G.I. Joe fans are rejoicing that it's now 2013, and with the G.I. Joe: Retaliation film hitting theaters in just 36 short days, new toys are finally hitting shelves! Over on GeneralsJoes I've been reviewing figures on a consistent basis, and wanted to give a recap of G.I. Joe: Retaliation Wave 2.
While Wave 1 hit in pretty respectable numbers throughout 2012, we had to wait until this year to get our hands on the second wave of figures. This wait was excruciating for many fans out there, since the real movie accurate figures weren't released in Wave 1. But here we are, approaching March, and the second wave is relatively plentiful. Here's a recap of my thoughts on these recently released figures.
5. Storm Shadow
Using existing tooling, and not necessarily using it very well. I understand the homage to the '88 version of the character, but the odd camouflage pattern doesn't work especially well, and the Rise of Cobra era tooling restricts leg movements way too much.
Even though he's got the cool Night Fox webgear, the figure suffers from a lack of consistent design decisions, no movie accuracy, and restricted articulation.
Yes, even with the upcoming "Ultimate" Flint hitting in Wave 3 in May, I purchased this version for review purposes. While not a bad figure necessarily, the rehashed Duke parts from Wave 1 do it a disservice. Restricted articulation in the wrist, knees, and ankles are a drawback these days where articulation had increased in previous years to record levels.
I like the new head sculpt and removable beret, and the great webgear does a decent job of hiding the weird body armor. Even though the paint applications are pretty light, the intricate camouflage is good, and I like the contrast of white underneath the arms. Not a bad figure, but next to the upcoming Ultimate version, it already looks dated.
Another figure with a great potential design that could be somewhat undercut by articulation decisions. Single joint knees, no wrist joints, and no ankle joints all detract somewhat from the figure, but I'm happy to say not enough to drastically impact my opinion of it. The movie accurate head sculpt is terrific, and even with the bright colors, I like the overall design of the figure.
I do wish the play features of the light-up arms worked better, and I think the colors could have been toned down a little to a more muted green, but the figure is still a very good one, and quite movie accurate. The paint deco on the back of the jacket is terrific. If the play feature had worked, I would have loved the battle luge as well, but as it stands, it takes up valuable accessory space and doesn't add much worth to the figure altogether.
2. "Battle Kata" Roadblock
Now we're talking! This is a fantastic, movie-accurate Roadblock with some fantastic sculpting, near perfect articulation, and a great paint scheme. The dark black and green colors throughout are very military oriented, and the camouflage pattern on his pants looks terrific as well. Intricate details throughout the vest not only serve the purpose of holding his accessories, but manage to look great as well.
Speaking of accessories, this version of Roadblock comes with an amazingly accurate and functional version of his battle kata weaponry. The pistol grips interface nicely with the weapon system, the knives, and the batons, creating any number of different weapon combinations you might want to see. The holsters hold all gear perfectly, and even coming with so many small parts, there are places for all of it. This little weapons kit is a marvel of engineering at such a small scale.
If I have any complaints with this figure, it is the fact that his holsters are so oversized. That detracts from the figure considerably, and is one of the big benefits of the upcoming "Ultimate" update (also coming in Wave 3 in May).
1. "Ninja Duel" Snake Eyes
Somehow Hasbro manages to continue giving us Snake Eyes figures that we feel like we need to have. While I loved the Snake Eyes from Wave 1 of the G.I. Joe: Retaliation line, this updated version is completely movie accurate, extremely poseable and has a nearly perfect design aesthetic update. It manages to look like a great evolution from the more standard toy universe Snake Eyes with the great hallmarks of the ninja commando, but also with some updated move styling that looks great in motion.
A healthy amount of black paint is required, as one might suspect, but the right interjection of brown helps the figure look more realistic and vibrant. The accessories are terrific as well, with multi-colored swords and a movie accurate backpack to go along with a great submachine gun, pistol, and a pair of knives. By far the highlight of Wave 2 of the G.I. Joe: Retaliation line.
It seems like just yesterday that news of the G.I. Joe: Retaliation film delay hit the fandom, and it's hard to believe that new figures are already hitting retailers across the country. I'm glad to see some product hitting in advance of the film, and hopefully a synergy will exist between the two that helps sales of the toys and promotes the film to a new generation of potential G.I. Joe fans going forward. The new figures offered in Wave 2 are very nice, and even with some drawbacks with re-used tooling, there is a lot of potential great product to hit shelves in 2013.
To see the full reviews for these figures, check out the GeneralsJoes Retaliation Review page.