Okay, so far two out of three of my posts this year have been rants about figure swappers. Let's take a break from all that! This time I want to cover something completely unique and original:
Little green army men!
I've been wanting to give myself some kind of "figure project". Something I could do or collect outside of the regular toy lines out there and make an original storyline to connect it all. I was in a dollar store the other day, and I realized that whenever I get some new army men, I typically get some other "creatures" to go along with them. Whether they're from dollar stores, prizes for tickets collected from kiddie arcades, etc., I usually get some army men, plus dinosaurs, robots, bugs, and the like. The creatures were always for the army men to fight, so I figured I'd base my "project" on that idea. So I'm going to call my project Army Men and Monsters of the Month (or AMAMOTM). Once a month I'll get some army men and creatures, and try to build a story (however nutty) as I go.
The rules are as follows:
- The heroes must be "army men" type figures (typical army men, painted army men, cops, firefighters, pirates, cowboys & Indians, ninjas, paratroopers, etc. all count)
- Vehicles, bases, animals, etc, can be included with the heroes
- The creatures can be anything. Aliens, robots, dinosaurs, bugs, even "giant" farm animals (if that's what I find). As long as they look monstrous next to the heroes it's all good. Each month should have a group of heroes and at least two monsters.
That's it. Now let's get started.
The group of 5 army men pictured above will be my "main heroes", no matter who else I get in the following months. More characters can be added to the group, but most will be back-up trooper types to help these guys out. Unlike most bags of army men figures that come with like, 30 of them, this set only came with these 5, plus brick walls, fences, weapons crates, etc. The set also strangely came with accessories clearly intended for a different style of figure - huge guns! But I'm going to keep them with these guys! You don't want to go up against giant monsters without big, 90's-comics-style, ridiculously large guns. Maybe their regular weapons turn into crazy beast blasters.
So who are our heroes? I don't know if they need names, but I'll try to make them somewhat unique.
This guy may look like an ordinary pilot, but his mega cutters can snip through anything. He might not get a giant gun like the others on his team, but he does get to pilot a big green robot, so it's still fair. He's the leader of the squad when they're in the thick of it, and he's led them to safety more times than they can count. He also serves as the team's mechanic, and he's designed many of the mega weapons the squad uses.
The Pilot not only transports the rest of the team into the battlefield, he also pilots this mech. He's the last line of defence when it looks like things are getting too hairy (or scaly, or slimy, or whatever). The Mech is able to think on it's own, but when the Pilot takes the controls the two of them are almost unstoppable.
When I was looking at the figures in the set one by one, this guy was instantly my favorite. Turns out there were two of him in the set, but they'll each get their own mega weapon to make them stand apart. The Blaster gets the heaviest weapon in the set, and he's less about strategy than laying down the firepower. This guy will stare down a charging monster while giving it a long burst of firepower, and then he'll casually walk away like it's all a part of the job. A job he loves.
Sometimes when you're up against vicious giant monsters, you can get hurt. That's when it's nice to have the Medic by your side. He can patch up wounds that would make most seasoned doctors lose their lunch, and if he can't fix it, he can replace it. He replaced the Sniper's eyes after a bad encounter with a giant spitflier, and has even worked on himself when the situation called for it. The Medic is also an expert in monster physiology, and he is constantly adding to his squad's database as new monsters are discovered. The Medic isn't afraid to create a little destruction when the time comes, and he uses his mega shotgun to add a little kick to the team's firepower.
Okay, so he doesn't technically come with a sniper rifle, but it isn't technically human-sized either, so it can be what ever I want it to be. It's the longest gun in the set, so it's the mega sniper rifle. The Sniper lost his eyes after an acid blast in the face by a giant spitlflier. He was given cybernetic eyes by the Medic, which enhanced his vision to the point where he doesn't even need a scope on his rifles. The Sniper can see in infrared, night vision, and can even spot most monsters that have the ability to turn invisible. Because of the Sniper's past experiences, his job has become personal, unlike the Blaster, who takes great joy from his work.
I made this guy the Rookie on the team because he was the last figure to come out of the bag, and he is the only one in the set not in a calm pose. He's running, so taking on giant monsters must still be new for him. But just because he's the Rookie doesn't mean he's ill-prepared for his new job. On the contrary, he earned his spot on the team for his speed, stealth, and stamina. The Rookie is the squad's infiltrator. When someone has to sneak into a monster's nest, he's the one to do it. He once made his way into the skull of a monster, acquired a sample of it's brain tissue, and escaped without the monster knowing. It would be more appropriate to call him the Infiltrator, the Spy, or even the Sneak, but as long as he's the newest blood on the squad, his teammates will keep calling him the Rookie. When he needs to lay down some extra firepower, the Rookie uses his mega pistol.
This guy was added almost as an afterthought. Remember my blue and red army men from my post, Here Come The Canadians? Well, I bought a set of green guys from that series when I bought the above set. This officer-looking guy was the only version of him in the set, so he stood out as special to me. He can be the Commander, and he sends the team (who I should really name - Mega Monster Fighters? We'll see...) on their missions. He rarely sees battle himself, but when he does, he's always accompanied by his two bodyguards. He might come across as shadowy and aloof, but he is loyal to the team and puts their interests first, sometimes even ahead of his own.
I'm sure there will be all sorts of different types of monsters over the coming months (or at least I hope there will be, there's always the chance I could run out of options). The first wave of monsters are:
THE KING COBRATTLER
How cool is a cobra with a rattle? The giant King Cobrattler is a slithering monstrosity that can spit acidic venom, devour things even larger than itself, and hypnotize lesser beings (ie: humans) to do it's bidding, even turning friend against foe. It's rattle is deafening and can disorient it's enemies in battle. This segmented creature can also regrow any portions of itself lost in battle, it's only weak point being it's head. The King Cobrattler is always moving though, so head shots are harder than you would think. The Rookie is usually able to sneak past most monsters unnoticed, but in this case it looks like he's fallen under the Cobrattler's spell. Can his teammates break the hypnosis and help the Rookie live to fight another day (without getting taken out by their mesmerized friend first?).
THE EYE GOO
The Eye Goo is a giant eyeball that lives within a protective gel sphere. It can shoot beams into the air which rain back down on it's enemies, and it can electrify it's sphere for a rolling (and shocking) melee attack. The Eye Goo is also able to teleport, vanishing in a sparkly green cloud only to reappear somewhere else, usually somewhere close enough to it's enemies to zap with with it's beams or electricity. In this battle, the Eye Goo has teleported right beside the Sniper. A master of long-range combat, can the Sniper take on an enemy in such close quarters? It's the giant eye vs the cyber-eyes, and only one can win.
Okay, so this story can easily get crazy and goofy, but that's okay! That's honestly what it's all about. I want to see what I can do with the most basic of figures, and if I don't say so myself, I think I'm off to a good start. Who knows, I might not wait until the end of February to do next month's instalment, just because this one was so much fun for me to do. Hopefully others will have at least some of the fun reading these as I have making them.
My "Medic" character seems to share his design with one of my Canadian troops, but it looks much better on him.