Toy Review: Combat Heroes Singles – G.I. Joe Forces

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Between the second wave of G.I. Joe Combat Heroes and the beginning of the Rise of Cobra toys, Hasbro released an odd assortment of 8 figures as single packs. These figures were from the cartoon-themed classic line but painted to match the style of the then upcoming movie. Four G.I. Joes and 4 Cobras were released and I’ve broken the reviews into two, one for each side.

Duke is wearing a toy-soldier-army-green outfit which seems to make more sense than his traditional tan shirt with green pants. But since the figure is a repaint, he still suffers from some of the shortfalls. His pose rather limited since both arms are in odd positions. Duke doesn’t look like he’s ready for battle – he looks like he’s already won it with his fist pumping in victory. Other than the non-combative stance, Duke’s sculpt is well done with a fine looking assault rifle and little touches on his body like the grenade, knife, and pistol.

The paint on this figure is an odd though. With all of the figure except the head cast in army man green, it leaves a slight discoloration between his hands and face. The paint applications from the neck down look good, they’re clean and crisp with no visible slopping. But the head is painted with really glossy paint on his hair and skin which looks weird. Combined with his really high reaching eyebrows and the fact that his eyes use the cartoon style decals while every other figure released uses movie style, makes him look like the odd one out.

Snake Eyes is a staple character in all G.I. Joe toy lines, so this is no different. After all, he’s a ninja with a gun which is just badass. But this figure has been seen twice already, first as the SDCC exclusive and again in the first wave. This figure is so close to being my favorite version released but there are two major issues with him. First is the backpack problem that also plagued the second release. It effectively eliminates his waist articulation, leaving him only with both arms and right hand movement.

Second are the paint color choices for his weapons. His sword, machine gun and grenades are all navy blue. It makes the figure look really toy-y. Had the weapons been colored gray or silver, it would be fine but navy blue just looks super weird. It’s really a shame, because the silver details on Snake Eye’s visor and gear look great.

Scarlett has the most drastic paint job of any of the figures and looks the most like her actual movie costume. Instead of being lilac and tan, she’s sporting a black with dark gray highlights jumpsuit. She’s also one of, if not the, best looking female sculpts in any of the Hasbro Heroes lines. The only problem with her is the balance issue from her crossbow. It’s oversized and can make displaying tough since it can weigh her down.

Her face looks great with clean applications, though her lips seem a little too red. Scarlett doesn’t strike me as the kind of girl who really dresses up before a mission. The rest of the figure is just fantastic though, in terms of variants, she’s the best one on the Joe’s team because she looks so different.

Last is General Clayton “Hawk” Abernathy. He’s a repaint of Flint, but technically a new character. He’s almost movie accurate but just feels weird. Of the four G.I. Joes in this set, he’s the least dynamic in terms of sculpt and pose. His articulation is the standard of waist, neck and both arms, while his pose seems to be the most basic. It’s a decent sculpt, if a tad boring, but the biggest problems come from his paint.

The figure is cast in black plastic, making any flaws in coverage that much more noticeable. His powder blue pants would have really benefitted from camouflage paint; instead he’s a military guy… wearing powder blue pants. Plus the gun and holster are also painted the same color. His bare arms suffer from the normal problem of skin tones painted over black, the black shows through. But the biggest issues are his suspenders, gloves and gun. They’re all metallic blue.

Maybe Hawk really likes blue, I don’t know. But he looks like the least threatening G.I. Joe. Good work, Gung-Ho you got a promotion. With his gun and gloves the exact same color, it is really odd. Finally there’s the face, which uses movie style eyes. His face looks good, but the G.I. Joe decal on his hat is sloppy and is inverse from the ones Scarlett and Duke have.

These figures retail for around $4 a pop at fringe stores like Family Dollar and Big Lots. You’re not going to find them at the big box stores. At that price, none of them are really worth it – considering that Target is currently selling Combat Heroes for $5 a pair. If you can find them cheaper, Scarlett looks great while Hawk is the only new character (even if he is a mess). None of these are essentials and they feel weird since they don’t really match the cartoon figures or the movie ones.

Written by jestergoblin

December 16th, 2009 at 7:53 am

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