G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Steel Brigade Trooper

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At what point does a great figure and fun army builder become a bit tired and redundant?  I’m not sure, but if the Steel Brigade figure isn’t there yet, he’s getting close.  Don’t get me wrong, this figure is fantastic and has been from day one.  While I’ve never been a huge fan of G.I. Joe using “troops” I’ve always loved the G.I. Joe Collectors Club take on the Steel Brigade and have been able to rationalize the existence of these Troopers as a support squad for the International Peace Keeping Force that the Club devised for the team.

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That being said, I bought a few of these figures when they were first released in the Pursuit of Cobra.  I bought a few more in the 30th Anniversary.  I even have some zombie versions from the 2014 Convention set.  Now the figure sees release again as part of the 50th Anniversary line.  The figure was never exceptionally hard to find, so I’d think most fans have well built Steel Brigade squads at this point, but we’ve got him again here.

Not a huge deal, and for folks who missed him the first couple of times, this is a good opportunity to stock up, but as I said, when I’ve got almost 10 of the same figure already, it can be a bit tough to build up excitement.  He uses the COBRA Shock Trooper as the base figure, with a Beachhead head sculpt. The paint apps work well, being a nice mirror of the vintage version, but with some new elements as well.  The helmet appears to be a slightly different color and the legs don’t match precisely, mostly due to the different material turning out slightly different shades of tan.

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As a figure, it’s a great mix of vintage and modern, and is an excellent update, the only real issue I have is that this is the third such almost identical version released since 2011.

Accessories

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Like the figure itself, the accessories are familiar as well.  He has the Shock Trooper vest in Steel Brigade green as well as the Duke bandolier.  The bayonet machine gun, rocket launcher, backpack with spare rockets, as well as the Duke backpack gives a good mix of accessories inspired by the vintage version as well as typical trooper weapons.  He’s got a heavy machine gun, and the SCAR assault rifle comes with him too, though press release images show the Iron Grenadier with that gun.  Lastly, he has the removable Steel Brigade themed helmet.

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As I said, from a pure execution standpoint this is a great figure, and I know the 50th Anniversary formula necessitates certain “carry forward” figures.  As G.I. Joe troop builders go, the Steel Brigade is about the only option.  It can just be a little tough to get excited about a figure I’ve bought on store shelves a few times already.

50th Anniversary Steel Brigade
  • Character
  • Sculpt
  • Articulation
  • Paint Deco
  • Accessories

Summary

This figure has always been a good one, even if we've seen it several times before. I can think of some "carry forward" figures that might have been better choices here, but in an army builder pack where you want to pit a Joe against a COBRA/Grenadier character, Steel Brigade is the only real choice.

Pros

1 - Shock Trooper base body is a great one
2 - Paint apps are good as well
3 - Tons of great accessories

Cons

1 - The figure has been released a few times already
2 - Nothing really new brought to the table with this version

4.1
  • Barbecue17

    I still like this guy, too, but you’re absolutely right: He’s more of the same. That’s kind of what Hasbro’s G.I. Joe efforts have felt like for the past few years. Everything is repaints or non-innovative Franken Joes. I haven’t bought a new G.I. Joe figure since Quinn. Now if Hasbro had released a figure utilizing some of the Retaliation figure that could have been a bit more exciting.

  • Phillyflopper

    I only like this figure since I only managed to snag a couple from the 30th Anniversary line. It would be nice to see them change the ranks and colors a little. But otherwise, this has been pretty solid.

    Although, my eagle eyes (as well as your review archives) tell me that they slightly modified the the Carbine to remove the trigger guard/ring/whatever it’s officially called. Which unfortunately makes the gun a wee bit archaic instead of modern. But it is a very, very minor nitpick. And I’m not sure if my other figure had as much trouble, but the one I’ve opened so far makes it very difficult to pose in good way. As the gun keeps wanting to pop out so easily. But again, after the terrible quality control last year, this year’s line is a lot easier to get behind.