Saturday, August 29, 2015

50th Anniversary Reviews: Round Two

The next wave of GI Joe product has arrived and it's time to take a closer look at some of the offerings.
In my opinion, Gung Ho is the best figure from all of the  two packs, three packs, or vehicle sets. I'm not 100% sure, but I think Gung Ho is a brand new figure, no reuse of any other parts. The prototype of this figure appeared a few years ago as part of the "Concept Case" shown by Hasbro at a GI Joe Convention. I'm pretty sure nearly all Joe fans have been quite pleased with this release.

Hasbro captured the original spirit pf the figure in this new version. While not as big as Leatherneck or Retaliation Roadblock, Gung Ho is still larger than the the average GI Joe figure. I've always thought that Gung Ho was a big dude based on cartoon and comic appearances. Not a huge beast like Hasbro did with Leatherneck, but still an above average person.

The drawbacks of this figure are minor. I'm not really thrilled with the weapon load-out, primarily because the mini-gun is a bit too cumbersome and the other weapons seem a bit small. That's not a big deal when I've got a huge supply of weapons for him to chose from. I don't think a character has to be locked in to using a weapon similar to his original version. 

Hasbro did a nice job matching the baby blue color pallette of the original figure. Yeah, that's a nice match, but I think most Joe fans would have been happy with a more subdued shade of blue or perhaps some green tones. Not a major complaint. Maybe if I luck up and find another, I might try my hand at a paint job. And I'm not really thrilled with the lower legs. I'd rather have the side to side pivot of the ankles over the new style of foot articulation.

The Cobra Shadow Guard that came with Gung Ho headed off to eBay. Not a huge fan of the figure, I thought I could maybe make a few bucks on a resale.

Next up is Storm Shadow and Spirit. This version of Storm Shadow reflects the design of the original figure when he switched from Cobra to GI Joe. Stormy looks pretty good, but his head perches a bit too high on his neck. I've drilled out the head a little to make it sit down a little lower. Stormy has a decent collection of weapons. Ninjas everywhere.
This is an interesting take on Spirit. The skin tones are much darker than previous versions. More accurate ethnically? Don't know, but he still looks pretty cool. I really don't like the vest that Hasbro used; it's too clunky and interferes with head movement. I'll probably use an extra vest from a Retaliation GI Joe trooper since they share the same torso.
Next up is the Shipwreck and Cobra Commander two pack. I really like this version of Shipwreck. Hasbro picked a nice selection of parts for the build. I was originally thinking custom potential, but I think he's my default Shipwreck now.
A black uniform Cobra Commander with snappy red highlights. The red hood and the red gloves look pretty cool in contrast to the black uniform. The red shoes? Oh, how pretty! They just don't work. Decent figure, but the red shoes kind of spoil him a little.
Next up is Alpine from one of the three packs. This figure has been notoriously difficult to get due to the limited release of the original DVD set that he came with. I wanted this set primarily for Alpine, but once he's in hand, I'm not really impressed. Sure, he looks great, but he's a bit of a throwback to the 25th Anniversary era of figure construction. I'm still glad to have him in my collection. 

The Rock Viper that came with him? I get the inclusion as an opponent to Alpine, but I've never been a fan of the figure. Off to eBay!

Next up is the Iron Grenadier and Steel Brigade two-pack. Not much to say here, these two are just straight re-released figures. I like the IG, but I've never been that impressed with them to go nuts with the troop building. A big bulky figure, kind of cumbersome. Those blue and white paint apps on the legs are just sloppy.
Can't go wrong with another Steel Brigade figure. This has always been an excellent figure, but I may use him as custom fodder. I usually use the vests on some other figure. Personally I think a better two-pack would have been the Steel Brigade trooper and this next guy...
The Cobra Shock Trooper. Always a winner (mostly). A great set of gear and loads of custom potential. The drawback, for me, about this figure, has always been the head sculpt. Without all the gear, it just seemed to be a bit too high. I've wound up using most of the ones that I do have as customs, one serving as a body for Scrap Iron, while the rest have been mixed with the Renegades Cobra Troopers.
In my opinion, these two would have made for a better two-pack. Hell, they are both basically the same figure. Same body, same webgear, and I think that they would make for better opponents.

Just one more quick look at Gung Ho and Shipwreck. The new body for Gung Ho does give him some height and bulk when compared to Shipwreck. That's the way I always figured that Gung Ho would be.

But I'm still not really thrilled with the overall look of Gung Ho. That outfit is just a bit dated and it's just too much baby blue. I've got to do something about him.

Overall, of the figures that I have bought, this is a pretty decent set of figures. I've recently seen the two vehicle sets and am tempted, but I'm not ready to drop that kind of money on them right now.

Hoping for bigger and better things for GI Joe in 2016.


Arnold Barrios said...

From neck to knees, this Gung Ho is exactly the same as the body on Credit Card Hand Rockblock. The lower legs, the ankles, specifically, have been given the wrong kind of ankle joints. It was also a bitch to remove his vest. I was going to give him a paint job. I like his head and hat, and of course, the 'stache. But the turqouise gots ta go! But since I took the vest off and saw what I was working with, I gave up the idea. That is why I just popped his head on my Ultimate Rockblock figure. I took the tactical vest off and voila! My OAF Gung Ho. :)

Big Tone said...

It's refreshing to see new Joe posts with the drought we've had of late.The Gung Ho and Alpine figures are the two I like the most.