Sneak Peek (Figure Subscription Service)

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Isn’t it amazing how one little toss-in storyline in the comic can completely redefine a character for you?

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Or is that just me?  Am I just such a media fanatic that a simple mistake that turned into a plot takes a character to some different level in my mind?  Ever since his initial release in 1987, I really didn’t give a crap about Sneak Peek.  The figure was somewhat bland, his character wasn’t all that interesting, and while I generally love the concept of recon, the way his figure fit into that demographic (as compared to Recoil, a figure I loved) didn’t resonate with me.

He was just kind of there.

Then during the infamous Trucial Abysma story in the original Marvel Comic, he was given one last shot at being memorable, then sacrificed himself to save a child and permanently embedded himself in the minds of many G.I. Joe fans.  Fast forward a couple of decades, and in the modern Real American Hero comic from IDW, Larry Hama apparently forgot this little twist and included Sneak Peek in a cast off comic panel.  Well, the fandom went crazy, so Larry spun off that idea into the thought that Sneak Peek had faked his death way back when and gone deep undercover, ending up in a conflict with Darklon (who is also part of this FSS… go figure).

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Many folks thought that was kind of a cop out, but I loved it.  Ever since that moment transpired I’ve been wanting a modern version of Sneak Peek in a way that I never have from the beginning.  Now the Club has given us one, and it’s… well, it’s okay.

Listen, I’m glad we got Sneak Peek.  I’ve been wanting him.  I think I just wanted him a little better than this.  Looking back on the vintage version of the character, there are a few aspects that really stand out.  He’s got those great knee-high metal boots, rolled up sleeves, a textured chest pad…these aspects are kind of what separates him from any other generic Joes out there, and the Collectors Club effectively included none of them.

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Like the Tiger Force version from the last FSS, he’s got the regular Shock Trooper arms, and Shock Trooper legs, though the Club threw in the PoC Snake Eyes torso instead.  Still, though, essentially he is just a repainted Shock Trooper as are so many other figures that have been released since 2011.  I mean that’s not a drastic crime or anything, and he still very clearly looks like Sneak Peek, but I think this is a clear example of some of the intricate design aesthetics that have been missing in figures recently.  It seems as if design falls to the lowest common denominator and whatever combination of parts is deemed “good enough” is what we get.

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I understand it.  I know the challenges the Club likely has to go through with overseas factories to sort out the parts, but still…  it would be nice to look at a figure build and say “wow, that’s really creative” for once, instead of everything pretty much showing up as expected.

The figure’s colors match the vintage version well enough, and looking at Sneak Peek as a whole, he is a servicable modern version for a somewhat forgettible classic character that Larry Hama helped make more important to the mythology.

Accessories

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Taking a look at Sneak Peek’s accessories, one just has to go back to the Tiger Force version from the last FSS.  We have the same helmet, radio pack, machine gun, binoculars and periscope.  I do absolutely LOVE this new periscope, though, it’s head and shoulders better than the vintage version and was obviously expertly designed and crafted.

The one difference here is with his tactical vest.  Instead of the Scrap Iron vest, we have Resolute Duke’s, and I’m fine with that.  This one looks more modern and more military, and I dig it.  I don’t mind that it’s drastically different from the vintage one, it looks better than the Tiger Force rendition in my opinion.  The only issue I do have is that it’s a bit too small for the Snake Eyes torso, and unless you’re diligent about it, he constantly looks like he’s wearing a belly shirt.

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Sneak Peek is a character I never cared for until recently, and I’m ecstatic that the Collectors Club found a way to work him into the Figure Subscription Service.  I do wish there had been a bit more thought and consideration into making the figure build more unique, and this feels like it’s become a consistent, persistent issue, which is a pretty big deal when you consider how much we’re being expected to pay per figure.

If you’re going to be putting retail level effort into a product, but you’re expecting collectible level spending, I think that’s a big problem.

GeneralsJoes Reviews Figure Subscription Service Sneak Peek, Outback and Doc

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.

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Tiger Force Sneak Peek (Figure Subscription Service)

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Like with Tiger Force Outback, the G.I. Joe Collectors Club looked overseas for an idea on the deco for this particular figure, and I’m really glad they did.  In a way, I’ve always preferred the look of the European Tiger Force exclusives over much of the domestic releases (and really loved the aesthetic of the Toys “R” Us set, which mimiced some of that look) and it’s cool to see those decos represented here, even if they don’t really closely match some of the domestic figures.

I found myself especially excited for Sneak Peek considering his recent (well, somewhat recent) run in the IDW G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero comic, which had him coming back from the dead as a top secret undercover operative.  Interestingly that storyline tied into a story bringing Darklon back as well, and now both of those characters are appearing in more familiar paint schemes in FSS 5.

