2012 G.I. Joe Collectors Club 12" Convention "Last Man Standing" - Adventure Team Heavy Weapons
A Guest Review by JoeCzar
I’ve always been a fan of GI Joe. In my decades of collecting I have amassed hundreds, if not thousands, of them, and I’ve been a fan of them all (Except for Super Joe and GI Joe Extreme, the less said about them the better.). But one set of Joes has always been extra special to me: the Adventure Team. It was through the Adventure Team that I was introduced to the world of GI Joe, in the form of a Land Adventurer under the Christmas tree in the early 1970’s. Once I opened that box I was hooked, and a lifelong collection (Obsession?) began.
That’s why I was glad to see the GI Joe Collectors Club produce new Adventure Team sets for their conventions starting in 2006. Now every year that I can attend the convention I have a decision to make; do I choose the 12” set or the 3 ¾” set? This year I chose the 12” set, “Last Man Standing”, subtitled “Adventure Team Heavy Weapons”. The set itself is a continuation of the 2011 set, “Drive Into Danger”, which both helps and hurts this set, more on that later. This set also has the distinction of being the first AT con set to include two figures; the previous sets featured an AT figure and an animal antagonist or vehicle. Now that I have had to time to really dig into this set, here are my impressions, starting with this year’s AT figure, the Adventurer.
GI Joe Adventurer
Right off the bat this figure created a bit of a stir in the 12” community. During the original run of the Adventure Team the Adventurer figure was African-American, in this set he is white and beardless, a figure that has been traditionally called the Man of Action. The only figure that has not been included in a convention set is the Adventurer, and some collectors were a bit disappointed that they would not be able to fill out their AT ranks with an African-American Joe. I hope that very soon an African-American Adventurer can take his rightful place with the rest of the Adventure Team. Nonetheless, it is an excellent figure, with only a couple of minor issues.
Ready for adventure!
First off, the figure itself is great. Since the GIJCC began making Adventure Team sets they have been putting vintage-style Joe heads on modern super-articulated bodies. This gives the figures an outstanding range of motion and posability that far exceeds the vintage-style body. In addition to the super-articulated body, the Adventurer comes with Gung-Ho grip (Not the Marine!), which gives the figure an ability to grip his weapons better, and with this set, he’s gonna need all the grip he can get! My gripes with the figure, and they’re minor ones, have to do with his head. First off, the head is a bit wobbly on the neck area, which I guess is to be expected since the head was modified to fit on the SA neck post. Second, he has a perpetually drowsy look on his face, which I guess is a consequence of the adventurous life he leads. Like I said, minor gripes which in the end do nothing to diminish the quality of this figure.
Who has time for sleep?
Like any member of the Adventure Team, the Adventurer comes dressed in a mission-specific outfit, in this case a khaki version of the classic Green Beret/AT Commander outfit. In addition to the outfit, the Adventurer comes with tall brown boots, tan cap, a black web belt with pistol and holster, mission vest, M-16, t-shirt, binoculars, and my favorite touch, Joe-scale AT dogtags. The GIJCC has always done a great job of taking AT outfits and coming up with something new and impressive, and this outfit is no exception. This Adventurer looks ready to take on anything the desert or MARS can dish out!
MARS Henchman Trooper
Starting with the Henchman figure from the 2010 GI Joe Convention, the GIJCC has been working to bridge the worlds of the 12” Adventure Team and the 3 ¾” Real American Hero Joes. The Henchman was an evil underling working for the MARS Corporation, which every RAH fan knows to be run by none other than James McCullen Destro. And while some 12” collectors aren’t happy with this (Are you sensing that 12” collectors can be a bit resistant to change?) I think it’s great. I love the idea of the Adventure Team fighting with MARS in the past while the modern day GI Joe team battles Cobra and Destro. It opens up a lot of possibilities, and the Henchman Trooper in this set helps to bring those two worlds a little closer.
