Name: Colleen O’Reilly
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Assignment: ExoSquad JumpTroop: Charlie-Five Squadron
E-Frame Type: Rapid Recon #LS 042
Dossier: Colleen O’Reilly is the communications and ExoTech specilist for JumpTroop: Charlie-Five Squadron. She’s gutsy and outgoing. O’Reilly has a photographic memory and can hotwire just about any electronic device in the HomeWorlds. As one of only three ranking officers in Charlie-Five, O’Reilly interfaces with Able Squad and has developed a special camaraderie with J.T. Marsh. Under cover of her Venusian Defense Cammo, O’Reilly can touch down in her UltraLight Rapid Recon E-Frame, blast her way into Neosapien strongholds, electronically sabotage Neo security and be out in time to join primary ExoForces in battle.
(Editor’s Note: No smartass bio rewrite this time. Since I know many of my readers are new to Exosquad, I wanted you to see what a real Exosquad toy bio looks like.)
The Many Reasons I Love 1994 Exosquad JumpTroops Colleen O’Reilly
I was about nine years old when I first saw Exosquad toys on the shelves at KB toys. They were sold in boxes with window flaps– you could lift up the flap to view the toy inside. The boxes featured incredible artwork, and the back of the box and underside of the window flap contained extremely detailed information about the toy and character inside the box.
And the toys themselves looked amazing. In that package, I saw a small, highly detailed action figure, personal hand weapons for that figure, and a large “exo suit,” or mech, for that character to pilot. Each of these exo suits, or E-Frames, came with a ton of missiles, antenna, guns, and other accessories. I’d never seen such a complex, complete toy before. It was a vehicle and a figure in one box, and both looked incredible.
I knew I wanted a couple of them, but I didn’t know how much I wanted a couple of them until I saw the Exosquad cartoon on USA Network. It blew me away, and was part of my Saturday morning ritual for more than a year, along with Savage Dragon, Street Fighter, and a few other shows– all of which were inferior to Exosquad.
For Christmas in 1994, I received four Exosquad toys: Alec DeLeon, Wolf Bronski, Phaeton, and Draconis. Exosquad instantly became my favorite toy line. It made GI Joe, Transformers, X-Men, and even Lego take a back seat for quite some time.
Since I only had a few characters, I had to be creative with the stories I created in my playtime. They would usually involve either an infiltration mission that requires Wolf and Alec to leave their E-Frames behind, or see the two heroic characters being forced to escape from a giant Neosapien installation.
Since each E-Frame included a removable power source called a fusion pack, I would often have the characters scavenge for parts or more fuel. While those small fusion packs were an amazing touch, they were very tiny and made of clear plastic– so they were easy to lose in the carpet!
Eventually, I ran out of scenarios to play out with those four characters. Luckily, I soon purchased a Typhonus Special Missions E-Frame, and the subject of this review, the 1994 Exosquad Jumptroops Colleen O’Reilly. Since I got them at the same time, those two toys are inseparably connected in my mind and my memory.
But again, with only six characters (Typhonus doubled as a generic Neosapien trooper, as well), I eventually ran out of stories and scenarios.
This led to me using the Colleen O’Reilly figure with my GI Joe collection. She stood 3” tall, and they stood at 3.75” tall. I’ve written before about how I didn’t like the lack of female characters in the GI Joe line as a kid, and Colleen was a great solution to that problem.
Sure, she was smaller, but I didn’t mind. I reasoned that if Flint was a little over 6’ tall, then Colleen could be a 5’ tall woman. I’m not sure how that math works (or how any math works, really), but it seemed logical at the time.
Plus, Colleen’s great camouflage scheme and cool hand blaster allowed her to serve with my GI Joe team on many missions.
Eventually, that all faded as I lost everything to a house fire. But I continued loving the Exosquad cartoon into my teenage years, and I pined for more of the toys since mine were incinerated. And, since they weren’t sold in stores and I didn’t have an eBay account yet, I was pretty much boned on that front.
When I was 16, though, one of my friends invited me to look through his old toys to see if I wanted to buy any of them. And he had a treasure trove! In his plastic bins, I found some real gems:
- Transformers G1 Scorponok
- A ton of Transformers Micromasters
- Exosquad Livanus Troop Transport E-Frame
- Exosquad Alec DeLeon and E-Frame
- Exosquad Wolf Bronski and E-Frame
- Exosquad Marsala and E-Frame
- Exosquad Typhonus and E-Frame
- Exosquad Phaeton and E-Frame
I gladly paid him what he asked and took the toys home. I was very pleased with my new collection.
