I know, I know… it’s about damn time! Yes, yes it is. But, the way I look at it is we waited over 30 friggen years for a Billy figure, what’s another couple of weeks to get the review done?
But it is done! I’ve got full blown text reviews as well as YouTube video reviews all polished off for both Billy and the Interrogator, two characters that are very near and dear to me, and two characters I was greatly looking forward to. One of them mostly meets my expectations, while the other falls a little short.
For me, in a way, the G.I. Joe Collectors Club Figure Subscription Service has felt like my home away from home and a place that dovetailed really nicely with my own little view on the G.I. Joe universe. Over the past two runs of the FSS we’ve gotten Hit & Run, Vypra, and now Interrogator, three characters who play huge roles in my own G.I. Joe universe, and characters who I’m thrilled to see modern updates of.
Interrogator was such a minor character in the Marvel Comics, practically a non-entity until Devils’ Due made him part of the Plague, and in a way really put him on the map. I also featured the character pretty heavily in my dio-stories, mostly due to his striking design, awesome helmet, and really cool specialty of being COBRA’s chief torture master. Interrogator has been revisited a couple of times now, and probably my favorite update to him is the Direct to Consumer rendition that we saw in the early 2000’s, which really modernized him nicely and made him look a little more official.
The G.I. Joe Con exclusive in 2011 was a pretty great take, too, with a neat removable helmet.
That brings us to this particular FSS update, which I will admit, I struggle to get my head around. The torso and arms appear to be from the G.I. Joe: Retaliation COBRA Commander, a pretty neat figure, and those parts look pretty neat here, too. His legs are from Arctic Destro in the Pursuit of Cobra era, and I have zero issues with those parts either. They give him a great bulk and some really awesome design aesthetics that are somewhat evocative of his vintage look, but also nicely updated.
His head, however, leaves a little to be desired. The Club chooses to reutilize the removable helmet, which was okay back in 2010 but looks a little dated these days. It’s covering the head from Rise of COBRA Sgt. Flash, which also doesn’t provide a heck of a lot of excitement. Considering the Club used the torso and arms from Retaliation COBRA Commander, I’m almost shocked that they didn’t just use that head as well, since they should know it would fit, and I’d think it would be in the same tooling library. If they’d used that head with red paint on the faceplate, this figure would look 100% better.
Looking at the colors, the Club sticks with what works, a gray shirt with dark blue pants and lots of black and silver trim to spice things up a bit. On each thigh we also see the familiar red stripes as another tribute to the old school version. From a pure aesthetic perspective, the figure looks like an update to Interrogator, and works moderately well from that regard, but could definitely use some fine tuning.
As mentioned above, the Interrogator comes with a removable helmet (though it stays pretty firmly on that more modern larger head. He also has a snake-handled knife, pistol with silencer and twin nunchuk type things that actually look more like some kind of electronic cattle prod. Law’s handcuffs are included, too.
Along with this, he also comes with the same tactical vest that the MARS Trooper came with back in the Rise of Cobra days, and unfortunately I think that’s the biggest hang up I have with this figure. I’m not a huge fan of that overly flat and bland looking webgear as it is, but especially on top of a relatively cool modern figure it looks especially underwhelming.
The good news is, of course, that webgear can be easily swapped out, but as it stands, the figure does not look especially good with it on him.
Interrogator is a character that is pretty near and dear to me, and I desperately wanted a modern update to knock my socks off. Unfortunately the FSS version does not quite hit that milestone. I think with a few minor adjustments, like the Retaliation COBRA Commander head and fresh web gear, the figure could be drastically improved. I’ll take steps to do that, but it would have been really awesome for him to come out of the package that way in the first place. Not bad, but not the Club’s best.
While the folks at Fun Publications were ramping up for Botcon, they put FSS IV reveals on hold to focus on the task at hand.
Now Botcon is over and the latest Figure Subscription Service is open for business again. To celebrate the launch, the Club has revealed Interrogator!
A personal favorite character of mine (I still can’t believe in FSS 3 & 4 we got or are getting Hit & Run, Vypra, and Interrogator. Too cool.) I am pretty particular about how Interrogator should be represented. We’re fortunate enough to have a few good sources of inspiration for the character, from the awesome ’91 original to the Direct To Consumer “Viper Lockdown” version which is pretty amazing. Here, the Club is taking a different approach.
This Interrogator draws some inspiration from older models, but also adds some nice newness. Using Retaliation Cobra Commander’s torso and arms with Artcic Destro’s legs there is some nice armor and some great black and gray offsets. I’m not wild about the re-use of the 2010 Convention helmet (really if they’d used the Retaliation Cobra Commander head along with the torso and arms with a red faceplate it would have worked) but the rest of the figure surprisingly appeals to me. I like that he’s more combat ready, and goes in a bit of a different direction than previous versions. This almost looks like it could be a Plague version if the colors were darker.
Anyway, I’m excited for this one. Check out the image below and keep watching GIJoeClub.com for the latest info. Also, if you like what you see, sign up for the FSS, it’s only open until midnight of July 15th.
As usual, the Convention started with a sprint that quickly led to the abrupt halt that is known as “pre-registration”. Actually, to be fair, the lines were not bad at all this year, and I give all the credit in the world to the line monitors who did an absolutely awesome job. They all deserve commendation. Especially for those damn orange vests they had to wear.
In all seriousness, the lines all moved at a very brisk pace and things went smooth as silk. I did have to step out for about 40 minutes to help Mark Bellomo unload his car down through the freight elevator, which added some excitement. Click the “Read the rest of this entry” link below to get a run down.
So, those of us waiting with baited breath will have to wait just a touch longer as the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club has not yet debuted the brochure for the 2010 Convention in Providence. However, they have thrown us a very nice bone! The 2010 JoeCon Page has been updated with the following information:
“ – We know each of you are anxiously awaiting the posting of the GIJoeCon 2010 information
and registration forms. The forms have been finished since the first of this week but unfortunately, we have been
waiting on confirmation of a very special event at the convention, so we cannot post them just yet.
So, we have decided to give you a sneak preview at the 3 3/4″ Real American Hero convention set:
Our 2010 set features the return of the classic O-Ring style action figures. Our first exciting reveal is the mysterious COBRA INTERROGATOR. This unique and exclusive figure will have a brand new head sculpt that includes a removable helmet for the first time ever!”
And then they make me one happy Joefan. While we’ve seen no confirmation yet of the Red Shadows, including Interrogator in the set just ROCKS. Anyone who reads my dio-stories knows how much of a fan I am of The Interrogator, and having an updated version in classic o-ring format makes me very happy. Taking one look at the filecard art as well, just confirms to me, too that this is a vintage style o-ring figure as well. No doubt in my mind he’s using the torso from the 1991 Snake Eyes. I really can’t wait to see more…if Hit & Run ends up in here anywhere, I may just plotz.
I did mirror the Interrogator image below, but please keep your eyes on GIJoeCon.com for the latest news and information on the 2010 G.I. Joe Collectors’ Convention!