Figure Subscription Service Reviews this week

Mailboxes have been busy over the past few weeks delivering the last remnants of Figure Subscription Service 3.0!  As luck would have it, there are five figures remaining in this third FSS, and there are five days in a week.  :)

I will be reviewing on of the FSS figures every day this week, culminating on Friday with the mysterious 13th figure… so if you want to stay spoiler free, stay away from GeneralsJoes.com on Friday.  You’ve been warned.

We’re kicking off the review week with Night Creeper Leader!  Check out the G.I. Joe Collectors Club Review page, or hit the link below to check it out.

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Big Ben (Figure Subscription Service)

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I will fully admit that Big Ben has never been one of my favorite characters, even with his great entry in the 1991 line, and certainly his rampant appearance in 2000 – 2002 didn’t change that opinion much.  I think part of it was that I loved the 1991 run of figures so much, he sort of faded into the background in an awesome selection of character updates.

Back in 1991, Big Ben was equipped in what appeared to be arctic gear with a heavy machine gun, and I was never a huge arctic fan anyway.  If I wasn’t a big fan of Big Ben even in 1991, his constant resurgence in 2000 would have definitely pushed me over the edge.  So Big Ben hasn’t been high on my list of figures I wanted to see, but now that I have the Figure Subscription Service in hand, I realize that narrow opinion was a fallacy.  This Big Ben update is nearly perfect.

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With a new head sculpt (sporting a nicely updated Bluetooth headset replacing his previous old school earpiece) immediately Big Ben is a character meshing perfectly with more modern updates.  As we’ve come to expect, Boss Fight Studio did terrific work here.  Utilizing a nice build from parts in recent years, the figure is stocky and solid, yet maintains fantastic articulation and range of motion.  I absolutely love the G.I. Joe: Retaliation G.I. Joe Trooper arms, they have great details and bend really far to allow for nice poses.

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The Pursuit of Dusty legs adds some bulk to a winter based figure, and the overall look of Big Ben is terrific, really separating him from some other contemporaries.

The Club deco borrows heavily from the original 1991 version, which actually has the very nice added benefit of being a close match for the Z-Force deco as well, and Big Ben actually jives with the FSS Quarrel in a nice way.  Utilizing his British background, the Club takes this opportunity to dovetail Big Ben with “Special Action Force” giving him a nice arm patch on one side the the Union Jack on the other, which again puts him in league with Quarrel (and the upcoming Jammer) very nicely.  These are the kind of great added details I like seeing from the Club in these FSS entries.

Accessories

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Big Ben is pretty loaded with accessories.  He has a large backpack, which opens up, twin machine gun ammunition belts, and the heavy machine gun to go with them.  He also comes with the grenade launcher from the G.I. Joe: Retaliation Trooper, a pair of grenades, and a satchel.  He doesn’t come with the bag that opens for the grenades as other versions have, but the overslung satchel charge is a nice homage to it.

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If you’d asked me to name 50 figures I wanted to see in the FSS, I’m pretty sure Big Ben wouldn’t have been on that list.  But the Club took that somewhat forgettable character and made him extremely memorable.  A great build, a fun deco, and terrific accessories makes for an impressive FSS entry, and one that I’m extremely happy we got.

Bombstrike (Figure Subscription Service)

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Ah, yes, the Stall siblings. It takes you back to a time when Hasbro was trying to bring new story elements to G.I. Joe rather than just revisiting vintage looks. I, along with many others, was captivated by the Stall sibling story line, and now three renditions into the Figure Subscription Service we have all three siblings in modern format. Bombstrike is far and away the best of the three.

With a great new head sculpt by Boss Fight Studio, and a pretty spectacular modern build, Bombstrike is a heck of a great update to a fun part of recent G.I. Joe history. She has a great combination of modern female G.I. Joe parts that give us a nice update to the figure’s look, but adds some great different elements to her design. The G.I. Joe vest over the black shirt adds some nice color variation to the figure while maintaining a good
tie back to the 2005 original. Her articulation is really good (though the elbows could stand a little bit more movement) and the more modern sculpted parts give us a figure that really shines, even among newer product.

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One thing I really enjoy is the camouflage pants. A very tight, nicely applied paint scheme gives the camouflage pants a remarkably great and realistic look, far removed from the more typical blobs of camouflage paint we normally see. The combination of brown, black, and camouflage strongly resembles the older figure, but has enough new and interesting elements to make this a new looking figure.

And that head sculpt? Yeah, pretty terrific.

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From a character perspective, I’m glad they ommitted a reference to her being captured on the file card. That made for an interesting story dynamic back then, but obviously it doesn’t make sense to continue that story, plus I like to think that Bombstrike is bad ass enough to be the one doing the rescuing instead of being the proto typical “damsel in distress”.

ACCESSORIES

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Bombstrike comes with a wealth of great gear as well, including a machine gun, the drone that came with Retaliation Duke, and the metallic case with enclosed submachine gun. As a Forward Air Controller, the computer in the case makes sense, not to mention the drone to be used for close range air support. Really great selection of weapons.

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Bombstrike is a terrific update. Enough homages to her previous version to make folks happy, but enough new elements to have a character that shines among current contemporaries. The new head sculpt is fantastic, the character selection is great, and the whole package excels. Awesome entry to the FSS!