Review by Fred Meyer & Chris Chung
Pics by Fred Meyer
Resurrected from the cancelled RoC Wave 3 Alpha vehicles, Ice Storm makes his official (albeit baffling) debut, but this time without his Polar SHARC---and he’s now hunting zombies. Yeah, I know… On one hand I applauded this move as it gave collectors the chance to get a brand new character that Hasbro unceremoniously cut from the tail end of the RoC line. However, on the other hand, I feel his inclusion was unnecessary. As mentioned, Hasbro cancelled the retail release of the Wave 3 Alpha vehicles and shuffled them off on secondary market stores. Given the initial scalping prices and demand, many unscrupulous sellers made a profit from these proving the demand was there. Why on Earth Hasbro didn’t just SELL them on their OWN toy shop instead of taking a loss on these is beyond me. Anyway, enough of the Wave 3 sets made it to T.J. Maxx and Ross stores, so pretty much anyone who wanted one could have gotten one. Even now, Ice Storm is routinely found on the secondary market for reasonable prices, so he’s not hard to find. In this example, I don’t feel he was needed because the figure is still easy to come by, so we’re technically not missing out if the Club didn’t release him. That’s my two cents at least. Fred, what do you think?
Here’s a funny thing—I never bought the Polar SHARC. Yeah, I know—I didn’t “support the brand”… blah blah blah. Sorry, I couldn’t get past the fact that the submarine looked more like a winged coffin. As such, this is my first Ice Storm figure. In some ways that makes me the target audience for this figure which is kind of scary.
It is fair to mention the Club was very quick to point out this version of Ice Storm (and Outback) was a mandate from Hasbro to be included into the set, as they (the Club) seeming also felt that his inclusion was pretty left field. Not that Night Force, Ninja Force, Zombie Hunters, or Eco Warriors all mixed together wasn’t already a jumbled, half-assed mess, but whatever.
There’s a line in “Big Trouble in Little China” where Egg Shen discusses Chinese mysticism and says “we take what we want and leave the rest… kind of like your salad bar.” In many ways this convention set is very much like that. It’s like someone just stuck their hand in a bag of names and just started drawing out Joes. However, that’s a tangent for another time.
The convention Ice Storm differs from his original in a few areas (including his file name and rank), but the aesthetic is essentially still preserved---a guy in cold weather gear. This doesn’t make a lot of sense, considering other characters in the set wearing are short sleeves, or are shirtless, but we all know why he is what he is. Folks can make up any story they want about how he’s “only wearing a windbreaker”, how it’s layered, or anything other justification they can, but it all boils down to a figure Hasbro shoe-horned into the set with no rhyme or reason that skewed the team’s composition. If we were to be true to the Eco Warrior theme, Snow Storm or Deep Six would have been better choices considering they were Eco Force to begin with.
Deep Six would have been AWESOME!!! Longtime fan here!
But as we all know, the Club will never complete a sub-team in a con set, as that would take away leverage for future release.
As with the original figure, Ice Storm’s colors are red and black. His parka is rather mundane and civilian looking---in fact, I had a winter coat that looked almost the same in both style and color. Where the Club made some changes, was giving him gold around his knee pads (the paint applications were sloppy on mine), and adding the unit patches on parka. While the colors are attractive, the red paint application over black is very sloppy and uneven, giving a chintzy feel to an otherwise decent figure. How as the paint on yours, Fred?
The paint on mine isn’t awful but it’s not great. Of course, I bought this two-pack almost entirely for Clutch so I’m not really all that invested in Ice Storm. To me, his inclusion is very much like being asked “you want fries with that?” Yeah, I guess I’ll take him. Personally my biggest issue with the figure is the fact that parka completely restricts the movement of his hips. He can’t sit or really even crouch and that’s a real knock on a figure in the Generation 3 era in my book.
Instead of a submarine driver, Ice Storm is now a rescue specialist, and boy does he come with a lot of gear---mostly Lifeline’s. This is one figure that I feel is very satisfying in the accessory department, as he comes with A LOT of stuff---and most of it is storable.
Gear selection can make or break a figure and in the case of Ice Storm it goes a long way in compensating for the fact that his hips are all but immobile and his arms have a very limited range of motion. That fact that I can store almost all of his gear either in his case, in a leg holster, or in his hands is a HUGE plus for me! I don’t mind figures who are equipped for any contingency but when most of that gear ends up in a parts bin because it has nowhere else to go is when I become a bit jaded.
With technically no new parts if you count his V-1 release, Ice Storm offers nothing new construction-wise, and his function on the team is iffy---making him a very expensive repaint. However on the flip side, he’s a good looking figure and a new character, so that adds credibility and value to his status. I also want to reiterate that con sets or FSS waves are exactly the place to offer cancelled Hasbro figures, but in this case the original was not hard to find, but the thought was in the right place. For those who are on the fence, I would encourage you to pick up the figure---but here’s the catch, not this version. This version is far too expensive. Instead, get the Polar SHARC version off of eBay. It’s essentially the same figure, and you can get him for around $15.00. What say you Mr. Meyer? He a pass? Or a fail?
Ice Storm is one of those rare figures that I can either take or leave. I’ve got very little attachment to him whatsoever. As I’ve said before I bought the Rescue Ops two-pack exclusively for Clutch. Ice Storm was the ‘bonus figure’ in my mind and as such he’s “okay.” Often times I’ve picked up figures that I was ambivalent about and ended up appreciating them far more than I ever could have anticipated. In this case, however, it’s just not happening. He’s not a bad figure but he’s not a great one either. I’ll have to check out his RoC version now that Chris keeps telling me how cheaply he may be acquired. (See—there is it! Proof that Joe fans are cheap! *insert eye roll here*) Honestly, unless you just have to have every single figure in the set, Ice Storm is one that you could skip and still lead a full and happy life. Of course, that’s just my opinion.
|Copyright 2003 JoeBattlelines.com|