- WORLD WAR I
Alas, it appears that the Foreign Soldiers Collection from G.I.Joe has come to an end. Which is too bad because there was some really cool stuff in it. The World War II German and Russian figures are among my personal favorites in my entire G.I.Joe 12" Collection.
But one figure didn't quite make it to market. Originally it was going to be sold in the same shipping assortment as the Israeli Defense Force Soldier. However, when that figure was temporarily pulled from the shelves because (among other reasons) its background profile hit a little too close to the truth for some people, when the box was revised, the mention of this other figure was dropped.
That figure is the WWI German Infantry Senior Corporal 1st Westphalian Regiment, and even though the figure was not officially released, because of the way it was ultimately dropped (and the amount of time involved, I suspect), some were made.
And thanks to the G.I.JOE COLLECTORS' CLUB, those few became available through the Club. And so it seems fitting to review it on the Web Site.
I'll readily admit that World War I is not my historical specialty. Which is a bit of a facetious statement as I don't have a historical specialty, but I am somewhat more knowledgable about World War II. You can thank The History Channel and a lot more archived footage for that. However, photos from World War I exist, and so there's no real shortage of information available to use as reference.
Overall, the figure is excellent. It has a new head sculpt, interestingly one with very close-cropped hair, not unlike the near shave-headed carded Joes of recent years. The figure is dressed in a primarily grey uniform. If you didn't know better, you'd almosy think you were looking at a Confederate soldier from the Civil War -- except generally they weren't dressed quite this fancily. There's a considerable amount of gold and red trim on this uniform. I am reminded of a line that the French officer in the movie "The Patriot" used just before the final battle. "If I am to die today, I will die well-dressed." Looks like the World War I German Infantry took that notion to heart.
Then there's the helmet. Honestly, it's pretty danged silly-looking. It looks like somebody took some ancient highly ornate pottery, turned it over, and stuck a spike in the top. But, you can't argue its authenticity. This is what German soldiers wore in World War I. Maybe they were trying to give the enemy a severe case of the giggles, I don't know. I think if I were an American soldier, I'd have a little trouble keeping a straight face seeing a battle line of these guys wearing helmets that looked like they should have decorators' labels hanging off of them.
The one fallacy of the figure is that the helmet doesn't fit all that well. Of course, maybe they didn't fit all that well in World War I, either. It can be put into place with a little effort, but it's a pretty tight fit.
The figure comes with a good supply of accessories, including a rifle, a sword, and plenty of well-made accessories to be attached to his belt.
I wish I could, as is my practice when I review 12" Joes, present a soldier profile, but unfortunately, since the packages for these figures were never completed, I don't have one. The figures comes in a secure bag, but there's no background information.
However, overall, this is truly a superb-looking figure that is a very worthy and interesting addition to the 12" G.I.Joe Foreign Soldiers Collection. And he's also likely the LAST addition to that line. There were only 3,500 of these polybagged figures so I recommend that you join the club today and order one ASAP! I certainly recommend the WWI German Infantry Senior Corporal 1st Westphalian Regiment G.I.Joe. You won't be disappointed with him!