I picked up this Crimson Guard at a local Rite-Aid store. It's a damn shame that Rite-Aid is now my best source for GI Joe figures. This particular store is one of four in my area. Each of the other three has Rise of Cobra figures still hanging from the pegs and all at the Rite-Aid bargain price of $13.49.
I remembered this one particular store and went by and was pleasantly surprised to find a Steel Brigade figure hanging there, just waiting for me. Even with the $13.49 price, I was still going to snag him. Fortunately, there was a Buy One, Get One Half Off sale, but there were no other Joe figures to be found. Luckily, the wonderful cashier sold me the figure for half price! Sweet!
The next time that I went to the same Rite-Aid, there were three new Retaliation figures just waiting for me! A Crimson Guard, the new Cobra Commander, and the new Firefly. I had already picked up CC and Firefly from a sale at Hasbro Toy Shop and really didn't need them again. This time, the sale was Buy One, Get One Free! So I picked up the Crimson Guard and Cobra Commander. I'm planning on keeping this particular CC on the card. A rare occurrence for me to leave a figure in package, but he's a pretty cool figure.
The next time I went, the Firefly figure was still there, but now on sale for 50% off! Uh, okay, don't really need another, but I'm not passing up a GI Joe figure for $7.50! Future custom fodder, I suppose. So now the store was cleaned out and I just needed to wait and see who would be next to arrive.
Sure enough, three more figures were there waiting for me - Kwinn, Budo, and Snake Eyes w/ Timber. Already have two each of Kwinn and Budo and don't really need another Snake Eyes. Plus, no sale, so these figures will be there for a while. I'm not buying them.
With all that crap begin said, what do I think about this new version of the Crimson Guard? No big deal. I'm not really impressed. If I can find another, I'll be happy; otherwise, I'll be content with just this one. I'm just not overly impressed with the figure. I never have been. even way back to the original O-ring version.
Now this guy is a really surprising find - the mythical Night Viper. I honestly thought that I would never find one of these guys. I picked him up at an Atlanta area Toys R Us; my local TRU sucks for carrying Joe figures.
Hasbro did a good job with the Night Viper. I know that he is largely a combination of parts, but they all work very well together. The tiny little head from the PoC Alley Viper works well with the Night Viper helmet. Can anyone get it off once it's on? I really like the sniper rifle as well. Always have liked it previously. Great design, but still a little wonky when trying the get a soldier to hold it. Thumbs up for Hasbro for this one!
I honestly wasn't very interested in picking up another version of Cobra Commander. Yeah, the colors seemed right, the accessories were cool, but did I really need another version of this guy? I bought him as a last minute addition to a Hasbro Toy Shop order. I needed to get over $50 to avoid shipping, so I ordered CC. Not bad! Well done, Hasbro!
Proportions are very well done, far surpassing the wobbly versions from the 25th line. Both the helmet and the cowl head look great on the body. My only complaint is the feet. I really don't like the rocker ankles for this figure; it really messes up his ability to stand. Plus, the holes in his feet aren't deep enough for a stand. Minor complaint.
Just check out that scowl under that mask! That's an awesome look!
Finally, I was able to pick up another elusive figure, the Retaliation Cobra Combat Ninja. Ninja this, ninja that - whatever. The dark ninja's get these guys swords. A straight reuse of the awesome Cobra Shocktrooper body with a new paint scheme and two new head sculpts. I'm currently at three of these guys and I'm okay with that amount. If I find anymore in the wild, I may pick one up, but I won't be manic for them like I was with the PoC Blueshirts, Cobra Viper, or the two versions of the Dollar General Cobra trooper. These guys are decent enough, but I'm just not really wild about them.
I was able to score two through my Hasbro Toy Shop deal and was lucky enough to find another in the wild.
Here's the initial head sculpt that comes with the figure. It's okay, but I'm not really very impressed with the sculpt.
The secondary head sculpt is pretty cool looking. Looks like a monocular helmet. It almost looks BAT-like. I haven't tried it on a BAT body yet to see how it works.
None of these figures really blow me away with their awesomeness. CC is close, but his weird feet ruin his chances of the number one slot. The CG is kind of boring, so he's dropped back in the standings. I suppose the Night Viper takes first place, Cobra Commander in second, Combat "Ninja" in third, and the Crimson Guard trails along in fourth place.
Coming soon - thoughts on Jinx and the Hard Master. I think the Hard Master figure has better acting skills than Rza!