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Vault Review: Acid Rain
Speeder MK. II (18 Pics!)

One of the best things about four inch figures is the relatively easy ability to make vehicles and playsets.  Sure, every once in a while we’ll get something amazing like NECA’s upcoming Power Loader, or even Castle Grayskull.  But these are just crumbs compared to the plethora of universe expanding vehicles in lines like GI Joe or Star Wars.  So as our 4” celebration comes to a close, I thought I’d help wrap up the week with a look at a line that was based on the vehicles first.

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The post apocalyptic Acid Rain line is quickly becoming one of my favorite toy lines.  There’s still not a lot on the shelves, but each new release is packed with so much detail that I can’t help but admire them for what they’ve accomplished in this scale.  The tank-like Stronghold was my first experience with the line.  It didn’t even come with a driver, but that didn’t deter from the amount of fun I had with it.  In fact, it might have even helped.  I used similarly scaled figures to take pictures with it, which allowed me to compare it with multiple lines.

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But while I was waiting for the next release of products in April, the folks over at Ori Toy were nice enough to send along a sample to whet our appetites.  Like Stronghold, the Speeder comes well packed in a nicely designed box.  I don’t usually care about packaging, but so much thought has been put into these boxes that I find myself unable to just toss them in the trash.  Not only do we have a nice art print on the front, but the box under the sleeve has been colored with a worn feel.  The back also has one of those holes that let you feel the texture of the toy too.

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One of the nice bonuses about the Speeder is that it comes with a driver.  Since this is the first action figure to be introduced in the Acid Rain line, I’m definitely going to hit up his basics for this review.  But I’ve got a two-pack of these guys ordered for the next drop, and I want to save some of the little details for that review too.  But suffice to say, this little guy rocks!

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This guy is just one of the many grunts in the AR war, so he doesn’t even have a name.  But that doesn’t detract from the figure in any way.  Standing just a smidge under four inches, this grunt has a pretty standard build that’s comparable to GI Joe or Star Wars but still has its own unique style.  His head is a gas mask, while the body definitely has a military feel only with a bit more armor and padding throughout.

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The paint job is like everything else in the AR world, dirty and worn.  There are a few places on the body that have a gritty feel, but for the most part it’s just painted on flecks of grime and rust.  This is probably for the best since his movements might wear down any raised gritty textures.

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Speaking of articulation, this grunt here can definitely move well.  His head is on a double ball joint, allowing him to lean forward or look up without any issues.  He’s also got a single ball joint just under his chest and at the hips.  His shoulders, elbows, wrists, and ankles are all swivel hinges.  He’s got swivel cuts at the waist and hips, while his knees are double hinged.

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Unfortunately the grunt doesn’t come with any weapons.  He does have a helmet though, which fits over the gasmask nicely.  You can even lower it over the eyes, making it look like he just has goggles on.  The grunt also has a removable vest.  I don’t really consider this an accessory, but it does lead me to think we’ll see future body armor designs being mixed and matched.

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One thing I was particularly impressed with is the inclusion of a sheet of paper that had newspapers, letters, and envelopes that you could cut out for the figures.  Little details like this are what make this line truly amazing.  It’s something that doesn’t need to be included, but the fact that it’s there just adds to the appreciation.  Continue to next page…

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20 comments to Vault Review: Acid Rain
Speeder MK. II (18 Pics!)

  • Way too rich for my blood, but they do look cool. I’ve been saying for years that Hasbro could do something similar with a GI Joe/Transformers crossover if they wanted to, they just don’t want to invest in the engineering or take that kind of market risk. I don’t think a fully transforming Optimus Prime HiSS tank would cost anywhere near $140, but I can imagine it easily being more expensive than your average leader class figure.

    • Vault

      Yeah, I’d definitely love a line of Joe Transformers. I think I may be the only person who’s annoyed by those SDCC exclusives because they don’t actually transform.

      If Hasbro or Takara actually did that line, I could see it easily costing more than a hundred. Just look at Masterpiece. It would have to have the same level of engineering, but also be in scale with Joes.

      • It depends on the vehicle. A HiSS tank, for example, would probably be around the same size as those oversized “Ultimate” scale, or maybe even the “Weaponizer” scale, TF Prime figures. They wouldn’t need to have the die cast that the MP figures have.

        Now, doing Starscream as a properly scaled Night Raven, that’d cost a pretty penny.

        But, no, you’re not alone in your annoyance with the SDCC Joe/TF sets. I get that new molds would be too costly, but it’s almost like they’re just teasing us with what we’re getting. “It looks like a Transformer, it’s got Decepticon or Autobot decals like a Transformer, but if you think you’re turning it into a robot, oo-hoo, think again.”

  • dayraven

    dude, these looks cool as balls. the numerous little details impress the hell out of me. this isn’t some fad toy looking to move merch on a dippy gimmick, this is a serious toy made by people who get what adult collectors squeal like girls about… hidden surprises! we love finding stuff we didn’t know could be removed, or parts that move that we thought were static, that’s some of the best shiz they could offer. and they didn’t go insane w/ the articulation, using it smartly to get you posability, but not at the expense of aesthetic or functionality… that’s exactly how the game should be played.

    so i must ask, how does it feel quality wise? especially at the figure’s scale, it would be easy to make the shovel feel flimsy or the use a cheap plastic grade to keep costs down. how does she stack up to like a gi joe or a chap mei piece?

