Figure Zone: The Best Of G.I. Joe in 2006!
As the year has now passed, it’s time to look back and examine the state of the first action figure, G.I. Joe. Most of us are here because of America’s movable fighting man, and 42 years after his introduction, the G.I. Joe name is still thrilling kids and adults alike. This year saw the rapid expansion of the Sigma Six line, but collectors of the 12” and 3 3/4” Joes were not left out in the cold. We’ll review the best of all the current incarnations of G.I. Joe from 2006.
Six - Eight Inch Figures
Sigma Six - Eight Inch Figures
This is the dominant size for G.I. Joe these days, and here’s my pick for the year’s best three sets:
G.I. Joe Sigma
Six Special Edition: Sigma Strike Duke with P.O.W.E.R. Armor
G.I. Joe Sigma
Six Deluxe Hi-Tech with H.O.U.N.D. Sentry
Six Mission Scale Assortment (2.5 Inch Figures)
Sigma Six Mission Scale Assortment (2.5 Inch Figures)
As above, we’re just going to look at my three favorite sets in this
line. It’s hard to narrow down, because there are so many sets, and
nary a stinker in the lot.
G.I. Joe Sigma
Six Mission Scale Dragonhawk Jet
G.I. Joe Sigma Six Mission Scale Mission Manual: Shark Bite
G.I. Joe Sigma Six Mission Scale Night Ops V.A.M.P. Multi-Purpose
The Adventure Team
It was a good year for The Adventure Team, as the fuzz-head brigade finally got their own Convention set from the G.I. Joe Collector’s Convention. Fight For Survival: Polar Bear Attack is a dream set for G.I. Joe collectors who grew up in the 1970s. This set featured the classic flocked G.I. Joe Land Adventurer head on the new super-articulated body, giving fans the best of both worlds. Of course, the figure wasn’t the sole attraction. The set also featured a dog sled team, tons of nifty adventuring accessories, and a very large and mean-looking polar bear. There was no “pygmy” menace for Joe with this set! This is the coolest AT Joe set produced in over thirty years. Even the box art (and the box is huge!) is fantastic. You can still order this set elsewhere here at gijoeclub.com/shop. It’s well worth the price. Painted hair aficionados can order this set, and for an additional charge, get a way-cool painted hair G.I. Joe, with the vintage head on the new body.
That wasn’t all that awaited AT fans. Near the end of the year, Hot Topic, the neat novelty clothing and lifestyle store, brought the Kung Fu Grip G.I. Joe back to retail with an exclusive Land Adventurer. Sure, it was basically the same as the 2004 Meijer’s exclusive, with improved hair, but it sold like hotcakes. Hot Topic offered it for pre-sale on their website, and sold out their web allotment long before the figure arrived. It’s considered a safe bet that Hot Topic will offer further G.I. Joe Kung Fu Grip items in the future. They have been very pleased with the reception that this figure has gotten.
I keep hearing that 2007 will be “the year of Kung Fu Grip.” As an Adventure Team fan, I can’t wait to see what that means.
The Real American Hero
Here’s my review of the latest 3 3/4” G.I. Joe set.
G.I. Joe Plague Troopers vs. Steel Brigade six figure set
This six figure set of Real American Hero G.I. Joes features three members of the Steel Brigade facing off against three of Cobra’s Plague Troopers.
From the Steel Brigade, we get Red Zone, an urban assault specialist; Rook, an interrogator; and Check Point, a security specialist. These Joes, all Grade: E-4, each come complete with a file card and a variety of weaponry and gear.
The Plague Troopers are Guillotine, the commander; and Gallows and Grimskull, who are Plague Troopers. They also each have their own file card and a variety of weaponry and gear.
This is a pretty nifty set for the RAH guys. Hasbro was very generous with the accessories and the paint OPS are a vast improvement over many recent action figures. The figures all have neat, well executed detail, down to their eyes and eyebrows and belt buckles all being painted correctly. The accessories are impressive. Guillotine has a removable helmet with paint detail and a cool looking sword with a skull and spine handle. Rook and Check Point have matching blue painted-on t-shirts with green flak jackets and removable helmets. Red Zone has a removable helmet and a big honkin’ revolver.
With the high quality sculpts and paint schemes and generous accessories, the Plague Troopers vs. Steel Brigade set is a must have for any Real American Hero collector.
Well, that’s the year in G.I. Joe. It’s been a good one, despite the doom saying in 2005, when the 12” and 3 3/4” lines departed the mass-market landscape. Sigma Six is holding down the fort, and the future looks bright for collectors of all incarnations of G.I. Joe.
Well, except for Super Joe and G.I. Joe:Extreme, but the less said
about those, the better.