The Trooper itself is kind of an odd mix of elements, but put together it all makes sense, kinda. The figure itself is a fuzzy red headed vintage-style foreign head on a vintage-style body, and while I see where the GI JCC was heading with that body choice I wished they had gone with the super-articulated style body the Adventurer had, I would have liked the Henchman Trooper to have had the added posability. Another odd thing was that I discovered that the feet on my figure were switched, surely the person assembling it should have been able to tell his right foot from his left!
As for outfits, this MARS Trooper came with two, both are interesting in different ways, I’ll start with the Trooper uniform. As I mentioned before, the GIJCC is working to bridge the worlds of GI Joe, and the MARS Trooper outfit really shows this. The outfit consists of a blue jumpsuit with yellow trim and MARS logo, a blue helmet with MARS logo, black balaclava, a yellow web belt, ammo pouches, a yellow backpack, machine gun, and a pistol with holster. Put altogether you have an outfit that looks suspiciously like a modern day Cobra Trooper uniform. It is a sharp looking uniform when put on the Henchman Trooper figure, or in my case a Man of Asia figure I bought from the club at the convention. Why did I put this outfit in a different figure, you ask? Read on!
The Bio-Wrap Suit
The reason I didn’t put the MARS Henchman Trooper uniform on the MARS Henchman Trooper figure is that I didn’t want to take the other outfit off of him. And what is that other outfit? Well, the convention set box lists it as a “Bio-Wrap Suit”, but to me it’s a straight up mummy suit. At first it looks fairly simple to take off, but upon closer inspection you see it is a complex system of buttons, Velcro, and wrapping that looks only a little less complicated that figuring out a Rubik’s Cube. So, playing it safe, I recruited my spare Man of Asia into the MARS Corporation. In addition to being very complex-looking, it is also very nicely distressed and weathered-looking, something I don’t want to mess with if I don’t have to. A 2nd suit was the attendee bonus, and maybe I’ll try to figure out how to put that one on another figure.
The “Mummy” unmasked. “It’s old man Jenkins!”
Overall, the Henchman Trooper and his many uniforms are the highlight of this set. The only thing keeping it from being perfect is the vintage-style body, but it’s something I can definitely live with. I hope that as these MARS set go on the Club finally decides to make all of the figures with super articulated bodies, it would be very much appreciated!
MARS Henchman Trooper
As I mentioned earlier, this set is a continuation of the 2011 Convention set, “Drive Into Danger”. That set included a vehicle, the Desert Patrol Vehicle, painted in AT colors. It made for a huge box, and I often wondered how attendees who flew in got them home. The accessories this time are around are nowhere near as massive, and in comparison to the DPV, a little disappointing. As one would expect, this heavy weapons set has a lot of weaponry: a rifle and three scopes from the incredibly rare “Magnum Power” set, shotgun, sniper rifle, M-60, ammo belts, 50 caliber machine gun, 2 rocket launchers, weapons case, and mounts to attach the weapons onto the DPV, which is the tangible link between the two sets. The weapons case is a case from the Sigma Six AT sets, only molded in green this time around. Along with the weapons, mounts are included for the machine guns and rocket launchers so you can attach them to a DPV if you have one, which I don’t.
There are some really neat features with these weapons, such as the rifle scopes that can be stored on the Adventurer’s mission vest, a nice touch that really helps to make him “Mission Ready”. As nice as the weapons are, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed that there really wasn’t anything that really said “Adventure Team” like some of the accessories in past convention sets. But they did come in a box that was illustrated by the incomparable Larry Selmon, and that is always a plus. Overall, a nice set, but not one of the club’s better efforts.
Getting new Adventure Team figures is always great, and when you throw a new MARS Trooper into the mix you get a very solid convention set. The figures were outstanding, the uniforms were top-notch, and the accessories not so much, but still a set worth the price. Unfortunately this year there was no souvenir 12” figure like the Henchman or Space Diver, which is understandable with the issues the club head earlier this year, but still disappointing. I really hope that the GIJCC continues the AT vs. MARS theme; I look forward to the continued evolution of the Adventure Team’s evil counterparts!
MARS Henchman Trooper