Saturday, June 13, 2009

J.Norad Reviews: Zacca 1:6 Scale FIM-92 Stinger Missile

Today, I bring you a review of a ZACCA 1/6 scale model FIM-92 Stinger Missile launcher from the Bazooka Chronicle series. About this product: Zacca makes stellar 1/6 scale weaponry among other things. I previously bought their World Gun Collection AK-47 and XM-177 at the 2007 WizardWorld convention. Great quality and detail. However, their products come blindboxed, meaning you buy a pack and don't know what's inside until you open it (or you cheat, more on that later). Right now, you can buy the set this FIM-92 comes from on for a paltry price of $51 sans shipping for 10 packs, with the caveat that you're not guaranteed that one of them will have the FIM-92 (but likely you will get one). Good luck buying this in a physical store.

For those of you who simply want a 1/6 scale FIM-92 but for the cheapest price possible ($51 + possible $20-30 shipping is a real deal killer for a chance for one), there's a GI-Joe version without the antenna. For those of you want this particular model like I did, you can pick one up shipped for $18+ on ebay. For those of you who didn't know this existed, and are now debating trying to pick one up, I'll go into some details you should know.

The Model:
Comes with everything you see here. One modular display board, one removable coolant pack and a whole lot of Stinger. The model is very detailed and has minimal decals and paint. The sight folds up and locks into place, so you can have yours stowed away or ready to fire. However, the model is much larger than the box that it comes with, and because of that, it comes packed in pieces. The information sheet in the back also has instructions to piece together the 11 (yes, eleven) separate pieces that make up this model. By that note, this model is not something you can toss around in your weapon box and not expect to be splintered in a week. If you're buying this, you're going to be displaying it on the rack or somewhere else all the time.

The Packaging:

As mentioned, the FIM-92 comes shipped in eleven components: the rear tube, two strap holding brackets, the coolant pack, the main body, a laser sight, and a five piece antenna. As you can see, the box came crushed in transit. The box and inner packaging does little to protect the contents from random act of US Mail. If buying one online, make sure it's not tossed in a bubble envelope. If buying one in a store, you can do the following to guarantee you're getting an FIM-92...

The Crushing Blow:

The box was not the only thing damaged in transit. The fold up sight was broken off one of the two hinges. There's a small plastic pin that sheared off and should not in any circumstances be glued and placed back in. The left eye visor guard also snapped off during the crushing. That fortunately broke cleanly where the piece joined the body and was easily glued back on. However, that left me with a broken pin.

The pin, I should note, is a compound pin, with half the diameter larger than the other. I didn't know this, but I made a suitable replacement with a 0.045" paperclip trimmed to about 4mm long. A bit of Loc-tite was needed to secure the pin in place from falling out. Not a big deal, but annoying to get a paperclip near the exact diameter I needed.

What does this have to deal with guaranteeing you're getting an FIM-92 in a blindbox in a store? Well, all you now have to do is apply a light force to the center of the pack and if you hear a scary brittle snap, Congratulations! You've broken a blindboxed FIM-92.

The Unit In Action:

So, if you're not put off by the fact that you might be paying around $80 for a chance to get a model rocket launcher that may be broken in transit, here's some shots of the FIM-92 in use. And what person is more qualified to handle this missile launcher than the Team Fortress 2 Soldier! Today, it's the Soldier Update as far as he's concerned. Who needs four rockets when one with the power to down aircraft is available?
Today is a good day!

Boys, we have a blue aerial transport in our midst!

If Raytheon had wanted you to live, they would have not created the FIM-92!

Overall Meaningless Scores and Stats:

Price for one unit:
  • $5 (if you buy one box at a store and get it in that one)
  • $18 shipped on ebay (J.Norad's method)
  • $34 on ebay (+ shipping, other sellers)
  • $80+ on
Build quality: Beautiful, but fragile. I wouldn't store this unit higher than one foot off a hard surface in the event it falling breaks off the antenna. Assembly required; eleven pieces. Score: 8/10.

Length assembled: 26cm

No glue required, glue not recommended.

Playability: You're either putting this on the included wall rack or permanently in a diorama. This is a model, not a toy as far as I'm concerned. Makes great photos due to the detailing, however. Score: 6/10.

Overall: A great visual prop, but I'm too concerned with breaking off the antenna. Good value for $18, compared to other models from Dragon and 21st Century Toys. I wouldn't recommend buying one unless you really love the FIM-92 or need one for your 12" Metal Gear Solid 1 Solid Snake figure. The cheaper FIM-43 doesn't look as fragile and can be had for $10, if you are insistant on getting a missile launcher. Score: 8/10.

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