If you’d asked me at any point over the past several years if we really needed an update for Charbroil, I would have said “hell no”. In the 21st Century the need for flamethrower troopers seems unnecessary, and Charbroil isn’t even the number 1 flamethrower trooper on the G.I. Joe team. Not only that, but we’ve already received two Charbroil updates, though one was Rise of COBRA and one was Night Force, so we never really got the 1988 update that some folks might have thought we needed.
I would have disagreed.
However, throughout doing this review and realizing just how many 1988 figures have now been released, it’s kind of cool to see the group shot and Charbroil does fill a hole in that roster, which is cool to see.
Charbroil himself is a decent figure. He uses pretty much the entire base figure for the G.I. Joe: Retaliation G.I. Joe Trooper (like the Night Force version did) but done up in colors more accurate to the 1988 version. The shade of brown for the uniform is a decent match for the ’88 original and the yellow trim does a good job complimenting it now as it did 19 years ago.
One curious choice, however, was that instead of reusing the same unmasked head that we got with the Night Force version, instead this Charbroil has a balaclava. I’m not entirely sure why that decision was made, though I would have much preferred the unmasked head here as it was with the Convention set.
If I have a gripe, while the sculpting on the legs is exceptionally well detailed and looks really nice, the ankle joints don’t work especially well (as they really haven’t since 2012) making it tough to keep the figure standing, either on the battle stand or off.
This figure comes with the accessories you’d pretty much expect, including the familiar helmet, backpack with flamethrower (and removable flame) and pistol. Honestly there’s nothing especially revolutionary or different here, and nothing that wows or impresses. The weapons are fine and they make sense, but beyond that they’re just kind of there.
As a character, Charbroil has never really held an interest for me, and as we sit here in 2017, the concept of a flamethrower trooper seems unrealistic at best. It’s nice to have another entry in the 1988 figure roster filled, however, and I will admit I geeked out just a little when I shot that group shot that keeps on getting just a little bit larger every year.