Okay, I admit straight up. This is going to be a tough review to write. I was desperately hoping that Whisper might end up winning the fan vote, and I fully admit I was pretty upset that she didn’t get the nod.
That’s not meant to be any slight against the other three excellent candidates, but I’d be lying if I said this review wasn’t being written through at least some gritted teeth. As it stands, the Stiletto figure came out pretty good, and manages to capture the elements of Bill Nedrow’s character relatively nicely.
The new head sculpt is decent, but would have benefited from better paint apps, especially on the scar and potentially missing left pupil. The figure build is essentially Rise of COBRA Agent Helix with Lady Jaye arms, and as much as I love the parts for that figure (I consider her one of the highlights of the excellent Rise of COBRA toy era) the color placement on Stiletto is odd to say the least. Purple and black on the torso with oddly green colored pants and a blue scarf makes for an eclectic and eye-opening array of colors that seem almost arbitrarily chosen.
While I fully admit to being somewhat disgruntled at Whisper’s shunting to relative obscurity, I’m generally a fan of new characters, and Stiletto works in that regard, although her filecard is in pretty direct contrast to the actual character in the fiction. That leads to some challenges, as she is clearly a COBRA agent in the books, but is written as purely a G.I. Joe member according to the filecard. It’s an interesting dichotomy which will make for some intriguing storytelling opportunities.
As an expert in edged weapons, Stiletto comes with two swords and knives aplenty, as one might expect. She also has a submachine gun and a Drugonov sniper rifle. I’d argue out of the 2 packs she is the best equipped figure and has the most sensible assortment of weapons out of the whole crew.
Stiletto is an intriguing new character and I’m happy for Bill that she managed to get included in the 2016 assortment, and I’m still totally not holding a grudge about Whisper. All that being said, this figure is a decent build with some strange color choices and a nice assortment of useful accessories.
After the run that Heavy Duty had in the early 2000’s, it’s tough to picture a time when fans might actually be looking forward to a new version of this 90’s character. Essentially a Roadblock replacement when the trademarks were lost during the new sculpt era (and into Sigma 6), Heavy Duty was often the target of derision from collectors who much preferred the more popular Roadblock.
Now here we stand in 2016 after getting a healthy helping of Roadblock from G.I. Joe: Retaliation and now people seem happy and satisfied with a new Heavy Duty. In truth, there’s a lot to be satisfied by.
Heavy Duty here is by and large the Retaliation Roadblock from the neck down, with what looks to be a new head sculpt. The result is a large, imposing looking figure as the classic was meant to be, though this version’s baseball cap is replaced by a bandana. His shirt is off-white, like the vintage version was, and the green pants offset it nicely. I will say without some kind of vest or web gear the figure looks a little plain, but still is pretty cool. Once you put the Resolute Roadblock web gear on him, it’s a huge improvement and the figure all told is surprisingly effective. Certainly it’s basically a Roadblock repaint, but this particular Roadblock is a fantastic figure with great sculpting and impressive articulation, so it’s pretty tough to complain about that formula.
Heavy Duty is a nice compliment to other figures in this first 2 pack assortment, and I think Hasbro did a decent job with it.
Heavy Duty is littered with accessories to the point where he seems to have more weapons than he has places to store them. This seems to be an ongoing issue with these modern figures as Hasbro kind of treats them like “accessory packs” simply dumping a pile of gear in there that aren’t necessarily meaningful. Heavy Duty comes with two separate oversized machine guns along with the M249, pistol, and knife. He also has the great Resolute Roadblock vest, too.
In spite of the prevalence of Heavy Duty back in the early 2000’s, I was excited to hear about his inclusion here, and the end result is really nice. It’s got some vintage twists, but some new elements, and the figure is surprisingly one of the highlights of this year’s series.
Kickstarter orders have been fulfilled and Marauder “Gun Runners” has officially started stocking the initial allotment of their outstanding Valkyrie figures! I just got my order last week and these are figures you will NOT be disappointed in. Literally some of the best female figures I’ve ever held in my hands with all the customizability you’ve grown to love with the Task Force assortment.
Do not hesitate, stock will sell quick. Hit up MarauderInc.com and grab ’em before they’re gone!