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.
Now Carl Macek might think the following pic is 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.
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):
Invid Quadruped (legs are folded up behind it and the guns swapped out for another pair of arms).
Six-limbed Invid facing a Sigma 6 mech (same as above with legs folded down). It's almost like a giant Antron!
An Invid with four cannons and no arms, essentially an Invid version of a Destroid Defender. That's some serious firepower...
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!