Spy Troops Wave 2 (Wave 7) - Big Brawler

Ah, Big Brawler...

Who knows what it is? His controversial (downright silly!) code name and real world persona? The fact that he's stealing thunder from the classic fan-favorite Outback? The fact that he looks like home decorating superstar (boy do those words not sound right together...) Christopher Lowell?

Whatever the case is, Joefans either love or hate Big Brawler...and those that love him only love him because he's so goofy. I almost rationalized his original version...it was a pretty neat olive drab rendition of Outback's mold. The head sculpt was interesting and different enough to make it as a new character. I could find a place for him in my Joe universe for sure. But then the Tiger Force set came...and it was supposed to be Outback...it should have been Outback! Why couldn't it be Outback? But alas, it was again Big Brawler, this time supporting more hair on his head and on his face. His Tiger Force paint scheme was oddly different from his pack-mates...his hair came in two different colors. And his goofiness grew slightly.

Then came Wave 7. Like Tiger Force it was supposed to be Outback...like Tiger Force, perhaps it was destined to be Big Brawler. This cinched it. They were making a NEW mold for Big Brawler...WHAT?? Somehow repaints were almost okay...but devoting a new mold to this oddity? Well, technically I'm sure it was supposed to be Outback the whole time, but needed a change at the last minute. Brawler replaced him previously, why not now, right? And so, as India gets a new Funskool Big Brawler (what the heck--??) we get the Wave 7 Big Brawler. But you don't care about my little history lesson...you want to know what I think of the figure.


That's pretty much it..."eh". I truly do not understand Wave 7. We have absolutely amazing figures like Destro and Night Creeper...we have some fairly cool figures like Kamakura and COBRA Coils...and we have some figures that skate the thin line of proportion like Red Spot, Lady Jaye, and Widescope...yet those last three seem to keep it just enough in check to still work, at least in my mind.

This dude is way over the line...his shoulders are HUGE. But not just the ball-joint part (although those are hefty too)...his broad chest just really accentuates the whole effect. This phenomenon known as "triangle torso" made Red Spot and Widescope shaky (although I still LOVE Widescope) but on Brawler it just looks silly. Add this to his skinny, long legs and the figure just doesn't quite look right.

But proportions have never soured me on a figure completely... this version of Big Brawler also has a fairly dull mold. With a simple t-shirt, shoulder straps and army pants the figure doesn't really DO anything. He's got a neat little knife in his left shoulder strap...a couple of pouches on his pants, but the rest is plain jane.

Not only THAT, but his colors are fairly uninteresting as well. A boring, plain tan shirt and camoflage pants...nothing on thie figure stands out, especially because the color scheme here is almost identical to the Tiger Force version. The paint apps almost seem shoddy, too, as the tiger stripes look slapped on and his camoflage pattern is uninspired at best.

I will say, though, that the head sculpt definitely has some character...the slightly receeding hairline...the thin beard. It looks like an interesting update to the original headsculpt.

But, there is a slightly redeeming quality to this guy...the gun station he comes with is pretty neat. I can definitely see these things as portable SAMS for the Joeteam used in defense of their base as well as to setup around remote locations as well to defend against air attacks. In this, I think the pack has some merit.

Perhaps what has really affected my decision is the feeling that in the last two waves the single-packed figures w/ vehicles have been among my favorites of the bunch, where this figure is merely mediocre. Even mediocre is streching it though. What makes this figure even greater...or more amusing at least, is his filecard. I'm not sure if this is a Hama-written card or not, but ole Big Brawler is the resident Joe super-soldier. Cross trained in Urban Warfare and Jungle assault...a survivalist and martial artist as well as a battlefield tactician and psychological warfare expert, according to the filecard, Mr. Brawler could take out entire legions of COBRA troops on his own. Go, Big Brawler, go!

Hardcore completists (like me) will of course buy this figure. If you're not a completist, this figure is a safe one to avoid, even with the potentially neat "Gun Station". If you're a crazed, fanatical Big Brawler fan, well, this one is a no-brainer. Then again, if you're a crazed, fanatical Big Brawler fan (yeah I'm lookin' at YOU, Hadder...) maybe you need your head checked anyway.





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