Sort of? Yes -- sort of.
Head back with me to 1996. The Real American Hero line was gone. It had been replaced, mercifully briefly, by a line called Sgt. Savage. This short-lived line of incompatible 4-1/2" figures produced a handful of interesting vehicles that could work with 3-3/4" Joes (and were probably intended for them in the first place), but not much else except clearance-aisle bait.
On the other hand, Sgt. Savage was a masterpiece compared to what came next. 1996 presented us with the Kenner-developed G.I. Joe Extreme, a line of 6" scale figures -- sort of -- that were a bunch of pre-posed, poorly-articulated steroid cases. This line was also mercifully short- lived. There was, however, a halfway-decent animated series that was salvageable only by virtue of having a number of the people that had worked on the original animated series working on it. They even re-did most of the public service announcements.
The lead character in this toy travesty was named Lt. Stone. He was your basic rough-tough-and-gruff soldier, essentially the equivalent of Duke. One thing about G.I. Joe Extreme was that you could liken most of the characters, at least the good guys, to 3-3/4" characters pretty easily. The weirdo villains, for the most part, were another matter.
The name Lt. Stone hasn't turned up since. It's never appeared in the 3-3/4" line whatsoever. But it has now been introduced into Sigma Six. However, it's more than fair to say that there are virtually no similarities between the Sigma Six Lt. Stone, and the G.I. Joe Extreme Lt. Stone. Just the name.
In the animated series, Lt. Stone has been portrayed as a fairly distinguished fellow with a British accent and no doubt British origins. Given his expertise at disguise and infiltration, it looks like characterwise, they were going for James Bond in a Sigma Suit instead of a tux. He'd probably ask for a martini, "shaken, not stirred", if drinking was permitted in a kids' cartoon (and I'm just as glad it's not).
Lt. Stone joined the team at the same time as Firefly, but has remained loyal to the Joes, even though Firefly turned out to be a Cobra agent. Duke knows him from somewhere in their respective pasts, although that hasn't been fully detailed yet in the animated series.
The figure is extremely interesting -- once you get him out of the package. I can understand the need to secure these figures well, but they're not going to break out on their own, okay? Put away your copies of "Small Soldiers" for the time being, all right? Good movie, lousy reference for packaging needs. I'm getting very tired of having to try to reach around and snip that one wire twist-tie from behind the figure's neck without decapitating him in the process.
Although Lt. Stone seems to be of average size in the animated series, the figure is a bit on the skinny side. His lower torso is almost as narrow as Hi-Tech. I can almost see the logic of it in Stone's case, though. It makes his disguises look a little more plausible and not so bulky when he's wearing them.
One of Lt. Stone's most notable features is his cybernetic left arm. A slightly peculiar-looking contrivance, it's proportioned about the same as his "natural" arm, but it's distinctly robotic, mostly steel grey and transparent green, and interesting offset to the dark red detailing of his Sigma Suit. In the animated series, Lt. Stone actually kept this robotic arm concealed from the Joes, up to the point of Firefly's betrayal, when he and Scarlett were shackled in a prison, hung by their arms, and Lt. Stone used the enhanced strength of his bionic arm to break free. One thing about this arm, though -- since the Sigma Suit does not extend down Stone's left arm, he doesn't have the little flip- top comm unit that all previous Sigma Six team members have built into their Sigma Suits near the left wrist. While it's conceivable "within concept" that Stone has somehow duplicated this device within the circuitry of his bionic arm and we just can't see it, it still makes the figure the first one ever not to have this feature, and I sort of miss it. Honestly hope it doesn't happen again.
Lt. Stone also has an eyepatch over his left eye. This, and the robotic arm, led to some early speculation that Lt. Stone might be a second traitor in the Joe Team's midst, and might actually be Major Bludd, who also has an eyepatch, and the original Major Bludd figure, at least, did appear to have an armored arm. However, this doesn't seem to be the case, and Lt. Stone's left arm is the robotic one. Major Bludd's right arm is the one that seems unusual in some respect. It may not be impossible, but I'd be inclined to call it extremely unlikely as of this writing.
