#2488: Scarlett

SCARLETT

G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)

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.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2487: Duke

DUKE

G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)

Alright, we took a slight detour over to the Cobra side of things yesterday, but today we’re returning back to the Joes with perhaps the most Joe-y Joe there is, Conrad “Duke” Hauser.  Since joining the teams ranks in 1983, Duke has pretty much been the face of the franchise, taking a major role in the the last several revisions of the franchise as well.  He’s also nowhere near as cool as anyone else on the team, but I guess we’ll try not to hold that against him.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Duke is figure 04 in the G.I. Joe: Classified Series line.  Initially, he was supposed to be heavier packed alongside Snake Eyes, but when the cases dropped to 6 figures instead of 8, he went down to one per case.  It’s okay, though; it’s just Duke.  It’s not that big a deal.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation.  In terms of posablilty, he falls between Snake Eyes and Roadblock, being not quite as agile as Snake Eyes, but still getting a little more range than Roadblock.  Much like yesterday’s Destro, Duke’s a more faithful recreation of his old figure than the others in the set.  There are still a handful of changes, of course, to help bring him more in line with the slight sci-fi flair of the rest of the updated line, and to just sort of modernize him a bit.  I know some people weren’t big on the shin armor, but it feels rather Aliens-like to me, and I’m definitely down for that.  The head sculpt has gotten a little bit of flak from collectors who think he either has too modern of a haircut or looks a little too young for Duke.  I myself quite like the sculpt.  It’s got a little bit of a John Cena vibe to it, which actually works surprisingly well.  I also like that they’ve kept the scar that Duke frequently sports (in reference to the original Joes, of course), though it’s been moved up to his eyebrow instead of his cheek.  The overall end result definitely amounts to a very Duke-esque figure, and I can definitely get behind that.  Duke’s paint work is rough; definitely the roughest of this bunch.  My figure’s got quite a bit of slop on his uniform, especially at the top of the shirt and on the gloves.  Like I said, it’s rough.  At least mine has a decent looking face, which I can’t say for every other Duke that All Time got in.  I don’t know if there are line-wide issues with him or what, but he definitely ended up way worse on this front than the rest of the group.  Duke’s accessory selection is almost a match for his V1 figure’s set-up.  He gets a rifle, a pistol, a back pack, and a small pair of binoculars.  The rifle and pistol are again more sci-fi-esque designs, though I really dig how they’ve matched the silhouette of the rifle to the vintage counterpart’s sub machine gun.  I also really like how the binoculars clip onto his belt.  About the only thing this guy’s missing for the full vintage set-up is a helmet, and that’s honestly never been a very intrinsically Duke piece.  I definitely can’t knock what he’s got here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Classically, I’m not the biggest Duke fan, but of the Toy Fair reveals, he was probably the one who impressed me the most, because I think he’s a very nice merging of classic with modern.  The final figure has to contend with some production errors, which makes him a little touchy in some spots, but I’m overall quite happy with the end result.  I suppose he’ll be a suitable leader to my Joes for now.  You know, until Hawk arrives and I kick this guy to the curb.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2486: Destro

DESTRO

G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)

At the mid-way point of this new set of Joe reviews, we’re breaking from the Joes themselves and taking a look at their opposition.  Of course, it’s not a hard line Cobra member, but instead Destro, a mercenary arms dealer who has the potential to fall on either side of the conflict.  He’s gonna fall on Cobra’s side, because that’s how he always do, but there’s that option there, right?  That keeps things fun and funky fresh, right? Sure, let’s go with that.  Onto the figure review!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Destro is figure 03 in the G.I. Joe: Classified Series line-up, and is so far the line’s lone villain, though he will be joined by a number of others in the coming months.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation.  With all of the shifting designs with this new line, Destro stands out, actually being a pretty darn straight update of his original ’83 design.  All of the core design elements are maintained, with the metal head, the chained pendant, the open collar, and the general layout of his costume’s major details.  The updates to this particular design amount to adding some extra piping to the bodysuit and a few differently textured patches to the shoulders.  It all amounts to rather minor changes to the overall aesthetic of that classic design.  The sculpt is definitely a strong offering, with sharp and bold line-work, and some really well rendered features on the mask in particular.  The texturing on the outfit is also really well implemented, keeping things intriguing, while still saying overall pretty basic.  Destro’s paintwork is all pretty solid, and is probably the best to come out of this particular assortment.  It’s crisp and clean, and there’s just enough small pops of color to keep him from looking too drab on the shelf.  The silver paint for the helmet works quite well, and I like the minor shifts from grey to black.  In terms of accessories, Destro includes two guns, one larger, one smaller, and a briefcase with a Cobra computer and some stacks of money on the interior.  The larger gun and the case replicate the original Destro’s accessories quite nicely, and the additional gold pistol is a rather fun piece, that can easily be stowed in the holster on his side.  The only slight downside to the accessories is that the larger gun ended up a little too large to fit into the case, which would have been a nice storage option.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Destro was the last of the first series figures we got a preview on, and I honestly never formed all that much of an opinion on him.  He’s here.  He’s nice.  He’s a good recreation of the classic design, and that’s definitely cool.  It just doesn’t give me quite as much to say about him, honestly.  But, hey, he is a good figure, so there’s that.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2485: Snake Eyes

