It didn’t take long after Botcon drew to a close for a new trademark to be filed by Hasbro themselves for “HasCon”. According to the United States Trademark Office, the trademark was registered for the following purpose:
“Organizing and conducting conventions, exhibitions, fan clubs and gatherings for entertainment purposes and in the fields of toys, animation, comic books, fantasy, gaming, popular culture, science fiction, television and film”
This would certainly lead us to believe that Hasbro may be gearing up for a more coalesced convention for all of their different brands going forward, though obviously no confirmations of this fact exist as of yet.
I took a screen capture from the United States Trademark Office, which you can see below, identifying the trademark, the purpose for the trademark, and the registrants themselves. Let the speculation continue…
I can’t quite explain why, but in my younger years, I couldn’t quite get my head around 1990. Where the years leading up to then were a mixture of classic characters and new blood, the main line in 1990 was new blood soup-to-nuts. Being someone that appreciates new characters now, I’m surprised that my younger self didn’t embrace that fact, but for some reason I didn’t.
It’s only now, over two decades later, that I recognize 1990 as perhaps being a “soft reboot” of sorts, giving us a whole series of new characters and taking play to a different level with many smaller, more intricate accessories making these figures unique. Pretty much every single figure in that 1990 line came with elaborate and well detailed accessories that really enhanced the play value. From Stretcher’s air sled to Bullhorn’s take-apart sniper rifle, not to mention Ambush’s camouflage tent and Topside’s backpack mortar launcher. Pathfinder was no different, coming equipped with two hip-mounted heavy machine guns as well as a full blown weed whacker. While parts and tooling restrictions made it so we couldn’t get the hip-guns with a modern release, I’m happy to say the updated Pathfinder is ready to go, weed whacker and all!
The figure has Lifeline’s existing head sculpt, which matches the look of the original figure, and the removable hat does an okay job of replicating that look, too. To copy the brim fold of the original figure, the hat is positioned in a way that doesn’t stay on the figure’s head very well. Once I swapped the hat around it actually fit a lot better, though that small piece of vintage accuracy is lost. I think I can live with that.
Pathfinder uses Kwinn’s torso and arms, which are a great choice, as they pretty accurately mimic the original, but are newer construction, offering very good range of motion. If I have any complaints, the somewhat tight hand grip doesn’t fit the handle of the machine gun very well, but you can work with it.
His legs are from the G.I. Joe: Retaliation era and also are excellently sculpted, with some great baggy effects, though the more I see these legs used, the more annoyed I get with the weird rocker ankles. They end up pretty stiff and difficult to pose, and the footholes are becoming an increasing issue on existing battle stands. This figure isn’t nearly as bad as the Night Creeper was with the last installment, but it can still be somewhat difficult to get him to stand.
Paint deco is pretty fantastic. Straight black on the upper body, and the camouflage pattern and colors on the legs are pretty close to spot on perfect. Great articulation, effective parts choices, and the base figure for Pathfinder is excellent.
As we’re used to with the 1990 era Joe characters, Pathfinder comes pretty well equipped. A couple of his accessories are pulled from the Pursuit of Cobra Jungle Strike Duke, which I’m completely cool with, including his backpack and flashlight. He has a great pistol for the holster at his hip, a gray colored heavy machine gun, inspired by the original’s hip mounted weapons. His removable hat works moderately well, and the removable vest does as well. The plastic is a bit stiff, which makes the vest a challenge to remove, but it’s not insurmountable and the end result is a figure that looks much more like his vintage counterpart.
Of course the focal point here is the weed whacker, and I’m happy to say it fits his hands well, looks pretty nice, and ends up being a cool finishing touch to the figure. If given a choice between the hip-guns and the weed whacker, I probably would have chosen the hip-guns, but I can understand the Club not being able to retool a piece (or a belt) to make that work.
All in all, Pathfinder is a very effective figure. The paint work is really nicely done, and he’s got a good number of fun accessories. A pretty great installment for the FSS 4.0.
Any day we get a modern update to our favorite European special missions force is a good day, and I’m a pretty big fan of Jammer. Even back in the 80s, Jammer was a barely repaint of the original Stalker, essentially a slightly different shade of color with the trusty Zed Force logo in red on his chest as well as a red beret.
When the Club revisited the whole Action Force/Red Shadows conflict in the Convention set in 2010, we saw another update to Jammer, this time using the Comic Pack Stalker formula (o-ring version). Now, for this final iteration of the infamous Zed Force Communications Specialist we get much the same, though with some interesting twists. His head sculpt is from the Convention Tiger Force Stalker, which is nice for folks who might not have that figure yet (and it certainly helps that the head sculpt kicks all sorts of ass). The torso is from the 25th Anniversary, which is a bit of an oddchoice, in my mind, as it makes the figure look somewhat short and misproportioned, and the torso is visibly less detailed than the rest of the figure. I understand why they made that choice, to tie him into the vintage “original 13” aesthetic, but I would have loved to have seen something a bit different.
His legs are the updated “Original 13” legs that were seen with Attack on COBRA Island Zap and the discount store Duke, which is a cool enough choice and fits the theme. His arms are more modern, large and baggy with the updated wrist joints, which is all well and good, except they somewhat add to the misproportioned look, making the figure look somewhat top heavy and creating a mis-match between the exceedingly wrinkled arms and smooth torso. As much as I love the Pursuit of COBRA Shock Trooper arms, I can’t help but think they don’t jive 100% with the rest of the figure here. I am glad to see the increased articulation, though perhaps if the Club had used the Shock Trooper torso, the flow would have been a little better.
Where this figure does really shine, however, is with the paint applications. The shade of green and black is fantastic and fits well with the Zed Force look and feel. The “streak” pattern of the black camouflage is exceptionally well done, and I love the striking color of red in the logo and the beret. Great to see the Union Jack on his right shoulder, too, which blends him well with Quarrel, Big Ben and Blades, who both had that distinct patch on their uniforms as well. Great touch.
Jammer comes with a removable beret and the same chest strap that Zap and the Duke came with, which is a departure from the vintage version, who shared the same torso as Stalker with the double-strap webgear. I don’t mind the change, as this webgear fits the contour of the chest well and is detailed nicely, however it also covers up a big chunk of the great Z logo on his chest, which is a bit unfortunate. I have to admit, though, that older 25th Anniversary double strap webgear does look a little dated.
He’s got Dial Tone’s backpack, which fits the communications theme as well as a nice machine gun and two holsters. A nice touch is that one holster contains the traditional pistol you’d expect, but the other holster holds a smaller mobile phone to fit in with the communications motif. Unfortunately the peg on Dial Tone’s backpack is a little on the large side, and doesn’t fit real seamlessly into his back hole. You can generally rotate it and get it to sink in, but I’d be concerned about wear and tear on the peg of the backpack long term.
When it comes to a figure trying to resemble the original 13 look, generally I love using that Zap template. It retains the vintage look but with slightly more modern sculpting, and I am in love with the twin holsters and removable pistols. Unfortunately, while I completely applaud the choice to use more modern arms for the enhanced range of motion, it does look a little off compared to the rest of the figure in a way that my eyes can’t quite reconcile.
Jammer has great accessories, I’m a big fan of the character, and the paint apps are pretty terrific as well. Overall, I approve of the figure in most ways, I just wish the parts formula looked a little bit more consistent and uniform.