Friday, 25 March 2016

Nerdversity Reviews: Joe Con 2010 Vacation In the Shadows (part 1)


As we mentioned in the Action Force Revival post, Joe Con bought back Action Force for a special boxed set in 2010 called Vacation in the Shadows. The front of the box features some awesome artwork of The Black Major and Interrogator with some Red Shadows troopers looking for Flint, who looks similar to Bruce Willis. The set features 10 figures, so lets take a look at them.


The first out the gate is The Black Major. While the original figure was done in the style of a vintage Star Wars figure, this is an 80s style O-Ring figure and the parts are:
  • Head: M. Bison
  • Torso: Hardball
  • Arms: Hardball
  • Waist: Action Soldier
  • Legs: Hardball.
  • Whip: Indiana Jones
  • Gun: Cobra Commander
The figure captures the essence of the original figure and updates him for a modern era. He wears a black and red military cap, all black uniform with red sleeves and a Red Shadows Skull over his heart. 



The Interrogator is next and is the Cobra figure in the set. The left picture represents the figure in the set, the one on the right is the head sculpt with removable helmet on the original 1992 figure. The head sculpt bears a very 1960s/70s Action Man vibe to it. The pieces are as follows:
  • Helmet: Custom
  • Head: Custom
  • Torso: Snake Eyes
  • Arms: Snake Eyes
  • Waist: Red Star
  • Legs: Red Star
  • Gun: Recondo
  • Pick: Alpine
In his convention uniform in the all grey overcoat and military pants, he does fit that Action Force theme of WW2-esque appearance, flocked hair and overcoat with gloves.


The Red Torch figures, which there are 6 of, are new pieces to the set. They are flamethrower troopers in the trademark red and black uniforms of the Red Shadows. The logo on their bicep is of the trademark skull with silver flames behind it. The parts used are as follows:
  • Head: Shadow Viper
  • Everything Else: Flint
  • Flamethrower: Torch
  • Sprayer: Barbecue
If these figures were released in the 1980s, they would have fit in perfectly with the Red Shadows theme and could have sold quite well. Despite being new, they do feel like they would have fit in with the original line. 


The last Red Shadows figure is the Red Shadows Trooper. Like with the Black Major figure, the boys at the Collector Club didn't reinvent the wheel per sae, just emulated the classic figure. The pieces are:
  • Head: Vintage
  • Rest: Red Star
  • Gun; Beachhead
  • Pouch: Beachhead
  • Bazooka: Zap
  • Grenades: Sgt. Savage
The figure looks like he just stepped out of the pages of the classic comics from Palitoy and Battle, They did a fantastic job of updating the Star wars style figure to fit in with the 80s and 90s GI Joe figures and not look out of place.


The final figure in this set is Flint. He comes in a green outfit with black camo on it. Very reminiscent of the Z-Force figures, but not quite there. The parts used are:
  • Head: Flint
  • Rest: Duke
  • Rifle: Outback
  • Backpack: Outback
  • Shotgun: Flint
This one is a bit off. It's clearly supposed to be a throwback to Z-Force and it's commander "Skip", who wore a similar outfit with a red beret, but with it being Flint, it doesn't quite come off the same in my book.

A complete set will set you back about £250-275 on the secondary market for a full set of 10 figures, comic, pin and certificate. You can buy the figures as singles for around £25-30 each in their baggies. Overall, this set is a nice throwback to the original Palitoy era of Action Force of 1983-1984. It was a unique idea to include GI Joe and Cobra in the mix, like the comics, in some ways it worked and some ways it didn't