SNAKE EYES

G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)

For my second day looking into Hasbro’s relauched G.I. Joe, I’m already retreading.  I know, that’s crazy.  Here me out, though: it’s Snake Eyes.  Having one Snake Eyes is like having one potato chip: I just prefer not to have any at all because potato chips are weird and so are the people that like them.  No, wait, that’s not right.  I mean, the potato chip thing is right.  You potato chip people made your bed, now lie in it, and all of its inevitable potato chip crumbs.  But the Snake Eyes thing is definitely not right, because I will buy just about any Snake Eyes figure you put in front of me.  So, here’s this Snake Eyes.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Snake Eyes is figure 02 in G.I. Joe: Classified Series, and is notable for being the one figure in the first assortment to be double-packed.  That’s a smart move, because people sure do love Snake Eyes.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation.  Do you remember my review of the deluxe Snake Eyes?  Do you recall how much I loved that figure’s sculpt?  Good, because this guy has the exact same sculpt.  I’m not surprised, because it’s not like Hasbro was quiet about Snake Eyes also being in the main line, and it would be silly to only use such a great sculpt for a one-off exclusive.  What sets this guy apart is the color scheme.  The deluxe release went for a palette that was overall more complex and varied than we tend to see on Snake Eyes, with lots of browns, greys, and silvers.  I remarked in my review of that figure that Hasbro could have just left a lot more of the figure straight black.  Well, turns out they had that in mind, because this release strips things down a fair bit more, to mostly just black this time around.  Lest anyone think they just cheaped out, there’s still plenty of variation in the finish of the various black sections.  Personally, I enjoyed the slightly updated design colors from the prior release, but the all black does really feel more like Snake Eyes to me, so I like having both options available.  The other slight change-up for this guy is the accessory selection.  Obviously, he doesn’t get the whole rack of weapons of the deluxe, and he also drops the extra set of hands.  In addition, the Uzi and Beretta have been dropped in favor of more sci-fi-esque weaponry, more in line with the how the rest of the line is armed.  They’re both pretty nifty designs in their own right, and I’m sure a slightly easier sale to retailers in this day and age.  He does keep the backpack, silencer, and knife, although there seems to have been a slight mold error with the knife and its corresponding sheath this time, as it doesn’t want to go all the way in.  I may need to see about modding that, because it’s a little bit annoying.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was absolutely thrilled with the exclusive Snake Eyes, and honestly didn’t know what to expect of the standard retail release.  I honestly wasn’t even sure he’d be any different, at least as a core figure.  The paint change-up was not expected, but I really do enjoy it, and I’m just as happy with this guy as I was the initial release.  It will be hard to decide which one will be my main one for display.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2484: Roadblock

ROADBLOCK

G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)

“G.I. Joe is a highly skilled, on-demand, special operations force of men and women from around the globe. These extraordinarily talented heroes are selected for their elite abilities and tasked with defending the world from Cobra, a ruthless criminal organization bent on total domination. With unwavering courage and steely determination, the brave members of G.I. Joe are prepared to seek out Cobra in any environment on the planet. From hostile jungles to ice-clad arctic peaks…wherever there’s trouble, G.I. Joe is there.”

