G.I. Joe: Resolute - Scarlett
I'm not sure how she's done it over the years, but even as Scarlett could have easily become nothing more than a Duke or Snake Eyes "hanger on" she has somehow evolved, grown, and established her own clear identity over the years and is, unquestionably, the "first lady" of G.I. Joe.
Even when the figure first hit retail in '82 with her wrist-mounted throwing stars and a slingshot in her back pocket, you knew there was something iconic about her, tan leotard and all. As she migrated from short-haired Covert Operations specialist to ponytailed ass-kicker in the Sunbow cartoons, she immediately grabbed a devoted fan following, which has carried her as a popular character all the way into the 21st Century. Now, pretty much every single iteration of G.I. Joe that is produced features her as a strong leading lady candidate, often times with her being showcased before many of the other popular characters. She was a focal point through the entirety of the Marvel run, the entirety of the Devils' Due run (main release and America's Elite), she was in a leadership role in the film, and in IDW she is Hawk's direct liason.
In fact, I would even argue that out of all of the G.I. Joe characters, Scarlett might be amongst the highest profile. While Snake Eyes has been over-saturated to the point of ridiculousness through all of his comic appearences, the cartoon didn't scratch the surface. Duke was front and center in the animated feature back in the day, but was often reduced to a support role in the comic. Only Scarlett has been a central character throughout the entirety of the Sunbow cartoon run, the entirety of the Marvel Comics run, and right up through until modern day. And, of course, this in your face presence and bad ass attitude is 100% intact within G.I. Joe: Resolute. In fact, she's the first G.I. Joe teammember you even "meet" (even though she wears a CSI disguise). From that point on, she carries the show, balancing between Snake Eyes and Duke, firing twin pistols John Woo style, and promising to stay with a wounded Duke even as a nuclear warhead threatens to incinerate them. Just talking about it makes me mad that we may never get a proper "Arctic Scarlett" in her Resolute outfit. Grrr.
But onto the figure... Scarlett was one of the early candidates for a single pack figure when Resolute was first conceived, but fell victim to the end of the 25th Anniversary line in early '09. She appears to be new tooling from head to toe (though variations of her legs were used in Agent Helix) which is both good and bad. Good because the new tooling translates her Resolute roots to near perfection. Bad because the two-piece tool of her head and her hair simply went sideways somewhere along the production trail.
It seems evident to me that in certain situations, two separate tools are made (especially for female figures) one for the head and one for the hair. It then becomes someone's responsibility to "fit" these tools together during the production process, an operation I would imagine occurs overseas. Well, with Scarlett and the Baroness, whoever "fit" these tools has absolutely no concept of how a female looks or how their hair grows, because they are all forehead, and unfortunately it gives off a really bad impression of Hasbro design. It is too bad, because this figure is remarkable, all told, but with that head sculpt and hair issue, many fans simply won't be able to look past it, myself included.
Beyond that, the sculpt is slender and sleek, with Hasbro electing for more sculpted on uniform secondaries this time around, instead of something removable. It's a decision that makes a lot of sense, because any kind of removable vest, in my opinion, would significantly impact the elegance of this figure's tooling. The only real piece "on top" of the tool is the knife sheath, which is a very cool, slimmed down holster that doesn't impact the figure's coolness in the least.
The Resolute design eschews the traditional unitard look and goes with a skintight gray uniform covered bytan battle armor, gray shoulder and knee pads, as well as tan boots and gloves, which is great, since it maintains the style of the original Scarlett, yet firmly injects her into the more modern day Resolute aesthetic. From the neck down, this is an excellent looking figure, with a nice homage in the coloring department to go along with the great sculptural design.
Scarlett doesn't come with a whole lot of cool gear, but what she comes with does make some sense. She's got her familiar crossbow even though she didn't use one in the cartoon, and a nice sniper rifle that seems to be the one she used in the arctic to take out an Ice Viper. Ain't that a kick below the belt?
The rifle is actually a very cool, somewhat old school rifle that I love, I just get all snippy when I'm reminded of the Arctic Scarlett that we may never get. Still on its own merits, the rifle is fantastic. I love the bundled shells on the stock and the textured grip.
All in all, this had the potential be a great, GREAT update to Scarlett, but the funkiness of the head sculpt detracts a lot of points. After all, that is a pretty critical component of a successful figure, especially of the female variety. I've kind of left the customizing game, but I may try to do some cutting and gluing, just to see if I can improve on what could have been an amazing figure that got somewhat sidelined during the production process. Here's hoping there's something to salvage. I do still find comfort in recommending this figure, however, just due to the fact that she was such a central part of the Resolute animated feature, and is an equally essential part of the toy collection.