Locust: G.I. Joe Assault Copter XH-1
Well, the coming of new G.I. Joes is definitely something to celebrate!! So, to celebrate, I will reserve some space in this profiles section to give opinions, good or bad, of these new items as I get them. I was fortunate enough to find the Locust XH-1 at the local Toys R Us today, so it is first in line to get the profile treatment!! I will treat the vehicles and figures separately, so look for Wild Bill's profile soon to follow.
I will seriously try and be objective about these profiles, but truth be told right now, I am so ecstatic, that I can only think of good things to say. But if there is a bad point, I will definitely point it out, but like my whole page, everything here is merely in my opinion. I will break down the vehicle profiles into five different steps:
Presentation (how they look on the shelf, the box, etc...)
Assembly (how easy/hard they are to assemble, stickers, any problem areas...)
Construction (how the vehicle holds up, plastic quality...)
Playability (how fun the thing is to play with. YES I still play with my Joes...)
Color Scheme (the color of the vehicle and how much it works/doesn't work).
All righty then...
Presentation: All right...admission #1: I LOVE the Box Art on these new Joe items. The blue really stands out, the vehicle art renditions are nice, the logo is plastered well, and I really dig the explosions. Granted, it will never top the old school packaging, but by today's substandard toy standards, I think this one really stands out. It appears to me, at least that Hasbro is putting SOME effort into these things. The Locust really jumps out of the explosions, the art is nice, accurate and the actual figure is displayed in the plastic. Very, very cool.
Assembly: I had almost forgotten how durn fun it is to slap these babies together. The last time I did it was for the Conquest in '98, which I guess wasn't so long ago, but the few times I have done it in the last five years has left me wanting to do more of it. I was able to put this thing together pretty quick. about ten to fifteen minutes and it was done. No problem pieces, no breakage or lost parts. It was easy and quick. The stickers, as has been noted before, are extremely well done, easy to stick on, and adjust if need be. And if you are a perfectionist like I am, they need to be easy to adjust to get them straight. Putting on the stickers was a LOT of fun, and helped out the somewhat bland color scheme a LOT!
Construction: Again, no breakage in assemble or after. To me, the plastic quality definitely seems on par with the older stuff, but even in '97 and '98 the vehicles were pretty comparable. The rotor switch works great with no potential hazards to be found. Everything feels nice, solid, and like an old school Joe toy. This is definitely a good thing.
Playability: Ah, my favorite catagory! I have played the hell out of this thing tonight. My wife was giving me odd looks as I raced it thru the house, humming the theme song to "Airwolf". Ah, to be a kid again! The canopy opens and closes easily for easy access. The guns and missiles all pop off or rotate with smoothness, and I LOVE just playing with this thing. Of course, the Locust is pretty much just a repaint of an older G.I. Joe toy, and as most everyone should realize, Joe toys from 82-the early 90's even were some of the most fun toys to play with ever. This one does not disappoint in that regard either!!
Color Scheme: At first glance, this would seem to be the only possible negative aspect of the Locust. It is a pretty bland flesh-hued tan. But do not let that dissuade you!! The dirty, darker brown underneath the copter gives it some nice depth, and the stickers and darker missiles and guns add some cool color as well. Yeah, they could have done it in green, but wouldn't that have just been another Dragonfly? They could have done it in black, I guess, but personally, I equate black to Cobra. They most likely did not want to confuse the children. All in all, I really think the color scheme works after closer observation. The stickers add a lot to it, as do the differently colored weapons. Not bad on this point either.
All in all, I am pretty overjoyed to have G.I. Joes on the shelf. However, I am not blinded by loyalty to the line, so if there are substandard pieces, I WILL point them out. In my opinion, though, the Locust is a very nice piece, with a decent price point (14.99 at TRU) with a WHOLE lot of play value for the dollar. And if color is that big a deal, grab a can of your favorite spray paint, find a well ventilated area, and go crazy!
Just in case you haven't seen any, here are some pics of my new Locust!
An angled shot of the killer copter
A full side shot of the XH-1
A close up of the pilot and gunner. Wild Bill is showing one of the new Joes
Splashdown (a custom) the ins and outs
of the gunner's position on an XH-1 Locust
Finally, a little dogfight I whipped up with the help of Photoshop!