Back in April, I took my first look at the Classified Series, Hasbro’s new attempt at relaunching G.I. Joe as a line of 6-inch figures in the same vein as The Black Series and Marvel Legends, with their fancy deluxe Snake Eyes figure that they offered up as a Pulse Exclusive.  That guy was pretty darn awesome and definitely got me excited for the rest of the line.  Well, just four short months later I’ve finally gotten my hands on the first series proper, and I’ll be kicking things off with the most rhyme-tastic member of the Joes, Marvin F. Hinton, aka Roadblock!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Roadblock is figure 01 in the G.I. Joe: Classified Series line-up, the first of the five figures that make up Series 1 of the line.  Roadblock at first glance seems sort of odd as number 1, but Hasbro’s really been pushing him as a main character as of late, so this tracks with that.  At 6 3/4 inches tall he’s the tallest of the initial set of figures, and he has 37 points of articulation.  From a movement, he’s got all the same sorts of joints as what we saw on Snake Eyes, but his mobility is slightly more restricted, both by Roadblock’s slightly larger frame, and also by the presence of a somewhat thick vest piece overlay on the torso.  He’s still quite capable of attaining plenty of the necessary Roadblock-appropriate poses, and then some.  For my figure, his legs are a touch loose at the hips, but otherwise, the articulation is solid.  When these figures were unveiled, Roadblock’s design was under quite a bit of scrutiny, with people generally feeling it didn’t look enough like the character.  He’s certainly not a pitch-perfect recreation of the V1 figure, that’s for sure.  He is, however, a pretty close update of Roadblock’s 1986 V2 design (minus a t-shirt, and plus a couple of armored bits on the legs), which, among other things, is the design that was used in G.I. Joe: The Movie.  So, it’s not like that look doesn’t have its own level of prominence.  Now, is it quite as quintessential and appearance?  Perhaps not, but it’s still a valid Roadblock look.  Personally, I might have liked to see them throw a tank top under the vest and make the vest a little more easily removed, but I’m sure a more classically-inspired Roadblock is very definitely in the cards moving forward.  Taken on his own merits, this Roadblock’s sculpt is still rather impressive, and makes for a cool looking figure.  The detail work on his uniform is nice and sharp, and it’s cool to continue to see Roadblock portrayed as noticeably larger than the other members of the team.  His paintwork is generally pretty solid stuff.  There’s certainly a lot going on.  I know people weren’t big on the golden armor plates.  I’m not super crazy about them myself, but I also don’t find myself all that upset with them either.  They’re just there.  I do really dig the tattoo on his left shoulder; that’s a fun little piece of character added to the figure.  Okay, so, let’s talk about the other area that people weren’t so big on: the accessories.  Or, more specifically, the primary accessory.  Roadblock is the team’s heavy gunner, and he was originally packed with an M-2 Browning.  This figure replaces that with a more sci-fi-y rail gun-style weapon.  The thing is, it’s actually far more sensible for him to be carrying something like this in the somewhat sci-fi driven world than it would be for him to be carrying an actual WW2-era M-2 Browning, which is almost a century old at this point.  So, I can really understand Hasbro’s desire to update.  It’s a cool weapon with a cool design, and I really dig its removable clip/battery pack.  And, if you don’t dig the rail gun, I find that Deathlok’s mini gun makes for a pretty awesome replacement.  In addition to the rail gun, Roadblock also includes a small knife, which can be sheathed on his vest.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Going into this line, Roadblock was probably the figure I was looking forward to the least.  You see, for all the defending of the changes to the figure I did up there, I will admit that they amounted to a figure that did feel a little bit less Roadblock-y to me.  Ultimately, he was at the bottom of my list.  However, All Time ended up getting in their Roadblocks a week before the other figures, so I wound up with him on his own, and that allowed me to enjoy the figure in a vacuum.  He’s still probably my fifth-favorite figure in the set, but he doesn’t trail quite as far behind the others as I’d feared he might initially.  He’s actually a pretty fun figure.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2400: Cobra (The Enemy)

COBRA (THE ENEMY)

G.I. JOE: 25TH ANNIVERSARY (HASBRO)

“One of the nameless, faceless legions of COBRA Command. Each COBRA is highly skilled in the use of explosives, all NATO and Warsaw Pact small arms, sabotage, and the martial arts.”

Okay, let’s go back to the well of the randomly generated list of reviews, shall we?  What are we gonna do today, Brain?  Same thing we do every day, Pinky: try to take over the world.  If you’re gonna take over the world, you need some good, solid faceless minions.  Also, if you’re going to launch a toyline with a limited tooling budget which really only covers the main heroes, leaving the space for only a single villain figure, the faceless minions also help there.  When G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero was launched in 1982, they had one villain: Cobra, subtitle “The Enemy.”  Later, that same figure would be more commonly referred to as the Cobra Trooper, as the line grew and Cobra became a much larger organization.  But, that name, Cobra –  The Enemy, stuck with people, so when the 25th Anniversary line was launched in 2007, it was used for a couple of figures before “Cobra Trooper” took hold again as the go-to name.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cobra (The Enemy) was released in the second wave of single carded 25th Anniversary figures in 2007.  He was the third Cobra Trooper variant in the line, following the slightly different Cobra (The Enemy) released in Battle Pack #1 and the Cobra Officer released in the first wave of singles.  The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  As one of the earlier figures from the line, he suffers from some rather restricted movement on the elbows, which can’t quite make a full 90 degree bend.  It affects his ability to properly hold his weapon, but otherwise he manages alright.  He just needs some creative posing.  All three of the ’07 Cobras share the same core body.  It’s a respectable update of the original ’82 design, now with more removable gear and depth to its design.  Both his helmet and webgear are separate, removable pieces.  The webgear’s a little bit on the floaty side, but looks decent enough, but the helmet stays nice and snug.  Perhaps a little too snug, even….I’ll touch on that in the paint section.  Hey, let’s jump over to the paint section.  For the most part, he’s pretty good.  Application’s clean, and everything looks pretty sharp.  Technically, the Cobra insignia being silver’s not really a regular Cobra thing.  Were it not for the black gloves in place of blue, this guy would actually be spot-on for the deco from 1983’s Viper Pilot figure, which didn’t actually get an update, so there you have it.  The only true issue with the figure’s paint concerns that tight helmet, and the fact that it’s placed on the figure in the package.  It got a little stuck on mine and ended up taking some of the skin tone from the sides of the head with it.  It’s a little distracting when the helmet’s off.  Cobra (The Enemy) is packed with a rifle, a short blade, and a display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Cobra (The Enemy) came relatively early into my 25th collecting, which was, of course, after the line had pretty much wrapped.  I had gotten the Resolute sets and wanted more figures.  Cosmic Comix had a handful of figures, including Hawk, Sgt. Flash, and this guy.  He mostly came along for the ride with the other two, because I didn’t want to just leave him behind.  He’s hardly my favorite Cobra Trooper in my collection, but at the same time, he’s not a bad figure.  He at the very least does a decent job of filling in the ranks.

