Meijer's AT Exclusive
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!
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
nice to have a noggin that'll actually be able to wear headgear!
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,
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
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
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
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
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!