by Jeremy AKA Troublemagnet
An interesting trend I’ve seen recently in Joe collecting is the availability of custom bootlegs of decent quality from a variety of online sellers. Over the past couple of months I’ve procured three different bootlegs based on old Hasbro molds. The Red Shadows Invasor uses the classic Snake-Eyes mold using the ’82 diaper crotch, yet the arms are the improved ’83 swivel arms, an odd combination to say the least. On his chest is the skull and bones logo of the Action Force villains. Mr. Invasor comes with a stand and Scarlett’s crossbow. As you can see, he’s very slightly smaller than some of his similar brethren, but an absolute terrific addition to any Joe fan’s o-ring collection.
Next we have the Gas Mask Trooper, a common figure using the Flash/Grand Slam 82 straight arm mold in a variety of colors. He comes with a black version of Flash’s laser rifle and back pack and quite honestly, the quality on these accessories are consistently low. I’ve have the hose end of the rifle snap off into the back pack twice now, necessitating a dremel re-drill. The color on his rifle’s hose is also staring to scrape off.The left leg has the tendency to “kick out” to one side, making the figure slightly unstable, yet if you’re just going to display the figure, it’s not a big concern. I believe the Gas Mask Trooper mask made its first appearance with the comic packs of 2006.They come with their own individual stands and come in a variety of colors. The paint jobs are crisp and bright and the Cobra logo looks great. Again, they seem slightly smaller than their vintage counterparts as you can see in the photo. Despite the figures’ shortcoming’s I highly recommend a few to really give your collection a diverse look.
The Battle Android Trooper is an awesome mold that still holds up today, so I jumped at the chance to obtain them in colors that Hasbro never dreamed of producing. The gold B.A.T. is beautiful in its (I’m assuming) vacu-chromed glory. The figure comes with a black stand and the backpack that holds his accessories. His hands are replaceable with different attachments, just like the original. I don’t believe Hasbro ever produced an all gold figure before so for that reason alone, he’s a worthy addition. The gold B.A.T. reminds me of an Oscar or some Academy Award. Looks great in the display cabinet next to Super Trooper. A silver version is also available. The blue version is also a great figure; he also includes his back pack done in a dull grey along with his standard attachments. The painting is professional, with a fine hologram, and a crisp cobra logo on their left bicep. Be careful though, these figures aren’t Hasbro quality. My first gold B.A.T.’s left arm split at the swivel, so buyer beware. I hope to see more and more eclectic and inspired bootlegs as time goes on and I’m really glad these figures are being made available to the general public.