G.I. Joe: 30th Anniversary - Scarlett (G.I. Joe: Renegades)
Sometimes you can't quite explain it, but when you pick up a figure, you just know. You can just tell the minute you hold the figure in your hands that this is a very cool, very special toy, and I can't really explain why, but I get that vibe from Scarlett.
Maybe it's because she's so slender, yet still feels so durable. Her limbs all seem dangerously slim, yet can move and be posed with the same tightness as any of her male counterparts. I'm not quite sure how else to explain it, because there really isn't much to the figure. She's got plain khaki paints, pretty plain green bodysuit, and sculpted body armor that looks protective without ruining the somewhat animated aesthetics of the design.
But I think that's why I like the figure so much. She's fantastic in her simplicity. From the beginning it seems Hasbro has been fighting the Scarlett battle. The first figure was iconic, but the short hair bore no resemblance to her animated or comic book form. Her next version in Ninja Force finally gave us the pony tail, but saddled us with ninja action that ruined the figure. We got a pretty awesome version in the G.I. Joe vs. Cobra line which still remains one of my favorite re-imaginations, but let's face facts...it looks pretty dated today. Valor Vs. Venom gave us one that was neat, but not perfect, and we got the Comic Pack version late in the retail o-ring line that finally gave us a ponytail head on a classic body, but again, compared to what we have these days, it doesn't realy compete.
Of course Scarlett was one of the first releases in the 25th Anniversary line, but her over-animated features and clunky first-generation construction didn't do her any favors. I really thought some good stuff came out of the Rise of Cobra line, but ultimately nothing that was an iconic version of Scarlett. Like everything else, too, G.I. Joe: Resolute swung and missed, giving us a decent figure with a pretty bad head sculpt.
So here we come to G.I. Joe: Renegades. Would it be blasphemous to say this is one of the best Scarlett's ever? I mean there isn't much to her, but in my mind, that's the perfection of it. She has the look and style of the 1982 version, but avoids the 80's leotard throwback. She has all the right colors, fantastic articulation and I can't find a sculpting flaw on her. A very feminine, yet hard-edged facial structure and the ponytail. This is a GREAT version of the first lady of G.I. Joe. Yes, perhaps one of the best.
I haven't even touched on her ankle articulation. Not only can Scarlett's ankles rotate, but they can also pivot left to right, which is a great addition. Unfortunately this seems like the exception not the rule, but I can think of a lot of very cool reasons for this added motion.
If there is a down side to this figure, it would have to be her weapons (or lack thereof). Really, she comes with almost nothing, especially compared to other figures of recent release. She has a rehashed crossbow, and the pistol she used in the Renegades cartoon. I love that she has that pistol, but I really don't understand why Hasbro wouldn't invest some money in giving her a cartoon-accurate crossbow since she used it so often. And of course, this figure was also pictured with City Strike Scarlett accessories all through the convention season, until it was recently revealed that she would be without them. That blow is softened somewhat by the Collectors' Club picking up that ball with their FSS Jinx figure, but still...would have been a nice touch.
Bare bones accessory compliment aside, this is one hell of a cool version of Scarlett. She's got the right look, she is elegant in her simplicity, and has flawless articulation. In some cases the figure almost feels a bit too skinny and potentially breakable, but so far so good, and I can see this figure becoming my default Scarlett going forward. Great figure.
Now, the fact that she only comes with two weapons does subtract some points and some "cool factor" and truth be told, the figure is relatively plain compared to many others. She's a great figure, one of my favorite Scarletts, and deserves serious praise, but doesn't quite hang with Airtight or Sci-Fi based on pure cool factor.
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