I remember it as if it were yesterday. One night in the fall of 1997, I was sitting at a diner with my oldest friend, John Drauss. We were discussing Nostradamus' prophecies regarding the end of the world. Then he starts telling about this great movie that he saw. Starship Troopers. I didn't want to hear anything about it. At the time, I was obsessed with Star Wars, and Starship Troopers was just a dumb cash-in on people too impatient to wait for Episode 4. Plus it had that annoying Blur song in the trailers. No thanks.
John was adamant. He was so sure that I would like this movie, he was willing to put up the cash for me to see it. I was wrong about a great many things that night. First, I now quite like Blur. Second, I should have gotten that burger at Vassal's diner medium-rare, since it was over-cooked. Third, George Lucas is a douche-bag. Finally, Starship Troopers instantly became one of my favorite movies.
If you listen to Tomocast, then you know that if I am obsessed with something and there's a toy version, I will own it. Would you like to know more? Click ahead to check out the big, bad warrior bug from Galoob's Starship Troopers toyline.
As was the standard from the beginning of time through the turn of the 21st century, licensed toys were horrible. The Starship Troopers line didn't try too hard to buck tradition. The standard figures released were Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien), Ace Levy (Jake Busey), and Carmen Ibanez (Denise Richards). They not only completely failed to resemble their real-life counterparts, but the outfits they wore didn't look a thing like the movie versions. The war outfits for Ace and Johnny were pastel, for crying out loud! Not good.
The warrior bug, on the other hand, was fantastic in every way. It is a perfect representation of the computer-generated bug from the film. The sculpt was dead-on. The paint-job looks incredibly authentic. Finally, the articulation was really well done.
Each of the four legs, as well arm-like appendages, are mounted with ball joints. This enabled the warrior bug to be thrown into nearly any pose. It always makes me wish that I had four hands so that I could make this thing properly walk across the floor.
The jaws are able to clamp down onto a figure. The pincers when snapped shut, will hold the weight of a standard 6-inch figure with no problems. And 12 years later, the ball joints in the legs are still strong enough to not budge a millimeter when taking on that same weight. This arachnid is an example of quality craftsmanship.
It's battery operated, so when you open and shut the jaws, it makes metallic slicing noises. There's also a button on it's back which activates hissing. Over time the batteries in mine have died and for that I am thankful. I wouldn't consider the sounds iconic or even accurate. A neat concept, but the delivery left me indifferent. Now if it had Clancy Brown's voice shouting "Medic!", it never would have gotten old. Nor Michael Ironside saying "Everyone fights. No one quits. You don't do your job, I'll shoot you myself." I would never fail to find uses for those.
They say that the only good bug is a dead bug. I have to disagree. I love this evil space-monster dearly. Even though the rest of the Starship Troopers figures are sitting in a box, never again to see the light of day, this guy has been proudly on display for over a decade. For that, I owe Galoob my eternal gratitude. As I do to John D. for dragging me to see that movie for the first time.