I had a hunch we’d be seeing some Autobots style vehicles in Hasbro’s third and final GI Joe/ Transformers crossover box set. The Joe team had hinted that this set would “fill in a much needed hole,” and that we’d all “be surprised by how many figures it contains.”
They were right on both counts– this year’s set delivers two Autobot vehicles in the Joe scale– Jetfire and Hound– and delivers a whopping SEVEN characters from both universes in one box! On top of the two vehicles, the final crossover set includes three Joe style figures– Snake Eyes, Baroness and Bludgeon– a Joe scale Ravage, and a Blaster backpack to match last year’s Soundwave.
The figures are all good. The best is the fantastic new Baroness, with her all new portrait, comm device in her ear, and classic-looking costume. The Cobra villain includes multiple guns, and a chain leash she can hold which attaches to Ravage, a nod to the classic crossover statue released by First4Figures years earlier. Soundwave’s robot panther is an all-new piece, featuring a ball joint head with a good range of motion. He maintains a great sense of scale with the 3.75″ figures.
Bludgeon is no slouch, either. The Decepticon samurai is captured at a human scale, using the Budo body with a new cybernetic skull-like head. Bludgeon’s maroon/ black golden yellow color scheme plays very well on this figure, and his pale white skull with red eyes stands out incredibly well against his armor. He’s a very fun figure, who reminds me of last year’s Constructicon BAT, while giving us a nice first look at the upcoming Budo.
The last figure is Snake Eyes, in camo pants and repping an Autobots logo. He’s a repaint of the first Retaliation figure, so he’s plenty poseable, although aside from the Autobots logo the figure himself is not that original. He’s saved by his new backpack, designed to look like the heroic Autuobot boom box Blaster. The pack fits well, and it’s a completely unique sculpt from last year’s similar Soundwave. I’m glad to see Hasbro go the extra mile here, instead of cut corners and repaint the previous sculpt, and the inclusion once again of three removable tapes just adds another layer of geeky fun.
Both vehicles are logical additions to the Joe series. Like Snake Eyes, Hound doesn’t feel quite as unique… he’s based on the 25th VAMP mold, in an appropriate ARMY green, making him very similar to the standard VAMP, except for his new decals and cannon. It’s still a nice piece, and the Autobots locos go a long way in distinguishing him.
Hound is good, but Jetfire steals the show here. The Autobot jet is based on the Sky Striker, but features an all-new rear canopy that detaches to form a second, smaller flying vehicle. More importantly, it changes the silhouette of this plane, making him feel like much more than another Sky Striker repaint. Jetfire sports a LOT of stickers, and once they’re all in place he looks really outstanding… more than a match for Starscream.
I’m very happy with this set overall, and the addition of the Autobots– and the release of the Baroness and Ravage originally planned for Pursuit of Cobra– make this set feel like a winner. The crossover box set was sold at Comic Con this summer, with Hasbro’s intent to also put it for sale on HasbroToyShop.com. Unfortunately, the lawsuit-happy suits behind Macross are suing over the set, claiming Jetfire is too similar to their vehicle designs to be allowed for sale. That’s tied up the online release of this set, which is a total shame. This is a great toy, and every fan deserves the chance to own it. I’m hoping the completely pointless litigation can be resolved so this set can make it into more collectors’ hands soon.