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Mastermind

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  1. Hey Joe, It's from an old series of Joe knock-offs called M-Pact. This was their version of the Viper head. The original head had a short neck post so I redid the ball-neck and cast it. Glad ya like it!
  2. It's part of a series of three vehicles which came out in about 1984 or 85. I have all three of them. Can't remember the name of them but as far a I know only three were released - the one you have, one with a long brontosaurus neck and a bizarre beaked head with antenna and a third one which had another long neck and a head like a tyrannosaurus. The picture on the box showed that they could be used for both Masters of the Universe figures and 3 3/4 figures. I guess they were trying to come up with a universal type toy which could be used with a variety of figure lines. I remember the Toy City which I bought them at had dozens of them for only $9.99 each. When I went back a month later all of them were gone. I still have mine and have them covered with Rebel commandos.
  3. Hi Serpentor Rocks, I'm the guy on Ebay with the cast heads. I haven't had any bad comments about the quality until you mentioned it. At first I was using a different casting material but now am using vulcanized rubber molds and a two-part liquid plastic which makes the heads darn near perfect. If you have had problems I would like to know about it and I will replace the heads you didn't like.
  4. The two most popular two-part liquid plastics are those made by Alumilite and (in my opinion the better) Synair. Synair makes a product called Por-A-Kast which is a two-part liquid plastic which you mix at a ratio of 1:1. If you are using Alumilite molds you don't need a release agent but if you use Synair Por-A-Mold you will need the spray bottle of release agent. The plastic is nearly identical to the plastic used for the Joe figures. Hope that helps.
  5. One thing I forgot to ask, where are all of these sources which are offering Joes to Canadians?
  6. Arrow, I've been talking to Walmart, Toys R Us, Zellers and many smaller store managers since Wave 2 wasn't picked up in Canada. I know the managers pretty good by now and I even got to talk to a Hasbro Canada rep at TRU last summer who said the line wasn't available to Canadian retailers due to slow initial sales. I've spoken with Derryl dePriest about this at the con last summer who forwarded all of my letters to the product manager for Hasbro Canada. Neither of us got a response. The manager of my local Zellers store said he would look into the problem getting the Joes here. He phoned me back a few days later saying he had talked to the Zellers toy rep who told him there have been tons of requests for Zellers to carry the 3 3/4" Joe line but Hasbro Canada did not have any available on their lists for the Zellers buyers to order. Even the manager of the Walmart near me said the toy department has had several requests for the Joes but he can't bring in what Hasbro Canada won't offer. On the other side of the fence, Bounty Hunter Toys, as well as a few other Canadian retailers with Hasbro accounts, received a letter from Hasbro Canada in late November/early December last year saying they were offering a blow-out of Wave 5 figures. The hobby store in my city which tries to get in Joes was informed it was Wave 3 so he did not order any (plus he would have had to order 30 cases and, being a small store, he doubted he would have had room for all of them). The crazy thing is that Hasbro Canada is offering Wave 5 when, for the last couple of years, they have been telling everyone there are no Joes available. I realize January and February are slow months for the toy industry and a lot of stuff is getting cleared out in anticipation of Toy Fair 2004. It's just impossible to know if the Joes are really coming here and, if they are, where they will be offered. Once again my local retailers are saying they would like to carry them but, so far, Hasbro Canada hasn't offered any to their buyers.
  7. Since the Joes probably aren't coming to Canada AGAIN this year I was wondering how this was going to affect any Canadian collectors. I'm kind of at the end of my patience with Hasbro Canada and the retailers who blame each other for not ordering the product. Going to Wal-Mart and Toys R Us is just a joke anymore unless you collect Transformers or Beyblade. Internet retailers like gijoeforsale and Smalljoes are great but Hasbro is not reliable with sending them figures like Wave 8 and the Crimson Guard Infiltration set (note: NOT the internet retailers fault). My wife and I were going to go to the convention in Florida this year but I just can't support the Joes anymore when Hasbro continues to ignore the Canadian collectors. Just wondering if anyone was feeling the same.
  8. I think a lot of people get intimidated to do their own casting because it hasn't worked for some people or they think you need an engineering degree to have good results. I kind of stumbled onto it when I wanted to make Viper heads for all my Mirage figures and, believe me, I'm no engineer. If you want to make the BATs weapons from the original figure to fit on the new BATs 6 pack all you really need is a basic casting set and the original weapons. Trust me, I've made them and it's simple. If you are having problems with casting the tiny hole in the base of the weapons here's a hint: Don't cast the hole. When you are done with the castings just take a small drill and drill out the area where you want it to fit on your BATs figures. The only problem with casting is doing arms. Those tiny rivets are near-impossible to find (and if anyone knows where to get them please let me know!!!!). You can get different grades of plastics which have different movability or pliability which means you can cast hands in a less dense plastic and put them on existing arms (ala Recondo from Spy Troops) to make a figure with movable wrists with thumbs that won't break. As someone said earlier, casting lower legs is also a great way to customize a figure and lower legs are as easy to cast as heads.
