Ralph “Steeler” Pulaski (2008)
Can we get a little love for Steeler? The man’s been there from the beginning, one of the first driver figures, and he seems to be either left out or when he does appear, to be given the half-arsed treatment.
The sadness of this figure rivals the depths of laziness plumbed by some of the 1997 rereleases. We’re not up to Stars and Stripes Breaker levels on the suckitude meter, but the needle comes close. Released as part of the monstrously sized Target exclusive Ultimate Battle set, he also included a remold of the original MOBAT. That’s a positive, right? I know I still dig all of the original ’82 vehicles.
While it was good to see another of the original thirteen reproduced in the modern style, the result is less than stellar. First off, why was he done up in a desert paint scheme? Was this a nod to the tan Grunt and Clutch figures, also both drivers? Maybe it was a marketing decision:”We can’t possibly put three green guys in one pack. Paint him tan!”
The biggest bummer about Steeler is the lack of his distinctive visor. Instead he cam equipped with a solid black version of the normal ’82-83 visor. Nice try, but come on, that’s totally cheap. Could it have been a problem to remold the original? Well, probably, considering the difference in size of the vintage helmets and these newer figures. It probably would have required a new mold altogether, and these store exclusive usually don’t feature newly tooled parts. Then again, the solid black visor was also featured in the first pamphlet included with the vehicles. Maybe it was an homage. Nah!
On a positive note, the harness is nice, although mine has since broken, as you.can see in the photo. Quite a shocking development for a Hasbro product, having a part just snap like that. The plastic appears to be very thin at the belt. You know, the more I look at this figure, the more it’s ticking me off. Excuse me, I’m gonna go dig out my original Steeler; I know he’s not broken. And if he is, all I need to fix him is an o-ring and a precision screwdriver.