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By Thomas Wheeler

For several years, the G.I. Joe Collectors' Club have issued a distinctive newsculpt 3-3/4" G.I. Joe figure (or 12" G.I. Joe for those who prefer that branch of the hobby) to all active members of the club at the time. This year, it's the NULLIFIER.

There have been previous Nullifiers. The first Nullifier was introduced in 1988, as part of Destro's Iron Grenadiers army. As the pilot of the AGP (Anti-Gravity Pod), the Nullifier was described as a super-strong individual with a partially armored uniform. They had to maintain their strength at all costs because it was required to survive the sorts of aerial maneuvers the AGP was capable of, which would've pulped a lesser man. This regimen tended to make them rather nasty sorts.

The original Nullifier wore an almost completely tan uniform, with a few highlights of reddish purple. Not the most dynamic look, but hey, he got the job done.

The next Nullifier came out a couple of years ago as part of the generally well-received Cobra Urban Strike Force six-pack from Toys "R" Us. This was more or less just making use of the name, since the figure was in reality a recolored Flak-Viper. For whatever reason, one has to assume that the Flak-Viper name wasn't available. It's still a cool figure. The Flak-Viper, introduced in 1992, had a good design to him, and the dark urban colors used in this particular set resulted in a very cool figure, even if the use of the Nullifier name was a little odd.

Now we have this new Nullifier. I'm honestly not sure what previous parts were used for this figure, but I will say that they work admirably to present a new incarnation of the Nullifier that, from a basic design standpoint, looks very much like a successor to the original. I can say with confidence that the original figure logically dates back to the "SpyTroops" series -- figures that came with additional snap-on uniform pieces to "disguise" them as being members of the other side. A Joe could be disguised as a Cobra, and vice-versa.

The original Nullifier came with a uniform that had some ridges on it, and a visor with downward diagonal ridges on it. Honestly, the resemblance between the center areas of the visor for both the original and Club Nullifiers is so close it's amazing, especially when you consider that there was no original intent to make them so similar.

But where the original Nullifier was a rather bland-looking individual, dressed in his mostly tan uniform, the new Nullifier has a much wider and more impressive color scheme, that's also far more in keeping with the established color scheme of the Iron Grenadiers. The uniform, sans armor, is mostly black, with a red chestplate, belt, and leg padding. The boots are light grey, and the belt buckle and armor plating on the lower arms is gold. There's a bit of red on the head, as well.

The armor pieces, which include a helmet and a large chestpiece which also includes shoulder pieces, are molded in a metallic gold, and have red trim.

A very nice touch here -- both the basic uniform of the figure AND the snap-on chestpiece have the Iron Grenadiers' "Destro" logo on them.

And let me say this -- the paintwork on the figure is just about perfect. I see absolutely no sign whatsoever of any inevitably sloppy hand-painted details. None. NONE! Hasbro, take a lesson from this. And that goes for the figure and the detail on the armor. The only paint fallacy at all is that the leg padding goes all the way around the leg, but the red detailing on it only covers the front half of the leg. But, at least the cutoff point is neatly done. I can live with it.

There's been a bit of a debate on some discussion boards as to whether the Nullifier looks better with or without his armor pieces. And honestly, I can't decide. Really, the figure looks pretty darned cool either way.

The figure isn't quite compatible with traditional-style 3-3/4" figures, from a height standpoint. This was one of my other major beefs with the newsculpts. They tended to come in closer to 4", making them ALL taller, and the Nullifier is no exception to this. On the other hand, these are supposed to be big guys that have to work out a lot, and he's got some pretty big boots on him, so visually and conceptually, he squeaks by a little better than some others on this comparison.

The Nullifier comes with a transparent display base, several weapons, and a membership card that also acts as a file card for the figure. It reads as follows:



Nullifiers are the elite pilots of Destro's personal army. They require a six-hour weight workout every day simply to maintain their massive physique and high levels of endurance. Each throttle jockey is fed solely on a diet of high-protien gruel that looks like grey mush and tastes like wet cardboard. Their strict regimen is necessary in order for them to command the variety of vehicles in the Iron Grenadier Air Force - especially the A.G.P. (Anti-Gravity Pod). This also explains why they always have the temperament of a rabid pit bull.

"Prepare to be nullified!"

One additional note here, that certainly needs to be mentioned. Although a newsculpt figure, the Nullifier has clearly been designed, and colored, to fit in very nicely with the 2005 G.I.Joe Convention Set, which of course presented a new incarnation of the Iron Grenadiers. And work very well within that group he does, and let's not forget that one of the vehicles offered in 2005 was a new version of the Anti-Gravity Pod. It now has a pilot with the same name as the original.

The new NULLIFIER may be a newsculpt, but it's also a pretty darned cool figure, too, and if you're not already a member of the G.I. JOE COLLECTORS' CLUB, you should join, and not just for the Nullifier. You still order this figure from the club, even though you have missed the cutoff date to get this as a free figure. However, I understand that by joining during the year, you will get the next Club figure free when the date of record rolls around in the Spring. This Club puts on amazing Conventions, and does a world of good for the hobby on the whole.