Saturday, March 12, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe: Pursuit of Cobra - Doom Cycle with Storm Rider

City Strike Doom Cycle with Storm Rider | Produced by Hasbro 
Released July 2010

The Doom Cycle slips through the shadows of the darkened city. The wtin-cam 360 RPM engine grows as the cycle moves like a phantom through narrow alleys and along the night-shrouded streets. The sleek design conceals its menacing surprises - spike weapons and steel blades instantly deploy when it's time to attack!

Storm Rider is a member of the Dreadnok gang that works for Cobra. He is equally skilled at fist-fighting brawls and complex Martial Arts battles. Born to ride as well as fight, he customized motorcycles with unusual and effective weapon systems. He chases the GI Joe team through the city after he spots them leaving the Cobra warehouse.

Packaging Images

It's worth noting that the interior restraining tray can also be used as a diorama background.

Storm Rider
The vehicle pack includes Storm Rider, a new character with a few new custom pieces. Although based upon the 25th Anniversary Shipwreck, the figure's been given a new colour-scheme, a new head sculpt and a new neck accessory.

Let's start with the head, which can be revealed by popping it off and removing the neckerchief. Overall, it's a pretty cool-looking sculpt, with Storm Rider sporting a faux hawk-style haircut and a pair of sunglasses. Although nicely designed, the production standards are a little lax on the head, with two nasty mold lines on either temple. It's a shame because the facial details are actually very good. Storm Rider has a sneering, snarly curl to his lip and some nice details like earrings setting-off his biker look.

The rest of the body sculpt is pretty good, too, with Storm Rider clad in ''regular'' clothing (a short-sleeved shirt and jeans.) This would have been a great figure to include a sawn-off vest with, given his biker background, but instead his back patch is instead painted on his shirt. The top and bottom rockers include the gang name (Dreadnoks) and their chapter (Australia.) It's a pretty authentic recreation of a biker back patch.

The only slight problem (and this could be a one-off) is that his left foot is bent over at the ankle. It's impossible to get his foot to touch the ground as it stands and getting him onto his cycle is pretty difficult. As I say, maybe it's simply a production error on my figure or maybe it's been bent by months of being held in-place by the elastic retaining strap.

Articulation is fine, with Dreadnok being able to hold poses well and his sculpt doesn't include any inhibiting parts. Even with the neckerchief in-place, it's possible to get a pretty good range of head movement, too.

The paintwork on Storm Rider is very excellent, with his basic colouring of blue jeans and a black shirt being augmented with his back patch and smaller front patches. Best of all though are his tattoos, which can be seen on his exposed forearms. There are also two Cobra tattoos on either bicep, just peeking-out from under his rolled sleeves.

His head paint is also good, with his faux hawk picked-out in a dark grey and his sunglasses paint being very cleanly applied. The details on his earrings and studs are also accurately done.

Doom Cycle
The Doom Cycle comes fully-assembled (with the exception of the spike weapon, which clips onto the rear), with Storm Rider sitting upon it. Getting the vehicle and figure out of the box is quite tricky, though - a number of clear elasticated straps/bands are used to hold the vehicle and rider in-place and they're quite tightly stretched. I found the bands had actually ''dug into'' Storm Rider's joints and getting them out took some work.

With that aside, let's look at the vehicle itself.

The Doom Cycle is a pretty cool-looking trike, with a nice sculpt and some pretty cool play features. The wheels move freely, allowing you to push it across the floor with ease (and thanks to the three-wheel design, it's also very well-balanced and won't fall over.) The Doom Cycle seats only one figure and it can take a little maneuvering to get Storm Rider to be able to simultaneously hold the handlebars, sit on the seat and get his feet on the pegs, but once mounted, he looks good on the vehicle. 

The Doom Cycle features a number of hidden weapons. At the press of a button at the rear, six blades pop out into a deadly weapon. A second button between the handlebars releases two spiked blades from the front forks and pops-up a pair of shotguns. I say they're ''hidden'' but they're plainly visible even when tucked away. Not that it matters, really, but it's just worth noting in case you expect this vehicle to look like some kind of street-legal ride.

One minor point about the Doom Cycle is that - as far as I can tell - the front forks are locked in place. Although the headlight and handlebar mounting looks as if it's articulated, I couldn't get it to move and didn't want to try to force it. If anybody knows different then please let me know but as far as I can tell, it's a single, solid piece. That's a shame, as it would have been nice to have more posing options.

The Doom Cycle is cast from silver plastic with black detailing. Personally I'd have liked to see some more colour on the fuel tank and headlight mount - possibly in red to match the CO2 tank at the rear - as it would have really made the vehicle pop. The headlight is also cast from a simple silver/grey piece. Again, a piece of clear plastic (especially if it was tinted) would have really set the piece off. The tank detailing is nice, though, with a screaming skull graphic and the vehicle's name upon it. 

Storm Rider comes with his neckerchief (pre-attached) and a revolver that fits very well into his side holster, so much so that it can almost be difficult to get back out.

The Doom Cycle includes an attachable nail-gun/spike weapon with connecting pipe.

Unlike most other GI Joe vehicles, there are no decals to apply, but the vehicle does include an instruction sheet (not that it's needed) and the box doubles as a diorama background.

Final Thoughts
Storm Rider is a pretty good figure. Although I probably wouldn't buy this incarnation as a single carded figure, as a bundled extra he's certainly a good inclusion and much better than a lot of the other, generic pilots, riders and vehicle operators found in other sets.

The tattoos are nicely applied and his design is pretty cool. I'd have liked to have seen a sawn-off vest, rather than a shirt, as that would have been a really nice touch, but even without that, he's still a pretty cool-looking and nicely-finished figure.

The Doom Cycle is an unusual GI Joe vehicle, but then again, the Dreadnoks are an unusual bunch. Initially I wasn't sure about the trike design (I'm not a fan of real-world trikes) but it works pretty well. A few extra touches - such as the weapons being hidden properly, a little more colour and a set of front forks that could turn - would be nice, but as it is this is a very good toy.

And that's where the strength of this toy lies: in it's toy-ness. This isn't going to pop off your display shelf or really catch much attention from anybody glancing over your collection, but as a toy it works really well: Storm Rider is a cool figure that stays-put when he's in-place, the wheels turn nicely and the pop-out weapons are a fun little feature.

This is definitely one that's as good for the younger kids as it is the serious collector.

Storm Rider

Production QualityC-
Final ScoreB

Doom Cycle
Production QualityB
Final ScoreB

Final ScoreB

Image Gallery


  1. I seen this one around at the stores but so far have passed on it but this review does make a good sale to me however. : )

  2. It's good fun ''toy.'' It looks fine but the real strength is as a plaything and I can imagine kids (and adults!) having a lot of vroom-vroom, boomchak fun with it... I know I did.

  3. Yeah it has a great look to it and screams "Play with me" for sure.

  4. Yeah, it's certainly a fun little toy. And that's fine, because I think sometimes it's easy to overlook that these things are designed to be played with. The fact that it looks pretty good helps, too!


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