There aren’t too many toy lines in the world that have as much of a storied history as G.I. Joe. First produced by Hasbro back in 1964, G.I. Joe was originally 12 inch dolls- er, ACTION FIGURES, with removable outfits and accessories. The original lineup paid homage to the Armed forces by having a soldier, sailor and a pilot. The political climate of the 1960’s and 70’s let G.I. Joe to change from a military focus to an “Adventure Team” with flocked beards and kung-fu grip. Eventually 12 inch “Action Figures” waned in popularity with the rise of 3 3/4 inch figures such as Star Wars. This the G.I. Joe brand went dormant.
Then in 1982, Hasbro revived the franchise. Enlisting comic writer Larry Hama and partnering with Marvel Comics, G.I. Joe became G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (ARAH). The military theme was back and this time there were actual characters with unique skills and backstories. They also have an actual enemy to fight; the terrorist organization Cobra. With a comic book and cartoon to support the line, the toy were on shelves for 12 years, with sporadic returns up until 2012, with the G.I. Joe: Retaliation movie. But by then, the hot format was at the 1:12 Scale (6 inch). Hasbro had success with their Marvel Legends and Star Wars Black in this format and it was hoped G.I. Joe would return in this scale.
Finally in 2020 we get the first wave of G.I. Joe Classified Series. This 1:12 scale line is revamping characters from the ARAH days with a modern twist. These figures have been turning up on online retailers and are expected to hit stores in June 2020. I managed to get two of these figures from Megalopolis Toys, but many are sold out and not expected in stock until June. This review will be for the Snake Eyes (retail version) and Scarlett figures.
Both figures come in a mostly blue box. Each figure has there own themed packaging with box art and decals individualized for each figure. The back shows promotional art showcasing some of the more iconic figures in the Joe franchise, though Storm Shadow in conspicuous in his absence.
The Snake Eyes figure is mostly black in colour, with a mixture of glossy and flat black. His colouring is slightly different from the one in the collector’s edition sold on the Hasbro pulse online store. The figure comes with a bandoleer, belt, holster and knife sheathe which are separate pieces that come on the figure.
For accessories and weapons, he comes with two guns; a futuristic sun-machine gun and pistol. There is a silencer included for the pistol. her also goes with a knife and a sword with a scabbard, Lastly, he has a backpack which attaches to his back. The scabbard can attach to the backpack or plug into the same hole as the backpack. Alternatively, the large gun can attach to the back pack in the same hole as the scabbard.
Scarlett’s outfit is more futuristic than her classic look, but the beats are there from the original figure. She has a blue top and grey and red pants on with yellow, gold and red armour parts over top. She comes with a quiver slung over her shoulder for her signature weapon. Her hair is red, much like her code name implies, but it is a lighter red, much like how she was portrayed in G.I. Joe Renegades. Her face is a nice sculpt though she skews a bit young than we usually see her portrayed. I don’t mind it; this seems to be a reboot of the franchise and she doesn’t look too young to seem out of place.
Articulation-wise, is seems that Hasbro combined the best part of their Marvel Legends line with G.I. Joe sensibilities, but with a few bad habits put in. Snake Eyes is as possible as any Marvel Legends figure. Double jointed elbows and knees, ab crunch and a good range of motion ensures you can do some dynamic poses. Scarlett is good as well, but falls short with only single joint elbows and torso swivel. The torso I am fine with; I remember the ugly torso cuts from Marvel Legendsè Toy Biz days. The elbows, however, well there is no reason it wouldn’t work. Double jointed elbows would improve the figure as much as the bicep swivel did on the classic 3 3/4″ G.I. Joes. Still, what we have works and works well.
The main sticking point that I have seen online about the figures is that the line strays into Sci-Fi territory. Things like Scarlett’s armour or Snake Eyes guns stray from the realism some want from their Joes. GI Joe has always had a fantastical element to it. It had Ninjas, mysticism and weird vehicles like the Terrordrome and the Trouble Bubble. The cartoon had things like the Weather Dominator, and the MASS Device, and everyone was shooting lasers. Sure, there was military equipment at the core but it was more than that. G.I Joe has change in the past to try to remain relevant. Maybe a small band of special operatives up against a terror organization who employ ninjas will attract a new generation of fans.
I hope this line does well and we get more waves. I want a Baroness, a Flint and a Storm Shadow at this scale to name a few. Besides, who wouldn’t want some Cobra Ninjas to surround their Wolverine figure with? The figures might have been updated but this is classic ARAH era Joes in a new scale. If you get a chance, check some of them out and after having them in hand, I am sure you will want more of theses figures.
G.I. Joe Classified figures are available to order online and should be hitting stores soon. They retail for $21.99 USD at online retailer Megalopolis and may be priced similar elsewhere.
This Review is for entertainment purposes only. I have not received anything from Hasbro, Megalopolis or anyone else for this review. The items were purchased by myself with my own money. All opinions are mine and any pictures were taken by me and are for review purposes only.