A guest editorial by Monte Williams
The man whom Poe Ghostal once suggested might be the world’s biggest Sigma 6 fan recently made a bold statement: Pursuit of Cobra is a better G.I. Joe series than Sigma 6.
But this in no way means that I’ve lost my love of Sigma 6. And so it was that I asked Justin if I might takeover Generals Joes for a moment—only fitting, since Justin has always been arguably even more enthusiastic about Sigma 6 than I am—to plea for one last shot at glory for the second-greatest toyline of all time.
Ten Sigma 6 Figures That Should be Resurrected in the PoC Scale and Style
Before we begin, I would like to give an Honorable Mention nod to the three most haunting action figures in my personal toy-collecting history:
- Sigma 6 Short-Fuze (unproduced).
- Adventure Team Joe Colton (unproduced).
- Sigma 6 Zanzibar (unproduced).
Anyone who has seen photos of these three figures—and their unproduced plastic peers Scarlett, Wrecking Ball, Wetsuit, and others—can attest to how awesome they are… or would have been, had they seen release. Short-Fuze in particular might be the greatest Sigma-style figure Hasbro ever produced… or opted not to produce, as it turns out.
And a separate Honorable Mention for Zartan, who captured the spirit of the original Real American Hero Zartan figure better than any Anniversary figure.
The rest of this list will be rattled off after the jump…
10. Adventure Team Recondo
The Sigma 6 Adventure Team version of Recondo is a redhead, so Outback might be a more suitable name for his Pursuit of Cobra-scale revamp.
Whatever you want to call him, Adventure Team Recondo maintains that unique Sigma 6 balance between Badass and Fun in a way that few figures managed to do. I’ve enjoyed photographing the 25th Anniversary Attack On Cobra Island Recondo, and I am eager to procure my own Pursuit of Cobra Recondo despite his terrible neckpeg issues… but Sigma 6 Adventure Team Recondo has a two-fisted pulp appeal that no Recondo before or since has quite managed to reproduce.
He deserves to live again in reinterpreted form in the Pursuit of Cobra scale.
09. Adventure Team Snake Eyes
What I said about Recondo being badass and fun applies to Adventure Team Snake Eyes as well, and while the last thing Joe nerds are clamoring for is Snake Eyes # 5,839, part of the appeal of his Sigma 6 Adventure Team version is that, with his gray and green battle suit and his necklace made of bones, he doesn’t necessarily resemble Snake Eyes. Instead, he looks like the kind of old-school pulp hero who collects relics from dangerous jungle ruins and shoots bad folks and inadvertently embarrasses readers and viewers decades later with his xenophobic imperialistic smugness and audacity.
We need more toys like that.
08. Gung Ho
For all the leaves on his helmet, Sigma 6 Gung Ho’s paint-apps lent him a desert-ops appearance, and as I said in my recent list at Poe Ghostal’s Points of Articulation, the Pursuit of Cobra Dusty body + the Rise of Cobra Footloose head = a pretty damn passable Sigma 6 Gung Ho.
That said, if Hasbro wants to instead dedicate all new tooling to reimagine, in its Pursuit of Cobra aesthetic, what is still the all-time greatest Gung Ho action figure, then I certainly won’t complain.
07. Firefly (Cobra)
Hasbro produced more cool Firefly figures in its 25th Anniversary series than any one collector needs, and the new Pursuit of Cobra version is friggin’ incredible, as well.
Still, like Zartan, the Sigma 6 Cobra Firefly still has some ambiguous quality that makes him cooler than all the small-scale versions put together. The contrast between his black and silver bits pops nicely, and his white mask is creepy as all hell.
A number of especially nostalgic G.I. Joe fans threw hissy fits because the initial 25th Anniversary Flint lacked the gloves of his vintage counterpart, so they’d presumably crap their pants in rage if Hasbro faithfully reproduced Sigma 6 Flint in the PoC scale and dared to call him Flint.
So call him something else, if need be—he was meant to be called Agent Panther or some such during the preproduction process anyway, so while that name is a bit goofy, it at least helps sidestep the nerd rage. ‘Cause Sigma 6 Flint has long bangs, and I’d hate to be responsible for any raped childhoods.
