It’s been a minute, huh? Well, it’s been long enough I finally got to add another vehicle to the motor pool. Nothing like a little Covid to give you time to stalk some Ebay auctions.
I’m always surprised when I turn over a find in a line I was already aware of. And Battle Squads by Galoob from 1998 is certainly no different. Now, the name “Galoob” is familiar to any of you over 30, but “Battle Squads” is pretty niche. However, if you remember Star Wars Action Fleet, then you essentially have the concept. Most of the line was action fleet sized vehicles and mini figures, based on real-world military ones from WWII to the modern 1998 day.
And an offshoot of that brand was the Battle Squads Assault Force- which, kinda out of left field, was a 6-inch “green army men” subline. The figures, which I did own some of, were 5 POA figures done very much in the theme of those injection plastic predecessors, with some acceptable paint and accessories. I remember coming across them in the KayBee outlet and Toy Liquidators stores. But what I never saw, or knew of existing, was the Humvee. And for someone of my persuasion, with the collection of military toys that I have, you can see where this drove a certain urgency to rectify, once I found out about them.
That is especially frustrating, because you know they were just on the next shelf, probably for $3.33.
Inside the box, emblazoned with “Realistic Detail” blurbs, you do get a reasonably sized and detailed 2-door open top HMMV. It isn’t 1/12 scale, but it is closer than I had expected.
Now, there ARE 2-door Humvees out there, they are just usually in box truck configurations, and not as prolific as the 4-door versions. A 2-door scout version, like the toy depicts, would actually make a lot of sense, but I don’t know of one. But it does make for an interesting hybrid of the Humvee and the runner-up… kinda like a Vamp.
For features, these are definitely toys first, replicas a very distant second. That isn’t at all a bad thing, just make sure you keep that in mind should you follow me down that expensive rabbit hole. Free-rolling wheels, a fold-down windshield, a .50 cal mount, and a firing TOW launcher about covers it. The big feature for me, though? Two 1/12 figures ride on that bench seat comfortably, and a couple can ride in the lunch box without trouble. I do like the integrated mount on the rollbar for the TOW, but I kinda wish there was another job for the mount, like a spare tire or something, when one’s not in use.
For modifications, a lot of these bad boys are “ain’t broke, don’t fix it” for me, which lets me enjoy them for the charm they have right out of the box. I did use an old trick to give it a body lift, to improve the profile. I made some “axles” underneath to bump up the height. HMMVs don’t have regular axles, but I’m not looking at them from under much. I think a Rambo .50 will get a mount eventually, though I am keeping the TOW launcher. Without the spring projectile, it’s a pretty legitimate looking weapon. The open top is great, since the doors don’t function, so maybe a soft top would be a good idea later on. Hell, I even like the tampographed number decals on them.
It can be hard to gauge scale, so here’s a Plan B Jeep and a Madelman Rover, easily the other best two vehicles on the market. Again, the Galoob Humvee stacks up better than I had anticipated- next to the MB it looks pretty reasonable. The Rover is particularly wide and has off-road tires, so I can justify as being more of an after-market model- it should be at least an inch narrower than the Humvee though.
Overall, the only thing that’s a bummer is just how pricey and rare these are on the aftermarket. At a modern retail of say maybe $30 or $40, these would be fine, and comparable. Their clearance prices were awesome. But online, anything under $100 is doing good, and there just isn’t enough feature, detail or scale to make it worth more. But I am so glad to finally have Humvees among my vehicle fleet that I will gladly take these, and I’m very pleased I was able to find two for decent prices.