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Keeping our minds on Tiger Force Sneak Peek, the build is pretty straight forward, looking like more or less the Pursuit of COBRA Shock Trooper from neck to foot.  While not unexpected, this kind of default build can get a little tiring after a while, especially when it sidesteps some of Sneak Peek’s more identifiable traits like his rolled up sleeves and knee-high boots.  I know, I know, I consistently complain about dovetailing too closely to the vintage look, but in the case of Sneak Peek, it feels like they ignored some of the unique aspects that make him different, instead just giving us more of the same with the Poc Shock Trooper.  I’m curious to know if their access to tooling libraries is getting more restrictive, as we’re starting to see more and more figures sharing more and more of the same parts.

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Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the Shock Trooper parts, they have great sculpting and impressive articulation, and look suitably military, but I’m hoping they’re not becoming a crutch and restricting creativity, especially when parts do exist.  Sci-Fi’s legs and 50th Anniversary Flint’s arms could both work for a Sneak Peek formula.  Perhaps there were restrictions I’m not aware of, though.

Thankfully they appear to be under no restrictions with the color pallet, though, and do a great job with the orange and blue that’s become a trademark of the European Tiger Force clan.  The look is great from that perspective, and I love the colorful nature of Sneak Peek.  He’s a great looking figure in spite of the somewhat generic build.

Accessories

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Sneak Peek comes pretty well loaded with accessories.  He’s got a removable helmet and Scrap Iron’s vest, along a newly sculpted and tooled periscope which looks pretty fantastic.  He has his trusty M-16, binoculars, and a field radio, all of which mesh nicely with his specialty.  It’s a pretty awesome selection of some great accessories that make the figure really pop.

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As a character, Sneak Peek never did a whole lot for me until Hama inadvertently brought him back from the dead and added some more intriguing twists to the character.  Since then, I’ve become much more of a Sneak Peek fan (even if it was a pseudo retcon on Hama’s part) and I’m glad to see him represented here as well as in the upcoming FSS 5.  Plus, it’s about time we started filling out more of the 1987 roster, which was one of the more unique series in the line’s history.

Although the parts chosen here feel a little bit phoned in, the deco is great and they gave him a ton of awesome gear, so the end result is better than I might have suspected.  A good note to end FSS 4 on.

Figure Subscription Service Sneak Peek revealed!

Hot on the heels of the great news about the Figure Subscription Service Salvo update, we also get a brand new reveal in the form of Sneak Peek!

Using the same basic build as the Tiger Force version from FSS 4 (only with a different vest, this classic Sneak Peek looks pretty good, straight out of the pages of IDW’s Real American Hero comic.  Check out the reveal on GIJoeClub.com or mirrored below.

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Tiger Force Sneak Peek from FSS IV

The British invasion continues with the Figure Subscription Service.  The Collectors Club revealed Tiger Force Sneak Peek today, a European variant of the G.I. Joe reconnaissance trooper.

Check out the image below, and get more info on the FSS at GIJoeClub.com!

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GeneralsJoes Reviews IDW’s G.I. Joe: RAH #170

Wow…has it been that long since I reviewed an IDW book?  Yes, it has.  Shame on me.

The real tragedy is that I’ve been enjoying IDW’s Joe books recently, by and large, but I just haven’t had time to review every issue as I would like.  Trying to change that.  I’m at a training seminar this week, and I decided to take a bit of a break today from studying to get some G.I. Joe fix in.  It also helps that I had easy access to a comic store today to pick up a few issues.  Back at home, I normally pick up my monthly books right across the street from work at a local Newbury Comics.  Well, Hurricane Irene flooded that entire shopping plaza out a few weeks back, which has limited my ability to quench my Joe comic fix.

Granted, there are digital copies out there from IDW for sites that review their content, but I usually prefer to flip through a paper copy of the book while typing up the review, just for simplicity sake.  Call me old school.

Now, because of the delay in newsletter releases compared to the “real time” access on the internet, I have been reviewing the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero title for the Collectors’ Club newsletter, but rather than just copy and paste the same content to the web, I’d rather do separate reviews in the various medium.  But I figured that enough was finally enough and I needed to get back on track.  Hit the jump to read the latest review.

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GeneralsJoes Reviews G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #164

Over the past few months I’ve done nothing but heap praise upon the Real American Hero title, which had been disappointing me for a little while, but has since made up for it in a big way.

Well, this month, for the most part, it continues to redeem itself, but something happened in the latest issue, which was actually pretty disappointing to me.  Probably minor in the grand scheme of things, and one of the risks you take when you attempt to extend a continuity that hasn’t been touched for over a decade (Devils’ Due notwithstanding).

Still, I do expect more out of Larry Hama, and IDW’s editorial staff.  Click the Read the Rest of this Entry link below to find out what I’m bitching about.

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