G.I. Joe Kre-O - Dragonfly Helicopter w/ Wild Bill and Cobra Trooper
Like some other sets (the VAMP for instance) I was a bit on the fence about the Dragonfly simply because it seemed to be a Dragonfly in name only. The helicopter itself was completely different from the Dragonfly that we know and love, mostly because the old school Hueys are not in service any more. In that way I think a change to a more attack-style helicopter does make sense.
Initially I hesitated in purchasing this set (see a theme here?) simply because I didn't really need Wild Bill, the CLAW was mostly a toss-in, and I didn't feel any burning desire to own an attack helicopter. But as has been the theme with Kre-O, I eventually gave in. That seemed to happen once I ran out of sets to build. I think I might be hooked.
The construction of the Dragonfly was surprisingly simple, only taking me a short time to put together. All parts were easily identified and fit together (and stay together) marvelously. It definitely retains the look of a modern attack copter, even in a building block format, and I absolutely love the spinning rotor blade feature. Really glad they got that included.
Overall shape, slope, and design of the copter is pretty well done. They chose to use the angular pieces in the right places and I love the Dragonfly specific decals. Tail fins that rotate up are a neat touch as are the side missile launchers. One real big disappointment for me, though, was the nose gun. I'm not sure if anyone else has this issue, but the attachment on my nose gun is extremely loose, so it mostly just droops downward and doesn't stay pointing forward at all. I'm really disappointed with that. I mentioned in the Armored Assault review that I prefer vehicles that have a mixture of missile launchers and firearms, and it feels like the only firearm the Dragonfly has doesn't really work properly.
The colors are a bit of a sticking point with me as well...the majority of the aircraft is a nice dark green with black/gray trim, but I find the yellow to be somewhat glaring and off-putting. I'm not usually one to mind bright colors, but it sort of contrasts with the rest of the vehicle and I'm not wild about how it works within the confines of the other colors used for the bricks.
The Cobra CLAW that's included is nothing more than a handful of bricks sort of assembled in a triangle shape with a Cobra symbol on the back. It's really not terrible, but nothing dramatically "CLAW" like like the handle or the top-mounted weapon. It works in a pinch, though, I suppose.
The Mini Figures
While the mini figures have been a huge selling point for me in some of the more expensive sets, it was almost the opposite effect here. I've never really been a Wild Bill fan, and even though I love me some Cobra Troopers, I didn't see a whole lot to encourage me that this particular Cobra Trooper was much better than any other that was already released.
Yeah, I know Wild Bill is a pretty important piece to the G.I. Joe puzzle, but for whatever reason he never meant much to me beyond background fodder. They did a great job on the figure, and it looks a lot like the character, but without a real affinity for Wild Bill, I wasn't all that excited to get him.
The execution can't be ignored, though. The vest and shoulder holster are great, and he's even got the bull on his belt buckle. How awesome is that? They went purely with the toy colors, and not the cartoon colors, which is fine.
The cowboy pilot comes with his trusty 10 gallon hat and two wild west pistols, all very cool touches that compliment the figure well. He also has a flight helmet with flip-down goggles, a necessity for his attack helicopter piloting. His hat even has a little ridge on the back so he can hold it in his hand.
I don't know why I'm such a curmodgeon when it comes to Wild Bill. He's one of those eclectic personalities that makes G.I. Joe awesome. They did a great job on the figure, too, it's just not one that really attracts me.
But perhaps the coolest thing about Wild Bill (or really any Kre-On figure) is the easy customizability. With just a few part swaps:
Boom, '86 General Hawk!
Formula was passed along to me by Troy McKie from TroyMcKieArt.com who has quickly gotten a reputation (from me at least) as being a Kre-On customizer idiot savant. Or maybe just an idiot. Or maybe I got it from Mysterious Stranger. Crap I don't remember. I'm pretty sure they're both idiots
savants. Regardless, it's a Wild Bill torso, Roadblock arms, any random bare hands, and Flint legs. The sneering head is from a Battleship set. I love this. I just wish buying the extra Roadblock, Wild Bill, and Flint wouldn't cost me almost $100 retail.
Along with Wild Bill we get a Cobra Trooper and CLAW glider in this set as well... I kind of just include the CLAW as an accessory for the Trooper just because it's a pretty small, basic thing. Essentially a few pieces clipped together with a Cobra symbol pasted on the back. It represents what it's supposed to represent, but there doesn't feel like a whole lot to it.
Back to the Cobra Trooper, you'll notice that he's very similar to other Cobra Troopers, but not exactly the same. His webgear is slightly different, without the holster, and some different pouches on the belt. I'm not entirely sure what the purpose of this change is, but I can dig it. You have to figure not all Cobra Troopers are going to wear the exact same webgear, but he looks close enough that he fits in very well.
Along with the CLAW, this Cobra Trooper comes with a great red helmet and black visor (a bit reminiscent of Wild Weasel, I think), a machine gun, a "Top Secret" computer tablet, and the CLAW itself. As you can see above, there isn't a whole lot that makes up the CLAW, but it's still a fun little vehicle to play around with.
This set is neat. It's not stellar. It's not my favorite. The build for the helicopter was fine, though I remain bummed out about the chin turret. The colors are iffy as well. The figures are executed nicely, but not my favorite choices. I don't find a whole lot here that remain as "must haves". I'm glad I got it, just to round off the collection, and it provided me some fun during build...plus the CLAW played a nice role in my Battle Platform review as well. If you're desperate for more Kre-O's, pick it up, but if you're being choosy, I can think of others that I prefered.