Secret of the Mummy's Tomb

I'm a child of the 60's and 70's.  Being born in 1961, I had the opportunity to own lots of cool, original Joes.  One of my all time favorites was the Secret of the Mummy's Tomb.

This was one of the early Action Team sets.  This set came with a great ATV, AT fuzzy head Joe, uniform, pith helmet, axe, shovel, three jewels, net and mummy in a sarcophagus.  I had endless fun playing with this set, especially the ATV.

That was over thirty years ago.  My Lord, it's hard for me to believe.  Hasbro has been releasing a variety of these old figures for a new generation, and you've probably seen sets like the Perilous Rescue on the shelves under the title Timeless Collection.  This set was released as part of the new Adventure Team sets though, and isn't an exclusive.

I've included pictures of this new set along with my original set.  The box back pictures an original set containing an AT Joe with Kung-Fu grip, but I know mine didn't come that way.  Was that a mid-run change?

Packaging - ***1/2
First, let me point out that this is NOT collector friendly packaging.  You'll have to tear things completely up to free him.  Odd, considering they are going for the nostalgia value here.

But the box is terrific otherwise.  These boxes allow you to see all the pieces and figure, are sturdy, and they've included some really terrific graphics.  On the back is a shot of the box of the original set, and they tie this set and that one together with a pretty basic story line.

Sculpting - ***1/2
There were several head sculpts to choose from.  The one I picked has the short reddish flocked hair, with thin beard and mustache.  There was also the dark reddish/brown hair with van dyke, similar to the original below, the short blonde with no beard, and the AA version.

All of the sculpts are good, although I thought the one I picked up was the best of the lot.  The flocking looked good on all of them, and the face sculpts are stern, but not constipated.

Paint - ****
The only real paint ops on the figure itself is the eyes, which are extremely well done.  Everyone on the shelf stared back with a piercing glare.

The additional paint ops on the sarcophagus were also good, and the paint work on the Mummy really looks terrific. 

Articulation - ***
Hasbro hasn't joined the 21st Century yet when it comes to articulation.  The body is decent, and he stands fine on his own. But the elbows are not up to snuff, with limited motion and pose ability.

The lower body articulation is fine, even if it isn't as highly articulated as figures by Dragon or BBI.  The ball jointed hips, and tight knees and ankles, allow for plenty of lower body stances.

And let's not forget that he has that infamous 'kung fu grip'.  His articulated hands held all the accessories just fine.

Accessories - ***1/2
I've pointed out what the original set came with, and you can imagine that this set has slightly less gear.  But the only piece really missing is the ATV, and with current prices, this set would have been fifty or sixty bucks with a vehicle like that included.

As it is, he still comes with a mess of gear.  There's the shovel, similar to the first set, but I have no idea what he plans on digging up with this 'spoon'.  It's far too small for anything other than a camping shovel.

There's a large machete, which is somewhat childish in it's design, but not too bad.  The machete fits into a scabbard that is a molded part of his overall belt.  The belt fits well, and has various other doo dads attached.

The gun is a good sculpt, although the colors are again on the childish side.  Perhaps the nicest weapon in the set is the whip, which is a great sculpt and which he can hold very well.

But the real star of the accessories is the Mummy in his Tomb.  The detailing on both the mummy figure and the sarcophagus is fantastic, and looks great in any diorama.  The tomb-opening action works pretty well too, although it would have been nice if the mummy could be removed from his box.

There are also three 'jewels' with the set, proving again that plundering ancient archeological ruins for profit can be rewarding.

Outfit - ***
The uniform is slightly different, since his vest is sleeveless and open to reveal his he-man muscles.  The boots are knee high, with standard pants.  While the boot sculpt looks fine, I wish they'd been done in black rather than the goofy brown color they chose.

The pith helmet is slightly shorter and flatter than the original, but looks fine resting on his head.  It fits correctly, and probably won't damage the flocking too much over time.

He could have used a t-shirt under the vest, and I may use the one out of one of the 21st Century sets to finish off his ensemble. 

He comes with the standard AT dog tag.  I always thought they were far too oversized, but if you like the old one you'll like this one.

Value - ***
I found this at my local Meijers for twenty bucks.  That's a pretty good price for a well equipped 12" figure, and if they'd just give him slightly better articulation this value score would have been perfect.

Overall - ***1/2
This is a re-issue that I've really been looking forward to, since I love my original set so much.  They didn't disappoint me either, and for that I'm grateful. Sure, there's a couple areas that could have seen some improvement, but overall I'm really glad I picked up this set.

Comparing the old to the new
As you can see from some of the photos, I've given you the chance to compare the old with the new.  Here's my take on the pros and cons of both.

Old set pros - The original AT uniform was superior, including the helmet and the boots.  The shovel and axe were also in scale, unlike the itty bitty shovel the new set has.  The jewels were better in the older set as well, being at least twice as large.  In the picture above you can see an original blue jewel in the middle with the new jewels around it.  And easily the number one pro that the original has over it's beneficiary is the ultra-cool ATV.

New set pros - the figure is actually superior.  The flocking has improved, the body is tighter and holds poses better, and overall is more sturdy.  To make up for the lack of the ATV, there are some additional accessories, but the only stand out is the far superior Mummy.  This is one spooky looking dude, and the sarcophagus is excellent.  I just wish the mummy was removable.

Where to buy
The only stores to carry this in my area so far are Wal-mart and Meijers.  Both are selling it for about twenty bucks.  On-line...

- Entertainment Earth has them for $20 plus shipping. (MROTW affiliate)

- Small Blue Planet has them also for $20, and while I've always gotten good service there, they're shipping charges are usually higher than other places.  Search for "mummy's tomb".

- One of my favorite retailers, New Force Comics, has them by the case.  It's a much better deal, since you can get four figures for $63 plus shipping, but you'll need three buddies who are interested as well.  Tell Rick I sent ya!  He has them listed in the G.I. Joe section, on the second page.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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