Top Shelf Collectibles' Men of Honor

Last modified: Friday, February 8, 2002 4:31 PM

You may have heard about or noticed this figure at a toy store. It's hard to miss since it's so friggin' BIG and ugly. As you can see, 1:3 scale is waaaaay bigger than 1:6 scale. It's also pretty expensive at TRU's current price of $80. Most Joeheads (and regular folks too) probably have decided not to buy this for those reasons. Because of this, I suspect that this will eventually hit the clearance bins at a far lower price. I would have preferred that it were cheaper now, but the sheer size of this thing is exactly what told me to get it now. With my luck, I'd probably miss out on the discount opportunities. Chances are, when this line of figures fails (just a hunch), we're not going to see other companies jump on this bandwagon. How often does an opportunity to get such great fodder for creating a fantasy world giant (or giantess) come along?

The figure set is actually nice, and even at $80 it's not horribly overpriced (by today's standards). For that money you get a huge plastic figure which has decent articulation, two well detailed metal/plastic pistols (they cock with the slide and the trigger releases the hammer; removable magazine x 4), a rifle (metal & plastic) with working bolt action and stripper clip (5 brass rounds), bayonet (soft plastic) and sheath, helmet (with molded rubber liner), shirt, pants, undershirt, boxer shorts, rubber shoes, leggings, utility belt (with kewl working brass buckle-- just like the real thing!), web belt with eyelets, holster, magazine pouches, dogtags (scale and full size) and a full size Bronze Star medal replica. The detail and quality of all this stuff is quite good; on par with the rising standard reflected in both Hasbro's and Formative's recent offerings (which is due to them striving to meet Dragon's level of detail). But it doesn't take full advantage of the scale and they do cut corners in a few areas; plastic snaps and velcro on the shirt, faux pockets on the trousers. Not a big deal though.

The figure itself isn't bad either. The box touts 37 points of articulation, but I'm not convinced that anyone has ever figured out how to count that kind of stuff. Its articulation is similar to that of a CC Joe, minus the ankle rotation and with a Barbie-like headspear neck. The hip/leg joints are more like balljoints though and permit a bit of rotation of the whole leg without the mid-thigh articulation of a Dragon figure. Sorry, no ganged-hinges on this guy. The hands are poseable too, in the way that Dragon did their "Gumby" hands (but they wired the thumb too). These aren't quite as attractively done, and the fingers look a little thin and too rubbery. Overall, the articulation seems to work well: It's tight and smooth, plus the figure can stand up!

The proportions and sculpting are hard to comment on... it's that overly heroic look which if painted red, might look like he had been skinned. That's not terribly different from the way most figures are, even though the exaggeration does look a bit ludicrous. Detail in the feet is soft and unrealistic-- maybe that makes the shoes go on easier? The head isn't poorly sculpted or cast; it's just got an unpleasant dumb expression on an unattractive face. His neck and head remind me a bit of 21C's Jacqueline figure-- the jaw is long, and the neck looks like it's jammed up into his brain in a hurtin' way. I suppose the Barbie-like head attachment would allow for headswaps, but I don't think that would work trans-scale. The figure is predominantly made of hard plastic (except the hands and head) and most parts (except the arms) are assembled with screws. That's a good thing from a repair perspective, but doesn't look great-- I counted 21 of 'em, but they're mainly on the backside.

One of the really weird things about unboxing this has been the way it seemed to evoke the nostalgic GI Joe wonder I felt when I was a kid. I haven't felt that way about any real GI Joes in a long time. I suppose it might be because the Joe thing is so complicated now, through adult eyes-- collecting, exclusives, spending, quality, detail, customizing, taking pictures, writing reviews... But maybe it's simply because I was smaller and Joe seemed so much bigger? Well, that feeling didn't last long now that it's been stripped, probed and analyzed!


These are some of the cool accessories. The small Joe-sized .45 is just for grins; it does pretty much the same stuff except the hammer isn't spring loaded and the trigger doesn't work. Unfortunately with this picture, you can't see the detailing on the grips.