G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)
What’s this? Another Flashback Friday Figure Addendum? Yeah, it’s been like a whole year since I’ve done one of these, I know. And just like the last time, I’ll say don’t get too attached.
Since the second year of the small-scale G.I. Joe line, way back in 1983, running changes on the figures has been a rather common place thing in the line. When the first year figures were brought out for a second round along side series 2, they had swivels added just above the elbows, increasing articulation, and helping them better match the other figures in the line. So, it comes as little surprise that such things are showing up in Classified as well. The first series of the line featured some notable deviations from prior designs, with a few of the color schemes in particular getting some notable complaints. Hasbro decided to address this with running changes to three of the launch figures, giving them all-new color schemes for refresh cases. I’m in a Scarlett mood already today, so why not look at that one? First, though, here’s my review of the original release.
To wrap up up my look at the first assortment of Hasbro’s G.I. Joe relaunch, I’m making my way to the First Lady of the franchise, Shanna O’Hara, aka Scarlett. Debuting as one of the Original 13 back in the day, Scarlett has a sort of hot-and-cold run when it comes to action figures. She’ll go long stretches between updates, and finds herself frequently left out of line-ups where she should be included (Sigma 6 being the biggest offender on that front). Fortunately, she’s right here at the start for Classified.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Scarlett is figure 05 in the Classified Series line-up. The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 35 points of articulation. As far as mobility goes, she’s definitely the most limited of the first series figures, thanks to actually just having less articulation. For the most part, she’s still pretty serviceable on that front, but the elbows are a lot more limited than I’d like, especially given that she’s got a weapon she’s meant to hold two-handed. Some deeper bends are really needed. Of all the designs in this first set, Scarlett’s is the one that’s the most far-removed from her original figure. Now, in her defense, even the original animation and comics designs were a little bit removed from how the figure looked, so she’s already starting from there. That said, there’s still a lot more modernization and tweaking going on this one. It kind of makes sense, with her being the least regulation of the original bunch anyway. She was running around in a leotard and was just shy of a super hero costume, so she’s always been a little bit of an outlier. She’s also the one most prone to rather sizable re-works as the line progresses, so this is really just the next one of those. For me, this design really works, because it possesses all of the broad strokes elements that really read as Scarlett, while still fitting in a little bit better with a modern aesthetic. This design has a nice fusion of practicality and fantasy, and it keeps it pretty fun. The sculpt does a solid job of bringing her into three dimensions, with a nice set of balanced proportions, and a ton of small detail work that helps her really pop. In terms of paint, Scarlett is definitely a brighter splash of color than the rest of the assortment. That’s not a bad thing, and it’s in keeping with usual depictions of her. The use of the gold that’s been on most of the Joes looks a lot better here, especially when merged with the yellow that’s already there. I’m also quire a fan of the variation on her hair, which gives it a nice sense of transparency and light. I did notice a few spots of slop on the base paint for my figure, especially on the wrist guards. I’m hoping Hasbro can tighten up the paint a little more on this line going forward. Scarlett is packed with an updated version of her crossbow, plus three knives. The crossbow is in two parts and has a tendency to pop apart a lot, but is otherwise pretty cool. The knives can all be stowed on the figure, which gives them a nice extra interactive feel which I really enjoy.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’m a very big fan of Scarlett, so as soon as I saw Snake Eyes, I was waiting to see the corresponding Scarlett. I know she’s not everyone’s jam, but I really dig this new design a lot, and I like having her to go with my updated Snake Eyes. I wouldn’t mind seeing a more classic version at some point as well, though, since I’m hardly going to turn down the chance to get another Scarlett figure.
I only wrote that review a year and a half ago, so I can’t really say there are any observable changes in my reviewing style here. As you can see from the above review, I’m not so opposed to the Scarlett figure as she was released initially. It’s a very different take, but one that I didn’t feel was too out of place for the character. The sculpt very definitely didn’t bother me, and that’s fortunate, because it has remained unchanged here. What has changed is pretty much all of the paint work. All of the gold and bright blue elements have been replaced, with the gold being swapped for a more reserved tan, and the blue just being absent entirely. Her undersuit has been changed as well, with a black top in place of the purple from the last one, and tan on the pants in place of the grey from before. Her hair has also been slightly darkened, and her face has just generally been given a little bit more detailing. As someone who didn’t have issues with the prior version, I can still say that this one looks emphatically better. She just really pops on the shelf, and I feel she’s really worth the upgrade.
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review. If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.