G.I. Joe Collectors Club 2014 Membership Figure - Cross Country

Even before I start rambling about how great this figure is (and it really is), I can't help but chuckle a little bit. Over the past several years, the folks at Hasbro (and now the GIJCC, thanks to Boss Fight Studio) have cranked up the design and sculpting for G.I. Joe so many levels, that stuff produced as recently as 2007 or 2008 already looks quite dated. As a result, you have a figure like Cross Country, who is a relatively minor and obscure character, with a much greater action figure than someone like Duke, Flint, or a classic themed Scarlett. It's almost hilarious. Just setting up my "Class of 1986" photo for the review, and looking at the comparisons between Mainframe, General Hawk and Slipstream compared to Lifeline, Low Light, Sci-Fi, and Cross Country... it's amazing how far we've come in only a few years.

Bur rather than focus on that, we should just look at Cross Country himself and revel at how the Club and Boss Fight Studio have taken a character so unheralded that he's the last entry in the 1986 roster, and made him such a fantastic figure.

Believe me, it almost pains me to admit that, because deep down, I really don't like Cross Country as a character all that much. I always thought he was obnoxious in the Sunbow series (frankly, I found almost every new '86 character from Season 2 to be cranky, beligerent, and unlikable) and he just didn't have any real redeeming qualities. This was only amplified in my mind when he was sent to Trucial Abysma in the Marvel Comics and managed to escape unscathed while great characters like Doc, Crazylegs, Quick Kick, and Breaker were summarily executed. But I'm trying hard not to make my dislike of the character impact my review.

First of all, one big benefit at this point is that the Collectors Club has a vast and impressive library of great tooling to choose from. Over the past several years, throughout the Pursuit of Cobra and 30th Anniversary, we've been able to accumulate a great number of nice base figures, which have some impressive sculpting and articulation, yet can manage to look generic enough to work for many different uses. Cross Country uses the Shock Trooper torso and Arctic Storm Shadow arms, which are both some great new parts, and then gets the Rise of Cobra Sgt. Flash legs to finish off his vintage look. These parts are all nicely generic and able to be tweaked for many purposes, meaning the Club (and thus, Boss Fight) only have to focus on some trim, like a vest and head sculpt.

That's precisely what happens here, and the new head sculpt is a great one. With that familiar cocky smirk and awesome mullet hair, Cross Country looks pulled from the 80s just as he should. His familiar hat and goggles are retained from the classic version, and with just one look at the head sculpt, you can tell exactly who this character is supposed to be.

ACCESSORIES

Cross Country comes with a nearly perfect compliment of accessories. He has his machine gun, and great pistol, plus a handy wrench for fixing the HAVOC (or HAVOC Mk. II based on your preference). Obviously, though, the crowning achievement in this accessory selection is the newly sculpted vest. It is a perfect representation of the classic Cross Country look, but has an amazing amount of detail, from wrinkled fabric, to straps that tuck under pockets, and of course the bullets on the belt with a holster for his old school pistol. The red shoulder pad stands out quite nicely, too. Everything about this vest is fantastic, I only wish it wasn't so blatantly unique so it could be used for other characters for customs as well.

The green of the vest is a little muted compared to the original, but that's been something the Club has done all along, and it doesn't really bother me here.

Yes, as much as it pains me to say it, Cross Country is a spectacular figure, and one that everyone should add to their G.I. Joe roster. The new head and vest go a very long way towards redeeming a character I have little love for. So much so, that I'm disappointed that I killed him in my dio-story universe, as I would have loved to have been able to use this figure in Darkness Falls. Compared to last year at this time, when the G.I. Joe fandom was trying to wrap their heads around the Iceberg debacle, this is a welcome breath of very fresh air. Excellent work, G.I. Joe Club and Boss Fight Studio. You guys knocked this one out of the park.

GRADE:


Class of 1986


The free membership figure only comes in a baggie, the carded figure must be purchased separately