It’s been a bit quiet in the G.I. Joe reviews section, but that changes today. The final three Figure Subscription Service figures have been added to the G.I. Joe Collectors Club review page!
Check out the reviews below.
Along with the different Action Force focused characters released as European exclusives, one of the more famous and popular branch of UK and Europe released figures were their Tiger Force themed versions. Outside the United States, the Tiger Force color pallet went a decidedly different direction, using oranges, blues, browns and greens rather than the more familiar yellows and blacks. Looking back on it, the orange and brown specifically makes a bit more sense given the whole Tiger Force motif, though the domestic released figures appeared to be paying homage to some real world military themes.
One of the most familiar of these repaints was Tiger Force Outback, who actually developed a whole new t-shirt deco featuring a great looking cat face that has really drawn lots of collector interest over the past several years. It makes sense for the Collectors Club to want to dip into this area of collector desires.
What’s really interesting about how the Collectors Club handled this was that they actually wrote Outback into this look and feel throughout their monthly comic. Making Outback a part of the Zombie Invasion convention set, they had him infected by Compound Z, and while he ultimately recovered, it ended up coloring his hair white (as the foreign version had white hair and a beard as well). Once that revelation appeared in the convention comic, it was pretty clear that this figure was in the works. So now that we have it, how does it measure up?
It measures up… pretty well, I suppose.
I love the concept, and I love that they revisited the UK Tiger Force Outback in a modern format, I just wish they had taken a few more chances with the build. I love the new head sculpt, it’s a great likeness and quite a bit better than the head we got for the 25th Anniversary. It’s fantastic, actually.
The torso is the same torso we got with the 25th Anniversary version, as are the legs, both of which are kind of a shame. I understand why the Club went that route, mostly for the leg-mounted flashlight and the tie back to the original, but at this point, parts developed in 2007 – 2008 look pretty out of date next to more modern sculpted figures. Not only that, but the COBRA Trooper legs tend to look bow-legged. The knee pin on my figure is actually barely holding together, which might color my opinion a little bit too much, but still, looking at Outback’s legs compared to legs sculpted and developed post 2010 is a pretty stark reminder of how far things have come. Thankfully, however, the Club does change out his arms with the more modern 30th Anniversary style short sleeves, which is a change that is very much appreciated, adding some better articulation and range of motion over the old school 25th Anniversary arms.
What the figure does excel at, however, is the deco. The cat face shirt pattern looks terrific, and the color matching of the figure is pretty spot on. He’s a vibrant, interesting looking entry into the FSS, I just wish they hadn’t been quite so faithful to the outdated original with their parts choices.
Tiger Force Outback comes with a different sort of webgear that is actually cool, because he can wear it around his shoulders without covering up the awesome cat face. He has a machine gun, large backpack and knife (again with the 25th Anniversary accessories, though. It looks woefully out of scale and out of date compared to newer items).
The accessories are pretty good and work well for the character, though don’t provide anything especially revolutionary.
Ever since his escape from Borovia, Outback has been one of my top tier characters in the Real American Hero mythos. He’s gotten a surprising amount of love throughout the modern era, but none of them have been quite perfect. The Tiger Force version improves most with a vastly improved head sculpt and great shirt deco, but the outdated build once again reduces the “wow” factor that the vintage figure provided.
The Figure Subscription Service reveals are officially in full swing, and the Collectors Club has now revealed Tiger Force Outback!
A great looking new head, and the tiger deco on the shirt came out great, though I would have enjoyed a slightly updated build. The 25th Anniversary one isn’t terrible, but those arms… just feels like better stuff was available recently.
That being said, it’s a good deco, and they nailed the most important part, which was the tiger pattern on the shirt.
When you’re pounding through 20 something reviews in 10 days, some times there are some details that get missed, and unfortunately it’s been pointed out to me that complaints about Outback’s arm articulation were likely because I had his left arm positioned backwards throughout most of the review.
That is a true point, though it doesn’t help the movement issues in his right arm, but hey, if you’re cool with Outback being left-handed then he can hold and position his weapons a LOT better than I indicated in my review.
So I do apologize, and from now on in my universe, ole Outback is a south paw. :)
I’ve added the images and a little clarification text to my Outback review as well. Thanks to the folks who pointed this out to me.
While it takes only a few minutes for your average Joe fan to wander into Wal-Mart and scoop up a G.I. Joe figure, many of us forget the amount of preparation, planning, and work that goes into designing and producing every single figure. Yes, even Arctic Destro.
From inputs to package art, pen and paper artists are just as important to the design process as the sculptors and figure painters. One of those artists has seen fit to reveal some of his work on G.I. Joe packaging from the past few years, and we’re all glad he did. His name is Mike Thompson, and you can find his WordPress blog right here.
Love the detail in this art, and a huge thanks to Mr. Thompson for sharing it. If you want to keep up to date on any more of his postings, follow him on Twitter. Also a big thanks to GeekIJoe on Twitter and Greg from What’s on Joe Mind for directing us to this awesome site.
I’ve mirrored one image of Outback below, but lots of great other pictures and details at the site itself. Check it out.
Terror Drome member Sparks received his recently released Wave 5 vehicles in the mail from SmallJoes, and did up a great review with some really nice images over on their site. I’ve also mirrored his fantastic images below. Some great looking vehicles, to be sure. Like the COBRA Island 7-Packs, there was a very good chance that these never saw the light of day, kudos to Hasbro for answering their fanbase and finding a way to get these out there. It would have been a real shame if they hadn’t made it.
The fans have been waiting, and it seems as if the wait just might be over! GeneralsJoes sponsor SmallJoes.com appears to have the Wave 5 vehicles in stock (with the exception of the Stinger sold singly). Check out the links below!
Thanks to Fast Draw of HissTank.com for the intel.
Continuing the recent trend, ACToys.net has some great images of soon-to-be released items up on their message boards. This time around are some terrific shots of the upcoming vehicles, including the Arctic HISS, the Stinger, and the FLAK vs. CLAW 2-pack! Check out the thread here, or see the images mirrored below.