Lt. Stone is listed as a Master of Disguise, and in the animated series, he uses technological means to achieve this capability. His eyepatch actually conceals a cybernetic eye that can scan another person, and then, presumably through the Sigma Suit, holographically project the image of that person onto Lt. Stone. His first demonstration of this capability was to imitate a Cobra Trooper.
Which happens to be one of the disguises Lt. Stone comes packaged with. Never mind the fact that there is no Cobra Trooper figure in the Sigma Six figure line -- at least not yet. Obviously the Lt. Stone figure doesn't simply scan his opponents and then holographically adopt their disguise. The technology isn't there to do that, and his eyepatch doesn't even flip up. The Cobra Trooper costume consists of arm and shoulder gauntlets, a chestplate, and a helmet with lowered goggles. Frankly, it probably wouldn't fool much of anybody, but nobody ever said that Cobra soldiers were geniuses, anyway. Of note is the fact that the Cobra emblems on these costume pieces aren't quite Cobra. They've got the basic shape, and they're painted red, but they're not quite there. Now I know that Hasbro can make more precise, sculpted Cobra emblems than this. I tend to think that they deliberately "simplified" them for reasons along the lines of, "Well, we don't want little kids thinking that a Joe is also a Cobra."
Lt. Stone's other disguise is Zartan. This consists of a single piece that's a hood and a facemask. Lt. Stone's basic uniform color scheme is fairly similar to Zartan's. Interestingly, the hood is a sort of transparent purple. Trying to make this look like a holographic disguise, perhaps?
Disguises are not Lt. Stone's only hardware, however. He comes with two matching and fairly elegant and classic-looking pistols, a smaller handgun, a pair of massive handcuffs, a small knife, and a large double- barreled something or other that fires two missiles (spring-loaded) simultaneously that have a fabric net between them. Nothing I'd want to be on the wrong end of. Most of this equipment can be carried by Lt. Stone at any given time given the numerous holsters the figure is toting around.
Two additional notes about the figure -- the beret is removable (it has to be for the disguises to work), but also snaps in place very effectively, and the top of the boots are a rotational articulation point, something not all Sigma Six figures have. Nice touch.
Lt. Stone's paintwork is very nicely and neatly done. I see nothing here to complain about, although I do think it's a little strange that the beret was molded in flesh-colored plastic and then painted burgundy -- just on the outside. Frankly, it's a little creepy. They were out of burgundy plastic for this or something?
Lt. Stone's file card reads as follows:
SIGMA 6 MASTER OF DISGUISE
Code Name: LT. STONE
Personal History: Lt. Stone was an elite member of a well-known British intelligence agency. He prefers to be called a spy rather than a covert ops agent, because "spy" accurately describes the daring, devious and dangerous nature of his work. He is highly skilled in tracking codes, reading ancient languages and solving mysteries. His fascination with secrets has led him to collect many gadgets with hidden weapons and devices. He is an expert at disguise and often infiltrates Cobra dressed as one of its members. An experienced pilot, Lt. Stone flies the Dragonhawk heavy armor dropship for the Sigma 6 Team. His left arm, injured during a battle with Cobra, has been replaced with a bionic arm made of ultra-hard dimantium metal.
Nice plug there for the Dragonhawk, which is the largest (and most
And speaking of "gadgets with hidden weapons and devices," there's a new feature on the character file cards, a little area to the left of the character picture, that appears to be a pink bar code. A close look reveals there's light blue lettering under it. A red lens would expose the lettering, and Lt. Stone's largest weapon does have a small red plastic lens that pops out of the back. You don't absolutely have to have the lens to read the lettering, though, which is doubtless fortunate for those that want to buy Zartan, the new Cobra Commander, or some of the other new figures, and not necessarily have to get Lt. Stone just for the sake of reading the text. It can still be read with minimal eyestrain, and in Zartan's case, it reads, "Firefly is a Cobra spy." No, REALLY!?
Anyway, Lt. Stone is an immensely cool addition to the G.I. Joe Sigma
Six Team. The robot arm is an impressive design, the figure is well-
designed, good headsculpt and all. Well detailed, well painted, well
articulated, and a ton of interesting accessories. LT. STONE definitely
has my highest recommendation!