Co Bao: Why did they pick you? Because you like to fight?
Rambo: I’m expendable.
Co Bao: What mean expendable?
Rambo: It’s like someone invites you to a party and you don’t show up. It doesn’t really matter. -“Rambo: First Blood Part II”.
As my son grows ever more aware of his surroundings, some members of our family have started to concern themselves with what he sees on the television. How what shows and movies my wife & I watch affect our little guy. Without wading knee deep into the debate, I find this amusing, particularly from my parents. If you grew up in the 80s you might know exactly what I mean – when I was little, we watched movies like Robocop, Predator, Rambo, & Terminator with no seeming cause or concern for my age (provided, of course, it was before “bed time”). And, perhaps more important than my parents choices, all of those R-Rated films had cartoons.
Rambo was the first though, his cartoon debuting in 1986, after First Blood Part II. I bring all this up, not because it has much to do with the toy (it doesn’t, this figure is based off the second film), but because my love of Rambo is really more about the cartoon, Rambo: The Force of Freedom. The cartoon was thematically different than the movies. No one died (its one similarity to the first film), it wasn’t overtly violent, and, even better, it had a tie-in toy line.
And I loved that toy line! Rambo got some cool allies & some… questionable stereotypical villains, and he got the coolest vehicle! The Defender 6×6 left in me a deep-seated loved of six-wheeled vehicles that extends to this day! And, of course, there was Rambo himself. One of my favorite toys from my youth was the basic Rambo from that line. He looked like he came straight out of First Blood Part II. Something this NECA figure has also done – though I do find myself wishing his bandana was cartoon red.
And that’s why, when NECA started their Rambo line, I patiently waited through the first two releases based on the first film. I knew this had to be coming and, the best part is, it was well worth the wait.
The first two Rambo figures were good, but this one seems to be even more improved. The new head sculpt is the best yet – it looks odd to me in a few angles, but I think part of it is that my perception of Sly has aged with him. This is him thirty years ago, when he was much younger. A quick glance of the movie poster pictured on the bubble and I’m reminded how great a sculpt it is. The rest of the body is good too. It’s generic though still specific to Rambo with the appropriate scars and Co’s Buddha pendant. Everything on the sculpt works great, even the silhouette of the figure against my computer screen is clearly Rambo. Continue to Page 2…