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By Thomas Wheeler

Hasbro has already offered one British Royal Marine Commando G.I.Joe figure, but that one represented this distinguished segment of the British Armed Forces as they were in World War II. The new release, part of the S.O.F. - Strategic Operations Forces collection of G.I.Joe figures, which also includes "Mountain Search", "Tactical Advisor", "Forward Air Control", and "MSPF Marine", is the modern day version of these troopers.

The figure was distinctive enough for me to decide to add him to my rather selective collection of 12" G.I.Joes. The Royal Marine Commando's uniform has a decidedly different desert camouflage pattern than what we're used to seeing on American uniforms, and he came with a nice supply of accessories and a fairly different head sculpt -- although when I made a comparison, it turns out it's the same head sculpt as the World War II Russian Infantry figure from a couple of years ago, another of my personal favorites. Interesting choice on Hasbro's part.

The figure uses the "Super-Articulated" body mold, which I'm not that fond of because of a tendency towards loose torsos, but the figure is wearing a plastic molded "NATO PASGT ballistic vest that provides some additional support. Honestly, in and of itself, the plastic vest looks a little silly, and I don't know why it couldn't've been made out of stiff fabric. I suspect there was a budgetary concern here on the production of the figure.

The figure doesn't lack for detail, though. He has some interesting aspects to his uniform, including a small scarf to protect his face from desert sand, and highly detailed boots in which even the laces and soles are painted.

The profile for the Royal Marine Commando reads as follows:

Britian's Royal marines have a distinguished history that includes participation in the D-Day landings during World War II and the war in the Falklands. This elite brigade is the United Kingdom's "go anywhere" amphibious, rapid reaction force. They are trained for combat in different environments and specialize in mountain and arctic warfare. To become Royal Marines, soldiers just successfully complete a rigorous commando course, after which they are entitled to wear the green beret of the Royal Marines. Their expertise in cold, mountainous conditions was important during their participation in the war in Afghanistan. The region's high altitudes, freezing nights and rugged landscapes were the conditions for which these soldiers were trained. The commandos were deployed to Afghanistan to work beside U.S. and other coalition forces.

One of the weapons used by the commandos is the GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun), which lays down effectve suppressive fire in both mobile situations and prolonged, stationary battles. They also use the M72 LAW (Light Anti-Tank Weapon), a portable, shoulder-fired rocket launcher that is deployed once, then discarded. It is used as an anti-armot weapon and against bunker and cave fortifications.

The Royal Marines are ready at a moment's notice to controbute their skills and experitse in combat operations around the globe.

The figure comes with no shortage of accessories, including the aforementioned machine gun and the rocket launcher. However, unlike the real thing, I don't think the rocket launcher here is meant to be discarded after one use, kids. You should keep it around. The figure also comes with a couple of smoke grenades, night scope, protective goggles, and a beret. This G.I.Joe retails for about $19.99 in most places.

Non-American figures don't turn up in the G.I.Joe 12" Collection much these days, and when they do, they tend to be rather distinctive in appearance simply by virtue of the fact that their origins are not based in this country. As such, they tend to make very interesting additions to a collection that could otherwise start to have a certain look of sameness to it. I definitely recommend the G.I.JOE ROYAL MARINE COMMANDO!