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


Now onto the vehicle!

Ever since I first saw it in sketches, the Speeker MK. II has always reminded me of the A.W.E Striker from the GI Joe line.  This was one of my favorite Joe toys as a kid, and probably one of the main reasons the Speeder’s design.


Just by looking at the vehicle mode, you can tell this machine was built for speed.  It sits low to the ground and the front wheels jut out in front like it’s grabbing the pavement in front of it.  Unlike Stronghold’s tank treads, the wheels on the Speeder do spin freely.


The cockpit top just flips up, allowing the grunt to slide into the seat.  You can even strap him in with one of those rubbery seatbelts, just like all those old 80’s toys.  Instead of a steering wheel, the driver controls the vehicle/mech with a lever on each side.  The levers are connected to the vehicle with hinge joints, allowing the driver to pose like he’s actually in control.


But articulating those levers is just one small detail of many.  There are other mechanical ones, like the two hinged panels on the front of each wheel well that would allow the vehicle to stop quickly.  But there’s also these great little bits of eye candy that totally blow you away when you figure out they can actually be removed.  The two light blue cases above the rear tires are a good example.  Each can be slid out of place and opened.


What really floored me was the little pick axe and shovel on the front of the vehicle.  I just thought they were part of the mold, but they can actually be removed!  There’s also one more surprise like this, but I’ll get to that in a minute.


This Speeder was painted for sand terrain, so they gave it a light brown color.  But living in a toxic world takes its toll on metals, so the paint is worn and rusty just about everywhere.  This definitely gives it a nice used feel, and I think it’s even dirtier than the Stronghold.  Another great touch are all the little tampoed insignias and symbols.  My favorite is the cheesecake girl on a rocket.


The Speeder gets even more impressive in mech form because you realize that even though it’s a bipedal robot, it’s not meant to slow down with his two front wheels becoming skate-feet.  The robot form also doesn’t have any hands, just two large gun barrels that slide from inside his arm.  Believe it or not, the two ammo magazines can be removed from the arms and there are little bullets in side!  I didn’t even catch that little detail for three days.


The mech mode has really good articulation.  The main body doesn’t move, but the appendages do.  The shoulders are a complex network of one hinge and two swivels.  This basically gives it the movement of a swivel hinge while keeping the look mechanical and realistic.  There is a swivel bicep cut, and the elbows are hinged.


The Speeder’s hips are made up of a swivel and a hinge joint.  It’s less complicated than the shoulders, but it still gives you the movement you need.  There is no knee joint, but the thighs and ankles are both hinged.  This lets the figure take on those speed skater-like poses.  The feet can also swivel to the side, giving it a rocker joint and allowing for wide stances.


All around I was really impressed with the Speeder’s design and mechanics.  I had a good time playing with Stronghold in the reviews, but the Speeder is hands down my favorite of the two.  He’s just got better articulation, and it’s definitely more interactive.  The soldier even feels like part of the toy, and not just some dude sitting in the cockpit.  You can still pick up the Speeder, and the other Acid Rain products, at BigBadToyStore.com.  While they’re still extremely durable, these are still adult collectables and they’re a bit more expensive than your average Joe vehicle.  But you’re definitely getting level of design, engineering, and paint that’s far above any line that Hasbro or Mattel are putting out.

If you’d like to see more Acid Rain, check out my Stronghold review and visit the official Acid Rain Blog.


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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.


    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!