G.I. Joe Kre-O - Thunderwave Jet Boat w/ Cutter, Stalker, and Copperhead
Along with the Battle Platform Attack, I didn't anticipate picking this particular Kre-O set up either. Just like I have little interest in Battle Platforms that are stuck in water (even though I love the design of the Tactical Battle Platform in general), I don't have much need for boats that are restricted to water use only either.
That's not to say these vehicles aren't great. I love every single Moray Hydrofoil that I own, after all... but I like vehicles that are a bit more flexible, especially in a line where there aren't even many credible Cobra water-based threats yet. Along with all of this, the design of the boat looked...well, pretty standard. Pretty normal. Certainly not on the level of the advanced technology you might expect from a G.I. Joe watercraft.
There are plenty of weapons throughout the boat, but the overall shape, style, and design doesn't do much to bring a state of the art military operation to mind. Now that I have it hand... I pretty much feel the same way, and the Thunderwave ends up being pretty much my least favorite Kre-O set that we've gotten so far.
There are a few redeeming qualities, such as the great four-wheel buggy that can be stored and deployed from the rear compartment. The ramp drops down and the buggy exits the craft from the back...which of course, does beg the question, how would that be useful in the middle of the sea? But yeah, the boat could serve as a transport to land, or to a dock (as shown on the box art) but it still seems odd to have a boat of this style serving that functionality.
I do like the weapons racks inside the boat, and the single computer console is a neat touch, too. The missile launcher is a really cool design on the front, but I'd prefer it was some sort of twin gatling gun or something of that nature.
The build itself was fair. The entire hull of the boat was practically pre-constructed, with some elaborate structural builds that make up the body of the ship itself. There is some neat functionality here, but as someone who isn't wild about boats to begin with, this doesn't do much to change my mind.
The little four-wheeler buggy that fits in the back of the boat is a pretty cool little vehicle, even if it doesn't resemble anything home grown in the G.I. Joe universe. It's a one-person vehicle with a simple mounted cannon. Nothing striking about it, but some potential for customization down the line, I suppose. I wish they had colored it to better match Stalker, who is apparently meant to be the driver.
I have to admit, this is a pretty cool miniature Water Mocassin. I do think it's kind of odd, though, that Hasbro stuck so faithful to the vintage line throughout the majority of this first run Kre-O stuff, but completely missed the "boat" by not making this the classic dark green color of the original. There's no doubt this was meant to represent the original Water Mocassin, so why they wouldn't go full bore and color it the vintage way is a little beyond me.
That being said, the design is great, I love the small size, even if it's tough to consider it an appropriate foil for the Thunderwave Jet Boat. Believe it or not, I think this little thing is probably the highlight of the set, which makes it a bit tough to justify the price tag, to be honest.
The Mini Figures
Releasing a water craft is a good way to get a water based figure, and Cutter was a really good choice. I like how Hasbro built out this figure with a fairly generic sailor's uniform underneath (that would work nicely for Shipwreck at some point) and the trusty ball cap and life jacket as additions to the figure. He looks just like you'd expect Cutter to look without too many bells and whistles, but just enough. His trusty 80's moustache is right there, and that familiar scowl gives him a lot of immediate personality.
Cutty is a great addition to the Kre-O roster, and I'm kind of surprised they went this way rather than the more familiar Shipwreck. I guess they're thinking there's some life to this line beyond a couple of series, so there's room to grow with that character somewhere else. That's good news.
I won't lie... this guy right here is a big reason why I ponied up the money for this set. He's not the only reason, though. I was having so much fun building out the other Kre-O sets that I was jonesing for another one. Against my better judgement I picked up the boat, and Stalker being included was just the icing on the cake.
I love that we've already seen some serious love for the Original 13 early on in Kre-O's history. We've got Rock n Roll, Clutch, Scarlett and Stalker, with some very easy customizations possible for Grunt and Breaker. Snake Eyes is coming with the Arashikage Dojo and Flash is in the second wave of blind bags, which will, of course, be a good template for Grand Slam. Focusing on Stalker, though, the former gang leader is perfectly represented in Kre-O form here, with great camouflage, a familiar little scowl, and his awesome beret. I get all giddy about the "H" belt buckles, too. A very cool figure, even if I'm having a hard time rationalizing why he's in a boat set with water guys.
Stalker comes with a pretty standard machine gun, and yes his beret is removable, I just somehow missed the picture opportunity to look at him without it.
Another real surprise to me with this set was the inclusion of Copperhead. Not necessarily that he was in this set, but that he was included at all so early in Kre-O's life. Considering 1984 was a huge year, we had Destro, Baroness, Wild Weasel, Scrap Iron, Zartan, and many other key characters that needed some Kre-O representation. So... Copperhead? The choice is a bit odd, but the figure is excellent. He is amazingly well decoed with this shoulder holster and even the textured thigh pads. I love his face mask, and once you get the helmet on him, this guy is a perfect representation of Copperhead in a mini figure scale.
Really awesome. I love that Kre-O is going so obscure with some of these guys, I have to be honest. The fact that we've gotten Copperhead before Zartan, Cutter before Shipwreck, and Law & Order before Gung Ho is a sign of the potential of this line going forward. There are still a ton of characters we could see and a great number of potential vehicles down the road.
Don't get me wrong, there are some fun elements to this set, but ultimately I was left a bit cold here. Copperhead and Stalker are both fantastic, and I really enjoy the Water Mocassin, but the boat itself is somewhat unexciting and the four-wheeler doesn't really impress me a whole lot either. I know Hasbro is repurposing stuff from Battleship, and that doesn't bug me in and of itself, I would just like to see them be more creative as they were in some of the other sets, and not give us what was a pretty obvious offshoot of their previous model.