Three (point five?) waves in,and Hasbro finally delivers some outstanding movie style GI Joe Retaliation figures.
The newest series of GI Joe action figures– dubbed “The Legendary Series”– features twelve amazing new figures, from a variety of sources. While the series is technically still under the Retaliation banner, only five figures are based on the Joe movie itself. Each of those figures, however, is a great addition to the collection.
Yes– four of the five movie style Joe figures in this assortment are previously released characters. Roadblock, Flint, Duke and Firefly all get a second go-around, labelled as the “Ultimate” versions of the characters. And each figure is good enough to warrant that title.
The new Roadblock is our second movie accurate figure, carrying over the same great vest as the previous figure, along with a new t-shirt underneath, showing off a great representation of Dwayne Johnson’s tattoo. The portrait is good, although the paint seems too heavy on the goatee, making him fall just short of a perfect likeness of the actor. I’m okay with that, especially since a figure this good can fit in any Joe collection, movie based or otherwise. Roadblock includes a variety of weapons, including a great all new machine gun.
Duke didn’t get much screen time in Retaliation, but he does get an excellent new figure. Sporting some new parts alongside some of the incredible Joe trooper as his base, this is the best movie style Duke ever released, featuring a nice desert camo paint job and a strong portrait of Channing Tatum. He’s a great looking figure in his own right, but what send Duke above and beyond is the insane amount of gear he comes packing– the figure includes 8 rifles, a pistol, 2 knives, a helmet, a bazooka, a drone and an alternate masked head. That’s a LOT of gear!! What make matters even better is the second head, which can turn Duke into a generic Joe soldier, making him a great army builder.
Ultimate Flint is another great upgrade, with a solid head sculpt and a much more movie accurate uniform. Flint includes a parachute and several weapons, but is lacking his iconic beret (which he didn’t wear in the movie, but still…). He’s a good figure, though, despite minor complaints like the unpainted cuffs on his pants, and the puffy collar that makes him look silly without his vest.
Firefly is the last movie character to get an “ultimate” update, and the new version does look much more like his on screen counterpart, ironically despite featuring nothing but old parts. The Cobra saboteur sports a dark green jacket from Rise of Cobra Storm Shadow and the three-pack Firefly legs, which assemble to offer a great, fully articulated Firefly. He comes packing a backpack, multiple guns and an awesome HISS attack drone which fires a missile. It’s an impressive value, but I do wish they had managed to include the Ray Stevenson unmasked head once again, to send him truly over the top.
Rounding out the set is the Cobra Combat Ninja, who, despite his silly name is actually a great movie style Cobra soldier. The figure is actually little more than a repainted Pursuit of Cobra Shock Trooper, but the blue urban camo makes him look unique and awesome. The trooper is once again loaded with gear, including rifles, guns, a sword, a missile launcher and a sweet Cobra flag in a pole. He also includes two heads– one masked with a removable helmet and once with a night vision goggle sculpted on. Both heads look great, and offer more variety to the ranks of soldier on the shelf.
It took a while for Hasbro to catch up and crank out some truly great Retaliation Joe toys. But when the final products are this good, I can honestly say they were worth the wait. I am hoping the latest wave of GI Joe figures becomes more readily available, because these figures are truly amazing, some of the best Joes ever released, and it would be a shame if every collector can’t enjoy and appreciate them.
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