Plan-B Toys WWII Special Forces
Easy Company

There's really never any shortage of military action figures. G.I. Joe was the very first action figure, and while army men and war went out of style for awhile, you can never keep a good military man (or woman) down.

Plan-B Toys, sculptors and designers of many cool action figures, statues and busts for other companies, have done a few things under their own logo as well. One of those lines is called Special Forces, a line predominately focused on WWII figures (although there are some modern firefighters and others in the line as well). I've reviewed a number of them in the past, and was thrilled to see that at last summer's SDCC, they had a new exclusive for the line. They also showed a jeep for the figures, but that hasn't yet made it out.

This figure is based on the Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Division. They were a historically critical group on D-Day as part of the invasion of Normandy, and Operation Market Garden. The figure was released as an exclusive for the SDCC 2006, and limited to just 500 figures. You can still pick him up at their site for a song, and I have details down in the "Where to Buy" section.

Packaging - ***1/2
While the graphics are subdued in color and design, the big plus here is the addition of some nice historical text on the back, detailing the basics on Easy Company. The package is a fairly standard clamshell with interior sheet, but it is very slim and well designed for the ecologically minded collector. Even with a ton of accessories, they've kept the package size (and therefore waste) to a minimum.

Sculpting - ***
The sculpt is good, although not as realistic as some collectors have seen from other lines. These figures are designed in a slightly more toy-like style than Mcfarlane's line, being toys first and 'collectibles' second. That doesn't mean they don't strive for accuracy or detail, however.

The head sculpt is done in a slight grimace, not overdone or constipated, but clearly ready to rumble. The hair line is done with a ragged uncombed look, which fits the situation of course. There's some nice detail texturing in both the hair and face, and the proportions are quite good for a generic head.

The body has plenty of texture detail, with a cross hatching on the plastic uniform that gives it an interesting appearance. Sculpted belts, pouches, buttons and patches all look terrific. The hands are sculpted to hold the accessories, and look best with something in them, rather than empty. The figure stands great on his own, and the sculpt and articulation seem to work pretty well together.

The figure has a number of holes around the belt and one at the center of his back, designed to attach the many accessories. This feature works great, and the accessories fit nicely and stay put.

Paint - **1/2
The paint work on the figure is a bit heavy handed and over done, but in general is acceptable. 

The face has a five o'clock shadow that works well, but there's a ton of mud or dirt that ends up being distracting. The dirt on his nose and teeth makes him appear more toy-like than the sculpt intended.

The body paint is quite heavily muddied up, but that's not an issue, and makes complete sense in the context. The hands are filthy though, and again, while they may have been going for realism, it actually looks less realistic because of it. There's also some places, especially on the shoulders, where the wash is less consistent, and they stand out.

Articulation - ***
While these figures aren't as super articulated as say, Marvel Legends, they do have most of the joints you need. 

The head is a cut joint, and you know how much I prefer ball jointed necks. The shoulders and hips are both ball jointed, but only jointed on the torso side. There's a cut joint on the bicep, a single pin joint at the elbows and knees, and cut joints at the waist and wrists. Ah, and let's not forget the pin jointed ankles.

The articulation above the waist gives you a fair number of poses, but the lower leg articulation is lacking a cut joint. To turn the feet out from a straight position, you need a hip with joints on both sides, OR a cut thigh, OR a cut calf/ankle. He has none of those, so while you can move the legs into a deeper stance, you can't turn the feet to support it.

Accessories - ***1/2
There's no lack of accessories, although many of these are reused from their other Plan-B WWII figures. 

There's the helmet of course, which fits tightly on his head and looks pretty good. It has the spade card symbol painted on both sides. There's two weapons, with his Colt sidearm and machine gun.

The handgun has a corresponding holster, that attaches with the peg/hole combo just like most of the accessories. There's a large sack for the back, three smaller packs/extras for his belt, and a shovel inside the shovel bag. While all of those attach with pegs, there's also a bag with a cloth strap that can be slung over his shoulders.

That's a nice group of goodies, and they all look great added to the figure. These guys had to carry a ton of weight around with them, and it's nice to see so much of that reproduced here.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
Kids who love military figures will love this guy. The articulation is solid and can handle basic play, and this guy can take on other 6" scaled figures out in the sand box. Just remember to bring him in before Dad mows the lawn.

Value - ***
He's on sale right now for just a ten spot, and at that price - with this many accessories and such a low run - he's a solid good value. Of course, the lack of a license helps keep that cost down too.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Zip. Oh, you might lose an accessory or two, but there's no problems attaching the accessories or working with the joints.

Overall - ***
This is a fun, nifty little figure, that continues Plan-B's cool Special Forces line. The lack of cut joints in the legs, and a bit too much wash pulled the score down a bit for me, but he's still a solid figure for a military toy collection. If you're looking to add some army men to your 6" displays, these are the guys to go with. And don't forget that Plan-B also does a number of 'emergency' type figures in this line, including paramedics, policemen and firemen.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt -  ***
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***1/2
Value -  ***
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
The Plan-B site has these in stock AND they're on sale for just ten bucks right now! You could always turn to ebay, but why?

Related Links - 
I've reviewed some of the other Plan-B work in the past: 

- there's a review of several of the Special Forces WWII figures here

- Rex Gannon was a special character based on the Special Forces body.

- they also did figures in this same scale and style for the film Ladder 49

- they've actually done a number of busts of great licenses as well, including Skeksis, and Labyrinth.

- and don't forget to check out their own site for more info.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour