I must admit, this is kind of a nice change. Over the past couple of weeks I've been turning out 2.5" review after 2.5" review, and as neat as those smaller vehicles are, my love truly lies with the characters and figures of the 8" variety. Those are the ones that really hold my interest, and frankly it's quite nice to have a new one of those to tool around with and do a review of.

I know you're probably saying "it's just Duke on a new vehicle! What's the big deal?". Well, yeah, as we've come to expect, it is just another Duke, but even so, the vehicle is impressive and the fact that they could even work a figure (not to mention all those accessories) for this price point is pretty incredible. Duke also manages to be different enough to really look cool, quite possibly cool enough to push aside Jet Wing Duke as a new default. But why don't you check out the pictures and make up your own mind.

At first I'll admit, I wasn't real big on the whole Quad thing. My issue with the 2.5" stuff is that it's built on vehicles, not on figures. While that's all well and good, and will hopefully prove very successful for Hasbro, my love with G.I. Joe has always been the strength of the characters, so obviously my focus is on figures and how they interact with the mythos. For this reason, my love of vehicles isn't quite as deep as some folks may be.

So while the Quad looks neat, this was just essentially another Duke figure, just mildly changed, so how would that be interesting to me? Well, it turns out the set is much cooler than I thought it might be.

First of all, the Night Ranger Quad itself is amazingly cool! It could have just been a slab of plastic with four wheels and a couple generic weapons...that would have been expected, especially with a figure for only $20.00. But you'll find this Night Ranger is absolutely chock full of a whole lotta neat play features. It's not just a generic four-wheeler, it really comes off a nice little offensive weapon.

First of all, the free-rolling wheels all have real rubberized tires, which is instantly a neat little feature. The overall design of the Quad looks normal enough to be a real world four-wheeler, yet the added armor on front, the nicely designed rear bumper/thruster, and the gun rack on back all add up to give it a lot of punch. It won't provide much defense to the driver, who still sits out in the open, but it will definitely do some shooting back.

First thing you'll notice, feature-wise, is the real suspension. I mean real. The rear tire unit has a lot of give, using a real metal spring and it gives you an awesome feeling of realism. Even the two front tires have independant suspension, but more of an angular thing, so the left tire can go over a large rock while the right one stays firmly on the ground. Definitely a cool addition.

Beyond the suspension, there is obviously a quartet of missiles that plug into the front and fire very well. Each side holds two missiles, and the launching buttons on the side fire one at a time, in sequence. A small, round, black button just below the handlebars will also pop up the front armor to better reveal the launchers within. Pressing down on the handlebars will also pop up some "night vision goggles" which is a pretty cool idea as well, giving the rider some better visability where it's needed. These handlebars also turn freely (though they do not actually turn the wheels).

But the Quad isn't just all about spring-loaded features and launching missiles...it comes with a ton of accessories as well. I am still pretty amazed at all the new stuff they were able to work in there for such a low price. It has a shovel, an axe, a knife, a grappling hook, two extra missiles, a Switchfire pistol, night vision goggles, and a very cool rider's helmet. Most of this gear also fits seamlessly into a rack on the rear of the Quad as well.

Of course, along with the Quad and all of this gear, you get the driver, too. Yes, yes, it is yet another Duke, but it's really a pretty neat Duke, I think. I may be stretching things here, trying to find cool things about what is basically another rehash, but truth be told, I really like the changes they've made here, and I love how he's been made much more of a "Night Ops" version of Duke.

Obviously the name of the Quad, the "Night Ranger" would indicate that night operations is the primary function of this ATV, so it makes sense that Duke comes designed that way, as well. Well, Hasbro was able to make only a few minor changes and ended up giving us a pretty cool more darkly themed Duke figure. First of all, the short sleeves are gone, being replaced by the long black sleeves we originally saw on Sea Ops Duke. Also, something that wasn't real evident from the pictures is that his Sigma Suit is not the same blue suit that we're used to...this one is a deep, dark, almost purple blue color, which definitely gives you more of a Night Ops feel.

This dark purple and long black sleeved look is nicely complimented by lots of silver trimming throughout the figure, on his shoulder armor, comm unit and in other places as well. The end result is a very darkly themed version of Duke, who still has some nice vibrant colors.

Combine the look of the figure with all of the included accessories and you really get a pretty fun figure and a surprisingly awesome vehicle for a pretty reasonable price point.

It's a nicely sized, greatly deco'd vehicle with a very fun, vibrantly colored, nicely accessorized figure for only twenty bucks. Personally I think it's definitely worth the cash. I'd rather take his package than the $15.00 just for the Hovercycle any day. The Night Ranger Quad itself looks awesome, it's fun to play with, and it comes with a pretty fun figure, even if it is another Duke. I think, figure aside, there's a cool enough vehicle here and a great enough amount of accessories to make this worth the money.

If you're an 8" Sigma 6 fan, don't hesitate...I think you'll love it, even with another Duke. If you want more details on the accessories and features, don't forget to check the Tech Specs page.














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