Figure Subscription Service 3.0 Spearhead & Max

As more and more figures were released in the 25th Anniversary line, the Pursuit of Cobra line, and the 30th Anniversary line, it was quickly becoming clear that some of the more in demand characters were being released, and on a per year basis, many of those slots were gone. At this point, most of 82 - 85 slots have been filled and a good portion of 86, which leaves a smattering of '87 and '88 before moving towards '89 and the 90's, where many Joe fans think Hasbro started to falter back in the day.

It makes sense that the G.I. Joe Collectors' Club take the opportunity to explore those late 80s rosters, and this FSS takes aim to knock a bunch of those down.

Repeater, Hit & Run, Muskrat, and Spearhead are all from the 1988 line up, to add to characters like Shockwave, Voltar, and Iron Grenadier. It's a solid strategy, though considering many of these characters already hit in Night Force, it can be a somewhat bitter pill for Joe fans to swallow. The pill becomes especially bitter due to the fact that Hasbro isn't exactly flooding retail shelves with these figures either, so really our main outlet for toys is the GIJCC, so it can be a bit frustrating when half of the FSS is consumed by figures that were already released a few years ago in a different deco.

In defense of the Club, however, it is what the fans were asking for, just probably not all at once.

Back to Spearhead himself...the original Spearhead has the dubious distinction of being one of my least favorite figures in the 1988 roster, mainly because of the weird shape of his torso, the texture of his vest, and his awful accessories. The bland orange and tan color scheme certainly didn't help much.

To their credit, the Club tries to replicate as much of that look as possible, because recreating the vintage characters is one of their priorities, but in this case I think it may be to their detriment. Spearhead, even in modern form, just isn't a very fun figure.

The tight, almost too small Shockwave vest is still stuck in the 25th era hay day when it comes to sculpting detail, so looks a bit out of place among the tightly sculpted and articulated arms and legs from the POC Shock Trooper. The bullet strap strung tight over the chest doesn't look great either, and can restrict movement in the arms.

Colors are at least improved here, and the Club manages to satisfy both camps...they replicate the orange-ish camouflage, but by off-setting it nicely with darker browns on the boots, gloves, and trim, it darkens the overall figure and adds at least some color contrast to Spearhead, making him less monochromatic than his previous version.

ACCESSORIES

When it comes to accessories, the modern Spearhead is in a much better place as well. His machete is smaller and more realistic, without the bizarre ornamental look of its predecessor. While this modern figure does come with that obnoxiously huge and ugly machine gun, he also at least has some great back ups, with the more basic heavy machine gun and M-4 Carbine. I love the helmet and backpack as well.

Max the bobcat is the beneficiary of some great new paint apps, too, with a layered fur color spray and nice spotted deco rather than the single stretch of orange from the classic.

Spearhead is a character I want to love. This specialty of point man is terrific, and Larry Hama crafted a great filecard for him. Unfortunately the classic build and color just never grabbed me, and this new version doesn't do it either. I may try swapping out some webgear for the awkward vest, I don't know, but I feel like I have to do something different to better appreciate the figure as is.

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