We’re already in month two of the GI Joe Club’s second Figure Subscription Service. Hot on the heels of the Tiger Force squad that kicked this series off, we get two later-era Joe characters, released in the modern collection for the first time ever. Wide Scope is the Joe team’s SWAT K-9 handler, who was initially released in the Spy Troops line in the early 2000’s. Skull Buster, the Cobra Range Viper commander, initially saw release a few years prior, as a GI Joe vs. Cobra two-pack with Heavy Duty.
Now, both characters have made their way to the Modern Era, and they’re welcome additions. Wide Scope makes good use of the Cobra Shock Trooper body, with the tactical vest– complete with removable walkie talkie– working perfectly for his SWAT uniform. He gets a masked face and a removable SWAT hat, two rifles and his dog, Lamont. Wide Scope’s four legged partner is an all new sculpt, and he looks great, with a sculpted harness and removable leash which the figure can hold very well.
The paint on both Wide Scope and Lamont are very good, with an appropriate amount of details given to the black dog, and a solid grey camo pattern on he Joe’s pants. Wide Scope is so good, in fact, it reminds me of how badly we need an update on Shockwave, because compared to this new figure, the 25th Anniversary figure definitely shows his years.
Skull Buster is a cool concept, and a great opportunity to dust off the fantastic Range Viper mold. His new colors– a purple and grey uniform and a white skull-like faceplate on his helmet– make him stand out from his troopers, while maintaining enough continuity. Like the Range Viper, Skull Buster features a removable helmet, a machine gun with ammo belt, and a rocket launcher.
The Range Viper leader also includes a spear, repacked from Shadow Tracker, which plays into his file card quite nicely– he steals native weapons to add to his arsenal while on assignment. Skull Buster is given new arms, which are a tad too long for his body when he’s standing neutral, but the extra length allows for lots more range when he’s holding his wide variety of weapons.
Neither of this month’s Joe Club releases are A-listers, and neither are exactly essential to the overall modern Joe collection, but they are both cool figures to have all the same. I’m happy to see the Club continue to mine all obscure corners of the Joe universe with this sub series, and as a die hard Joe fan, I’m glad to fill out my armies with as many of these cool, lesser known characters as possible.