  9. Hi, I'm that enterprising guy from Ebay who sells the cast heads. I've been casting for a couple of years now - mostly to try and build up some Cobra troops using older bodies and cast heads. I've used a ton of different casting materials, resins, puttys and liquid plastics before finding a combination that works right most of the time. A lot of people use Alumilite casting systems but the problem is that the two-part plastic dries so fast that it sometimes doesn't catch all the detail. As well, it's pretty expensive. The Alumilite molds are great as you don't have to use a mold release but they are really fragile and are only good for a few casts before they start to deteriorate. If anyone is really serious about casting then I suggest they use Synair Por-A-Mold and Por-A-Cast. The molds are very durable, take about 48 hours to fully dry, but catch every bit of detail of the original piece. The drawback - you have to use a spray-on mold release which costs about $16 a can. Yeah, it's not cheap but if you're really committed to customizing and building an army it's definately a lot cheaper and a heckuva lot more fun. By casting my own heads I've been able to turn all of my extra Frostbite figures into a custom CLAWS Commandos force. I've made a huge Red Shadows army and do my best to cast weapons (although I still haven't mastered casting them on both sides. Soon, however.) Probably the best thing about casting is that you can take figures you want to have ball-necks and with a few simple steps which don't ruin the original figure you have an old Joe head you can use on new Joe bodies. I've recently been building a Coils force for Serpentor using a custom Firefly version 1 head (the old Real American Hero figure) with a ball-neck. The fact is the only limit is your imagination. If you want any info on casting just send me a message and I'll do my best to help you out.
  10. Holy cow. I was going to send Smalljoes an order for about $200 worth of figures and vehicles but, like some of the other people said, I'm holding off until this is resolved for you. Initially I was kind of hesitant to use online stores but decided to go for it about a year ago because of the convenience. If this is how Smalljoes is going to act it isn't convenient for anyone. I'll order from someone else.
  11. If Hasbro is going to start clamping down on something like this does anyone think letters of 'Cease and Desist' will go to the guys who do molds and castings of Joe heads, weapons and accessories?
  12. I've been looking at the amazing things that are being offered to US fans from Hasbro, BBi, Power Team Elite, etc., and I am wondering if Canada has finally been written off every toy company's list of countries to offer 3 3/4" military figures and vehicles. It's pretty dismal in the toy aisles everyone. A typical visit to Wal-Mart is another episode of frustration when the toy managers say 'you bet we're going to bring G.I.Joe and other military toys into the stores' and nothing ever shows up but Yu-Gi-Oh and Fisher Price toys. Toys R Us just won't get anything in anymore other than the Mattel Batman line, Spider-Man figures ad nauseum and TMNT. The answer I always get is that 'Well those wouldn't sell in Canada" or "Our suppliers don't offer those kinds of toys in Canada". The few Corps or Chap Mei vehicles and figures that appear sporadically vanish immediately - yet these types of toys 'don't sell' according to the toy chains. I have to admit I'm going broke buying from online stores and paying more due to the Canadian dollar, duty, shipping charges, etc. I can understand one company (yeah, you know who you are HASBRO) writing Canada off as a poor place to peddle toys, but BBi, the Power Team Elite company (M&C Toys), and others have a vast market potential here which NO ONE is trying to exploit. After seeing no Joes for so long those crappy dollar-store knock-offs look like the best thing in the universe. When you think of it, that's kind of sad. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE BBi, M&C Toys and all the rest of you...SEND CANADIANS SOME 3 3/4" FIGURES AND VEHICLES. WE'RE DYING UP HERE!
  13. Why, oh why, can't Canadian retailers fill the shelves with these kind of AWESOME figures and vehicles instead of crap like Yu-Gi-Oh. Does anyone know if BBi plans to offer these to a Canadian retailer?
  14. I like this idea a lot. There could easily be other characters made which don't fit necessarily in with either Joes or Cobra. How about more characters from the Black Dragon organization (or a way for people to get these characters without forking out huge bucks for the 2003 convention set), Iron Army characters, Sgt. Savage and the Screaming Eagles, a mercenary force which will work for either the Joes or Cobra, or even some more guys to join Headman, Gristle and the Headhunters. It would be easy to make some new heads and put them on older repainted bodies (a la Sky Patrol).
  15. I'd like to see the storyline carry on a bit so new troops and personalities can be introduced. I loved the idea of the Joe team being reinstated with older Joes such as Stalker and Snake-Eyes acting as senior officers and trainers for newer characters. Instead, we got the same old Joes fighting the same old Cobras (yeah, with a few sprinklings of Neo-Vipers, Claws and Red Spot). It used to be that the Joes represented the most innovative equipment being used by the top specialists in the military. I find it hard to believe that after all these years the older Joes who were at the top of their class are still the only ones out there who excel at their respective fields. Even though this may be unpopular, perhaps Hawk could have found someone who is just a little bit faster and nastier than Snake-Eyes to carry on the Commando role in the team. Laser technology has obviously advanced past Flash and Grand-Slam (another reason Red Spot should have been given a real techo-awesome laser rifle system and pack), and other spots in the team could have been filled with a newer generation. I'm not saying to get rid of the old characters - I just think G.I.Joe could advance in technology and characters to meet the ever-expanding villainy of Cobra. I often feel the newer characters that are being introduced aren't being fleshed out enough to be important parts of the Joe and Cobra storyline. The Claws and Claws Commander have the potential to be incredible characters but they are left in the background while the same old Vipers fight the battles. If done right, the Neo-Vipers could have been presented as an actual threat to the Joes instead of being pushed back to have yet more regular Vipers go into combat. I would have loved to see some characterization in Black-Out and his Joe brother but this too has been left in favor of having yet another blood-feud between Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad the Joes are back and, with time, these characters might become icons in the Joe universe.
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