#2387: G.I. Joe Resolute Joes Box Set

DUKE, SNAKE EYES, SCARLET, FLINT, SGT. STALKER, ROADBLOCK, & BEACHHEAD

G.I. JOE: 25TH ANNIVERSARY (HASBRO)

“The world is threatened once again by Cobra–and only G.I. Joe can stop them!  The team races across the globe and into space to combat an evil plot by Cobra Commander to control the world.  Cobra even brings the battle right to the team’s doorstep, but the men and women of the G.I. Joe team remain strong, courageous…and resolute!”

Okay, so remember waaaaaaaaaay back nearer the beginning of the site, when I reviewed the massive seven-figure Resolute Cobra boxed set?  Well, unsurprisingly, there was a Joe component as well.  It’s been six years, but let’s cap things off, shall we?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This seven-figure set was one of two (the other being the Cobra set) online-exclusives released in the summer of 2010 as a quick way of rounding out and finishing up the Resolute subline of figures that was supposed to run through the 25th Anniversary line at retail.  When it became clear that 25th would not be returning to retail following Rise of Cobra’s tie-in line, Hasbro shunted the molds it already had ready to go, plus a few quickly thrown-together figures into this 14 figure drop.

DUKE

A leader is always in the position of making the tough calls and hard decisions.  Duke, as the head of the G.I. Joe team, understands the burden of leadership all too well.  When it’s the duty of the team to respond to a threat against the world, Duke must be the one to make sure that the priorities are clear: the mission comes fist and everything else comes a distant second.  He demands a lot from his team, but doesn’t ask anything of them that he isn’t willing to give himself.  His hard-won experience and unflinching determination have earned him the respect and loyalty of his team.”

Duke was pretty fortunate when it came to the Resolute stuff.  While the others were making their debut here, this particular Duke marked his third time up to bat for this collection, hence the more environment-specific outfit this one is sporting.  He’s based on his look from towards the end of the mini-series, when he and Scarlet make a run on an arctic Cobra base.  Given how it figures into the climax, it’s honestly a pretty solid choice for a figure.  The figure stands a little over 4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  He’s mostly compiled from the parts of other figures, with his torso and waist coming from the 25th line’s cold-weather Snake Eyes, the upper arms coming from the second Resolute Duke, and the lower arms and legs coming from the first Resolute Duke.  It makes for an okay approximation of his gear from the show, though it’s hardly as spot-on as some of the designs.  The figure’s head was all-new to him, and marked an improvement over the standard Resolute Duke head we’d gotten previously.  This one was far more on-model for the show, and just generally looks nicer than the previous.  The paintwork on this guy is actually pretty great.  They’ve included all of the important details, and done what they can to use the paint to make the sculpt look a bit more on-model.  They’ve also kept important details like painting the gun in his thigh holster a different color than the holster, which I assure you, is something that will come up again in this review.  Duke included the same rifle as the standard Resolute Duke, plus a pistol, a knife, and a display stand with his name on it.

SNAKE EYES

“Snake Eyes is a dedicated member of the G.I. Joe team, but he is forced to put a personal issue first when his archenemy Storm Shadow raises their rivalry to a deadly new level. The G.I. Joe commando confronts the Cobra ninja in a duel that originated many years ago, when they were friends in a ninja school that taught the Seven Steps to the Sun, a lethal martial arts sequence. Snake Eyes has never revealed how many of these steps he learned…and the answer to this question will determine who lives and who dies in this final duel.”

Snake Eyes had *technically* had a Resolute-based figure before, thanks to his planned 25th figure getting shunted into the Rise of Cobra line under the name “City Strike Snake Eyes,” but that release made a few changes to the color scheme, in order to bring him more in line with the other movie stuff.  It was also really hard to find, so a second version here made a lot of sense.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  His whole sculpt is shared with the previously mentioned City Strike Snake Eyes, and is a pretty good recreation of Snake Eyes’ design from the show, albeit through the slightly more realistic 25th style lens.  It’s a pretty sleek looking design, and one of the few times we’ve seen a modern redesign that calls back on his V1 figure, rather than keeping the V2’s distinctive visor.  While I’m a V2 man myself, I can really appreciate what’s going on here.  Snake Eyes’ paintwork is a solid match for how he looks in the show, which is to say mostly grey.  The one thing they changed up is the visor, which instead of being a light grey like it is in the animation, is a bright green, calling back to how he looks when he does his glide into is duel with Storm Shadow.  Snake Eyes is the best accessorized of the figures here, with his sword and sheath, a back pack, the same rifle as Duke but in all black, his glide-pack, and a display stand with his name on it.

