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Author Topic: Vintage Review - Phantom X-19 - By Request  (Read 2383 times)

olyeller01

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Vintage Review - Phantom X-19 - By Request
« on: February 08, 2010, 07:08:02 PM »

The original GI Joe line had plenty of great planes for both Joe and Cobra.  Planes like the SkyStriker, the Rattler, the Conquest X-30 and the Night Raven are old favorites of many fans and were commercial successes for Hasbro.  Almost all GI Joe aircraft are "upgraded" versions of real aircraft, some more obvious than others (the F-14 for the Skystriker, obviously; the A-10 for the Rattler, the X-29 for the Conquest, and of course the SR-71 for the Night Raven).  There's another great Joe aircraft, which is based on a concept of a supposedly real aircraft: the Phantom X-19.

A bit of historical background: from 1964 to 1998, the United States operated the SR-71 Blackbird as a high-speed reconnaissance aircraft.  The SR-71's service record is legendary among aeronautical enthusiasts; it routinely avoided missiles fired at it by simply outrunning them, & it holds quite a few speed records for manned aircraft (such as flying from Los Angeles to Washington, DC in just under 68 minutes) and many details of the aircraft, such as its true top speed, remain classified.  During the 1980s, the Air Force was thinking about a replacement for the aging SR-71.  There were plenty of rumors about an "Aurora" hypersonic aircraft program, but other than some circumstantial evidence there is no proof this aircraft was ever built.  The USAF's tastes for reconnaissance switched to satellites and lower-speed, unmanned aerial vehicles, so it is assumed the Aurora program was cancelled.

The Phantom X-19 appears to be based off several artists' concepts of the Aurora.  It's a BIG Joe plane...it's even longer than the Night Raven and almost as wide.  Dark gray and black, with neon green accents, the Phantom looks plenty menacing.  The cockpit is at the very front of the plane, and is accessed by sliding the entire canopy forward.  The cockpit holds two figures, and is very nicely detailed with all kinds of little buttons and levers.  There are seat belts to help hold figures in place.  Moving to the rear of the aircraft, there is a very large intake that dominates the center of the plane.  It appears to be an intake for the three large engines at the rear, and in fact a sticker in the center of the plane proclaims that the area is a "ram jet intermix."  There are two medium-sized missiles on either side of the intake, just before the vertical stabilizers.  There are what appear to be cannons on either side of the leading edge of the "wing".  The top part of the "wing" in line with the vertical stabilizers can slide out on both sides, which exposes twin pop-up cannons.  On the top rear of the vehicle, three black vents can be raised to access the engines.  The exhaust vents for the engines themselves extend and retract when the landing gear are raised or lowered.

The underside of the X-19, especially with the gear raised, is largely flat and featureless, keeping with what was thought of as "stealthy" design in the mid '80s.  The landing gear themselves are large and look quite substantial (featuring four tires on each gear) which would be required for a plane of this size.  The gear are raised and lowered by a sliding lever on the underside of the very rear of the plane.  The other dominant feature of the underside of the X-19 is the two large missiles on either side.  When "launched" the missiles have fold-out glider wings, which I guess would make them cruise missiles.  

This is one of my alltime favorite Joe planes, and complaints are very few.  My main complaint is with the bright neon green coloring of the small missiles, the pop-out cannons, the large missiles' glider wings, and the "intermix" cover.  While these are small details, they just don't look very military to me, and were a prelude of the horribly bright colors Hasbro put on its vehicles at the end of the Joe line.  The only other complaints I have are about the cruise missiles, the pop-up cannons, and the landing gear doors.  The cruise missiles' glider wings can loosen over time, which makes it difficult for the missiles to stay straight on the plane.  The pop-up cannons are kind of cool, but I don't like the way the X-19 looks when the covers for them are slid out...and its also easy for the part that catches the cannons to raise them to wear out over time.  And the landing gear doors seem kind of fragile, and can also wear out over time where they do not fully close.

Expect to spend around $80-100 for a loose complete Phantom X-19, more if Ghost Rider is included (and even MORE if Ghost Rider still has his damned elusive scarf).  Neon colors aside, this is a big, very neat Joe plane, and a more than worthy addition to your collection.  This is my second favorite Joe plane (my all-time favorite is of course the SkyStriker) and it was even featured in its own issue of the comic book (#115).  Basically, you can't go wrong with the Phantom X-19.

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« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 08:44:34 PM by olyeller01 »
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OlYeller01
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Re: Vintage Review - Phantom X-19 - By Request
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2010, 08:03:30 PM »

Nice plane! and great review. I'm always interested in reading about the real planes responsible for some of these great joe toys. Like that kind of history lesson. Yes, sad about those neon colors. oh 90's what were we thinking!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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dodge822

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Re: Vintage Review - Phantom X-19 - By Request
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2010, 10:16:01 PM »

great job, had to get a review of my all time favorite joe plane, now if i could just find a nose cone to complete my second one, lol

thank you
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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General Hawk: Technically, G.I. Joe does not exist, but if it did, it\'d be comprised of the top men and women from the top military units in the world, the alpha dog\'s. When all else fails, we don\'t.

olyeller01

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Re: Vintage Review - Phantom X-19 - By Request
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2010, 11:45:16 PM »

I aim to please, Mike.  I aim to please.   ;D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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OlYeller01
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