Spy Troops Wave 2 (Wave 7) - Widescope
I remember the first time I saw this figure's prototype on eBay. I was certain Hasbro had reached a level of sheer perfection and was releasing the perfect update to their famous Urban SWAT master, Shockwave. I'm still positive that's who this figure was originally intended to be.
The months up until the officially released names, I was hoping and praying that this would be the new Shockwave...he just seemed PERFECT.
But as more pictures started filtering out...and the figure was named "SWAT" I had a feeling that perfection would not come to be...and alas I was right. But is that a bad thing? Not necessarily.
Wide Scope, AKA SWAT, AKA Shockwave has morphed into something slightly different...
When the final figure pictures were released, I could see that the apparent proportions were a little off. Like many other new sculpt Wave 7 figures, his shoulders were oddly broad, and he had a narrow waist and long legs. Luckily, in my opinion anyway, his armored vest, shinpads and uniform makes this not so bad. Whereas Big Brawler's skintight t shirt looks rediculous with his ultimate "triangle torso", Wide Scope doesn't look so bad. He even looks a little bit better than Red Spot, a figure I didn't think was quite as bad as everyone else.
But still...shouldn't this have been Shockwave? No, it's not...and I'm actually glad. This figure isn't quite cool enough to replace my ever-favorite '88 Shockwave. That figure is an amazing one from the classic days of Joe, and I'm almost happy that this is a new character instead, because that means I can use this figure, which I think is pretty neat in it's own right, but still use good ole Shockwave as well. But let's get down to the basics with this figure.
I've seen mixed reviews here and there on Wide Scope. The classic proportion issues as well as some other comments, but all in all, I really like this figure. His mold does have some odd shape, but it is not over the top. His wrinkled loose uniform top has some nice detailing to it and mixed with the interesting layered body armor, he looks like the "door-kicker" he's meant to be. Those cool arm pouches are interesting and a different touch from other figures, and even though his hands are really small, I like the padded gloves...they squeezed some serious detail into those little paws! The long legs do look a little out of whack, but I really dig those knee-high shinpads...they again really fit the SWAT motif and someone who's in point and hitting the room first. Pair those up with the steel-toed boots and you've got a pretty effective SWAT package. Then there's the head...one thing that I must say JvC has done a lot better than the old RAH days is the headsculpts. Each molded in great detail, the head all have a great amunt of character and interest to them and this one is no different. Even through the quilted skimask I can see an innocent rookie look about this figure, but still with a hardness in the yes...couple that with the "SWAT" hat and the figure is all around very cool, given lots of character by the face and head alone.
How about the color scheme? This is a really cool part of this figure, in my mind. I can imagine one of the otugher parts of designing some of these figures is choosing a color pattern...there's only so much you can do with olive drab and brown before it gets boring, and Hasbro made some great different choices here which bring this figure to life. The vibrant blue mixed with the deep black, and a dark blue trim really mix together perfectly to maintain a law enforcement look, but still make the figure interesting and different. Such little additions like making the mask and hat different colors really add a lot to the figure and bring out the cool little extra details. The only place the paint apps really fall short I think is in the camouflage on the legs. The light gray splotches of odd shapes really doesn't look like camouflage to me and isn't very convincing. If they could have pulled off a look similar to the Wave 1.5 Alley-Viper I would have been thrilled, but as it is, I guess it isn't too bad.
One spot where this figure does fall somewhat short is in the accessories. He's obviously a SWAT frontman based on the riot shield and look to the figure, but nothing else matches that MO. He's got a dog, which while it is a cool new mold, doesn't really fit the "door-kicker" specialty. Also, the figure comes equipped with a sniper rifle...something else that doesn't quite match.
Of course it could be that Wide Scope is an all purpose law enforcement specialist...he's a K9 unit, frontman, and sharpshooter, which leads to some interesting possibilities storywise...still I'd have much preferred to see him with a close quarter weapon like an MP5 or something like that. Hasbro has done some terrific work on new weapon sculpts, so I think I'd really enjoy their take on a close combat submachine gun.
So, in a nutshell, Wide Scope doesn't really blow me away. But he's a very solid new figure, while somewhat out of proportion he works for what he is and I think I can definitely find a spot for him in my Joe lineup. In the end I'm happy that he's not a rerelease of Shockwave, because I see him as a rookie who Shockwave has taken under his wing and is trying to mold from a good SWAT trooper to a great one. His dog, Lamont, is hit or miss for me...it's a neat new animal sculpt, but besides Mutt, I've never really felt a need to include the animals with their owners...I always thought it was kind of silly.
All in all, this figure is definitely a keeper. He's even a pseudo-army builder, and considering he comes with a new version of the B.A.T., I'm sure there will be people with armies of him. Definitely pick this one up, I think Wide Scope is good enough to give him a shot.
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