By Past Nastification
When the grocery store is three blocks out of the way, and all you really need is milk, Family Dollar is there. It doesn’t have to be milk. Maybe it’s shoelaces. Or batteries. Whatever sundry items you need, Family Dollar probably has them. And this time of year, they also carry various GI Joe knock-off items as well.
The 2017 lineup includes two very GI Joe-ish playsets. Labeled as Heroes Playsets, they don’t have a brand name and are about as generic as you can go.
The first set contains an under-scaled C-130 style transport plane and other box stuffers. Don’t worry, I couldn’t resist buying it. But we’ll talk about it another day.
The second set contains a missile base and some box stuffers.
One of the box stuffers is this little gem, which I call the “Imitation VAMP”. Again, we’ll look at the base and other components another day. But right now looks enjoy the Imitation VAMP. Molded in a muddy river color, the design cues taken from Hasbro’s early VAMPs (both the original and the Mark II) are too prominent to be denied. Breaking down the similarities point-by-point doesn’t even need doing. If you’re a GI Joe fan, this automatically registers in your mind as a VAMP. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck… Despite its simplicity, I see this as more of VAMP than I see Hasbro’s own upgraded monster multi-seater VAMPS from the last several years.
It’s not made out of any factory-copied components. Every inch of this is original, but its overall shape is not. The biggest difference (perhaps the only real one) is that the interior only has one seat. Although two seats would have been more natural, the driver’s seat is offset to the driver’s side. This creates an oddly real-world feel for such a knock-off toy, but the steering wheel is too far away from the seat. The rocket box is sturdier than the one that came with the VMII. A tow hook would have been nice, but its absence doesn’t detract from the overall feel.
The missile base playset was $20, making the Imitation Vamp maybe a $5 item. Money well spent.