GeneralsJoes Reviews FSS Salvo and Darklon

The reviews for this latest iteration of the G.I. Joe Collectors Club Figure Subscription Service have gone live on the G.I. Joe Collectors Club Review Page.

Darklon and Salvo reviews are now posted.  You can also check the reviews directly below:

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Salvo (Figure Subscription Service)

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The fans have spoken and thank goodness the G.I. Joe Collectors Club listened!

When the original build for the FSS Salvo was revealed, the G.I. Joe community pretty much imploded.  Using 30th Anniversary Law/Renegades Duke parts with the Resolute Duke legs resulted in a scrawny, mish-mash mess of a figure update that pretty much did nothing right.  Once the fandom was done yelling, the Collectors Club went back to the drawing board, and while they stuck pretty close to formula, they at least made some changes that presented an update to Salvo that felt more in line with the large, muscular rocket expert we got in 1990.

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This version of Salvo is not perfect, but he’s a damn sight better than the alternative.

From the neck down, the figure is pretty much G.I. Joe: Retaliation Roadblock, only the lower legs are slightly different in order to get the proper cuffed look.  While the figure and the legs are nice and bulky, the result of different lower legs is that the knee joints aren’t as functional as they could be, and once again I’m not a huge fan of those ankle joints either.  On my figure, I couldn’t even get the peg stands to fit in his feet, and I know that’s been a recurring problem since this tooling was originally available.

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That being said, the figure is large, muscular and imposing, another great looking figure of immense size to go along with some of the previously released Roadblocks, Leathernecks, Gung Ho’s, Repeaters, and others.  It’s pretty awesome to see some variation in height and size among the ranks of the Joes, so I appreciate the Club using that tooling here.  As one would expect, the articulation and range of motion is mostly good, and we got some exceptional sculpting work in that Retaliation line, so that’s all on point here, too.

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The color scheme pulls straight from the vintage look, though some of the use of gold here seems strange.  I understand they’re trying to mimic the look of the criss-crossed machine gun belts, but at some point hopefully the folks doing the deco for these figures realize that you can’t just slap color on any old piece of the figure to match the vintage aesthetic.  You should really try and find a logical place for that color to exist and use it as a complimentary color, not just throw gold down on the holster and leg-straps because that kind of looks like where the gold is on the original figure.  It doesn’t always work.

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That minor gripe aside, overall the figure is good.  They did a good job with the font on his shirt, the modern parts are good, and the choice of the Hit & Run head sculpt is unexpected and excellent.

Accessories

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Salvo comes with some decent gear.  He’s got a huge rocket launcher which I’m sure fans will complain about, but makes perfect sense for his specialty.  Anyone who is dying for his vintage accessories that much can find them super cheap on eBay and they’ll still fit with this modern figure, so go for it.  He has Sci-Fi’s helmet and the same briefcase that he came with back in 1990, along with the Retaliation Roadblock pistol that fits in his holster.  All told, he’s got some gear that works well and compliments the character as you would expect.

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I’ve loved Salvo since his original release in 1990 and I’m glad to see him finally getting some modern era love here.  I’m extremely happy that the Collectors Club followed the fandom’s lead and beefed up the figure build, even though it resulted in some mold fit issues.  He’s a nice update and another addition to the much-needed 1990 “DiC” era roster.

Darklon (Figure Subscription Service)

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As someone who is both a fan of the Iron Grenadiers and a fan of taking established characters and putting new spins on them, I really loved the Convention version of Darklon we received in 2014.  Not only was it an update of a really cool established Iron Grenadier character, but it added some Pursuit of COBRA Firefly aesthetic and gave us a really awesome update to Destro’s criminal cousin.

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However, as a Convention exclusive, and a highly desirable one at that, the price soon skyrocketed and fans grew upset that such an important character (is Darklon really an “important character”??) was so expensive on the secondary market.

Well, since the Club now had the tooling for Darklon’s helmet, they figured they’d make a more vintage accurate version and toss it into the FSS.  I’m of two minds on the idea.  Personally I’m not wild about being saddled with a $30 figure that is only subtly different than one I already paid $35 for at a Convention.  Especially when the FSS version uses older parts that are less well articulated, softer sculpted and frankly, not quite as interesting.

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That being said, I know the figure will appeal to the broader fanbase, who I do not always see eye-to-eye with.

This figure has the previously mentioned Darklon head sculpt that we originally got at the convention in 2014, and it still works well enough.  Darklon’s torso is from Pursuit of COBRA Snake Eyes in an attempt to give him the textured look of the vintage figure, but his arms are from the 25th Anniversary Zartan.  The result is a drastic reduction in sculpted detail, somewhat annoying articulation in the elbows, and the elimination of the texture on the arms.  It doesn’t really work as a combination with the torso.

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Also rather than even attempt to mimic the look of the original legs, the Club just used the 25th Anniversary Iron Grenadier Destro legs which does a nice job tying this figure in with Destro, but doesn’t do such a nice job making him look like his vintage counterpart.  I do like the sword sheath and the color combination is vintage accurate, but the sculpting isn’t accurate, and the knee articulation is only single jointed which is a shame.

Speaking of the colors, the Club does do a decent job matching up the shade of green and purple with the vintage edition of Darklon and the overall inspiration is pretty clear cut.

Accessories

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Darklon comes with a decent assortment of accessories including a MARS briefcase with removable pistol, a pistol for his leg holster, the removable sword, and a retooled version of his vintage weapon.  As much as I love the strangeness of his primary weapon, any time the Club invests money in retooling a vintage accessory that can be found on the secondary market for pennies on the dollar I question the reasoning.  As we get fewer and fewer new heads or other body parts throughout the FSS, I’d much rather see money invested in more of those items rather than retooling vintage accessories in nearly the exact same way as they’re already available.

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Darklon is okay.  I prefer the convention version all told, and by leaning on 25th Anniversary parts, the Club aren’t doing themselves any favors.  Limited articulation and sculpting make a big difference between figures that look like they belong with other 2017 figures, or figures that already look a decade out of place fresh out of the package.