Shortly thereafter, I started my eBay account. Draconis and JT Marsh’s Special Mission E-Frame were two of my first ever eBay purchases. Soon, I found a couple of E-Frames from the KB Toys exclusive Tech Wars line, which were repaints of Exosquad toys with new characters and a new story line. But they were a good fit for what I already had.
My girlfriend at the time and I would even paint duplicate E-Frames I found in Exosquad lots, as we often enjoyed painting Gundam models while we watched movies in my basement. Needless to say, Exosquad brings back many fond memories.
It’s one of my favorite toy lines. It’s the only toy line where I keep the boxes from the figures, because even the packaging is outstanding. They are simply the best, and they were accompanied by a very good cartoon. I’ll go on more about the actual show in the next review, but if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.
Exosquad is haunting, poetic, and beautifully crafted. It’s got all of the sci-fi power armor action you could ever need, but it’s also a serialized cartoon about race, genocide, slavery, and what really makes a person human.
Playmates Toys were on top in the 1990s, and Exosquad proves it. Along with TMNT, Toxic Crusaders, Star Trek, Skeleton Warriors, Earthworm Jim, Space Jam, Ronin Warriors, and WildCATs, Playmates were at the top of their game.
Here’s the 1994 Exosquad JumpTroops Colleen O’Reilly, a fine example of the A-Game Playmates were bringing in the mid 90s.
1994 Exosquad JumpTroops Colleen O’Reilly Review
If you’ve never handled an Exosquad toy before, let me explain it to you like I would back when I was nine years old: basically, it’s a smaller GI Joe that comes with guns of its own, but also comes with a cool exo suit vehicle, as well. That exo suit, or E-Frame, is loaded with detail, weapons, and play features.
The main figures in the line came with full sized E-Frames. The larger toys in the line were E-Frames that could seat two characters. But, eventually, Playmates released a smaller size class of toy– the JumpTroops.
Second Lieutenant Colleen O’Reilly, and all of the JumpTroops, were just the basic Exosquad figures with snap-on armor. With their armor on, they’re operating “ultralight E-Frames,” which are smaller and more nimble than their larger counterparts. Basically, they’re the airborne rangers, or even basic “Starship Troopers” of the Exosquad universe.
They were sold at a lower price point than regular Exosquad toys, but you were still getting your money’s worth.
Exosquad was always a diverse show and toy line. Playmates never shied away from making toy versions of the women of the ExoFleet, primarily because they were essential characters in the show– and because they looked just as badass as their male (or Neosapien) counterparts when they were all geared or suited up.
First, let’s look at the figure itself. Here’s Colleen O’Reilly without her accessories:
As you can see, the figure has a nice, dark green and brown color scheme, with some lighter green camouflage markings. She has a great face sculpt and a GIGANTIC bushy ponytail sticking off the back of her head. Her luscious cyberpunk ponytail is even bushier in the cartoon, but it could only be so big on the toy itself, if only so the figure can stand under its own weight.
I am dedicating this entire review to Colleen’s ponytail, btw.
I don’t usually cover action figure articulation on this blog, but since I know some of you have never handled an Exosquad toy, I’ll do a basic breakdown.
- Swivel at the neck
- Swivel/hinge at the shoulders
- Bicep rotation aka swivel arm battle grip
- Hinge at the elbow
- Ball jointed hips
- Bend at the knee
- SWIVEL PONYTAIL
So, that’s 11 points of articulation. Basically, she has the same articulation as an 82-84 GI Joe figure, minus the torso movement. For the 1990s, this was actually great articulation.
She’s about 3” tall. Here, you can see her compared to a standard vintage, o-ring style GI Joe figure:
So, now let’s get onto the figure’s parts and how they come together to make her ultralight E-Frame.
- Chest Armor
- Clip-on “backpack,” which encompasses most of the E-Frame
- 2 pieces of thigh armor
- 2 boot/jump jet armor pieces
- 2 cables to connect the thigh armor to the boots (I’m somehow missing one)
- 2 missiles
- 1 handheld blaster pistol
Basically, you swivel her ponytail out of the way and put her chest armor on, then put on her helmet. Then, you clip on her thigh armor and jump jet boots, attaching the thigh pieces to the boots with the green cables. Next, you put the small blaster in her left hand. Then, you clip the backpack piece to her waist, connect the cabling to the hole in her helmet, and place the large machine gun in her right hand. Push the missiles into their hip-mounted launchers, and you’re done!