SCARLETT

“A brilliant mind, outstanding martial arts skills, and lethal accuracy with her trademark crossbow – that’s Scarlett. The G.I. Joe team’s counter-intelligence expert has the cerebral savvy to get inside the mind of her enemies and design a plot that’ll outsmart them at their own game. She also has the combat skills to take on a squad of Cobra troopers and be the sole person left standing when the fighting’s over. She can make a HALO dive into hostile territory in the dead of night, then enter a heavily guarded Cobra missile silo and take it over as one-half of a two-person unit, and not even break a sweat. That’s skill. That’s training. That’s Scarlett.”

Had the Rise of Cobra line gone just a little bit longer, Scarlett would have joined Snake Eyes under the City Strike banner, with another re-purposed Resolute mold in new colors.  It was probably for the best that she waited for this set, though, since, while the grey and black deco of City Strike worked okay for Snake Eyes, it was really off for Scarlett.  She finally got her release here, and, well, uhh, let’s just dive right in, shall we?  The figure stands 4 inches tall and she has the same 22 points of articulation as everyone else.  I like to give credit where credit is due, so I’m going to discuss the body first.  Scarlett’s Resolute redesign was one of my favorites from the show, as I think it’s just a really solid boiling down of the basics of her original design, all in a more modern setting.  The sculpt on the body does a fantastic job of taking all of the elements present on the animation model, and then adding a whole new selection of little details to make the uniform feel like a real thing.  It’s also not super small, which was my main issue with the standard 25th Scarlett.  So, why focus on the body first?  Because I wanted to be able to talk about it positively before getting into undoubtedly the worst piece in this whole set: Scarlet’s head.  Oh boy, it’s not pretty.  Baroness from the Cobra set also had some issues, but they pale in comparison to this piece.  I’m not sure exactly what happened here, but there’s a rumor that some sizing was off in both of the molds for the female figures (since they had more complicated two-piece heads), which lead to the whole thing being just…kinda unsightly.  It’s definitely not right for the design.  Fortunately, there are other options for Scarlett heads that are easy enough to swap out; I myself went with the 25th comic pack version, as it was rather cheap.  Scarlett’s paintwork is generally pretty good.  She gets down the slightly washed out palette of the series, and everything’s pretty clean.  The head has more issues here, with the eyebrow placement looking like it’s rather off.  But, I ditched it anyway, so no problems.  Scarlett was packed with her usual crossbow, plus a sniper rifle, a pistol (the same one included with Duke), and a stand.

FLINT

Flint is a classical scholar and graduate of the Airborne School, Ranger School, Special Forces School and Flight Warrant Officers School.  He brings a broad intellectual background as well as finely honed technical skills and tactical knowledge to the G.I. Joe team.  A thorough and meticulous planner, he has led many dangerous and complex missions in the field and overseen them from the team’s base.  His arrogance may be irritating at times, but it comes from firsthand experience, rock-solid skills and extensive knowledge.  As the team disperses around the globe and into space to stop Cobra, Flint advises them all from the team’s base.”

Flint takes on a fairly prominent, if slightly lighter on the action, role in Resolute, and is definitely a well-utilized character.  If I recall correctly, there were more Cobra figures than Joes planned when everything was moved to the boxed sets, and Flint was one of the couple of figures put together to fill out the set.  I might be wrong on that, though.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  The figure is largely built from repurposed parts, with the arms and legs coming from Duke, and the torso and waist coming from one of the RoC Hawk figures.  He does get a new head, webgear, and gauntlet, which all make for a pretty convincing transition into Flint’s design from the show.  The only real inaccuracy is that he’s got two knee pads instead of one, but I’m willing to give them a pass on that one.  The new pieces are really strong, and follow in Scarlett’s footsteps of taking the core elements from the cartoon and then adding lots of smaller detail work around them.  Flint’s paintwork is largely pretty good, but has one glaring issue.  Remember what I mentioned about the gun in the holster on Duke?  Well it doesn’t get painted here, and it looks pretty goofy.  Beyond that, though it’s a solid paint job.  Flint is packed with his usual shotgun, as well as a pistol and a display stand.

SGT. STALKER

“The survival instincts of Sgt. Stalker were honed at an early age on the mean streets of his hometown.  The lessons he learned may have been tough, but they made him a fierce warrior.  It doesn’t matter if he’s facing two or twenty Cobra troopers; he’ll make every one of them wish they’d never gotten out of bed that morning.  Ranger trained and Airborne-qualified, Sgt. Stalker uses his skills, training and instincts to adapt his actions to the changing situation.  He heads to the jungle with Roadblock and Beachhead to rescue hostages held by Destro and Baroness, and teaches that arrogant duo not to underestimate the G.I. Joe team ever again.”

