G.I. Joe U.S. Army Ranger SAWS Gunner

Hutt Wigley is back with another sixth scale guest review.  Today it's the new G.I. Joe SAWS Gunner, one of the lower priced carded figures using the new SA (super articulated) bodies.  Take it away, Hutt!

Packaging - ***1/2
It's a bubble-carded GI Joe package. The contents are clearly displayed, and the graphics are effective. There are no twisty ties to get in the way of getting Joe free of his packaging. just lift the edge of the bubble, and rip! JOE'S FREE!!! Definitely NOT for the MIB collector! But that's EXACTLY why I like it!

Sculpting - ***
Joe's head is the exact, same sculpt as the original Classic Collection carded Joes: The close-cropped, crew-cut hair. If this weren't a re-hashed (but effective) headsculpt, Joe would get a better score.

Paint - ***1/2
The camouflage face paint scheme on this figure is the best I've seen! Other than the camo face paint, Joe's paintwork is about on par for the other Joes I've seen in the past few years: Not outstanding, but effective!

Articulation - ****
THIS is Joe's best feature!!! The new GI Joe Super Articulation ROCKS!!! Joe can assume just about any pose, and hold it. He stands well on his own, and the improved knee and elbow joints aren't as pronounced as other figures' (i.e.; 21st Century Toys' Super Soldier!) and he has the Gung-Ho Grip!

Accessories - ***1/2
He comes with a shirt, pants, boots, a beret, canteen, helmet, SAWS machinegun, web belt, 2 ammo pouches, ammo belt and dog tags.  The ammo pouches, and canteen are an AWESOME addition to the "basic" Joe set! They are nicely sculpted, and on-par with similar items by other manufacturers. 

The PASGT helmet (Personal Armor System, Ground Troops, otherwise known as a "Kevlar Helmet") is very well done, and has an elastic
chinstrap with a metal buckle. The beret fits nicely and is molded in tan. I'm assuming that since the rest of the US Army went to black berets, the Rangers went to tan to differentiate themselves from the grunts.  It bares a non-descript "Ranger" flash. 

The most outstanding accessory is the SAWS Machinegun! The SAWS (Squad Automatic Weapon System) has a working bi-pod, removable ammo box, and big, beefy sling for carting that big sucker around. The SAWS is molded in black and gray. Although the paintjob on the weapon is simple, it is effective, and not overdone. The ammo box comes off fairly easily, and after re-attaching several times because it fell off from the slightest touch, I Krazy glued it into place. I can only think of 2 items that would improve this set: the addition of a knife and harness for the belt.

Uniform - ***
The fatigues are decent, and fairly realistic looking. They are done in a "woodland camo pattern". They bare the shoulder-tab of the 75th Ranger battalion. The left breast has the infantry badge, airborne wings, and US Army nametape. The right breast has the "GI Joe" nametape.  The only bummer to the uniform is the boots. They are non-descript, Danner-style footwear, and not well detailed.

Value - **1/2
They raised the price-point back up on the carded Joes! They were going for under $10, but now it appears they are priced at just under $15 at most retail outlets. That said, this new Joe comes with almost as much gear as other manufacturers' figures that cost twice as much! Is he still a good value? YOU BET! But he would have been a BETTER value for under $10.

Overall - ***1/2
The new GI Joe Super Articulated figures ROCK! This is a very well-done set for Hasbro. They seem to be getting closer to the level of realism and quality set by 21st Century and Dragon a while back. And, it's a GI Joe!!!

The Rater:  Hutt Wigley resides in Eagle, Idaho with his wife and son.  Hutt got his
first G.I Joe when he was three years old.  Growing up his father was in the army and it gave him inspiration to create adventures for his own action figures.  Hutt began to seriously collect G.I. Joes when his father gave him the Timeless Collection G.I. Joe and "The Story Behind The Legend" book on his 30th birthday.  Since then his collection has over 150 12" action figures.  As a father himself, he now creates adventures for his son's and his own G.I. Joes.

Figure from the collection of Hutt Wigley.

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