Friday, July 1, 2011

Toy on a Budget: G.I. Joe Sigma 6 Night Ops Vamp Revisited

Presenting one of my prize spoils on the recently concluded 10th ToyCon here in Manila. We first featured the Night Ops Vamp as an incomplete item last month. And I have to say that it was a great find as it was - despite the fact that it was incomplete. So when I found a complete Night Ops Vamp at the 10th ToyCon, I just had to have it - and it was only PhP150 more than the incomplete one: PhP 600 or US$13.63 (Versus US$ 45 plus shipping on Amazon).

I actually felt a bit cheated when I got home because the Night Ops Vamp wasn't complete - let that be a lesson for those of you who browse at garage sale type set-ups; if they say it's complete, CHECK (Even if you're being pushed, banged into and surrounded by sharks who are just waiting for you to put what you're holding down so that they can buy it for themselves).

Happily though, when I returned the next day, the missing missile launcher was there and they gave it to me with no questions asked.

The nice part about this is that we get to check out what else makes the Night Ops Vamp great.

So here it is, a G.I. Joe Night Ops Vamp, complete, stickers applied, sans the box and batteries to operate the lights. Now that it's complete we can tackle the modular capabilities of the Night Ops Vamp as well as some features that we did not bother with when we reviewed the incomplete one.

Among the new neat features are:

  • A Forward bumper guard and winch - The G.I. Joe Sigma Six Night Ops Vamp comes with a forward bumper assembly with non-working HID lights that attaches neatly to a mount beneath the Night Ops Vamp's chassis. Attached to this is a rope winch. You can pull the rope out a ways and it will retract automatically when you push the gray button at the center of the bumper. You can also see the G.I. Joe Sigma Six fairing on the hood of the Night Ops Vamp.

  • Re-position-able antennae and Dragonhawk mount.  The antennae really are bent backwards. And if you look closely at the image you'll see stress marks on the plastic which I suppose are from someone either trying to straighten the antennae of the Night Ops Vamp or from bending them too much in the process of packaging. You can also see the DragonHawk magnetic clamp and slot that allows you to attach the Night Ops Vamp for aerial transport.  

  • A tactical modular weapons mount separate from the Night Ops Vamp. This allows you to mount the mini-gun alone; the mini-gun with a single anti-tank rocket launcher attached; or the six-pack missile launcher. The stand can be folded, but there's no real fixed mount for the stand at the back of the Night Ops Vamp. 
  • Both the Night Ops Vamp's six-pack missile launcher and the single-shot rocket launcher have spring-loaded rockets. Pushing a small button at the side of the rocket launcher releases the rocket; while pulling back on one of two tabs on the top of the six-pack missile launcher releases three of the missiles at the same time - which is kinda a bummer actually. You end up spending half your ammunition in one shot? I'd rather have the ability to fire them one at a time like the R.O.C.C. can. The six-pack missile launcher elevates.

  • The Night Ops Vamp comes with a working tailgate. You can raise, lower or totally remove it. One of the reasons why I want to talk about the tailgate is because now you can see that the mounted weapons platform on the back of the Night Ops Vamp sits a bit awry. 

  • The reason for this is because you can actually remove the platform from the Night Ops Vamp. Note the many holes in the floor of the Night Ops Vamp which will allow you to directly position the modular weapons any which way you please - as long as it fits. Though, with the mini-gun as an exception, I don't really understand why you would mount the missile and rocket launcher like that. 

What's not to like about the G.I. Joe Sigma Six Night Ops Vamp is the plastic. This is a photo of the mini-gun that came with this Night Ops Vamp. As guns are often referred to as phallic, this is a really depressing photo. I suspect that this is a product defect, but I have a feeling that this may have been exposed to heat.

Happily that's the reason why buying incomplete items - such as an incomplete Night Ops Vamp - is so important. I have a spare mini-gun that's.... erect. So here are my two G.I. Jose Sigma Six Night Ops Vamps. Transferring the mini-gun from the incomplete Vamp to the complete one allowed me to attach the 6-pack missile launcher to the back of the incomplete one providing my Joes with added flexibility and firepower. Definitely a great buy.

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