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Updated: Invid Shocktrooper faces Garland

Time Medic

Invid Shocktrooper faces Garland, originally uploaded by MicroBry.

AKA Mospeada's Inbit "Grab". One of the coolest toys original to the Matchbox Robotech line, IMHO, as they are fairly accurate (if lacking some needed detail on the eye), reasonably posable, close to proper scale with the figures (a little cheated down and yet also look good with the Gakken Legioss "Alpha fighter" toys), and never made as a toy by Japan. I don't have any 1/18 Mospeada toys yet, so I figured Aramaki Shinji's next transforming bike design would do for now.

Micronauts Pharoid in Invid cockpit

I don't really have an appropriate figure to put in the Invid so I tried some stand-ins. Anyone have suggestions for something that would look vaguely canonical and in scale? Maybe one of the ID4 aliens?

Micronauts Pharoid behind Invid "canopy"

Now Carl Macek might think the following pic is right, but...

Carl Macek might think this was right, but...

A micronized Zentraedi soldier trying the Invid shocktrooper on for size....actually, weren't the Invids enemies of the Zentraedi in Robotech? Whatever.

Yotsuba finds a new thing to play with...

Yotsuba hijack!


We're all doomed.

Okay, we're all doomed now.

Matchbox Robotech Invid Shocktrooper

Scale:  Slightly cheated 1/18th.
The Invid Shocktrooper is a decently sized toy, cheated down in size only a tiny bit.  If you have seen them fighting humans in Mospeada or Robotech, you'll know what I mean.  But since the Legioss (Alpha Veritech fighter) toy made by Gakken is pretty big, it doesn't look bad with it either.  

Detail:  ***1/2 out of ***** 
The sculpt is detailed enough and very accurate to the model sheets as far as I can tell, but loses some points for not doing a more authentic eye piece, leaving it as a simple sticker design.  This is worse on the ExoSquad rerelease, which has no such sticker, so sculpted detail would have really been of benefit there, especially if it used clear plastic in a lenticular shape.   But overall the original Inbit Grab design wasn't very complex, and this toy seems to do a good job reproducing the original art.

Interchangeability:  *** out of *****
Aside from seating any 3 3/4" figures, the Invid Shocktrooper's arms and cannons both use 10mm sockets to be mounted.  What this means is you could plug them in to the opposite slots, or if you had another junker Invid toy, you can create a four-armed Invid, which looks kind of interesting if not canonical.  Also, 10mm happens to be the same size used by the larger Microman/Micronaut toys, and you can in fact interchange the parts with some of them.  While obviously these are all unintended features, it could be exploited to make some interesting custom toy recipies, which earns it some extra points.   That said, there isn't really any interchangability of note with other toys in the Robotech toyline as the Invid Shocktrooper is pretty self-contained.  It would have been interesting to have seen a full set of the various Invid bio-mechs created with interchangeable parts between them, but as it is, I'm just happy someone made a good big Invid toy to begin with.   Since some of this type of Invid appear without the back cannons, I suppose you could make two different canonical Invid types out of this set by leaving them off one (though there will be big gaping sockets left without modification).

Colors: *** out of *****
The colors on the Matchbox version are show-accurate with plenty of decals to get the spots the paint ops missed.  The paint does seem to be a little rushed in places, but is fine for getting the look across.  See the "Detail" categorty for more regarding the problem with the Invid's mono-eye.  Avoid getting the ExoSquad reissue, though, as it is in an ugly non-canonical grey with bad paint ops...what were they thinking?

Posability:  *** out of *****
The Invid Shocktrooper is decently posable, with pivoting legs and feet, shoulders that are hinged on two axes, and rotating cannons.  The claws are spring-loaded so they can grip an action figure or perhaps a weapon if one was found the right size.   The amount of posability is good enough for reproducing most of their movement in the show, but working knees and elbows and more posable hip joints would have been a bonus.   On the other hand, the toy is extremely sturdy and rugged, which might have been less the case were more articulation added.

Accessories:  * out of *****
The Invid Shocktrooper is really already a very self-contained design to begin with, though a proper Invid pilot would have been nice.   You could count the removable cannons as an accessory, I suppose, but it's a stretch.  You can't really fault this toy for not having any extras, really.

Fun: **** out of ***** 
To me this is where the toy shines.  The Invids were a really cool design to begin with, and Japan never made any toys of them.  The toy is faithful to the original design, big, clunky--but in a lovable big brutish sort of fashion, it seats figures, and looks great.  You can really imagine it trundling along, firing its cannons and swatting people like flies.   The Invid Shocktrooper is simply COOL.