    • Vault

      The vehicles are made out of a really sturdy plastic, but it’s not brittle. They actually feel like they could hold up to some rough play (although I’m probably not going to test that out by giving it to a kid). Some of the ratchet joints require a little pressure to move, which is definitely scary at first. But after a while you get the feel for it, and I haven’t had any issues with breaks or even stress lines.

      The little accessories are all made of the same sturdy plastic too, thankfully. It would have been easier to go the soft route, but I’m glad they didn’t. Again, it’s a bit scary unclipping them the first couple times, but I think I’m used to it.

      The grunt is pretty comparable to GI Joe, but most of his joints are ratcheted also. I haven’t had any issues with him either, but I do want to keep an eye on his hands. They’re made out of a softer plastic so they can easily form to all the grips on the vehicles and guns. There haven’t been any rips, but I do wonder how they’ll age.

  • Brainlock

    excuse me, I need to go invest in some lottery tickets!
    not just to buy these, but to invest in them for more cool stuff!

    This is definitely the marriage of our Joes and TFs that we all wanted, and it is awesome!

  • ultraMK

    I’d like to know a little more about the durability too. Would you say these are more, less, or about same as WWRp toys in terms of fragility?

  • “meh” I don’t care for the scale… 😉

  • Am I the only one looking at this and thinking “Spiral Zone v2.0”?

    I was a bit put off by the tank because some of the transformation (the legs/treads) just looks wrong and illogical. This speeder knocks it out of the park for me. That probably seems foolish to some but to my eyes, if you’re trying to make a hyper serious ‘real world robot’ kind of toy (and sorry,’Armor Trooper Votoms’ pretty much is the pinnacle of that concept) you’ve got to have some actual engineering sense, or a flaw like those tank legs/tread stuff just completely pulls me ‘out’ of the toy’s reality.

    The speeder seems to avoid all of that kind of problem, at least in the pics shown.

    And yes, I know, ironic, pointing out how a fantasy toy isn’t realistic blah blah. Everyone knows what I mean.

    Another great review, Vault! 🙂

  • This series is looking so awesome! I’ve pre-ordered and now I wait . . . and I am not good at waiting.

    @Steve H – Yeah, I can see some Spiral Zone mixed in there. Good eye!

    As to “realistic engineering” I say: Bah! Realism! I get that every single day.

  • Incredibly cool, but I just don’t have the money or space to pick any of these up at the moment.

    Excellent review and great pics, as always.

  • So.

    130 bones for the speeder. Wow. OK, not gonna grow the market with that kind of pricing. Forever Boutique.

    Regretful.

    Look, I’m not ignorant. I get manufacturing is expensive for small run stuff. I get the paint and weathering apps are time and labor intensive. I get that ‘couple of dudes in the garage’ don’t have the resources of ‘mega giant worldwide corporation’. And I get that reducing prices by lowering material or finish quality would defeat the goal, the image generated.

    I would wish it to be different but in the current world I can’t see a way for that to be possible.

    • “I would wish it to be different but in the current world I can’t see a way for that to be possible.”

      Crowdfunding, when properly promoted and managed, can allow anyone without skill to accumulate the financial support to bring costs down. It’s just a matter of planning and then sticking to the plan.

      The team behind Acid Rain could have:

      * Worked out numbers to determine how many toys they must sell to bring the Speeder MSRP in at $39.95. This would need to include not only all of their own internal costs but also tooling, manufacturing, QC, and shipping to/from to get the toys out there. Overestimate every cost!!!

      * Launched a Kickstarter project with a realistic goal to produce the number of toys needed to make a $39.95 MSRP viable. If this means $5,000,000 then that’s the goal.

      Unfortunately, what I see happen often with crowdfunding is the minimum goal is set without an eye toward a strong, profitable success. This is why so many crowdfunding projects end with comments like “we lost money” and “well, we covered our costs” and fewer “that was so profitable we can launch the next project on our own!”

      • The problem I see with Crowdfunding, and I think it ends up being a fatal flaw, it doesn’t allow or promote any kind of long-term working capital.

        It seems more of ‘give a man a fish’ than ‘teach a man to fish’, see? Business’ fail because they have nothing after that first, successful event/release/thing.

        It’s a flaw I regretfully see in what the Four Horsemen do. Everything seems to be “this thing we do now MUST make (x)Dollars in order to fund the development of the next thing” which, of course, sound normal for business but the drops seem calculated to ONLY ‘give a man a fish’ (themselves, now) rather than ‘teach to fish’ (seeking and embracing new customers which would expand their income and increased interest in products both established and new)

        And blah blah econ 101 invisible hand free markets 🙂

  • da man

    Love the toys, but they are way out of my price range. I am sure Hasbro could do an affordable TF/GI joe line, but never will. Stuff like this shows how cool it couild be.

  • Great review, Vault! I love your camera work. I’m excited to see your take on the Winged Victory of Samothrace set.

  • mkULTRA

    This is not my preferred scale but I like it. I pre-ordered one. This could get expensive!

  • Paul

    You have really outdone yourself with the pics on this review. Both Acid Review had great pics!

  • Excellent review! I chose the Stronghold and don’t regret it, but damn, the Speeder is awesome!