Got to get tough! Yo Joe!
I just can’t help myself… every time I get a figure from 1990 in my hands I just want to belt out that theme song. When the DiC series first aired way back when it seemed laughable in comparison to the Sunbow days, but looking back on those 90s years it’s still kinda cool to see the later generation characters in animated form.
It was such a weird time in 1990. It almost felt like a “soft reboot” of the G.I. Joe brand, with all new characters (many of them sort of replacing existing characters), tons of interesting accessories and when I say “interesting” I mean weed whacker and weird mesh tent type of interesting.
Ambush was a “concealment specialist” in those days, one of the few figures from 1990 that didn’t automatically replace an existing character. His color scheme was a bit odd, looking very much like a desert commando, yet his accessories were clearly more geared towards jungle camouflage. To be honest, I actually preferred the Sidetrack rendition of the figure to the original. But I digress.
The Collectors Club dives back into 1990 with Ambush as part of their FSS and does an okay job of it. His head is from the Convention General Mayhem, which works surprisingly well, to be honest. The deco of the figure is a nice match for the vintage version, though the long brown sleeves don’t work quite as well without the underlying texture. Also, his torso and legs are from 25th Anniversary Dusty, which… is… I just don’t get it. In 2017 I can’t find many reasons why someone should use 25th Anniversary parts when there are so many others available. If the entire purpose was to get that weird “shirt tail” piece, I’d have considered just not sweating that a whole lot. As a result the figure looks somewhat dated, not just alongside other figures, but alongside himself. With the obvious later generation head and later generation arms, the torso and legs don’t quite mesh.
As a result of the strange confluence of parts, Ambush looks like his arms are a bit too long for this torso (though not as bad as I thought originally) and his neck is bordering on giraffe. Now, the Club did think to include the PoC Dusty scarf/cape piece to help offset that a bit, but if you want your Ambush to look more vintage accurate and you remove that? Well, he doesn’t look real good.
Of course a lot of that isn’t noticeable if you’re just checking out the figure on display, so perhaps I’m making mountains out of molehills.
Considering how much thought and work were put into the accessories for the original 1990 run of figures, you would think that would be a key consideration with these new versions, and to a degree, it is. Ambush as a nicely fitting helmet, the collar and cape from PoC Dusty, the net from Shadow Tracker, a bandolier and two machine guns. He’s actually pretty loaded.
While the net sort of misses the point of the original ghille suit/camouflage net, I give the Club props for doing what they could to blend that aesthetic.
Ambush is a decent update, though unfortunately a somewhat flawed one. I’m not sold on the 25th Anniversary parts, but they did a nice job replicating the deco and he’s loaded with pretty fun gear and weapons. He’s better than I feared he might be based on some early images.