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By Thomas Wheeler

There are so many different 3-3/4" military product lines out there these days that it's impossible to keep track of them all, really. You've got G.I.JOE, of course, but also THE CORPS, ELITE FORCE, and a number of others. Given that I barely collect even G.I.Joe anymore, I haven't paid a lot of attention to the others.

On the other hand, I'm not one for refusing free toys, either. So when a fellow reviewer for the Web Site MasterCollector.Com, who mostly reviews dolls, offered me a 3-3/4" scale military toy that one of the companies he often receives doll samples from sent him, I readily accepted, figuring it would be good for a review.

I honestly didn't expect to be impressed. In my estimation, most of these non-Joe military toy lines fall into two categories -- incredibly precise but also incredibly expensive, or cheap junk. The only line I've ever found that was decently compatible with G.I.Joe has been Lanard's CORPS toys.

There's also finances to be concerned. I have to watch my toy dollars. I have to watch all my dollars, because I don't have very many of them. So branching out beyond what few current G.I.Joe items I was picking up just was not something I was inclined to do. But, as I said, I got this one for free.

I'd heard of the POWER TEAM ELITE toys. They weren't one of the major brands, but they seemed to have garnered a fair amount of respect in the G.I.Joe community. Produced by a company called "M&C Toy Centre Ltd", based in Hong Kong, we're not exactly talking Hasbro or Bandai here, and yet the line has been successful enough to warrant not only a company Web Site, but a toy line Web Site as well, which can be accessed at and

The package the vehicle I received came in showcases quite a few of their other products, which I have tended to hear good things about, such as the F-18 Fighter Plane, and the Combat Tank. Other items shown on the back include a Helicopter, Dune Buggy, Patrol Boat, Landing Raft, and hysterically, but appropriately, a Desert Camel, complete with saddle and soldier.

The item I received is a HUMVEE, decked out in the back with a huge canopy, making it look more like a transport truck than anything. I honestly didn't know that Humvees came in this form. But I saw one just like it on a History Channel program recently, so I guess they do.

Now, there's something to be said about that phrase, "just like it". And here is the strength of the Power Team Elite line -- more specifically referred to on the box as WORLD PEACEKEEPERS. This is not G.I.Joe. You're not looking at VAMPs and MOBATs here. There are no Cobras to be found. No bright red missiles or team logos on the vehicle. The name of the game, clearly, is "precision".

The HUMVEE is molded from a very rigid type of plastic, and I worry that if it were put through a lot of rough play, it might prove to be a little fragile. However, there's certainly no denying the authentic look of the item. When I saw these Humvee trucks rolling across the screen on that History Channel program, I knew that the smaller one I had sitting in my living room was a dead-on match for them.

The detailing is superb. The headlights are clear plastic, the side and tail lights are carefully painted, every rivet is molded in place, the doors both open, and there are benches inside the rear of the vehicle for soldiers to sit on. The rear canopy can be removed.

Speaking of the soldiers, this vehicle came with two of them. And yes, they're 3-3/4" in height. But that's pretty much where the similarity with G.I.Joes ends. They don't even stand alongside G.I.Joes very well. One is clearly looking at two disparate toy lines that weren't even designed to work together, so I'm not even going to make a comparison between the two, except to say that their construction is quite different. I wouldn't want to see G.I.Joes done like this. I want to see G.I.Joes done like they were in the 80's and 90's. But that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with these two figures.

About their only fault is they're a little too wide-chested. In this, they are like many of Lanard's CORPS figures. But again, the similarity ends there, and as with the vehicle, the name of the game with these two soldiers is clearly "authenticity". The two soldiers have different heads, both very well detailed. The bodies are identical, even down to the camouflage markings on the uniforms, but are very well made. Frankly they feel a little more solid than the vehicle.

Articulation is excellent. The figures move at the head, shoulders, upper arm swivel, elbows, rotating wrists, waist, legs, upper leg swivel, knees, and ankles. In some regards, the articulation points are somewhat concealed by construction and camouflage.

Then there are the figures' accessories. As with all other aspects of this toy set, the general rule is "authenticity". The figures come with two highly detailed rifles, two nice backpacks with elastic straps, a mortar launcher, and three shells in a small box. About the only negative point here is there's no way to load the shells into the launcher.

Overall? I'm impressed. This isn't a G.I.Joe toy. However, it is a very cool toy. If someone were constructing a 3-3/4" scale military diorama, I would definitely recommend these toys. I'm not sure they'd make effective play-toys for a small child, but if what you want is as much military authenticity as possible wrapped up in a plastic toy product, and I know that a lot of military toy collectors want precisely that, then I would certainly recommend the Power Team Elite World Peacekeepers HUMVEE Truck, and, I am sure, many other products from the same line!