Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas Village 2015

A Yule Time Ago in Galaxy Far Far Away
I Have a Very Festive Feeling About This

This year, I decided to respect the sanctity of the holiday and only have the utterly traditional Christmas Village my daughter set up complete with custom light up tree.

Isn’t it lovely?

Right, like anyone believed that.  With the new movie opening tomorrow, there could only be one theme to this year’s battle.  Heck, even the monthly rotating superhero shelf has been temporarily re-purposed.

Anyway, the peaceful coexistence between the Cobra and Joe troops has been shattered due to narrative need.

I mean due to the meeting with one of the groups that came through the cosmic wormhole last year, Yes, that is what I mean.

Cobra Commander has negotiated a deal with Sith Lord and Emperor Palpatine to rule not only Cobra, but the entire Earth when it becomes annexed to the new Multi-Dimensional Galactic Empire.  The unstable nature of the wormhole, likely due to its transmission of an Extra-Dimensional Abominable Giant Mutant Alien Clown Penguin, grants access to multiple time streams, allowing an impressive array of Imperial Troops and Sith Lords from all periods in the Empire’s history to attack the staggered G. I. Joe forces together.

The entire Joe Air Force has been wiped out and Barbecue’s battle fire truck vaporized, removing any way for our Heroes to reinforce their allies on the plateau or for those stranded up there to escape. It was a master stroke of strategy by the new Sith-Cobra Pact.

Either that or my daughter got sick of me hogging all the good Hess trucks every year.

Cobra Commander discusses strategies with Lord Sidious and Grand Moff Tarkin.  Tomax and Xamot discuss where they can find wholesale robes to convert the Crimson Guard into Emperor’s Royal Guards, and wonder if they can get away with using the old helmets.  They sit nearby the upper echelons in the new, higher tech, but much harder to stand people in, Cobra Command Truck.

Honestly, I think the reason I spend the time trying to get a ridiculous number of action figures to occupy this tiny amount of space in varied and meaningful poses is to maintain the thickness of the pre-Christmas profanity cloud now that we use a pre-lighted Christmas tree.

Storm Shadow, Firefly and Generic Cobra Ninja 57-B keep watch to guard the commander against Sith duplicity. 

Or maybe they spy on the Commander for his opposing factions in Cobra. 

Or maybe they’re working for the Joe’s now. 

I could check the latest Real American Hero comic for their current allegiance, but Snake Eyes died recently, and I’m not really ready to deal with that emotionally in public.

Major Bludd and Commander Cody confer with a Cobra officer as they transmit tactical plans of how to carry out their superiors’ orders to the troops. Or perhaps I crammed too many figures on the table this year and ran out of constructive things for everyone to do.

Destro and the Baroness, under the pretenses of assuring the Speeder Bike is calibrated to Earth gravity, are stealing as much information about the technical specs of the hovering weapon as possible.  They are being aided by an Iron Grenadier looking under the hood.  Sadly, on my ninth battle scene, I still suck at miniature photography, and he’s out of shot.
Instead of focusing on my inadequacies yet again, let’s see where that Crimson Guardsman on the left is going.

Cobra Commander naturally demanded domination of Cobra itself as his first priority. The Crimson Guardsman are handing the humbled Serpentor off to a member of the Fighting 501st—Vader’s Fist, to be taken in the Dark Lord’s personal shuttle for transport. A horrible fate awaits him in the Empire’s medical labs where he will be experimented on in order to enhance their cloning program.  (Wow, went a little dark this year...I blame Jessica Jones.)  Darth Vader will be remaining in his shuttle instead of striding majestically across the frozen wasteland because I was too cheap to buy a fancy replacement one from the new toy lines.  The figure I"ve had from when I was a kid, assuming he has all his limbs (which is questionable,) definitely can’t stand, is missing a lightsaber, and has the propensity for his head to drop off if unsupported.

Wild Weasel is giving the shuttle a tune up, because if I didn’t spring for a measly new 3.75” Vader, I certainly wasn’t shelling out the cash for a Cobra Rattler or Night Raven.

Nearby the effects of this nefarious team up are evident. Snow Job (yes…Snow Job) has been captured by Scrap Iron and a Snow Viper using the A.C.S.P. (Advanced Combat Snow Plow) which was enhanced using Imperial technology.

Being detained, the ski-borne scout was unable to warn the last hope of keeping the Empire’s Armor from taking the entire plateau, the Wolverine Missile Tank.

Cover Girl tries in vain to fight back as General Grievous Leads a pair of Battle Android Troopers and a Destroyer Droid in a mechanized swarm over her vehicle. Flint and Lady Jaye frantically hope to formulate an extradition plan that does not involve toppling off of the table…um, plateau.  The martial arts instructor uses two vehicles for cover as he contemplates leaping as a last ditch attempt to avoid capture, holding his position only long enough to allow me to continue the running gag of referring to him as Billy from Predator.  Any hope of a final defense was squelched by an apparent malfunction of the tank’s fire control system.  Beachhead and Bombstrike have no hopes of getting the launchers operational, as they are not broken, but instead held in place by Darth Tyranus’s manipulations of the dark side of the force.  ( Sorry I refuse to destroy the tension of the moment by referring to him as "Dooku." Sometimes I wonder about you're naming choices, George.)  Duke has jet packed up to ferry down as many of his allies as possible -and the flag of course; he’s that kind of Sergeant.  His chances of success may have already been dashed.

