Botcon 2012 Kick-Off
Now that I’m back and well rested from Botcon, I feel it’s time to share some of the exclusives with you. Starting off with Kick-Off. An Action Master from the 90’s the character hasn’t seen much love other than a single panel in IDWs Last Stand of the Wreckers, until now. Now I never had the Action Master’s as a kid, and didn’t even know they existed until I returned to the fandom, but I absolutely love it every time one of them is referenced. So it’s probably only natural that I start of my convention recap with the Action Master homage. Read on for the review!
Kick-Off is a repaint of the Reveal the Shield Special Ops Jazz mold. And he’s a spectacular repaint at that. It feels as if this mold had this intended reuse the whole time. Looking at the original Action Master you can see the visual cues in paint and sculpt. Hood chest, wheel shoulders, and big stompy black shins with red boots, it’s all there! Even the gun looks like an updated replica of Kick-Off’s original orange blaster. The paint deco is really nice, but seems a bit off. The Action Master has a fully white chest with some yellow and orange detailing, while the Botcon toy is mostly black. Obviously the original toy didn’t have to have a paint scheme that would work out to a working vehicle mode. It would have been nice however if FunPub could have figured out a way to cast him in white plastic and paint the fenders in solid black. It seems like in my head that would still work to create a cohesive vehicle mode while calling back to the original toy more, but I’m not a toy designer. Also my hood seems to be missing an additional coat of orange on one of the panels, but that transforms away in robot mode anyway.
Kick-Off comes with the standard Jazz accessories cast in Orange plastic. Since there’s really not much to talk about here I’ll mention the head. One of four original FunPub sculpted heads this year, and probably the best of the three (though it really didn’t have much competition) I’d almost go so far as to say it’s the best of the entire convention set, but it’s lack of light-piping (a standard FunPub practice) knocks it down a few pegs.
He’s got the same joints that Jazz has, so if you have that toy you probably already know what you’re getting. I will say that Jazz seems to be the anomaly in all of his paint variations. Kick-Offs chest seems just as tight as Stepper’s. It doesn’t lock in place but it doesn’t flop around every time you sneeze on it like the original toy. Whether intentional or not; kudos to FunPub for tightening that up especially given their track record with floppy joints on their toys (at least in my cases)
I don’t know if it’s a good idea to start out my coverage with what I consider to be the best toy at the convention, but I was excited to review this toy and I couldn’t wait. Do what you can to pick this guy up. He’s a great modernization of an Action Master only character, and the start of more to come if the Club Exclusive Circuit is any indication.