G.I. Joe "Arctic Assault" Glider w/ Capt. Ace

By and large, I think this third wave of Target Exclusive mini-vehicles (of course, now they're Ross exclusives) is a great improvement over the assortments of the past. Great vehicles, very cool figures, and a general progression from an okay first assortment to a pretty stellar third assortment.

But see how I used those words "By and large" up there? There are exceptions, and this is it.

I just don't see anything especially unique or interesting about this particular vehicle and figure. First and foremost, the glider. While the other three sets in this wave all have re-issues of vintage styled vehicles with intricate details, removable parts, and very tight, realistic sculpting, this glider was culled from the Spy Troops line. It was okay in that line, but among these other real world injected vehicles, it just doesn't fit.

It comes across being a bit blocky and clunky with an obvious shortness of detail and soft sculpting. The glider itself, design wise, isn't bad I suppose, though it's essentially one huge slanted plank with a handle and a couple of missiles. Nothing really interesting about it. Just do me a favor...sit this thing next to a Cobra CLAW and tell me which one is better.

The box and instructions also advertise a second "mode" which is essentially taking the glider wings off and plugging them in at an angle where the missiles normally go. You can then take the missiles off and plug them into the ends of the glider, where the wings were originally. A different look, I guess, but not really anything especially interesting from a design perspective.

I will admit I do like the camouflage pattern...that makes the vehicle stand out nicely and does at least give it some redeeming value, but for the most part, there is nothing striking here.

Just like the vehicle, the figure has that same "meh" factor. I really dislike using terminology like that in a review, but I really can't think of an appropriate word. I don't hate the figure, but it does nothing to impress either...it's just kind of there. As anyone can probably realize, the figure is a Slipstream repaint, which was, at one point, an Ace repaint (with some Snow Job in there for good luck), and now is back to Ace again. Of course, Ace also includes the moustache that was previously Slipstream's trademark. I'm not sure why.

There is a very subtle hint of camouflage throughout the figure...very understated and almost not really there. He comes with two machine guns reminiscent of the same one Alpine came with in the Anniversary line. I actually like these two submachine guns quite a bit, but they don't really redeem what is, essentially, a boring figure made only more obviously boring by the excellent items that surround him.

While you're hitting up friends with local Ross stores to pick up some of these for you, don't sweat the Ace with Glider...something tells me he'll be the easiest one to find down the road, if you even want to spend the money on it.