Custom Bootlegs

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.



  • Pingback: » Field Report: Custom Bootlegs

  • The gold B.A.T. does look pretty cool. It reminds me of the old Captain Power toy line.

  • For fan made bootlegs these are very nice. But the quality has regressed over time. The first cobra troopers are awesome. But the second wave had looser joints and the leg problem mentioned. When these guys were 6 to 10 bucks each they were a good buy. But at double that price the quality issues get annoying.

  • Loving the tiger force Flash

  • The gold BAT makes me think of C3PO going to war. And I can understand the plastic being brittle. That vacu-formed plastic generally is.

  • I’m really digging that blue B.A.T. a lot. Ditto for the vacu-chromed one, although that kind of plastic tends to turn out brittle even when mainstream companies produce them. Kenner’s Silverhawks line is one such example.

    @Skymate That Tiger Force Flash/Grand Slam is sweet indeed!

    I’m very tempted to start looking into these now that Hasbro has slowed down its own output to a crawl. Besides that, I miss the o-ring stuff like crazy! If the quality improves over time, I’ll probably be collecting these big time in the near future.

  • @Clutch
    I was so inspired by other Tiger force customs, i made a few of my onw. I picked up a CORPS Amphibious landing transport and the Captain America 4×4 and turned them both into Tiger force vehicles. Problem is i now want to make a Tiger force mobile command centre. I cant stop myself.

    And on the subject of vacmetal plastic. Nearly all the Transmetel Beast Wars figures i have are suffering badly from it. When i picked up Transmetel 2 Prowl from a collectables fair, the baggy he was in was full of small blue particles. Either he was flaking or Walter White used to own him

  • Yeah, the quality is an issue with these. You get these for display or novelty. I have a few Crimson Guard, all have loose swivel arms. Also, these custom figures have hard plastic forearms, the one thing I don’t miss about vintage ARAH.

  • ..they suck in every way possible..sorry

  • I just picked a pair of the Cobra de Aco figures made by the Party Not Mentioned and am quite pleased. He says he’s not producing customs any longer and just selling off what he has left.

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