Stalker was another piece of the “fill in the set” puzzle, clearly being chosen because he could easily be built without investing in a ton of new pieces.  Stalker himself has a relatively minor role, with Roadblock getting most of the focus in their section.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and he had 22 points of articulation.  Stalker is again pretty big on the re-use.  He takes the Duke legs, and throws the Snake Eyes torso and arms in with it.  It’s not the oddest choice, since Stalker and Snake Eyes have more than once shared parts.  He gets a new head and webgear, and a collar piece he shares with Beachhead.  The end result is an okay recreation of his on-screen design, though I’m not sure it works quite as well as Flint.  The sweater collar on the skintight shirt looks weird, he’s missing the pockets on his shoulders.  He’s also got gloves, which he didn’t in the show.  At the very least, the new head (which I looked at when it was re-used on the 30th figure) is a pretty good piece.  It’s certainly a unique look for the character.  Stalker’s paint is alright, but suffers from the same lack of paint on the gun that Flint did.  They also painted his skin tone too far down his neck on the back, meaning it runs past the separate collar piece.  Since it’s on his back and obscured by two add-ons, it’s easy enough not to focus on, but it does look kinda goofy.  Stalker includes Duke’s rifle in green and silver, a pistol, a knife, and a display stand.

ROADBLOCK

He’s a gourmet cook who can wield his hand-ground, carbon-steel cook’s knife and his M2 .50 caliber ‘Ma Deuce’ Browning heavy machine gun with equal skill. He wanted to be a chef and attend the Escoffier School in France, when a recruiter signed him up with the promise that the army would train him to be a cook. He later joined the G.I. Joe team, where, on any given day, he can whip up haute cuisine for the team – and mince anything in his path with a barrage of gunfire. Cobra gives him plenty of opportunity to perfect his skill with the Browning, as the evil organization spreads its vile presence from the snowy north to the town of Springfield.”

Roadblock takes us back into the territory of pre-existing figures that Hasbro just wanted to get out.  Like Snake Eyes, his mold found its way into the RoC line, first as a Night Adder, and then as Roadblock in a Walmart-exclusive battle pack.  However, the Night Adder was obviously a different character, and the Walmart Roadblock was painted rather differently, and even ditched the vest overlay from this guy for a different one.  At just shy of 4 1/2 inches tall, Roadblock is by far the tallest figure in this set (and one of the tallest in the line, truth be told), and he’s got the same 22 points of articulation everyone else does.  Roadblock’s design in the show was not only a solid update of his V1 figure, it also managed to work in some of the V2 design as well, for something that is just so unquestionably Roadblock in nature.  For the purposes of these figures, all of the show designs were made a bit more real world, and Roadblock is perhaps the most adjusted, since his animation design had some pretty darn cartoony proportions.  This figure instead goes for something more in line with the classic Roadblock in build and facial stylings, but gives him a proper take on the fancy new animated outfit.  The vest piece on this guy is by far the coolest bit, because the level of detailing included there is quite frankly amazing.  Roadblock’s paintwork is pretty great, taking his classic colorscheme, fitting it into the established Resolute palette and really just running with it.  It makes him the most colorful figure in the set, which is a definite point in his favor.  Roadblock included his usual heavy machine gun, a belt of ammo to feed it, a pickaxe, a missile, a pistol, and a display stand.

BEACHHEAD

“Beachhead has one goal: to do his best. That’s what infuses everything he says and does. He focuses on the task he’s been given and ignores anything that doesn’t help him complete it. When things go bad, he channels his anger and frustration into fuel to help him go further and fight harder. He pushes himself to exceed his personal best and be an example to others, such as running ten miles every morning in blizzards, heat waves and anything in between. Along with Sgt. Stalker and Roadblock, he deploys to the jungle to rescue hostages held by Destro and Baroness.”

Beachhead rounds out the set as another “constructed to round out the set” figure.  Who…you know…rounds out the set.  Like Stalker, he’s a character that’s present in the show, but not overly prominent.  I don’t actually believe he even has any dialogue.  All that said, he’s got one of the more memorable classic Joe design, so it makes a lot of sense to include him.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  Beachhead is mostly built from the same bank of parts as Flint, with Duke’s arms and legs, and Hawk’s torso and waist.  It’s a decent enough formula for both designs, so more power to them.  He gets a new head and webgear, as well as using the collar piece shared with Stalker.  The new parts are definitely solid, and this head is honestly my favorite Beachhead sculpt to date.  Given that it showed up on every Beachhead figure that followed, I’d say Hasbro agreed. The vest is a nice piece, with the only downside being how freaking hard it is to get his knife sheath back in place once you remove it…which is why mine doesn’t have his in any of the photos.  The collar piece definitely works better here than it did on Stalker, leading me to believe it was designed for Beachhead and then also used for Stalker.  It all adds up to a figure that doesn’t really feel like he’s at least 75% the same as another figure in the set, despite the fact that he totally is.  Beachhead’s paintwork is all pretty decent, apart from that annoying gun/holster issue that I mentioned on both Flint and Stalker.  It wouldn’t annoy me quite so much if they hadn’t properly painted it on only one figure in the set, honestly.  Beachhead included the same rifle as Stalker, as well as a knife, pistol, and display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I noted in my review of the Cobra set, it was these Resolute packs that really got me into the 25th line.  Well, that, and the fact that I got them while recovering from getting my wisdom teeth out, while watching my DVDs of the Sunbow cartoon, which led to me tracking down a whole bunch of the other figures from the line.  I was expecting to enjoy the Cobra set more of the two of them, but the Joe set ended up being my favorite by a fair bit.  I think Beachhead might be my personal favorite of them, because he’s just the best Beachhead figure, but every figure in the set’s pretty darn good.  My only major complaint is the Scarlett head, and I’ve had that swapped out for 10 years now, so it feels minor these days.

