Grand Slam (2009)
By Past Nastification
Introduced as a Target exclusive for the Rise of Cobra line, the 2009 Grand Slam is my favorite version of the character.
The previous 25A-style Grand Slam had silver colored pads instead of this one’s metallic ice blue ones. The silver pad Grand Slam also shared a head with 25A Flash, making it a head-to-toe repaint. The recolored pads put Grand Slam in something new, in terms of colors. The look is further enhanced with the bulkier boots and bloused trouser lower legs w/ankle holster. The changes aren’t pronounced, but they’re enough to distinguish Grand Slam and Flash from each other at a quick glance.
Grand Slam is the only of the OG13 character to never have its own head sculpt. It shared a head with Grunt/Zap in the ARAH line. In the New Sculpt line Grand Slam’s head was borrowed from Bazooka. Most frustratingly, ROC throwaway characters like Aqua Viper were given unique “normal human” head sculpts. But not Grand Slam. Hasbro is dead set to never let the character shine all the way. This Grand Slam featured a head shared with Ace, which was at least a step in the right direction.
Grand Slam was included with an “Air Assault Glider”. It was a repaint of Barrel Roll’s glider from the New Sculpt era. Having been included with the ARAH Jet Pack Jump, a powered glider isn’t totally off base for the character of Grand Slam, but there isn’t any color cohesion between the figure and the glider. I must have lost the grip bar somewhere along the way. The two-magazine rifle, originally the ARAH rifle of Spearhead, doesn’t really fit Grand Slam’s laser motif. There were many laser-looking rifles that would have made more sense for the character. The glider and the rifle are just extra stuff packed in with a solid figure.
As solid as it is, it’s not without its flaws. The mid-torso articulation gap is frustrating. It could have been sidestepped if Hasbro had just made the padding removable. The bicep shoulder pads are sculpted a bit too far to the inside of the arms. The helmet and hands are slightly undersized. None of these flaws are overwhelming.
If this Grand Slam had been given a red turtleneck and a new head, it would have gone a long way to being a landmark 25A figure. As it is, it’s still one of the best 25A/Modern Era figures Hasbro has released. It harkens back to the feel of some of the OG13. It looks military, but with enough sci-fi influence to flavor it a bit futuristic.