Spy Troops Wave 1 (Wave 5) - Sgt. Hacker
This figure, without a doubt, caused the most general confusion when it was first shown on American Dream Comics without a name so many months ago. As a matter of fact, I still have a picture saved from eBay, labeled as "Burnout" because that is who I really thought it was at first. Turns out it was just the "Spy Troops" gear fooling us all, but the end result is a Joe team-member who can blend in with the Cobra troops and provides a nice diverse trooper for the good guys.
Since 1986, the Joe team has needed another computer specialist. Don't get me wrong, Mainframe is a great figure and can definitely hold his own, but as computers grow in their use and the way they affect human life, it becomes necessary to beef up the Joes' I.T. department. Hacker does this very well.
Upon first look, the figure looks somewhat plain, with bland colors, a non-descript mold, and even some plain facial features. With closer inspection, though, a valuable G.I. Joe member is revealed with a lot more than meets the eye.
At first glance, he seems to have a pretty basic uniform, but the mold is awesome in it's subtleties. There isn't a square inch of this guy's uniform that isn't covered by straps, pouches, and gadgets to help him in his infiltration and computer-related duties. His chest has twin straps coming from shoulder pads (over a body suit with a nicely detailed zipper down the front and zippered pocket), and these straps house a nasty looking blade and some sort of saw-like tool. He's got twin carabeeners at his belt (to go along with his grappling hook) and other techno-tools scattered throughout his entire uniform. Hasbro did a great job cramming these details throughout the figure without making him seem overloaded (as the Wave 3 Snake Eyes almost is. This figure is stacked, but not overly so.
The colors work wonders as well...again, he appears to be pretty bland...just gray and not much else going on. But when you really look, there are many different shades of gray which go into the figure. The overall uniform is a light gray, while straps, pads, and gloves are a darker shade. There are black trim on weapons and tools, and some great blue touches on the pouches and shoulder pads. Altogether, the mold and colors come along great, looking subdued, but interesting enough to appease.
His accessories, like many of the Wave 5 figures are a very vital part of the figure, and like most of Wave 5, only partially successful. First of all, I LOVE his mask. It's an awesome, snug, rubbery material which fits well and looks cool. It also doesn't have any Cobra symbols on it, so he can use it as non-Spy Troops gear, too, which is great. The Cobra chest gear is okay, but is very bulky and not very cool looking. I do dig the shin-pads, too...nice design and relatively convincing. The grappling hook is also cool as well. A nice different item, but it's unfortunate that they couldn't build in a clasp on the figure like they did for Hit & Run...that would have made a cool figure all the greater.
All in all, the accessories really aren't too bad, I guess. The Spy Troops gear is interesting, although somewhat unconvincing considering the "G.I. Joe" logo on Hacker's leg is still fully revealed. All in all, though, the disguise is neat, and I really dig this guys machine gun! A great new weapon mold which works phenomenally for it's purpose as a small, lightweight, yet powerful weapon. I really don't buy the Firefly link that the package tries to make, though...doesn't really work for me.
Quite possibly the coolest thing about this figure is what he does. He is a computer specialist, but he also is an expert at infiltration. It is his job to sneak behind enemy lines and sabotage their computer networks. A very "spook-like" job description, and I love the concept! The idea of a highly intelligent "Computer Geek" who can also pop caps and kick butt is a very neat concept.
But the figure has some drawbacks that inhibit pure perfection. Like some of the Joe VS. Cobra figures, his proportions seem pretty off, He has very wide shoulders and an insanely narrow waist, which makes him look somewhat ungainly. Also, straight out of the package, my figure's legs were VERY loose, but a new O-Ring cleared that up just fine. Despite some very minor gripes, though, this figure is definitely a keeper, and a cool addition to the Joe line. Consider him being packaged with Scalpel, and you have a somewhat unspectacular 2-pack, but one worth picking up.
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