WAYNE “BEACH HEAD” SNEEDEN
G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)
It’s been a month since I took my last look at Hasbro’s re-boot of their G.I. Joe line under the Classified Series banner. The initial drop from the line was a general release. The immediate follow-up has been split between a few different locations. The majority of the second round of product is courtesy of Target’s exclusive “Special Mission: Cobra Island” assortment. It’s…not been a smooth process getting them out there, but….well…it’s not smooth. That’s kind of the central piece to these figures. Fortunately, it does seem like they’re finally making their way into some dedicated fan’s hands. And hey, look at me, over here, being a dedicated fan. The first of the new figures I’m taking a look at is the Joe’s own resident Drill Sergeant Nasty, Wayne “Beach Head” Sneeden!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Beach Head is the first figure in the “Cobra Island” sub-line of figures for the Classified Series line-up. He’s numbered figure 10, and it looks like all of the other exclusives will be following suit, and keeping the on-going numbering for the line. That’s different from how Hasbro handled the Black Series numbering, so I was a little surprised to see them go this route. Given the total lack of any sort of actual exclusive branding, its possible that these might end up getting wider releases later? One can only hope. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation. Beach Head’s design remains quite faithful to his V1 figure from ’86. In terms of vintage accuracy, I’d say he’s pretty much only rivaled by Destro. The specifics of his design have, of course, been somewhat refined, both to fit in with his more sci-fi-esque teammates, and to take advantage of the larger canvas that the new scale gives the character. Beach Head marks the line’s first instance of cross-character parts re-use, making use of Duke’s legs and hands. Given the sort of standard issue nature of both characters’ designs, it’s hardly an issue, and honestly not that noticeable at first glance. The rest of his parts are new, and they’re really impressive. From the incredibly dedicated texturing and stitching of Beach Head’s sweater and mask, to the angry and determined expression clearly visible beneath his mask, there’s a lot going on in this sculpt, and it’s all pretty awesome. Quite honestly, it’s probably the best sculpt produced by the line so far, and that’s really saying something. In terms of paintwork, Beach Head again stays pretty close to his vintage routes. There’s one spot of the bright Tron-esque blue that’s been on all the Joes so far, but that’s it, and it’s honestly pretty tame. The rest is drab greens and browns, and it works. There’s actually a paint variant on this figure, which concerns the eyes. Mine are blue, but there’s also one with black eyes out there, for those that care about such things. I personally prefer the one I got. Beach Head does quite well when it comes to accessories, getting a rifle, pistol, small crossbow, backpack, knife, and a beret. I don’t know how I feel about the solid green on the weapons, but it’s not the end of the world. I guess I just got accustomed to the painted weapons from Series 1. Overall, definitely a fun selection, though, and he’s only an ammo case away from covering what was included with the original figure.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
To say that these Target-exclusive Joes have been hard to track down is something of an understatement. I didn’t even come close to getting in on the online orders, so I’ve been relying on the kind nature of others to help me track them down in person. Fortunately, Max was able to set me up with this guy via one of his collecting acquaintances, so I didn’t have to do too much searching on my own. I’m glad I got him, because he’s probably my favorite thing to come out of the line at this point.