Happy New Year, guys! Let's set the tone for 2012 by welcoming the year with a bunch of new toys! Come on!
I had been eyeing this Fury of Combat set for quite some time because of the exclusive Nick Fury figure that banners it but I wasn't willing to purchase it at SRP since I was only interested in one figure and paying for three other figures that I thought I didn't need seemed like a rip off. When I attended the Hasbro Toy Fair last December, the sets were already on sale for 1500 bucks (USD 35) but I decided not to grab one as I continued to hold out hope of finding a cheaper set at the Christmas Toy Fair being held simultaneously on a different level of the same venue. I eventually found one being sold for 1400 bucks and needless to say, that's the set that I bought. I was really happy with the purchase but I didn't realize that I would later be in for a rude awakening! Upon reaching home, I hurriedly set all of my new toys loose only to learn that one of my Ground Assault Drones came without the inner outrigger/stabilizer of its left foot! I double-checked the box to see if it had been opened before but it was definitely sealed when I bought it and that only meant one thing: the figure passed quality control despite the missing piece! Darn! I'm not a pathological cheapskate and although I can't be classified as a big spender either, I guess this time I just got what I paid for. Tough luck.
So, let's move past that effing missing piece and concentrate on the toys at hand. Let's start with the Iron Man Mark VI fig since it's the least interesting fig in the set. There's really nothing new about this Mark VI figure and in fact, it's the same as the single-carded version minus the stand, the armor cards, and the arm-mounted missile launcher. I already have the single-carded Mark VI in my armory but prior to the arrival of this new figure, my Marvel Cinematic Universe display lacked an Iron Man fig and so, this one will be staying alongside Nick, Thor, Cap, and the Warriors Three.
Next, we have Nick Fury, a figure that's really essential in every fan's MCU collection. The fig uses a lot of parts from the G.I. Joe 25th Anniversary line, particularly Beachhead's upper torso, lower torso, upper arms, and lower arms and Dusty's upper legs, knees, lower legs, and feet. The head is new but I'm not sure if that's also the case with the hands. With the exception of the G.I. Joe Sigma 6 figs, I don't like real fabric clothes on my action figures as they make the toys look goofy, as evidenced by this figure. There are other ways to give a 1:18 figure a coat but I'm not sure why Hasbro settled with this method.
The coat is really awful and I'm planning to display the fig without it but there's one problem: the figure's head sits a bit high on its neck, making the neck look too long when the coat is not worn. To make matters worse, the figure's neck is also missing the brown paint app that should have been applied on it, leaving Fury with a black neck. On the positive side, the head sculpt captures Samuel L. Jackson's likeness quite well and that is this figure's real draw. Overall, Nick Fury is not a bad figure but we've seen better offerings from Hasbro.
Finally, we're down to the set's best figures, the Ground Assault Drones. These desert-themed robots are the real stars of this set and that fact can be attributed to the figures' fantastic sculpt and amazing color scheme. The figures are tall and bulky and judging by their looks, they're built for battle. The gray paint wipes suggest that these drones are already battle-tested mechanical warriors. They are loaded with heavy weaponry and even though their arm movements are limited, they can still hold a lot of poses. I don't really collect 1:18 figs of Marvel villains but I definitely have room for these two drones. Thanks to the US flag tampoed on their chest, these bad boys will be bolstering my G.I. Joe Desert Battle squad in their fight against Cobra!
I didn't know that I was missing out on a lot by not getting this set when it first came out. I bought it only for the Nick Fury figure and ended up using all four figures in my display! Nick Fury may not provide enough reason to snag this set at the current price of 1500 bucks but with the inclusion of the two Ground Assault Drones, there's no reason to skip this set.