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United States Space Force

Amazo Toys
by yo go re

Space Force Red and Space Force Blue join forces along with their highly trained army of Space Force troopers as they race the Russian Space Agency to Mars.

It's a time of political uncertainty, but don't worry, the United States Space Force will unite us all for the common good.

It was nearly two years ago - March 1, 2020 - when Amazo Toys started its Kickstarter for these 4" scale astronaut toys. To put into perspective how long ago that was, COVID-19 was not yet officially a pandemic. It was before you couldn't find masks in stores. It was when stores were open! It was before anyone had heard the phrase "social distancing." So with that in mind, absolutely no one is going to hold it against Amazo that the Space Force toys missed their projected February 2021 release date. One year late, but we've got 'em now!

All three figures in the line use the same body sculpt, which is why we're reviewing them en masse. It's a space suit with a harness around the chest and a big, 1950s sci-fi kind of bubble helmet. The body does that thing a lot of small toymakers do, where they overload their toys with extraneous details; like a new cook who doesn't know when to stop adding spices. Should a space suit really be this tight and wrinkly, and should the boots have normal laces? That's a rhetorical question, the answer is "no." But remember, this is a silly fun idea of a space race, not a realistic one, so taking some liberties with the design is fine. The chest harness provides a big ring around the neck for the clear plastic dome slightly fit inside, as well. The logo in the center is tampographed on a separate piece that plugs in, which is why the Americans can have triangles while the Russian has a circle.

The US Space Force uniforms are, appropriately, red, white, and blue [as though those aren't also the colors of the Russian flag --ed.], but they're not identical. The body on both is white, with silver boots and belt, but from there a few things differentiate: the panels on the ribs and the inside of the arms match each team's color, with the opposite color used for the lining; and on the helmets, the team color appears on the visor, with the other color on the ridge over the top. That's neat! It makes them look like a team, but distinct parts.

The Russian Space Agent is a vibrant brick red with black and yellow detailing. (He's also got a pouch strapped to his right thigh, which means that part of the toy, at least, is a different mold from the Americans.) The Agency trooper doesn't wear an all-concealing helmet like the Yanks do, opting for a more fitted mask and goggles that leave the mouth and nose free. It's a really sharp look, even if those colors today say more "China" than "Russia." But like we said, this is an alternate history, where the Soviet Union still exists and the hammer and sickle emblem are still in use.

The figures are built using pieces from Fresh Monkey Fiction - you know, the same way Zombie Lab used Boss Fight Studio's V-HACKS system. The Russian's pouch is exactly the same one Larry Hama was wearing, for example. Anyway, that means the articulation is going to be predicatable and plentiful: a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows and wrists, a balljointed waist, balljointed hips, double-hinged knees, swivel shins, and swivel/hinge ankles. Good factory this time, too, because everything moves nicely.

In addition to the (non-removable) harness and the (two-piece) bubble dome, each of the Space Force figures comes with an assortment of alternate hands and two weapons: a pulse rifle and a laser blaster, both in silver. The Americans' hands get their team color on the back of the gloves, so you can remember whose are whose.

And then there are the accessories that really sold the sets. Honestly, the number of people who would want "generic outer space men" (at $25 a pop) would be pretty low, so that's not how this Kickstarter was sold. The premise was Space Force Blue and Space Force Red being led by Obama and Dum-Dum, with a whole slew of unlockable alternate heads. Now, not every head got unlocked during the campaign (sadly), but Red, Blue, and even Russia all get five unique heads in addition to the ones the figures have in the package.

And hey, speaking of packaging, let's speak about the packaging. The figures are sold in tubes, like the early Minimates, with each color-coded for its occupant: red details, blue details, or yellow details. The CCCP Space Program even gets its own logo and Cyrillic text - "СССР Космическая Программа" - instead of Latin. The figure is held in a tray with the accessories bagged behind. And if you remove the bottom cap from the tube, the round tray that holds the extra heads can fit in there perfectly! So cool!

Ideally, Amazo Toys would have focused on all the extra heads first in their Kickstarter; it's telling that the momentum stalled out before the "Secret Service Agent" level, which would have added a new body, a guy in a suit. While "a guy in a suit" would be a nice inclusion for lots of lines, it wasn't what we were here for. Backers came to Space Force for political figures as improbable astronauts, not for businessmen or generals. Heck, I'd buy a pack of all the heads we didn't unlock, just to make these goofy figures even goofier!

-- 02/18/22


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