Thursday, August 2, 2012

[Acquisitions] 1:18 Avengers Vehicles

When it comes to play value, nothing really beats the 1:18 scale. Heck, nothing even comes close to it! You want some proof? Let me warn you first, dude. What you're about to see is a bit picture-heavy. If you're still up to it though, then go and take a look!

I had some extra cash a few weeks ago and I was contemplating on whether to track down some of the modern G.I. Joe vehicles that I have yet to own or grab some Avengers stuff which are readily available on the shelves. I decided to go for the Avengers vehicles since I wanted to get the most bang for my buck and also avoid the hassles of buying toys in the secondary market. I wasn't in the mood to deal with scalpers and hoarders that particular morning and so, I headed to the mall where the abundance of various Avengers merchandise overwhelmed me and offered me quite a reprieve. At the end of the day, I was carrying three huge tote bags full of toys and it was like one of the best days of my toy-collecting existence.

So, here are the items that I scored on that wonderful July afternoon: one Iron Man Firestrike Assault Jet for 1000 PHP (around 24 USD), one Captain America Goliath Assault Tank also for 1000 PHP, three Avengers Quinjets for 4800 PHP (around 114 USD) combined, and one S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier for 5000 PHP (around 119 USD). All in all, I spent a whopping 11800 PHP (around 281 USD) on toys alone and I had such a blast. Come on, let's check out these newest additions to my ever-growing 1:18 collection!

First up, we have the Firestrike Assault Jet. In case you're not familiar with the mold, this pretty little aircraft is just a repainted Justice Jet from the Captain America: The First Avenger toy line. I do not have a Justice Jet in my 1:18 fleet and this Firestrike Jet really does a good job of making me regret that fact. The color scheme of this new vehicle is definitely more realistic compared to that of its predecessor and that makes the Firestrike the better ride between the two.

This jet employs a decent amount of play features which include a spacious cockpit, a pair of adjustable turbines (that allow for vertical take-off and landing), and a pair of missile launchers on its belly.

The set also includes a Mark VI Iron Man figure which moves only at the big 5 (neck, shoulders, hips). I really hate it when a vehicle/playset comes with a figure that looks and feels like trash. I wish they'd just omit the damn thing and reduce the price of the set to give customers a better deal. Aaarrrggghhh!

Next, we have the Goliath Assault Tank. To be brutally frank, I don't know why they named this tank Goliath. The guy who gave this toy its name must have been very, very small, because otherwise, the name's just inappropriate. Seriously, it's a very small and low-profile vehicle but despite its size, it packs a lot of punch!

For firepower, the tank has a Gatling gun and a missile launcher, both of which can be raised from the sides. The said weapons can also be rotated a full 360 degrees, making the tank capable of hitting targets without a change in direction.

Lifting the roof up reveals a very roomy cockpit and even though there's only one seat inside (for the driver), the space actually allows for another figure to sit beside the driver as its companion.

There's also a gunner's hatch behind the driver seat and a foot peg on each side of the vehicle, allowing the tank to carry a total of five figures to battle.

All six wheels roll freely and there's also a removable antenna attached on the rear of the tank.

As is the norm, the Goliath comes with a useless figure as its driver. This time, it's a comic version Captain America fig that's included. The fig looks unusually cheap, as if its just a bootleg. Weird.

Moving on, we have the three Quinjets. I didn't really need to get multiples of this bad boy for my collection but since it's quite affordable and I had extra cash, I decided to get three. There were plenty of Quinjets shown in the movie, after all, so it's something quite okay to get muptiples of. 1600 bucks for a Quinjet is actually quite a steal, the jet is huge, it has a lot of fun features, and it really looks bad-ass.

The jet comes out of the box in four separate pieces: fuselage, wings, and tail. I made a decision not to assemble any of my Quinjets for the fear of not being able to disassemble the thing afterwards. I currently do not have shelf space to display large vehicles and playsets on and that's the reason why I'm keeping these bad boys inside their respective boxes. I can still vividly remember the day I put together my G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra Night Raven only to realize that there's no way of disassembling the damn thing without causing permanent damage to the plane. Yup, you can say that I learned that lesson the hard way.

The Quinjet has two modes, both of which are functional. The supersonic stealth mode features the jet in its normal/regular form.

By simply cocking the wings backward, the jet goes into hyper attack mode. In this mode, the plane's cockpit/nose lowers a bit, the hidden missile launchers pop up, and the turbine on each wing gets revealed.

Other play features include a comfy cockpit fit for one figue, a cargo bay at the rear that has a seat to accommodate a second figure, a flight clip that lets a figure fly alongside the jet, and a retractable landing gear system with fake, non-rolling wheels.

The Quinjet also comes with a Mark VII Iron Man figure that has minimal paint apps. The figure still moves only at the big five but at least it looks somewhat decent compared to the aforementioned Captain America figure.

Finally, we've come to the main course, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier! Nope, this playset doesn't give the legendary Helicarrier justice but it still makes for a great display piece! The Helicarrier is roughly three feet in length, from end to end. It looks a lot like an ironing board and it doesn't really have a lot of play features but it's appeal lies on the fact that you can put a lot of figures on its flight deck. The Helicarrier comes in a relatively small box and that means that the parts are mostly thin and flat, and that those parts require some minor assembly. I didn't fully assemble mine, leaving the flight deck in two pieces, for the same reason I stated a while back.

Upon opening the box, we get a boatload of parts. There are the two halves of the flight deck, four turbines, four regular-sized missile launchers, three weapons locker doors, two fork-like gun assemblies, two stands, a gunner station with a giant missile launcher, an assault pod, a crane arm, a trap door, and five missiles. There's also an instruction manual and a sticker sheet, though I haven't applied the stickers on my set yet.

For a playset this huge, the play features surely leave a lot to be desired. There's a removable assault pod that has a cockpit, an observer station, and a gunner station.

The gunner seat can be raised or lowered but that's the only movement there is in the whole assault pod assembly. I wish it could rotate but sadly, it couldn't.

The boom of the rotating crane arm is fixed at an angle and unfortunately, that angle is very small, leaving the hook hanging too low. I also don't get why they need to put a figure catapult in there, but it's there nonetheless.

Two regular-sized missile launchers reinforce each side of the flight deck and there's a working trap door and three storage compartments along the length of the deck and that's almost about it when it comes to play features.

Despite its shortcomings in the features department, I still love this playset and I don't regret spending 5000 bucks for it. It's huge, it looks great, it can carry a lot of figures on it's deck and since I don't have a lot of spare time to play with my toys, it's a good fit for my collection.

The Helicarrier also comes with a movie version Captain America figure. The free figure's head sculpt is more movie-accurate compared to that of the single-carded release and that's such a bummer! The heads can easily be interchanged but the two Caps were done in different shades of blue, so, simply swapping heads won't work. Plus, the free Cap's head is a bit small, it looks really off when placed on the single-carded Cap's body. Sigh!

So, that's all we have for today, peeps! I really enjoyed making this entry and I hope you enjoyed reading it as well. Work has been a killer for the past three months and finally getting the chance to spend a considerable amount of time with my toys really re-energized me. Wow, I feel like a child again! All these stuff are non-Joes but they're all Joe-compatible and I'm stoked to have them in my collection. This is the kind of play value that only the 1:18 scale can provide and I'm really glad that it was the scale I chose after abandoning the 1:12 ship four years ago. How about you, why do you love the 1:18 scale?


  1. What type of cabinets do you use for display? I'm trying to find something similar.

  2. They're made from particle board. A local department store sells them for PHP 3000 (about USD 71) each. They're pretty cheap but they're of good quality. :D


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