AT Commander's


Meijer's AT Exclusive Review

See the bag?  There really IS such a thing as a "Meijer's" store.  We don't have these stores anywhere near me, and until this exclusive deal, I'd never even heard of 'em.  Thanks to a fellow Sandbox JoeHead, I was able to get my hands on one of each of these exclusives (thanks again, Jack!).  These exclusive figures were pretty cool - not quite up to snuff for Vintage aficionados, but close enough for those of us who are eager to find ANYTHING "AT" on the shelves!  For folks like me, these sets were undeniably a home run!

The Land Adventurer was an awesome set!  This pic has some glare, but you can still see the groovy retro packaging.  The artwork was great, even though the box is a weird collage of Joe logos (new "yo jo" kinda GI Joe logo over a new-fangled  Adventure Team logo, beside a retro repro Kung Fu Grip logo). 

As you can see in the pic at right, the flocking is a LOT thinner than on the original Joes.  The downside is that, when combined with the 40th headsculpt under there, it's VERY different from the vintage or repro versions.  For those of us who PLAY with our toys, it's nice to have a noggin that'll actually be able to wear headgear!

Here you can see the interior packaging, displaying all the groovy gear this Joe comes with.  This is an interesting mix of equipment.  The mask is goofy-looking, but wearable, thanks to Joe's close flocked whiskers.  The spotlight (or "blinker light") is a nifty translucent lens rather than the crummy "sticker lens" spotlight.   The orange binocs were horrible!  Low detail and worthy of Barbie.  These might be good for outside play where you don't want to risk kids losing a detailed black pair, though.  The Handie Talkie is like the recent AT spy release, only it's unpainted and otherwise unremarkable.  The briefcase is a standard  item like we've seen in the TC agent release and the more recent Agent Faces release.  This set has a black pistol, black extended barrel, black tape recorder, but a brown shoulder stock.  Too bad the stock wasn't black, too - that would've been a nice touch.  The shoulder holster and pistol are standard pieces we've come to know and love.  The uniform looks a lot like the 40th Marine uniform with some extra stitching to suggest trouser pockets.  The backpack radio is a standard TC-era repro of the original backpack radio.  It's a well-done piece with the expected (low) level of detail.  It's not true to the original in size at least, because it's too thick to fit in the 5-Star radio slot and the plastic on the side of the storage compartment is too thick for the phone handset to hang on it properly.  The figure is a standard 40th, with the cool flocked noggin and the upgraded (more-flexible) KFG hands (Hasbro really improved these!).

Now the Air Adventurer is a weird one.  Everything but the figure's hair color and the box art reeks of Sea Adventurer.  Take a look at the figure, the uniform, and all of the accessories.  How in the world did they come up with the bright idea that this should be an Air Adventurer?  It looks to me like someone goofed! 

Like the Land Adventurer, this guy had thin flocking.  The pic at right shows how thin the beard really is.  This figure is just begging to be stuffed into an orange jumpsuit and pointed toward the AT helicopter!  As soon as possible, I'll reassign this guy to Air duty and stuff the "8 Ropes" Man of Action into this groovy Sea Adventurer uniform.

Here's a close-up of the accessories that came with the Sea/Air Adventurer.  Let's start with the worst piece, the goggles.  These goggles appear, at first glance, to be repro.  Unfortunately, they're hard, warped, and practically useless.  The fins were yellow and were quite flexible.  I don't have quick access to my vintage fins, but these look like respectable repros.  The map and case are the same ones that have appeared in a hootload of other Joe sets over the past few years.  The speargun was made of a soft plastic.  It promises to be a useful little piece!  The capture arm thing was weird.  I couldn't see any use for it.  The red section slid back and forth a teeny bit, but it had no functionality that I could divine.  Similarly useless was the satellite.  The satellite was a sorta-conical silver blob with protrusions and a sticker.  Good for kid imagination, I suppose.  The air tank was well made, but it was molded in white, which made it look cheap.  The hoses were too thin and didn't attach to the tank regulator.  With some customization and a little paint, this will become a useful piece.  The diving knife had a steel-colored blade and was the standard mold we've seen a lot lately, but the sheath was too narrow to accommodate the knife.  This is a little problem Hasbro should've remedied a long time ago.  The holster and pistol were pieces we've come to expect on AT figures.  The Sea Adventurer uniform was awesome!     

Altogether, these are incredibly cool.  Yes, they're lacking in some detail (like a blonde Sea Adventurer labeled as an Air Adventurer, a sheath that won't hold the knife, etc.), but these problems are minimal in the Grand Scheme Of Things.  If you have a chance to pick these up, go for it!   It's an awesome set at an incredible price... this is a spectacular value!   If you're an AT fan, these sets are ones you WON'T want to miss!

LMK what you think of this project, or any other stuff you stumble across on my website!

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