The year is 1944. Allied forces have stormed Normandy beach, and are now in control of the majority of the seaboard. A few pockets of resistance remain; notably a pillbox rumored to contain an officer that may have valuable strategic intelligence at OMAHA location.
Due to the sensitivity of the mission required, a newly conscripted marine unit was sent to claim the beachhead where this officer was perched…
…with one stipulation: DO NOT COMPROMISE THE ASSET…
The following narration is a first-person perspective of that mission:
15:12 HRS JUN 14 1944 LOCATION: <<GEO COORDINATES: UNKNOWN, NORMANDY BEACH, FRANCE>> \\ASSIGNMENT: \\...\LANDING CRAFT.EXE
The beach air was cold that day. Numbing really, like that chill you’d get when you bite an ice cream, but I wasn’t at no soda shoppe and this in my hand surely ain’t no ice cream. No, sir, instead of some fancy pants soda man handing me a tasty treat…me and the guys are embarking on the beachhead of Franz-sway in the brightest part of the day. Damn dumb if ya ask me cuz surely there’ gonna see us coming. Brass says we gotta know who we’re gunning for – but I dunno, I just can’t make no sense of it. Probably cuz’ all that yellin’ just sounds like a mortar shots anymore…
So here I am, floating on the Atlantic in this here tuna can known as an LCVP, known also as a Higgin’s boat. I kinda like that name more, and gotta say it feels pretty good in these cans, like a shelter from this friggin’ place. Of course that feeling falls faster than a shot down C-47 once that ramp drops, but until then it’s pretty safe feeling in this baby…I’ve seen em’ get pumped with more lead than a cop car in a Bonnie and Clyde shootout and keep. Anything’s gotta be better than paratrooping..even if you’ve got sheave duty (the pike included on the starboard side).
I can tell now we’re getting close to the beachhead, the can’s starting to rock as it wakes over the shallow water, orders are starting to muffle in over the orchestra of diesel engines and crashing waves. Oddly, there’s no cannon fire though. It’s midday, they’re actually there, right? Wouldn’t it just be like the brass to get us all geared up and gettin-to-go to recover an evac’d pillbox…wait, what’s that?
The ramp thunders across the darkened sand and pummels the grains of rock. The Higgin’s boat begins to rumble side-to-side as boots stamper across the deck and onto the cold sand beach. Now, an all-to-familiar sound of screaming bees begins to fill the salty air. Our boat’ss .30 cal turrets return fire. We’re taking this beach damnnit – and I’m gonna be the one to claim it!
Carpe Diem…victory is ours!
The following analysis is for service of additional divisions in the evaluation of procuring this platform. Ratings are based on a 5-star system and are quantified in terms of specific importance as Private, Sergeant, Captain, and General to be determined on their impact to the overall score.
Construction Quality: 4.25-stars (Private)
- A bottom-to-top construction of the pillbox that’s a fun and fairly quick build. Leaves the mind to wonder what’s going on partway through (constructing the roof), but ultimately seams together nicely.
- The LC is finely assembled and would look superb in a custom shipyward being constructed stop-motion style. Only knocks are on the splash guard – it doesn’t test well in durability as it’s just held in place by two 1×1 cones. Love the fine points of the build though!
Design Aesthetics: 5-stars (General)
- Camo effect is excellently done on the LC to make it look like a big steel can. The rope drawstring is a nice gimmick that bodes better than expected and is a fun addition to the set. Most notable, the design team took the effort to add a propeller in the hull of the craft despite it being completely lost once the bulkhead is assembled. This level of attention to detail is what makes this line great. Not to be outdone, the addition of the sheave and life preserver were both spot-on details with the splash guard to really drive this design to near perfection!
- Pillbox is a nice cement-dual injection plastic and serves it’s purpose as diorama fodder very nicely. I would love to see more of these be released as stand-alones in another wave.
- Accessory placement for this set is also very well executed by incorporating a varietyof backpacks, ammo pouches, flashlights and other tidbits in a new color resembling a burnt sienne tone. It’s an odd color at first, but when paired with the rest of the color palette in the WWII theme it fits the bill nicely.
- A slight point reduction for MEGA being unwilling to provide us confirmed antagonists; most of that reduction is negated by superior product placement by incorporating a figure color palette that allows custom “figure swaps”. With the right combination a decent homage to the most notable antagonists in WWII can be created.
Asset Value: 5-stars (Sergeant)
- As with all of the top-end sets in this brand, asset is a very well designed, highly executed set; hence the price. AP departments should be aware that purchase is a strong example of quality over quantity.
This means a single purchase is a must (unless procurement is completely avoiding the WWII theme) but a duplicate can only be assessed with supplemental funds. Set bodes well for hobbyists as there are a lot of flat plates, new color pieces and structure fodder. If acquired solely for the pieces, there will be little left behind (except maybe the red hull).
- All four figures feature great accessories, especially the soldier with the dark gray shirt. Really hoping this piece makes its way into the modern era sets as well.
Battlefield Importance: 5-Stars (Captain)
- The Higgin’s boat (LCVP) is as much a staple in the mindset of vintage military aircraft as the C-47 troop carrier, Willy’s MB jeep, and Panzer tank and a requirement for any Operation: OVERLORD diorama. The figures in this line are exactly what little boys and girls always wanted out of their little plastic army men and have made everything beforehand obsolete. This set should be on every blok-fan’s Christmas list (if it isn’t already in the collection)
Overall Rating: 4.75-Stars: An excellent addition to the Call of Duty MEGA BLOKS brand in the WWII theme that is as much fun to play with as it is to build.
This link will re-direct you to check availability of the Call of Duty Mega Bloks Landing Craft Invasion at BA Toys!