G.I. Joe: Retaliation - Tactical Ninja 3 Pack Agent Mouse
NOTE - This item is a pre-production item and may or may not represent the final toy released in 2013
I remember when we first heard of "Mouse" within the confines of the G.I. Joe: Retaliation film, and a collective groan went up throughout the fandom. Early rumors were that Mouse (portrayed in the film by Joe Mazzello) was slated to be an attractive young man, designed to lure girls into theaters. I think at this point that has been totally debunked, considering he really didn't get any significant face time in any of the early teasers or trailers.
The fact remains that Mazzello is actually a great actor, and his action figure is no slouch either.
I should note right up front that this figure is technically a pre-production sample. There is evidence that these figures actually come from boxed samples (and in fact, this figure was still attached to a plastic "tray" when I received him) but I've seen no conclusive proof. The fact that this figure is actually missing what may be a knife sheath in the back of his vest leads me to think these are possibly not final versions.
That being said, even if this is the final version, it's a damn good figure, truth be told.
Using many of the components of the very popular G.I. Joe: Retaliation Joe Trooper (torso, upper arms, and legs) Agent Mouse is an awesome looking pseudo-futuristic military trooper. His articulation is fantastic, with the ankles and double knees from the Joe Trooper, as well as very nicely poseable arms. You'll notice in the pictures that I didn't remove the vest. The reason why I didn't was that it wasn't coming off very easily, and I didn't want to risk tearing it or ripping a peg off of it before I did the review, so I elected to just leave it on there. From what I can tell, the torso is the same as the Joe Trooper. Somewhat unfortunately, the vest is just bulky enough so the arms cannot quite get into an awesome firing pose, but they still do pretty darn well.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, too, but i believe the lower arms just might be a new sculpt. They remind me of Footloose/Kwinn, but with the rolled up sleeves, they're obviously from someone different. Regardless of the source of the arms, they are awesome. It seems odd to focus so much attention on such a small part of the figure, but considering where we were five years ago with the awful looking 25th Anniversary sleeved arms it is truly remarkable just how nice all of these parts look together now. The sculpting is fantastic throughout this entire figure.
The new head sculpt adds a great element as well, though not knowing the actor quite as well as I know Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum, or even DJ Cotrona, I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the sculpt. Detail wise, it looks extremely nice.
Where this figure excels, in my opinion, is with the paint applications. Hasbro goes in some different directions with the paint throughout the entire figure, and pretty much every decision is a raging success, I think. They obviously went with a desert theme, using very light tans and grays throughout the majority of Mouse's uniform. But the little touches are the best ones. Where the inner liner is on the upper arms, Hasbro painted black to accentuate the gray of the sleeves, a very small touch that adds terrific detail. On the legs, where the Joe Trooper just had flat green, Mouse has some nice trim, giving some texture to his pants and adding an interesting dimension below his knees. Very small touches, but nice ones.
The last great paint element is the blue on his vest. For whatever reason Hasbro has decided this vibrant blue color is something that draws the eye to their figures, as it's prevelant throughout the entire first assortment of figures. In this case, I gotta agree. Even if it's not very camouflage friendly, I absolutely love the shade of blue on the armored plates of Mouse's vest. A very nice and colorful deviation from the grays, tans, and blacks of the figure itself.
As with the figure itself, I take the accessory compliment with a small grain of salt, though I will say they were firmly attached to the same plastic tray as the figure, so I'm inclined to think this is what we're getting. The two rifles are pulled straight from the Joe Trooper figure, but the helmet is brand spanking new, as is that...really...weird silver thing that I cannot quite explain. It almost looks like an ejection seat of some sort.
Agent Mouse also comes with the backpack gear that came with the Ghost Hawk II as well, but oddly, this harness has a hole in the back (for a backpack to fit through) rather than the actual backpack peg that the Ghost Hawk version came with.
I've seen complaints about the weapons, and I can appreciate that. I will say they do not look as orange as they did in pictures, but are instead a more flat light tannish-brown. I'd still much rather have black or gray weapons, though. The new helmet seems as if it is probably based on something "real world" but I'm not entirely sure what the source is. It fits excellently, though, and looks like it would provide significant protection to Mouse's melon. Based on early trailers for the G.I. Joe: Retaliation film, though, it looks like it didn't protect him quite enough. ;)
This figure is really fantastic. I will admit it was the early look at the updated G.I. Joe: Retaliation Flint from JoeCon 2012 that finally convinced me that I wanted to track this figure down. It looks like a great all purpose military trooper, blends very nicely with the Joe Troopers (as he should), and has some really interesting and appealing color choices. The weapons are nice, even if they have some odd colors, and by and large I can find absolutely nothing to complain about here.
The first wave of 3-Packs were pretty popular among collectors, giving them some great character choices with many better accessories than the single pack figures had, and based on what we've seen so far from the second series, I'm inclined to believe that is going to hold true in 2013. Agent Mouse is certainly a fantastic start.
EDIT - Now that this figure is out at retail, I can offer a bit more insight into what a few of these items are and what the final release looks like.
First of all, we now know that the retail release version has a sheath with a removable knife at the back of his tactical vest:
Along with this, the strange silver thing that I couldn't quite figure out is one piece of a two-part clamp that can either attach to a table, or something similar in order for Agent Mouse to rappell into action!
As an added bonus, as seen in the instructions above, the clamp can also attach to the rails on the underside of the Ghost Hawk II so they can rappell from that vehicle as well. Pretty darn cool.