Availability: **1/2 out of *****
For an out of production toy, the Invid Shocktrooper is relatively easy to find on Ebay and such without breaking the bank.  Just watch out that you don't get the ExoSquad version unless you like it in grey or want to repaint/customize it.

Customizability: *** out of *****
See the Interchangability category for more on this.  You could actually customize or detail-up this guy a lot, and the swapable arms and cannons are a nice bonus.   You could easily adapt this toy to fit in a diorama shelf display with almost any of the various scaled Mospeada and Robotech toys.   As mentioned I have an extra junker one that is missing its canopy which I might customize into an Acroyear mecha later, too (there was a rather Invid-like unproduced Acroyear mech from the 80's line in fact).

Sturdiness/Durability: ***** out of *****
The Invid Shocktrooper is one of the hardier toys in this format.  Junker ones can be easily restored usually, if all parts are present.

Overall: **** out of  *****
Simply said, I love this toy and would heartily reccomend it to any fan. 

What do you think of the Invid?  
Adding more pics to show the "interchangeability" (and more to come later):

DSCF3150 

Invid Quadruped (legs are folded up behind it and the guns swapped out for another pair of arms).

DSCF3151  

Six-limbed Invid facing a Sigma 6 mech (same as above with legs folded down).  It's almost like a giant Antron! 


DSCF3152
 

An Invid with four cannons and no arms, essentially an Invid version of a Destroid Defender.  That's some serious firepower...


DSCF3154

I don't recommend popping the limbs much though as the joints may loosen with time.  But it's a nice, if probably unintended, play feature!  

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Sep. 25th, 2008 09:45 pm (UTC)
Very nice!
I've been looking to pick one up for cheap to go with the CM's Ride Armors.
I think you've convinced me =)
-Jim
rockettubes
Sep. 26th, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)
Cool! Yeah, I really want a Microman-style CM's Ride Armor exclusive to go with this guy. I *just* found out about them after the window of opportunity to get one shut. Had I known they were Microman homage toys, I would have been all over it, heh. I might be getting a Gakken Legioss from a friend later, too (I used to have one in my teens, traded it with a friend).
geotroid
Sep. 30th, 2008 04:39 am (UTC)
Robotech
Yeah, if I had time, money, and space, I'd probably get into the Matchbox Robotech line despite all of their "hits & misses." I don't have anything form that line.

A Green Bay TV station carried Robotech in the very early spring of 1985. I just happened to be home from junior high that day as I was sick. I caught a TV commercial for the premier episode for that very same day. Man, I was hooked! Too bad I didn't see the toys until a year and a half later.

By then, toys were rapidly being displaced in favor of chasing girls ;-)

When I finally did see the Matchbox stuff at a Kay-bee, I thought some of the figures were OK while some were kind "blah". I even remember seeing those large Minmei dolls on a shelf. I believe they're worth a bit these days.

I have a vintage 4-inch Gakken Alpha fighter lying around somewhere, courtesy of Facehammer.

Did you see the new Beta fighter that being offered at Robotech.com? Whoa - that thing is HUGE!

-geotroid


rockettubes
Sep. 30th, 2008 06:17 am (UTC)
Re: Robotech
Wow, thanks for all the comments, I'll try to reply to all of them in the prior posts too. :)

Yeah, I had just discovered Macross shortly before the show ran (actually I saw my first Varkyrie (Veritech) toys a couple years earlier at the same comic convention I met Danny Bulanadi at and saw model kits from it over the intervening years), and I had a Mospeada Legioss (Alpha fighter) toy before as well (which I bought as a surrogate Valkyrie). Great stuff. If you liked Robotech, you should check out the Macross Frontier series that just finished airing in Japan this week, it was an amazing sequel series! (Macross Plus and Zero are recommendable as well, though I didn't dig Macross 7...and the 1984 Macross movie is one of my all-time faves).

The figures are mostly pretty awful likenesses, but are passable as cheap action figures at least. A couple of exceptions that are decent such as that Zentraedi soldier I have. :)

There was also a recent US-produced Robotech sequel called the Shadow Chronicles that can be found on DVD...haven't watched it, but the space battles that have been posted on YouTube look pretty nice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6HlMHwEXQE&feature=related (not as nice as Macross Frontier's which you can also hunt for on YouTube easily, but a good reproduction of the classic battles nonetheless).

Some of the toys from the line can still be picked up for reasonably low prices, but you have to be patient and keep an eye open as there are lots of nostalgic fans also hunting.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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