#2372: Snake Eyes

SNAKE EYES

G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)

In 2016, after an attempt to revitalize the line with a 50th Anniversary celebration after numerous re-brandings of the core line, the G.I. Joe brand was retired from retail, with its only continuation being in the form of a handful of Collector’s Club exclusives and a one SDCC exclusive from Hasbro that wasn’t even specifically Joe-centered.  In 2018 there were exactly two Collector’s Club-exclusive, and the rest was silence.  With over a year of no new Joe at all, the fanbase kind of folded in on itself, with most of the focus shifting to the old vintage line, because they were desperate to have *something* to buy.  After that year-plus of silence (to the point of even leaving G.I. Joe off of a brand poster that included freaking *Visionaries* of all things), Hasbro went into 2020 with a plan to revitalize Joe again.  The Snake Eyes movie is supposed to be hitting theaters this year, the mobile game was officially launched in January, and Hasbro’s bringing G.I. Joe back to retail in the form of a new 6-inch scale line, much in the style of their LegendsBlack Series, and Lightning Collection lines.  So far, we’ve seen most of the first series (which is tentatively hitting in June, but who knows at this point?), and the line has officially been kicked off with a deluxe version of everyone’s favorite ninja-commando-mute, Snake Eyes!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Snake Eyes is figure 00 in the newly launched G.I. Joe: Classified Series.  He was offered exclusively though Hasbro Pulse, and, as the “00” denotes, he’s meant as a preview for the line proper.  The rumor mill is speculating that the core figure of this release will be going to regular retail with the rest of the line, making all of the deluxe-ness the real exclusive part of this one.  Speaking of the deluxe-ness of this release, before I dive into reviewing the actual toy proper, I would like to mention the packaging of this release.  Though I’m not usually all that interested in what my figures get to me in, this release deserves a special mention, because Hasbro’s really gone the extra mile here, with a heavy cardboard construction, and an almost faux-leather exterior.  The intricate design on the front and back of the box is really impressively applied, and said design is also included as a pretty cool print when you open the box.  Inside the box, there’s a foam tray with spots for the core boxed Snake Eyes (in a variation of what will be the line’s standard packaging) and all of the exclusive extras.  It’s one hell of a presentation, and shows that Hasbro’s really invested in the significance of this release.  Alright, we’ve discussed the beauty that is the box, now we tear it open and look at the guy inside.  Snake Eyes stands just shy of 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation.  Hasbro’s gotten pretty impressive with their articulation on their 6-inch-scale lines as of late, but Snake Eyes takes that to the next level, adding things like butterfly shoulders, a ball-jointed waist, and drop-hips to the equation.  He also fuses the Black Series double-ball-jointed neck design with the Legends hinge joint, which gives the best of both worlds in terms of range.  He’s a very, very posable figure is what I’m getting at here.  However, it’s worth noting that the figure’s sculpt really doesn’t suffer to grant him this posability.  Said sculpt is clearly patterned after Snake’s v2 figure, which is generally considered his most distinctive look, and a good starting point for any new version of the character.  He’s not a straight adaptation of that design, though, as Hasbro is clearly building a new aesthetic for the Joes for this new line.  The broad strokes are all the same.  He’s got the knight-style visor, the bandolier with grenades, and all the pouches and straps are in more or less the same spot.  However, when you take a closer look at the smaller details, that’s where the changes come in.  They’ve followed a bit in the footsteps of the movies, giving him a more armored appearance, at least on the head and torso.  Within that set-up, he gets some extra webgear on his shoulders, which is really the only part of this design I’m a little iffy on.  Honestly, I don’t hate it, but I think it stands out a little too much from what’s around it.  I think the fact that I can hone in on one specific thing like that and say it’s slightly off speaks to the sleekness of the rest of the sculpt, though.  I really do appreciate how well they homaged the v2 release with this sculpt.  In terms of the paint, Snake Eyes goes a fair bit more involved than the usual figure of him.  He still keeps things predominantly very dark, but it’s not quite as much straight black.  There’s a lot of variance to the browns, and there’s also some nice change-ups in the finish on the black sections as well, making the different sections look like different materials.  It’s really nicely handled, especially given how easily they could have just left things all-black.  In terms of accessories, there are really two groups with this figure.  Firstly, there’s what is actually included in his smaller box with him.  He gets a sword (which according to Tim is more of a messer than a katanna, and I’m inclined to believe him there), an Uzi, a Beretta m93r with a removable silencer, a knife, a backpack, a sheath for the sword (which can plug either straight into his back or onto the pack), and two extra hands, one holding throwing stars, the other flat.  The Uzi, sword, and backpack do a great job of replicating the v2 figure’s accessories, and the Beretta, knife, and extra hands just accent things further.  Outside of his own packaging, Snake Eyes also gets a whole Dojo wall full of weapons.  The wall itself is a nice piece in its own right, and its got spots for the 2 sai, 2 axes, 2 kama, spear, long sword, and katana included alongside it in the box.  Snake Eyes can use these extra weapons if you like, or they make for a pretty killer display behind him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got a slight heads up that a 6-inch Joe line was coming, so I was pretty eagerly awaiting its arrival.  Once this guy was shown off, I knew I needed one.  Max was kind enough to let me use his Pulse account so that we could both order one, meaning I got in on the ground floor with this guy.  And then I got him literally the day everything started shutting down around here, so I’ve gotten a lot of time to mess with him.  I love this figure.  I love this figure so much.  This is pretty much everything I wanted out of this line, and I’m really excited for the rest of the line to hit so that this guy can have some companions.  Until then, he’ll just have to face off against my Fortnite Havoc figure that’s totally not just a 6-inch Firefly.

