DVD Battles Pack Set 1 of 5
Review and photos by David Yeh
For Joe fans who grew up watching the original miniseries, the M.A.S.S. Device was a major plot device that kids could never actually own for their own play time. Fast forward twenty five years later and those same fans can now give their own children a little piece of something that has changed the way we see toys forever.
Continuing on the success of the 25th anniversary of G.I.Joe, Hasbro, now holding the license of Sunbow Entertainment's archive of the original Joe cartoons can now at long last produce toys that were created in the animated series.
Starting from the concept of the build-a-figure, we now have: build-a-M.A.S.S. Device. Five sets total will be required to finish the machine, each with its own unique collection of figures and accessories based on the cartoon series. The first set reviewed here includes a DVD of the entire 5-part miniseries, four figures and weapons, and one M.A.S.S. Device "Console" piece.
The 5-part miniseries is a trek down memory lane with some impressive made-for-TV animation, even by today's standards. Packed in a slim DVD case, the movie has no extras and no commercial interstitials. It's all 5 episodes straight through so if you prefer the original version, check out the Rhino Home Video box set release.
The figures here are all nothing new, just repainted to appear that way. Snake Eyes (v36) is a repainted v28 Commando Snake Eyes with glove-less hands. With the use of translucent parts, Snake Eyes almost glows as he did in the original show. Accessories included are: individualized base, brown cartoon accurate rifle (though he never uses that in his current state), and trusty companion Timber, repainted inaccurately as the area around his eyes shouldn't be as dark as they are.
The Cobra Trooper (v10) is exactly the same figure you've been getting since 2007 but with a different paint application. Though I love the larger Cobra symbol on the chest, I'm not a fan of the pure white straps, belt buckle, and pouches. Had they gone with a shade closer to the Toys 'R' Us exclusive 3-pack figure, it would have been a better direction. Cobra Trooper for once has an unusual assortment of accessories. He again comes with a removable helmet, knife, and individualized Cobra stand, but for some reason he does not come with his usual rifle. Instead, he has a gun used by the Crimson Twins that doesn't hold very well in his loose grip hands. Also packed with Trooper is a cart and the three elements. It's a great bit accessory supporting the eventual M.A.S.S. Device, even if it was in the miniseries for merely a second.
Baroness (v11) is the closest thing to a new figure in this set as you can get as we get a new head sculpt of Baroness in scuba gear but using the body of Scarlett (v8) and new flipper feet. She stands a bit too short to be a good version of the Baroness but does the trick when you need someone to fight off the massive tube worms. Included with Baroness is the Cobra display stand, pistol weapon, containment unit for M.A.S.S. Device elements, and removable goggles, oxygen tank, and scuba gear.
The last figure in the set is Sgt. Stalker (v10), a complete repaint of v9 which uses the body of Snake Eyes (v28). The repaint gives us a more cartoon accurate Stalker with brown rifle, display stand, and jet pack. Unfortunately Stalker does not come with additional accessories to fill out his empty pockets.
And at last, let's take a look at the Console section of the M.A.S.S. Device. This piece comes with three empty element containers, so if you want to fill them up, it'd be a good idea to pick up the figures that contain removable M.A.S.S. Device elements, the first one being the single pack of Cobra Commander (v31).
So that's everything that comes with the first DVD Battle Pack, and you get all that for between $20-23, it's a total bargain considering that one figure by itself costs $7. You get four figures, DVD, and accessories. It's an incredible deal and being such a fan of the toon, worth every penny.
More action shots:
Images from the collection of: David Yeh
Figures courtesy of BigBadToyStore — get your G.I. Joes and much more at BigBadToyStore!