G.I. JOE: SIGMA 6 (HASBRO)
“Flint worked with many stealth forces before joining the GIJoe team. He leads espionage operations, while Duke commands tactical missions. Like a cat hunting the night, he is silent and unseen, until he attacks with the full force of his impressive combat skills. He and Snake-Eyes make a perfect team: the knife that cuts the night, and the arrow that pierces the dark. His multi-weapon system can be configured in different ways, and the custom-made sword is this stealthy hunter’s formidable ‘claw.'”
With a new relaunch of G.I. Joe almost upon us (provided the world doesn’t end first, of course), I’m in a mood to delve back into some of their previous re-launches. Let’s take another look at poor old Sigma 6. Initially, Sigma 6 placed its focus on a core team of arguably the most memorable (or at least marketable and distinctly different) Joes, upgrading them to a more multipurpose task force, in order to fill some of the spots classically taken up by the ’80s line’s more specialized forces. However, by the time of the line’s third and final year, they decided to expand things ever so slightly, and reintroduce a few more of the ’80s characters into the fold. Some of those figures were fairly faithful updates of the old toys, while some of them went a little more for the reinventing side of the line. Today’s focus, 1985’s Warrant Officer Flint, fell into the latter category, with a pretty hefty rework.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Flint was released in the third Commando wave of the 2007 line-up of G.I. Joe: Sigma 6…well, okay, technically it wasn’t “Sigma 6” anymore, as Hasbro had dropped the branding from the toys after the show stopped airing. But they were still in the same style and are a continuation of the same line…and otherwise it’s just a line simply titled “G.I. Joe” with no further modifiers. I’m getting kind of off topic and distracted. Sorry. So, Flint was in the penultimate Commando wave of the line, and definitely sticks with the end of the line’s slight move away from some of the stricter team-building they’d been doing previously. Interestingly, Flint’s bio describes him as a character that’s really, really different from his more “mainstream” counterpart, suggesting that perhaps he had already been planned for an appearance of some sort on the show before it wrapped up? I know other figures from late in the line were based around un-used cartoon concepts, so maybe Flint was too. The figure stands a little over 8 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation. He’s also got the Kung-Fu grip feature on his right hand, which allows for some slight movement on the fingers, but is designed to snap back into place for a tighter fit on the grip (which is actually a totally different design than the original kung-fu grip; his left hand is actually far closer to the original design). Flint was an all-new sculpt, and one of the most unique sculpts from the line. He doesn’t go for the sigma-uniform variant that the other Joes in the line did, making him feel like more of an outsider. It also gives him a slightly more generic, and slightly more real-world appearance, at least in terms of what he’s wearing. He still maintains the line’s signature style, of course, but he’s not wearing anything that looks particularly sci-fi-y. He’s also not wearing anything that looks particularly Flint-y. About the closest you get to a traditional Flint item is that his cloth vest piece has some straps of pouches that look somewhat like the original figure’s “suspenders.” The head represents possibly the most radical departure of all. Not only does he not get Flint’s signature beret, he’s got long hair, possibly the longest hair of any of the main Joes in the line. It even covers part of his face! What kind of a warrant officer would stand for that? The kind that’s not actually a warrant officer, I suppose. He’s also got a pretty sizable scar running down the left side of his face, but scars are hardly a new development when it comes to the Joes. Flint was packed some climbing gear, which included his vest and a harness for his pelvis. He also included a gun which could be broken down into much smaller components, but like a lot of my Sigma 6 collection, my figure is missing a good number of his parts.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Sigma 6 was difficult enough to find at retail when retailers were supporting it, so when they stopped supporting it late in the line, the figures became practically non-existent. By the time of Flint’s introduction, I’d pretty much given up any hope of really getting any of these at retail. Thanks to some hunting over the years on my part, I’ve managed to actually find a few of the ones I wanted, Flint included. Flint is an interesting inclusion in the line, especially since the only thing that connects him to the original character is the name Hasbro stuck on the box. That doesn’t stop him from being a really cool figure, though, and I’m glad I was finally able to add one to my collection.