I’ve got a buddy named Jason who doesn’t care about toys in the least. Nonetheless, he was kind enough to check out my toy photos whenever I’d post them on my old, now-deleted blog, and I’ll never forget his response to my first photos of Hi-Tech (and Lt. Stone, who shared Hi-Tech’s body sculpt): “Dude needs a sandwich.”
His criticism was not without merit—Hi-Tech was freaky-thin.
…and I’d like for Hasbro to maintain the figure’s near-skeletal slimness in its Pursuit of Cobra remake, to the extent to which that’s possible. I’d also want them to retain Hi-Tech’s cool black-and-dark-green color scheme and include among his many accessories a faithful recreation of Hi-Tech’s H.O.U.N.D. robot.
04. Firefly (Joe)
I don’t care one way or another about the Firefly-was-a-Joe-who-turned-traitor storyline, for the simple reason that, Sigma 6 mark that I am, I always hated the Sigma 6 cartoon.
But whatever your opinion of the back story, the G.I. Joe version of Sigma 6 Firefly was a goddamn lovely toy. His orange and black sigma suit was awesome, but I’m willing to compromise on its reuse so long as Pursuit of Cobra “Joefly” retains his smirk and his disheveled hair; that toy had a head sculpt with arguably more character than any other toy in recent history.
03. Long Range
I’m mildly surprised that the Long Range character hasn’t received a single modern update, but naturally, if I had my druthers, a Pursuit of Cobra Long Range would include Sigma 6 Long Range’s cloth trench coat. If you’re skeptical that cloth goods can work in this scale, see the Marvel Universe Samuel-Jackson-as-Nick-Fury figure; its black cloth trench coat looks incredible and fits very naturally on the figure—which is all G.I. Joe reuse from the neck down, incidentally.
And since Hasbro delights in showing off these days with such staggering accessories as Low Light’s single bullet, I’ll go ahead and request that Long Range’s accessory load include his skull keychain, too. Just because.
I am quite fond of Rise of Cobra Shipwreck. But I’m not half so fond of him as I am of Sigma 6 Shipwreck, who is short and has ridiculously broad shoulders and has a number of cute, wink-at-the-fans tattoos and a bigass knife that fits in his open mouth.
And a monkey, friends. Sigma 6 Shipwreck comes with a damn monkey rather than some wuss-ass parrot. Maybe you like the 2002 He-Man toys or maybe you prefer Masters of the Universe Classics, and maybe you’re an O-Ring fan or maybe 25th Anniversary represents the pinnacle of the G.I. Joe brand for you, but whatever your opinions on toys in general and whatever your thoughts on Sigma 6, I like to think we can all agree that the world needs a Pursuit of Cobra monkey.
01. Lt. Stone
I suspect that even the Sigma haters would probably protest if I left Lt. Stone off this list. Sigma 6 was probably the most divisive action figure series of all time, and yet Lt. Stone enjoyed a surprising level of mainstream credibility, with many stalwart Real American Hero supporters begrudgingly acknowledging his coolness and Toyfare singling him out praise in its list of the greatest 100 toys of all time.
Since then, the recent Sgt. Stone was a decent figure, but he didn’t stand out in the Rise of Cobra series ‘cause the competition was simply too stiff. He was cool enough, but if he was intended as a tribute to Lt. Stone, it was an inadequate gesture, just as the ‘Delta 6’ Accelerator Suits from the Rise of Cobra film almost seem to have been named to alienate Sigma fans and Sigma haters alike.
A proper update of Lt. Stone would feature a bionic arm with transparent bits, an eye patch—with perhaps a secondary head with both eyes intact—and a metric buttload of kickass gear.
The Flint head sculpt from the Resolute 7-pack would provide a good base, if Hasbro opted for reuse. From the neck down, any number of existing figures would serve as a reasonably faithful Lt. Stone.
Due to my burgeoning international lifestyle, I was forced to place my Sigma 6 collection in storage eighteen months ago. Since then, it has struck me that ten years is a nice, round amount of time to do without one’s favorite (or perhaps second-favorite) series of toys. In other words, I plan to tear open my giant box of Sigmas sometime during the summer of 2019.
Let’s see if Hasbro can get some new Sigma figures into my hands before then.