybe been my favorite if only they had ever finished airing it. The series always cut off at the same episode every time. The end of each episode had a teaser for the next episode, and at the end of one particular show they teased that in the next episode Rook was to return to her home town. Doug and I waited with bated breath many times, hoping to see that episode, but every time it was scheduled to air the first episode of generation one would play again. The series looped like that over and over again. I never knew how the series ended until I was in my 20s and I purchased the DVD box set.
The reason that the third chapter, called “The New Generation” in America, could have easily been my favorite chapter of Robotech is because it had the best villains; it had the Invid. The first generation fought giant humans and the second generation fought old men. the third generation had their hands full with the most alien threat that earth had ever encountered. As a kid I wasn’t sure if the Invid were sentient robots or whether their mechs had pilots because the series never got far enough along to reveal it to me. I did eventually discover, courtesy of the DVDs, that the crab ships were piloted by little green men who took the form of humans. Corg was one of those Invid humans and he was actually included with this Shock Trooper (which wasn’t the case when you bought it new) so double score for me. I won’t talk too much about him here as I’ll give him his own review at a later date but he’s pretty cool.
The Shock Troopers were the Invid’s larger more heavily armored troopers. Invid scouts were also featured heavily in the cartoon. Scouts looked similar to Shock Troopers but were about half the size and more red than purple. I could’ve bought a Scout Trooper on ebay many times for a decent price but I always held out hope that I’d find a decently priced Shock Trooper. A big reason why I never bit the bullet and bought a Shock Trooper for myself is because after so many years I was certain that some toy company out there would produce a new one that would end up being superior in design and cheaper to purchase than one of these 1986 originals. But that hasn’t happened yet. I’ve seen many new versions of various Robotech mechs over the years but no one has reproduced the Shock Trooper.
Now that I finally have the original in my hands he does not disappoint and I don’t care if they never make a new version. This toy looks amazing and it’s in great condition. The joints are firm and the paint isn’t scratched off, even the decals are intact. The legs and arms are articulated, as are the feet and cannons. His claws each have a lever that make them open and close which allow him to grab things and the cockpit opens up to seat Corg comfortably inside. The color scheme is excellent because everyone knows that purple and green are perfect together; just ask the Hulk.
One quick thing I want to mention regarding that red and black decal on the front, as a kid I always viewed that as the crab’s mouth and I envisioned those two bumps on the back to be his eyes; this gave him the very crab like appearance that I loved. However, after watching the full animated series I’m quite sure that the decal is intended to be a single eye which rather changes the whole look of the thing if that is the case. It then becomes more of a hunchbacked robot cyclops. Either way, it’s cool as hell. 10 out of 10.