I almost think that Hasbro's decision to make this character a flamethrower expert hurts the figure itself to some degree. I know I personally wasn't willing to really give this figure a shot when it became obvious that his specialty was so dated and unusable in a more current environment. Flamethrower experts haven't been in use for a very long time, and while the Anniversary homage to Blowtorch makes some sense, I'm not entirely sure why Hasbro went in that direction again for a more modernized G.I. Joe roster. If they wanted to use Charbroil, fine, but maybe make him a heavy weapons specialist, or maybe just an experimental weapons expert, working with Sgt. Flash. The reason I make that recommendation is just because this is actually a very nice figure, but I think it's negatively impacted by the lack of a use of a flame trooper these days.
While Blowtorch makes for a very nice homage, he was really limited in articulation, and his overly bright color scheme made him good for an homage, but little else. Charbroil uses the same color scheme, which is cool, but puts a much larger emphasis on the red parts and a lot less on the yellow, which ends up giving us a really appealing color scheme that certainly doesn't mesh really well with the black, blue, and gray aesthetic for the Rise of Cobra, but still has it's own appeal, in my mind.
But the coolest part of this figure is that Hasbro took Blowtorch's torso, but gave him Resolute Duke lower arms and legs, which increased articulation a hundred fold and gives the figure a very nice "Resolute" feel. Even without the flamethrower armor on his torso, this is a very, very cool figure with some awesome detail and a nice, bulky appearence.
For the head, Hasbro designers made a really strange decision...they took the helmet from the Resolute jetpack Duke and put it on top of the chrome Viper head, giving the appearence of a mirrored set of goggles underneath the helmet. You know what? I love it. I've heard a lot of complaints that this look isn't very reminiscent of the 1988 classic, but to be honest, I hated the '88 Charbroil I'm pretty happy this figure goes in a totally different direction and meshes a lot more nicely with the modern feel.
Where this figure lacks somewhat is in the accessories. Yeah, I know he's a flamethrower expert, so it makes sense for him to come with the armor, backpack, flamethrower, and hose, but for a 21st Century trooper, this is fairly useless equipment, so I would have loved for him to come with something a little more interesting. I think this figure looks different enough from the classic Charbroil that he could have been given another specialty with some better weapon choices.
He also comes with the huge spring-loaded rocket launcher that Destro initially came with, which is certainly nothing special. I think the flame-sculpted rocket is an interesting idea, but will ultimately never see any use in my world.
With a very interesting selection of existing tooling, some very nice paint choices, terrific weathering on the armor, and a unique head look, Charbroil ended up impressing me a lot more than I initially thought he would. I actually didn't buy this figure when I first snagged my Wave 4 batch, but I had to go back and pick him up later after seeing some better images. I'm really glad I did, there is something to like with this figure, even though he'll never be a flamethrower expert in my G.I. Joe universe.
I really like the Resolute parts, I love his overall look, and I think other Joefans will feel the same way. He's not a home run in any one aspect, but he's a solid overall figure that's worth a second look.
Buy this figure at Big Bad Toy Store!