BTR-Ticles: Raging Typhoon
The Raging Typhoon was released in Built to Rule series 1 in 2003, and was the largest set from that series.
Although it more closely resembles a 4-engine fan boat, the primary mode of the Raging Typhoon is described as a hovercraft and, as such, clearly recalls the popular 1984 Killer W.H.A.L.E. assault hovercraft. The staggering array of weapons for the Raging Typhoon includes ten of the BTR bomb/torpedo/missile pieces (eight in yellow and two in red), six of the standard BTR miniguns in silver with black mounts, a large, wind-up, six-shot rotary missile launcher in black and red with silver missiles, and three of the standard BTR missile launchers in black, with silver missiles. Like the other large Built to Rule sets, the Raging Typhoon provides a vast number of some of the most useful parts from other BTR sets in one package. Almost all of the parts are used in other sets, with a notable exception being the 2 left and 2 right wing pieces in green.
Like the W.H.A.L.E., the set includes a small land reconnaissance vehicle that can be deployed from the stern of the hovercraft, although, in this case, it’s an attack go-kart/missile luge and not a small motorcycle.
The included figure is the Joe team’s flamethrower, Blowtorch, made with O-ring construction, and it represents a few departures for the BTR line. Rather than favoring the G.I. Joe vs. Cobra figure released in the main line in 2002, the BTR Blowtorch bears some resemblance to the original version of the character from 1984. While the original figure featured round protrusions on its protective uniform that somewhat resembled brick studs, the BTR version of Blowtorch has dropped those, while picking up the standard BTR arm and leg studs.
Blowtorch is the only BTR figure to come with a removable figure accessory: a helmet with an integrated facemask and breathing hose that can plug into a chest-pack socket molded onto the figure’s front.
The Raging Typhoon’s secondary mode is a set of four attack vehicles, including an armored car, a boat, an airplane, and a missile-carrying go-kart/street luge.
The massive armored car features an odd, asymmetrical design with the rotary missile launcher on the left side.
The boat is loaded with weapons, almost to the exclusion of the operator.
The aircraft resembles a small, open-cockpit seaplane.
The go-kart resembles the Cobra Night Prowler, which uses many of the same parts.
The hull and cockpit pieces make it easy to construct a stealthy attack speedboat.
The wheels, axles, and large body pieces lend themselves to an amphibious personnel carrier, very loosely based on the fan-favorite 1983 G.I. Joe APC.
As mentioned above, the Raging Typhoon’s primary mode references the 1984 Killer W.H.A.L.E. While the set’s design is pretty good, it might be possible to hew just a bit closer to the source material than the set’s instructions indicate, as demonstrated by this O.R.C.A. (Ocean Reconnaissance/Coastal Assault) vehicle.
By raising the vehicle up on the small go-kart chassis and wheels, a hovering appearance can be conveyed in a manner reminiscent of the 1978 Kenner Landspeeder toy from Star Wars: A New Hope.
A VTOL aircraft, popular in properties such as G.I. Joe, Avatar, and Halo, and represented in the real-world by the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, is another design that can be attempted by the builder.
Embracing the nautical nature of the set’s hull parts, it’s possible to create a small attack submarine designed to operate unseen below the ocean’s surface.