Folks who have been visiting my site for a long time know that once upon a time I was primarily a "dio-story" guy. Back in the dark ages when G.I. Joe wasn't rebranding itself and flooding the pegs every year, the fandom had to get more creative...and back in the early part of the 21st Century, I began work on my own fictional G.I. Joe universe that takes up after the events of the Marvel Comics. This was way before Devils' Due, and even before the new sculpt CGI animated features progressed the story of G.I. Joe.
Well, I've been stuck in a quandry for a long time. I'm near the end of my dio-story "tale", and I've written the majority of the final chapter, but I'll be blunt. While the toys have been great over the past few years, I've felt very little "inspiration" from the G.I. Joe brand to continue my story. Even with some inferior toy offerings in the 2002 - 2004 era, I was at least inspired to write new stories, develop characters, and build my own imagination. With the 25th Anniversary and even with the Rise of Cobra that wasn't really happening for me.
Well, that's changed with the Pursuit of Cobra and G.I. Joe: Resolute.
Whether it's the quality of the figures or the fact that they're no longer tied to an already established mythology, I don't know. All I know is that quite suddenly I grab these toys, and stories start to develop in my head.
Immediately, a new Cobra threat begins forming... long time fans recall the history of the Terror Drome (which went all the way back to Issue #2 of the Marvel series). They were actually designed as paranoia-inducing transmitters, forcing countries to bow to Cobra's will. Well, that purpose has long since been forgotten, but I'm feeling somewhat inspired to bring it back to the forefront, and this figure was the main reason why.
One of the best weapons one can have on the battlefield is fear and intimidation. If your enemy doesn't want to fight you, you've already won. So, Cobra has refined the paranoia-inducing technology from the Terror Drome and integrated it into some of their specialized armor. Cobra Commander and Firefly, both sporting this new F.E.A.R. technology are launching assaults around the globe and forcing enemy combatants to fall to their every whim. And this inspiration simply came out initially from Firefly's excellent secondary head sculpt. Sure, during the Hasbro tour, it was explained away as some bizarre 360 degree monitoring device, but still, the evil, sleek, demon-like look seemed to serve no purpose other than look totally bad ass. Well, now, in my little corner of the G.I. Joe world, this nasty looking helmet emits invisible "fear rays" which cause paranoia, intimidation and fright amongst enemy soldiers. Obviously wanting to capitalize on the enemies frame of mind, both Cobra Commander and Firefly (or the "Street Sweepers" as I call these helmeted urban operatives) now sport very fearsome looking helmets, which play into the new F.E.A.R. technology.
A HUGE thanks to Joe buddy "MacrossMaster" of JoeCustoms.com who hooked me up with some PoC Alley-Vipers! Finally!!
And yes, that was probably the longest introduction to a review you will have ever read, and I'm sure most of you couldn't care less, so I apologize ahead of time. I'll start talking about the toy now.
When we first saw images of Firefly at JoeCon last year, I was immediately enthralled, and mostly just due to his amazing helmet. Something about that slicked back alien looking helmet sculpt looked amazingly cool, even if nobody really knew the true purpose. Sure, it does nothing to fit Firefly's MO, but it looks cool, and that's really all that matters.
Now that I have the figure in hand, I'm still pretty impressed, but I will say overall the figure falls into some of the same short comings and traps that the Pursuit of Cobra Beachhead did. An absolutely insanely cool looking figure, but so clunked up with gear that he loses some of the mobility and poseability that I love with my Joe toys. Granted, sometimes that's a worthwhile trade off if the figure looks awesome, which Firefly does, but at other times I like my figures to be able to hold weapons in a realistic firing stance without looking stiff and unatural.
Underneath the bulky vest armor, Firefly has a terrific newly tooled body, heavily detailed with wrinkled cloth, armor, straps, buckles, and all sorts of great looking trimming. In fact, it's almost a shame that this great looking torso is covered by the vest, even if the vest is bad ass in its own right.
Without the large vest over the top, Firefly has great mobility and a ton of awesome detail. Not content with a normal balaclava, Hasbro designers sculpted a very intricate armored face mask with straps going over the back of his head. He's got great layered shoulder armor, forearm armor, and some very cool shinpads and kneepads. Some extra paint apps over the strapping would have been very cool, but considering it was mostly designed to be hidden by a vest, I can't complain too much.
Firefly is mostly awash in various shades of gray paint, but there are some awesome subtle camouflage patterns woven within his paint apps that are somewhat hard to see, but definitely there. A nice tribute to his roots.
By and large, the figure itself is great, even without the accessories. With his gear? He's amazing.
Like most of these recent offerings, Firefly is not bashful when it comes to his weapon load out. He's got his great secondary head, some pieces of forearm armor (for protection from his own devices), two explosive charges, twin pistols, a machine gun, a backpack, and his vest.
The pistols I was a bit worried would be just repaints of the somewhat lackluster tactical pistols we got in the Rise of Cobra line, but I was very happy to see that they were completely newly tooled. His machine gun is also a new weapon, with a nice grenade launcher under the magazine.
Firefly's backpack is a somewhat oversized piece, but the coolest thing about it is that it actually opens up and allows you to fit all sorts of goodies inside. The explosive charges also fit into the circular mounts near the bottom. Sure, it's huge, but it's a very cool looking accessory to be sure.
Of course, there is also the flak vest that Firefly comes with, which is somewhat of a double-edged sword. I love the detail, and I love the look, but it's so large and bulky that it really restricts his movement more than I'd like it to. His arms have a hard time posing around it in realistic firing poses, but it's so tough to complain when there is so much excellent added detail. The high protective collar gives it a next generation "bomb suit" type of look, and all of the various pouches and magazines scattered throughout only make it even better. Even the back of the vest is sculpted with air tanks, wires, and other assorted coolness...it even has a place for his forearm armor to hang from. From a look perspective...awesome. From a functional perspective...limited.
I've already spoken a bit about the extra head that comes with the figure, but I only mentioned it in passing, and it deserves so much more. Yeah, I have no idea what purpose it serves (save for the F.E.A.R. armor concept I made up in my head) but it looks absolutely bad ass, so I can't really complain too much. Not only that, but it immediately converts Firefly into the "Street Sweeper" assault squad, and transforms this figure almost instantly into a highly desirable army builder. In fact, from what I'm hearing, besides the Alley-Viper, Firefly is the most bought figure from these earliest assortments.
Great accessories, awesome tooling, and a fantastic "look" this is a great update to the Cobra Saboteur, and also makes for an incredible updated Cobra Urban Operations team. I can see them working in concert with the Alley-Vipers as Cobra makes their way through the remote cities of the world laying seige as their latest plot unfolds.
The only thing that keeps this figure from being absolutely perfect is the articulation limitations from the oversized vest he wears, even if that vest is pretty cool. But don't let that stop you too much, even with that issue, the figure is great, and has so many awesome accessories, it's really a worthwhile purchase regardless.
Buy this figure NOW at BigBadToyStore.com!