#2360: Flint

FLINT

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.

#2346: Zombie Viper

ZOMBIE VIPER

G.I. JOE: 30TH ANNIVERSARY (HASBRO)

“ZOMBIE-VIPERS are COBRA infantry troopers who have been given a mysterious chemical substance, Compound Z, that has turned them into drones. Wiped of all thought, they follow orders mindlessly and cannot be reasoned with or sidetracked. They have retained skill at combat; in fact, their desire to fight has been increased, making them more dangerous than before. In other words, they are deadly zombie warriors.”

After a rather noticeable hiatus from retail shelves, G.I. Joe is making its return later this year, with an all-new line of 6-inch figures.  I myself am quite excited for this new line, so in the mean time, I’m going to look at some of the older items already in my collection.  Today, I’m turning my sights on the 30th Anniversary of the 3 3/4 inch line, which in addition to updating some of the older figures to the modern day, also served as the distribution point for a handful of left over ideas from Hasbro’s rather inventive Pursuit of Cobra line.  PoC attempted to introduce some new ideas into the franchise, including a few new styles of Cobra trooper.  And since everyone was going crazy about zombies in the early 2010s, we even got one of those!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Zombie-Viper was part of the fourth assortment of the G.I. Joe: 30th Anniversary line, which would prove to be the final assortment of the 30th line.  Unfortunately, due to Paramount not wanting competing product during a movie year, the 30th line was shoved into 2011, which wasn’t its actual anniversary year, and the fourth assortment in particular was practically non-existent at retail.  Fortunately, the Zombie-Viper got a more or less unchanged release for the 50th Anniversary line in 2016, making him much easier to find.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  The Zombie-Viper’s non-zombie parts are re-used from the Pursuit of Cobra Shock Trooper.  The same figure served as a parts source for both the standard PoC Cobra Trooper and the Viper,  so there’s a nice connective tissue to it, which sells the backstory that these are infected Cobra forces.  The new parts do quite a nice job of selling the whole zombie thing.  The level of detailing is really impressive at this scale and at on a mass retail item, and is honestly enough to give other zombie lines of the time a run for their money.  The forearms are designed like those of the BATs, allowing for them to pop out at the joint and be swapped out for other attachments, in this case a set of tendrils, adding to that more sci-if side of things.  They are also compatible with the BAT attachments, allowing for some mix and match.  The Zombie-Viper’s paint work is mostly on the drab side, which is sensible for a zombie, but with a little bit of bright blue thrown in there, again to play up that sci-fi side of things. There’s some nice accent work wit ph a wash, which helps highlight the intricacies of the sculpt.  The Zombie-Viper is packed with the previously mentioned tendrils, as well as a containment helmet and tube, and a display stand with the figure’s name and the Cobra insignia on it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was quite looking forward to this figure when it was first shown off, but unfortunately Wave 4 never showed up at retail around me, and by the time I realized it hadn’t, the full sets had long since sold out online.  I wound up tracking down my one must have figure (Lifeline) on his own, but never did get the Zombie-Viper.  Fortunately, via the 50th Anniversary reissue and Max not wanting to keep both of them from the two-pack, I was finally able to get one.  I’m glad, because he’s a really cool figure.