Monday, January 16, 2017

FSS 5.0: Cobra Viper & Charbroil

SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!
The first two figures from the GI Joe Collector's Club FSS 5.0 have been shipped!

If you don't know which figures have been released, you obviously aren't very active in any of the GI Joe pages on Facebook. Besides, what's the big surprise? Two of the previously announced figures have arrived in your mailbox. I suppose the only surprise is the order in which the figures come out and the identity of #13.

Oh, wait... I gave it away in the title of the this post... Dang it...

First up, I'll take a quick look at the Cobra Viper. Once again, the Club went with a troop builder as one of the FSS figures. I can't really blame them because named specific characters are much fewer on the Cobra side versus all of the individuals on the GI Joe team.

Honestly, when the o-ring figure that this troop is based on came out back in 1994, I wasn't very impressed. I've always been a Viper fan, but a fan of the original Viper from 1986. They rocked! I had about a dozen of those guys and I've got a dozen or so of their modern PoC/30th updates.

I'm afraid that I just don't like this guy enough to keep him. There always seems to be a few figures from each FSS that just don't get to stay. FSS 5.0 may only have this guy and one more; we'll see how Guacho turns out. Basically, I'm just not impressed with this Viper. I'm usually a strong supporter of the Club's efforts, but they don't always hit the mark. This troop misses the mark for me. Off to the secondary market; somebody out there is going to want to troop build this figure.

Next up is Charbroil. The Club previously released Charbroil as a part of the 2013 Nocturnal Fire convention set. All of the other Joes from this set were released in prior FSS sets. Charbroil finally makes it out in his original colors.
I'm quite pleased with how Charbroil turned out. He's pretty much a straight reuse of the figure that the Club came up with for the convention set, with one exception. His head.

In terms of the original o-ring figures, I was more of a fan of Blowtorch than Charbroil. Blowtorch just seemed to work better with all of his bits of gear. Charbroil just didn't work for me. The head sculpt was goofy looking, and the gear was just clumsy to me. Now with the modern figures, they've switched places. I like what the Club did to come up with Charbroil over what Hasbro did to recreate Blowtorch in the modern format. 
The Club used the Retaliation GI Joe trooper body as the base with the same web gear. The flame projection unit comes from a Torch figure from 2005. I think that was the first use of that weapon. I was away from GI Joe for a few years back then.
I suppose the drawback to this version of Charbroil is his head sculpt, or the lack of his head sculpt. The Club chose to go with the head originally used for the Para-Viper figure rather than the head sculpt they used with the Nocturnal Fire version. Damn you , Club!!! Why you no?!?!?

I have no idea why they went this route, I'm guessing it may have had to do with what parts were available, or maybe even a cost factor. I would image that a full face sculpt might cost a little more to produce over a masked head sculpt. Few paint apps needed?
I don't really care that much about this masked head. I think it looks pretty cool with the uniform. Here's a guy with tanks of jellied gasoline on his back and he wears a flame retardant hood under his helmet. Makes sense to me.
This flame projection unit is so much more superior to Blowtorch's clunky gear.
I'm quite pleased with how Charbroil turned out. The Club earned a solid hit with me for this guy. Not so much for the Viper. But here's the big question and it really goes back to Hasbro. Why have flame projection specialists? The U.S. Department of Defense pulled the flame thrower from its arsenal back in 1978. The argument that it was not as effective a weapon on the modern battlefield was one issue. With more conflicts being televised, this weapon would cause quite a bit of terror in the public eye.

I suppose Hasbro included it with several of their troops was because that, regardless of the carnage it caused, shooting out massive amounts of flame towards the enemy is pretty bad ass. 

Besides...
...those zombie vipers aren't going to burn themselves! Light 'em up, Charbroil!

Woo Hoo!! FSS 5.0 has begun!! Gimmee' moar figures!!!

More FSS 5.0 reviews headed your way!

2 comments:

Dr Syn said...

Does his backpack still have a soft short peg like the Nightforce convention release?

Thomas Brooks said...

Dr Syn, yeah the backpack fits securely.