Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Why didn't they have this when I was a kid?

I'm sure it's no secret that I collect action figures. I love my action figures! And, with last year having been the 25th Anniversary of G.I. Joe, there's all kinds of classic G.I. Joes from my childhood being re-released for collectors like me, and I'm just geeking out.

Who can forget the classic G.I. Joe cartoon of the 1980s? It was unique in that it started with two, 5-episode mini-series before becoming a full-fledged cartoon. Each season of the cartoon then kicked off with a 5-episode mini-series.

The first mini-series was called A Real American Hero, but was later dubbed The MASS Device by the fans, mainly because the MASS Device was the weapon of mass destruction that was integral to the plot.

For those who don't remember, COBRA got their hands on the MASS Device, a teleportation machine capable of stealing national monuments, kidnapping world leaders, and instantly sending COBRA troops to any corner of the globe. G.I. Joe decides the best way to combat this is by getting their own MASS Device to neutralize COBRA's. G.I. Joe and COBRA then battle all across the globe, collecting the three rare elements required to power the MASS Device.

Those three elements are:
  • Radioactive crystals found only in a mine north of the Arctic Circle
  • A rare isotope of heavy water found only in a pool at the bottom of the ocean
  • Fragments from a downed meteorite floating in the middle of a volcano

So, the race is on to collect the three elements and save the world!

Now, Hasbro, those wiley folks, they had a clever idea for these classic mini-series, and how to make new toys to celebrate G.I. Joe's 25th annivearsy.

The end result? The DVD Battle Packs! You get a DVD containing one G.I. Joe mini-series, and 4 action figures, appearing just as they did in that mini-series!

And I finally got my hands on the DVD Battle Pack for The MASS Device!

The MASS Device Battle Back

Let me take you through the four figures in this pack, from least cool to coolest.

Number 4: Cobra Trooper with the MASS Device Elements

Cobra Trooper

Every world dictator wannabe needs henchman, and the Cobra Troopers fill the bill! This one comes with the three elements required to power the MASS Device, so he can be a good li'l trooper and load up the mass device.

Number 3: Jet Pack Stalker

He only wears a jet pack in the opening credits, but that was notable enough for the makers of this pack to include Stalker. Stalker has his jet pack and a rifle, suitable for blowing bombs out of the sky.

Number 2: SCUBA Gear Baroness

The one action scene that I found really weird in The MASS Device was when they had to collect the heavy water from the bottom of the ocean. It was guarded by giant tube worms! G.I. Joe and COBRA had to temporarily join forces to fight them off. Baroness led the COBRA's at the bottom of the sea, and she comes decked out in her red COBRA wet suit, her SCUBA gear, a pistol for double-crossing the Joes, and the fancy thingie to collect the heavy water. Notice she still has her trademark Coke Bottle glasses on underneath her diving mask.

And finally, the coolest figure in the bunch...Radioactive Snake Eyes!

I remember watching The MASS Device on TV when I was a kid. And the most striking image to me...the one forever burned into my mind...was Snake Eyes, everyone's favourite G.I. Joe, marching alone through across the Arctic tundra, glowing red from radiation sickness, knowing that no matter what happens, his mission must be completed!

Snake Eyes has several body parts made out of translucent red plastic to duplicate the "glowing red from radiation sickness" effect. He comes with the canister of radioactive crystals, and his pet wolf Timber, who made his first appearance in this episode.

And, the icing on the cake, each of these 5 DVD Battle Packs comes with piece of the MASS Device, so when you collect all five, you can actually build the MASS Device and have your Joes and COBRAs fight over it!

What can I say. The grown up in me is just really excited to have this piece of his childhood re-created. My inner six year old is suicidal over what a fat geek he'll grow up to be.

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