Medicom Rocketeer Version 2

Jeff is back tonight with another great high end 12" figure review - it's the Rocketeer!  Take it away, Jeff...

A big thank you to Michael, as without this web-site I would probably have given up searching for this figure long ago. Way back in the day I was first getting into 1/6 collecting, after discovering a whole world of manufacturers from the Far East I never even new existed, but then thanks to the Internet I did (up until that point I had primarily been collecting Hasbro's Star Wars line). There were certain figures you saw that you knew you just had to have; they became your collecting 'Grails'. In fact it was while doing a Google search on the original Rocketeer figure that I came across Michaels site for the first time. 
One of these Grails for me was the ZMDC camo trooper, which I was lucky enough to get hold of for a reasonable price, the other was the Medicom Rocketeer. I had all but given up hope of ever getting hold of this figure, he only ever came up on eBay in the Far East and whenever he did he went for well over the $200 mark, and we all have to have an absolute cut off mark somewhere, and try to stick to it!
So you can imagine my surprise and wonder when Medicom announced this second Rocketeer release. Its obvious Medicom had seen what prices the first version went for on the secondary market and decided to make a few collectors happy...and I would imagine the few who already had it a little unhappy. Now I don't have the first version to do a comp, but I think I know enough about the first version to point out where they've subtly changed this one. You can also go back to the 1/6 archive and read a review by Coheteboy from back in 02 when the original first came out. 

Packaging - ***
A nice sturdy flap fronted box, just like we've come to expect from Medicom. Plenty of photos of the figure with accompanying blurb, though I have to say some of the blurb has got a bit lost in translation, and I quote- “Back To AD 1938 at L.A.”…….Say no more!
The inside flap points out where this guy differs from his predecessor. The first and most obvious is he now comes with the new RAH 301 body, so he is much more poseable and all importantly can now tip his head back for the classic Rocketeer flying pose. Secondly he comes with two new hand sculpts and thirdly he now has a bit of gum stuck to his rocket pack...yes that’s right, gum, but more on all this later. Inside the box he lays between two clear trays with no twisties! So all in all a nice box but nothing special.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The big areas of sculpting are the helmet and the all important rocket pack. But he also comes with two new hand sculpts and they're really cool, all four of the hands supplied are gloved. The two he has on in the box are fists and I would imagine these are the same as the first release, but where as the second set with that figure were just generic un-gloved hands the new one has two new sculpts. His right hand is in a gripping position for his Mauser Pistol and the other is open/at rest, on this one you can see the push button mechanism built into the glove that controls the rocket pack. 

The helmet is a really cool 1/6 facsimile of the prop helmet. They've even stuck it on over a real head so you can peer underneath up at his chin and hairline. They appear to have taken the sculpt up as far as the mouth and nose, but as it's permanently stuck on that’s all you need. The helmet it self is made out of a base bronze colour, with ultra fine detailing on things like the welding along the seams and the punched out mouth grill. Lastly the rocket pack. This could be displayed on its own. The sculpting on all the details seem spot on, but its where it's joined to the leather harness with all it's straps, rivets and buckles that bring it to life, and the new addition is the 'blink and you'll miss it' bit of gum stuck to the pack. A nice little detail picking up its cue from the movie.

Paint - ****
Not a lot of paint on this one, apart from the jet pack. The gloves have a few details picked out, then there's the ‘just visible’ hairline and chin strap, the helmet also has the lenses picked out in gloss black and some ageing/weathering has been applied to complete the look. Most of the detail work is on the rocket/jet pack and is as always up to Medicom's usual lofty standards, nice metallic tones and subtle weathering.

Articulation - ****
The new RAH 301 is still just about my favourite 1/6 base body when it comes to articulation. And apart from the boots (at the ankle) his outfit doesn't hamper that range of poseability at all. And as I said above now you can tilt his head back to put him in some great flying poses.

Accessories - ****
Now back when Coheteboy did his review he classed the jet pack as an accessory, so I will too. I have to admit if a figure arrives in the box wearing something I usually consider it part of the outfit, and as this is the Rocketeer he'd look pretty dumb without it. 

But if you class it as an accessory then it's a damn good one, all the sculpting paint ops and the straps and buckles etc make this one of the coolest accessories ever. He also comes with two spare hands described above, a Mauser pistol and the old faithful clear plastic stand, handy for blast off poses. 

Outfit - ***3/4
As is usually the case with Medicom the tailoring is very fine. He comes in boots, beige trousers with belt, a white shirt and a tan bib fronted leather jacket, I did hear one of the new selling points was to be a real leather jacket, that however isn't the case, but it's still very well put together and has a scale zip and working buttons. The only reason I dock 1/4 is if the epaulets had been openable you'd have been able to take the jet pack off completely, as they're not you can’t, it will always be attached to the jacket.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
The Rocketeer was a largely ignored movie when it came out, which was unfair. I admit it's not the best movie ever made. But for those of us that enjoyed the Indiana Jones Trilogy, it was nice to have another Saturday morning adventure with a cool hero battling the Nazi's. And having Jennifer Connolly playing the lurve interest is no bad thing either. When Dave Stevens did the original comic the film was based on, he used the infamous Bettie Page as his muse. And as Bettie Page is someone for whom I also collect memorabilia this figure almost straddled my two collecting passions...all be it tenuously. 

Value - ***
At the moment this new one is going for around the $125 to $135 + international shipping from China/Japan on eBay. I've seen some US online stores have it up on pre-order for $149.00 + domestic shipping. 

It'll be interesting to see if this figure is as desirable to all the collectors out there and even more interesting to see if the original version keeps it's price, that one may still be the original but it has to be said this is the best.

Things to Watch Out For – 
Take care and take your time if you choose to unbutton and button up the jacket, it's perfectly doable but as the buttonholes aren't stitched you'd be pretty gutted if you ripped it.

Overall - ***1/2
For any fans (and I understand it has quite a cult following) of the movie this along with the Master Replicas Rocketeer helmet must be just about the two things at the top of their wish lists. I've waited a long time to get hold of this figure and have to admit I've been a bit let down by some of the older Medicom figures I've bought, namely the Alien and 'Connery' James Bond. The loose jointed old combat Joe bodies just let them down too much, I’ll never know if the original Rocketeer would have been a let down, but this new version certainly isn't. And had it been a $90 to $100 figure it would have got 4 stars 

Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ***1/2
Paint - ****
Articulation - ****
Outfit- ***3/4
Accessories - ****
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - ***
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy:
As I said above eBay has many traders with them ready to ship and most are around $125 to $135, I got mine from Charles on eBay who you'll find under Charlesay and Kidultgarden, he was as always reliable, shipped it well packaged and super fast. Ask him for his best price and say you read about it never know he might give you, but more importantly he might give me an even better deal next time. 

Other online sponsor options include:

- Alter Ego Comics has the pre-order up for $126.64.

- CornerStoreComics has them in stock for $145.

- Amazing Toyz has him in for $145 as well.


Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker.

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