As one of my favorite late 80s Army Builders, I once was highly anticipating a modern version of the Iron Grenadier Elite Guard, but in all honesty, the variation we got a few years ago left me just a little bit cold. I wasn’t a big fan of the build, using mostly dated 25th Anniversary parts, and a somewhat strange metallic color scheme.
A few years later, I feel very similar.
Granted this new Annihilator has a pretty cool new shade of red and black rather than the purple and orange of previous versions, but the basic figure build is the exact same as it was with the Oktober Guard set, which does the figure no favors. It’s a somewhat skinny, outdated clutch of parts that doesn’t really protray the muscular bodysuit of the originals, though to be fair, I’m not sure the Annihilator was ever a popular enough troop builder to warrant its own new tooling.
The head is from Lamprey, with the body mostly from Strato-Viper (which was in turn cobbled together from other 25th Anniversary figures) and while it does help kind of blend this character in with the Strato-Viper, compared to figures using next generation parts, Annihilator suffers somewhat.
Annihilator comes with the Strato-Viper vest, somewhat more ceremonial throwback than his plain uniform, his helicopter backpack, and submachine gun, all carried forward from the 2012 Convention Set.
The change in color scheme to red and black is the only noticable change (though one can’t help but also notice that we now only get two figures for the same price as three were only three years ago). Don’t get me wrong, I like this color scheme a lot more than the strange bronze/purple from 2012, but at the end of the day, we only get so many new toys in a given year, I just hate to see the same stuff again.
Annihilator was one of my favorite Iron Grenadier troopers in the 80s, and unfortunately the Collectors Club really hasn’t been able to capture the coolness of the 1989 original. It doesn’t help that the Annihilator was already released in a Convention 3 Pack a few years ago, which goes a great way towards reducing the appeal of this update, even though this newer version has somewhat more interesting Iron Grenadier themed colors. The older parts don’t really fit all that well, and the lack of a great range of motion in the elbows is a significant detraction as well. Not their best showing here.