Friday, July 29, 2011

G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra: Cycle Armor

Presenting the G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra Cycle Armor or Vehicle-Integrated Sub-Compact Weapon System.

When teaser pictures of the POC Cycle Armor first started leaking to the internet, I have to admit to being quite excited. My nostalgia was rooted in afternoons as a child spent watching Macross (Robotech) and the really, really cool Cyclone Armor System (Image lifted from . The two looked quite similar - hooved feet, wheels behind the shoulder blades, fore-arm mounted weapon systems, the POC Cycle armor even seemed to have a similar helmet/visor system that the RDF troopers had.

So G.I. Joe meets Robotech?!!! Winner! Without a doubt, it was a definite must have. Sadly I was to be  disappointed.

The POC Cycle Armor is ridden by N. Kaeru, AKA Ashiko, his blister card reads " G.I. Joe Team Member Ashiko is an Arashikage Ninja and a professional motorcycle stunt rider. By combining martial arts expertise with advance stunt motorbike skills, Ashiko becomes a menacing stealth missile on wheels."

The POC Cycle Armor's blister card read" The G.I. Joe Cycle Armor is a high-tech suit that converts to a high-powered motorcycle. In suit mode, it allows the operator to run faster and perform air reconnaissance and attack, using it in cycle mode, the driver can speed through the streets after Cobra Ninjas"

What's to like about the POC Cycle Armor?

The design. You have to admit that is one mean looking hog. the POC Cycle Armor honestly looks like something that came out of American Chopper renegade Paul Jr (Paul Jr. Designs).

This is a huge solid bike though. The gas tank takes most of the space.The front fork does not turn, you'll have to lean to turn her, and the rider's feet may never, ever touch the ground. Still you can definitely imagine how loud and scary this vehicle must be as it pounces around and through city streets and alley-ways with a sword bearing ninja in the driver's seat who's out for blood.

Another plus for the POC Cycle Armor is the armory that comes with it. Ashiko has access to the following:

  • POC Cycle Armor chest piece - which facilitates his merge with the Cycle
  • Two fore-arm bracers which facilitates Ashiko's merger with the POC Cycle Armor
  • One Sword with scabbard
  • One pistol - no holster or ability to attach to Ashiko's body
  • One knife with scabbard 
  • Two MAC II matching POC City Strike Snake Eyes' weapons. 
  • POC City Strike Snake Eyes' rifle
  • Two rifles from Beachhead's collection.
Not that you should be reckless with your collection, but should you ever find one of Snake Eyes or Beachhead's weapons missing, you now know where to turn.

Ashiko himself is quite a decent figure if you can ignore the POC Cycle Armor joint portions on his legs. He's a remold of the much abused G.I. Joe 25th edition Hard Master (You can tell because of that hole in his chest.) with Sgt Flash's head also from the 25th Anniversary collection. Since he's an older figure, articulation is not as great as most of the G.I. Joe POC figures though.

What's not to like about the POC Cycle Armor?

Let's start with the bike. As we mentioned, POC Cycle Armor is really big. So how exactly is he supposed to ride it? There are slots that form as a result of the transformation process, but I've never seen anyone try to ride a bike without being able to use their legs to touch the ground when they stop.  Placing the legs outside though makes Ashiko straddle the POC Cycle Armor and it really looks uncomfortable. Also, no way is this a maneuverable street bike if the front fork doesn't turn.
Next up is the POC Cycle Armor itself. You know that there's already a problem when you look at the body-armor that Ashiko wears to merge with the bike: the armor is a solid piece and restricts the range that Ashiko can move his arms up or to the side. This becomes a problem because when he merges with the bike, Ashiko can't really move his arms either. The two photos below show you practically all the movement that he is capable of and that's with the POC Cycle Armor leaning against the wall. 

Further, because of the weight of the POC Cycle armor, rather than just stand there, it has the dendency to do a split as the legs joints of Ashiko cannot carry the weight of the armor. Posing this figure without having to constantly re-adjust proved difficult.

Also, while G.I. Joe toys and figures have always required a certain sense of suspension of disbelief, there is no freakin way that this figure is going to fly! Assuming the tires become propellers - yeah right - how does it manuever? How does he take off? Does he have to lie down first?

I'm also not really happy about how drafty it looks back there. The armor doesn't close up around Ashiko's legs and butt. Personally the POC Cycle Armor reminds me a lot about the Cobra Snake Armor - clumsy, bulky and sitting targets. 

To close, here's a comic strip I cobbled together as one of the best reasons why you should buy a POC Cycle Armor:
Yes folks, if you should ever buy the POC Beachhead, you will find out that despite giving him two knife sheathes, Hasbro only deemed to provide him with one blade. the POC Cycle Armor will give you a blade that fits the rear-sheath perfectly. 

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