The entire heavy weapons group of the G. I. Joes has been captured.  That’s (left to right) Roadblock, Heavy Duty, Flash, Bazooka and Rock ‘n’ Roll for those of you who like playing with COLLECTING these figures as much as I do.  Two Vipers take them prisoner off of the dismantled G I Joe command truck.

Or perhaps they’re being loaded onto a Cobra prison truck.  It gets kind of difficult to keep track when all the vehicles are the same color.

The considerable firepower of this group was stifled by a combination of an All-Terrain Scout Transport supported by a Cobra Bazooka Trooper and a C.L.A.W. armed with the infamous U.L.G. (That’s the Uncomfortably Large Gun for anyone experiencing my particular brand of holiday insanity for the first time.)  Darth Maul led the way using his force skills and awesome double bladed lightsaber to deflect and bisect incoming ordinance.

Down below, the G I Joe forces have been equally shattered by an airborne attack that my tired old knees are in far too much pain to let me squat down long enough and figure out how to do a forced perspective shot with one of the ships on the monthly rotating superhero shelf to show. Feel free to imagine the carnage while I get an ice pack.

General Hawk barks orders (as per usual)  for a full retreat from the last major operational Joe vehicle after the devestation, while Wild Bill and Ace work on increasing the helicopter drone’s carrying capacity to use as jury rigged rescue platform. Breaker relays the aforementioned  frantic messages from Flint and suggests moving the last major operational Joe vehicle before the Wolverine Missile Tank plummets onto it and adversely affects its operationalness.

Some help has arrived! Barbecue’s brand new Beweaponed Fire Truck (Thanx Grandma!) is being led to the base of the plateau by Stalker partially to provide aid during the retreat, and partially because he poses well into cool leading while running type positions. Scarlett, Snake Eyes and Jinx hope to throw a bit of ninja-tude against the Sith Lords in hopes of saving as many Joes from their untenable situation as possible.

Sadly, casualties abound.  One that hits close to home for the team occurred when Barbecue’s previous fire truck got vaporized by a squadron of TIE Bombers. (Really, picture it in your head. See, isn’t it way cooler than anything I could mock up?) 
The inexplicably appearing giant monitor lizard that lived in that fire truck was gravely injured.  Joe animal handlers Mutt (with Junkyard the dog) Spirit (with Freedom the eagle) and Shipwreck (Polly the parrot  must be scouting ahead) carefully load the inexplicably appearing giant monitor lizard onto the RAM hoping that Clutch will get him to the medical bay of Barbecue’s new truck in time.

But wait, could there be a miracle for our heroes?

Probably yes given the ridiculous amount of toys in this house.

Something has certainly spooked the team of bounty hunters and Dreadnoks sent down to finish off the Joe base camp after that awesome barrage in your head.  Zam Wessel, Jango Fett and Aurra Sing lay down ineffective fire to try to cover the flight.  Zartan’s daughter Zanya leaps on the hood of the Swamp Truck to order immediate evac.  

Yes, I know she’s a Strawberry Shortcake doll. It made some kind of sense at the time.

Zartan, Torch, Ripper and Buzzer have all flung themselves in and around the bed as the Swamp Truck tears away in such haste that it accidentally runs over the Desert Viper sent to provide Cobra with intel on the mission.

Don’t feel too bad for him as:

A) He usually ends up frozen to death; at least this gives him variety.

B)  In his panicked leap into the fleeing vehicle, Buzzer has landed his chainsaw directly on the fuel container for Torch’s flamethrower meaning the whole group is another awesome imagined scene away from being a massively charred  and smoking crater.

What could have caused this level of terror in some of the most hardened and vile mercenaries of two universes?

Well, as it turns out, the inexplicably appearing giant monitor lizard originally hails from the planet Dagobah.  In a far less explainable happening than his existence, the near catastrophic levels of injury triggered a latent ability, and he was able to send a telepathic distress call home.

Has this ridiculously contrived distress call brought Yoda leading the entire Jedi council to turn the tides of battle?

No, because if I see one more action figure fall over this season I’m going to have a freakin’ aneurysm.

Will I keep interrupting the narrative with stupid questions until I move well past suspenseful and into the realm of annoying?

I think that one answers itself.

The call has instead brought Yoda riding atop the inexplicably appearing giant monitor lizard’s even more inexplicable Hugenormous cousin Timmy!

I have a feeling stomping on Croc Master and eating the Trubble Bubble are only the first in a long line of casualties that will eventually drive the Cobra-Sith Pact off of the annually contested plateau.

Will the counter attack be enough to rid their world of the Empire for good?

Will the fact that Stormtrooper armor can’t stop blaster fire or rocks make it easier to digest for Timmy?

Will this inspire me go beyond using leftover childhood toys, pre-marriage collections and overstock sales to buy even more Star Wars crap?

Note: That loud, wailing “Nooooooo!” in the distance isn’t Luke after his hand was cut off.
It’s my wife after reading the last question.

Tune in next year, and find out!

Until then, Merry Everything and remember:

Knowing the Force is With You, Always, is Half the Battle.


Jay D said...

Love it Jeff! Long live your Christmas Villiage battles! Miss working with ya buddy, have a great holiday.


Jeff McGinley said...

MAny thanx, likewise. And thanx again for guilting me...I mean inspiring me to continue when I ran out of ideas a couple years ago.

Happy Everything!