This leaves Colleen All Geared Up, and gives the impression of person wearing an airtight, spaceworthy suit of power armor. Sure, her ponytail sticks out the back of the helmet, but there’s not much you can do about that. It was either leave her ponytail sticking out or axe the ponytail all together, and I know which one I’d choose.
(I will always choose the ponytail)
Anyway, onto functionality.
The missiles are spring loaded, but they don’t feature a conventional trigger. Instead, you press on the back of the missile, and it fires out the front. They fire quite well, I might add.
The brown wings can swivel up and down, and the missile launchers can raise and lower. Basically, that’s it, but she retains full articulation when her JumpTroop armor is equipped– at least, in theory.
In reality, it’s a bit more complicated than that. As with many action figures that feature many pieces of intricate, clip-on armor, the armor doesn’t always stay on the figure perfectly. You’ll often find the thigh pieces falling off, for example, and sometimes the jump boots want to come off, as well.
As a kid, I just never used the green cables or thigh armor, since they came off easily anyway. And, compared to the other four JumpTroops in the Exosquad toy line, Colleen holds together pretty well.
But, because of how the armor attaches to the figure, you may have a hard time putting her in dynamic poses. The armor looks fantastic, with its angled wings, cool helmet design, angular chest armor, giant machine gun, missile launchers, and three-pronged jet boots, but it doesn’t hold up to rigorous play or deep poses.
It is, in a word, fiddly. Not so fiddly that it’s not fun to play with, but fiddly enough that you either have to watch what you’re doing or prepare to have some pieces fall off.
As for the colors– sure, she has some neon green. But I don’t mind that. And who’s to say neon green isn’t an appropriate color for Venusian camouflage? Have you ever been to Venus? That’s right. I didn’t think so. The dark green, brown, and neon green all come together well, and look cohesive for a science fiction military toy. This is a far future person in space power armor, and it looks the part.
The details on the figure are amazing. I won’t go on and on about them, but you can see what I mean from the photos. She comes with a ton of cool accessories that come together for a spectacular ultralight E-Frame.
Plus, if you get frustrated by the armor, you can do what I did as a kid– I’d usually just have Colleen wear her helmet and chest armor, and use her hand blaster in the fight against the Neosapiens (or Cobra!), and it was a ton of fun.
For me, Colleen O’Reilly is the best of the four Exosquad JumpTroops figures. If you want to try one out, she’s the one to start with. I love her look, in and out of her armor. She’s a great looking toy from an excellent toy line. And, she holds tremendous nostalgia value for me.
But, please keep in mind that the 1994 Exosquad JumpTroops Colleen O’Reilly, and all Exosquad figures, are toys. They’re not adult collectibles. They look good on a shelf, sure, but they’re meant to be played with. The articulation is there to facilitate fun play scenarios– not to get the figure in deep, dynamic poses.
Exosquad figures are well made toys, but their joints become loose over time. They’re not SH Figuarts, modern era GI Joes, or even Halo Mega Bloks figures. These are creative, high quality toys from the mid 1990s– but they were meant for children.
They are brilliant toys, but they’re still toys.
Adjust your expectations accordingly.
Verdict: This 1994 Exosquad JumpTroops Colleen O’Reilly figure is packed with detail and accessories. The figure’s sculpt, paint, and overall design are top notch. The accessories all come together to make something pretty spectacular. But, be aware that this toy can be fiddly, and parts can fall off during play. And, keep in mind that this is a toy, and not a high-end adult collectible. Still, it’s a great example of one of the best toy lines of all time. And how perfect is that beautiful, bushy future ponytail? Recommended.
- Colleen O’Reilly at Figure-Realm
- Colleen O’Reilly at Exosquad wiki
- It Figures! video review of Colleen O’Reilly
Others Thoughts on 1994 Exosquad JumpTroops Colleen O’Reilly
I originally intended to review Rita Torres and her Field Sergeant E-Frame, which is a full sized Exosquad toy. But, time got away from me, and I wanted to post another review before the end of the month.
If I reviewed Rita, who is also an excellent figure and character, I would have had to basically break out my entire Exosquad collection to facilitate the photos I wanted to take. And that just wasn’t feasible.
I had a ton of fun taking these photos, and especially loved pitting Colleen O’Reilly against Typhonus again. That made me feel like a kid again.
But, there is a downside. As I mentioned above, it’s tough to get dynamic poses out of Exosquad figures and E-Frames, despite their good articulation. Still, I’m better prepared for next time. And I’m looking forward to it.
You can look forward to an extra special post in March, along with a cool giveaway!
Do you, or did you, have any Exosquad toys? Or, is this your first look at the line? Let me know in the comments!