If I had to come up with an individual title for this two pack it would be “And Then Things Just Started Blowing Up!” Winner of the Fan’s Choice poll at GIJoe.com last year, this two pack houses the Dreadnok’s resident pyrotechnics expert as well as the Joe’s second anti-armor specialist. In other words, if you need something to go ‘BOOM!’ these are the guys you call in. So, did the fans make a good call with this pack? Are these worthy updates to classic RAH characters? Just check out the following paragraphs to find out one collector’s opinion.
It’s a darn shame that the Quickstrike was so insanely hard to find for most people. As a result of the vehicle’s scarcity, most Joe fans would have had the opportunity to own this figure. However, including both he and Frostbite in wave 6 means that even though the vehicles have proven elusive, the figures are still obtainable. That being said, let’s take a good look at Bazooka.
Hasbro continues its trend of taking a more realistic approach to figure design with Bazooka. His uniform, his padded vest, his combat books and his helmet are all indicative of something that you might expect to see in the real world. Even his color scheme, which is more dynamic than the Quickstrike version, is done in more subdued colors. There’s not a single drop of yellow, pink, bright green, fluorescent orange, etc, colors used anywhere on him! In fact, I’d have to say that those of you who haven’t found a Quickstrike yet aren’t missing much as this is the better Bazooka! Add in the fact that this version comes with a HUGE rocket launcher and a .357 Magnum and you’ve got one mean anti-armor specialist.
The odd thing about Bazooka is that I don’t think this was originally intended to be Bazooka. This figure mold first surfaced at Toy Fair 2004 and, after seeing the pics, a great many fans were convinced that this was going to be an update to Zap, the original anti-armor trooper of the Joe team. However, the “Bazooka & Torch” pack won the fans choice poll so you might infer that Hasbro simply changed the name assigned to this mold to fit the poll results. I’m not complaining but this figure seems to be heavily inspired by the Battle Corps Zap figure rather than an incarnation of Bazooka. One other thing to note: the sight on his rocket launcher is actually a separate piece of plastic that attaches to the launch tube. On mine, it’s a bit loose and tends to fall off rather easily so I’d recommend a drop of super glue to hold it in place. Other than the name and the launcher site, I’m pretty impressed with this figure.
Okay, it’s confession time. Torch was always my favorite of the original Dreadnoks. A lot of kids in my area were fans of Buzzer and Ripper but I was always a Torch man and it’s great to see him get an updated look. I loved the DD redesign with the doo-rag and this figure seems to be inspired by that same look. From his bandanna to his custom jeans, this figure just screams ‘modern day biker’. Gone is the punk look of the 80’s and instead we have a figure that looks like he belongs in the toughest biker gang in the world. However, it’s not his overall costume design that makes this figure—it’s his tattoos! Torch is a loyal ‘Nok through and through and he shows his loyalty by sporting a big Dreadnok logo on his left bicep. Not wanting to leave his right arm bare, Torch also has three other detailed tattoos on his right arm, including the now cliché ‘barbed wire band’. One look at these tattoos shows just how much effort Hasbro is putting into Joe these days.
Torch is also sporting a set of the new shoulder design that first debuted with Venomous Maximus. Gone are the shoulder pins; in their place is a smooth shoulder with the same range of movement. Say goodbye to the famous “swivel-arm battle grip” cut joint as well. Instead, the arm rotates at the elbow joint which eliminates the need to cut the mold for a point of articulation. The result is a figure with the same range of motion but with fewer breaks to the sculpt. It’s a visually pleasing change and one that I hope holds up to wear and tear as well as the original arm design. One odd thing about this figure is the patella bone located at the base of his forearm. These serve to limit the motion of the elbow to a realistic range. They do, however, look a bit odd simply hanging off of the back of his upper arms. I don’t know exactly how this could have been improved upon but it does take a bit of getting used to. Does it hamper my love of this figure? Not one bit!
There is one last detail about Torch that deserves to be mentioned. In the tradition of the Star Wars line, Hasbro has included an “effect piece” with this figure. Packaged with Torch is a piece of red/orange translucent flame that can be attached to the end of his trademark weapon. When attached, it simulates a flame-burst effect. To my recollection, this is the first time any such “effect piece” has ever been included with a Joe. It does add to the figure’s appearance but I’m glad it is removable, as I don’t know if every Joe fan is going to want Torch “flaming away” in their dios.
Overall, this is a fantastic pack! Regardless of whom Bazooka ends up being used as, this is a great opportunity to get a figure that has proven to be quite elusive. Torch gives us two of the original three Dreadnoks in updated form and is a fantastic, highly detailed addition to the new Joe line. This pack is the shining jewel in the crown of Wave 6 as it offers not only great character selection but also good accessories, terrific sculpting, and some innovative new features. Of all of the packs in this series, this is THE must-own pack! Check out GIJoeHQ.com and grab yours today!