Recondo & Iron Grenadier
Sgt. Hacker & Scalpel
Coheteboy is back
with another terrific guest review!
Hasbro's G.I.Joe vs. Cobra line either seems to be popular enough with
collectors and kids alike that they could take a risk and create SpyTroops,
or the brand was loosing its punch so the idea of giving Joes and Cobras
disguises was needed to create more interest. The concept seems solid
enough, but to create an entire line of characters with disguises seems a
bit forced. Giving an occasional Joe or Cobra a disguise would be a
great idea but to revolve an entire toy line around it seems far fetched.
Even so, with some familiar characters (and many unfamiliar) I was compelled
to pick up a few to see how they measure up. I've picked up all of the
previous new Joes but the SpyTroops created some hesitation. So for
the good of the toy collecting community, I decided to pick up the two sets
with the supposedly decent looking Cobra goons and see if the rest of the
line is worth touching.
Other SpyTroops figures include: Tunnel Rat & Over Kill, Cross Hairs
& C.L.A.W.S. Commander, Chief Torpedo & Burn Out, and Barrel Roll.
Packaging - ***1/2
With the introduction of
the SpyTroops figures, brand new packaging art was created, and it looks
great. The overall look went from black to green and the G.I.Joe font
has changed to reflect the original look and it actually looks very
attractive. There's some nice artwork behind the logos featuring the
more popular Joe characters.
The bubble inserts emphasize the "SpyTroops" brand and has new
artwork of the character you are purchasing with the file cards attached
inside. The figures are displayed rather nicely, since you get two
figures on a card instead of one.
Also included inside is a comic written by Larry Hama along with details of
other SpyTroops figures.
Sculpting - ***
The new Joes for the most part are sculpted very well for the size, but if
the figures are meant to reflect the illustrations, then the sculpt fails
miserably. Here's a perfect example of how the package art decieves
the consumer into thinking that you will get an awesome looking figure.
Recondo and Sgt. Hacker look rather decent since they don't boast super cool
masks or helmets, but both Scalpel and the Iron Grenadier are rather
disappointing. The cause of their disappointment lies more in their
accessories so I'll hold off on that for below.
Paint - ***
The paint ops are welll done overall and I haven't found any problems,
but that isn't to say there aren't any. Some figures might have a few
errors in the face area so you might have to look for the best one.
Hasbro has been in the game for some time so you shouldn't find too much of
Articulation - *** & *** 1/2 for Recondo
The G.I.Joe figures pretty much set the bar on articulation originally,
so it's almost ironic that I'm giving them just three stars for staying true
to that original articulation count.
Three of the figures reviewed here have the standard points of articulation
(about 12) while one rises above the rest: Recondo. It's interesting
how Hasbro decides which figure will get more points of articulation and
somehow Recondo recieved two extra points in his calves, allowing his feet
to rotate in any direction. This extra point on each leg allows
Recondo to stand with greater ease. You almost wish that Hasbro would
give all of their Joes the same treatment, as it definitely improves the toy
Accessories - ***
The Joes are each provided with several pieces to use and Sgt. Hacker and
Iron Grenadier are even given SpyTroops disguises, but somehow the
accessories fall short of what their full potential should be.
Each two pack comes with several rifles and a few items specific to a
certain character. The Iron Grenadier for example comes with a helmet
and two pieces of snap on armor. The helmet for Destro's Elite Trooper
makes for a disappointing accessory. The illustration shows how cool
the helmet should look when put onto the figure, but what really happens is
that it barely fits over his eyes. Not cool. Also included for
the Iron Grenadier is a camouflage poncho to help get past the Joes.
It's actually a nice accessory but still doesn't look much like the
Scalpel also comes with a disappointing helmet/mask. From the
illustration, Scalpel would probably fall under the ranks of Firefly and
Storm Shadow as one of the coolest Cobra troops around. But the actual
toy looks rather awkward with the helmet, looking very different than what
was expected. Scalpel also comes with shoulder pads that don't stay on
very well; they look decent but are very poorly executed.
Recondo is pretty much a normal Joe but Sgt. Hacker comes with a SpyTroops
disguise that is meant to resemble...Firefly. The disguise consists of
Cobra shin guards, body armor, and a mask. While it looks relatively
decent, it looks more like a standard S.W.A.T. outfit than it does Firefly,
which is my favorite Cobra from the original line. Unfortunately for
Sgt. Hacker, the Firefly released earlier in the toyline looks nothing like
this disguise, so it won't take long before Cobra realizes the fake.
I give Hasbro props for trying, but sometimes the ideas are better on paper
than they are in plastic. I'd rather have a well sculpted Iron
Grenadier with permanent helmet than one that pops off. The same goes
for Scalpel, the Cobra medic, having a bulky mask.
Value - ***1/2
For two figures in a pack with accessories, it's a fairly good value at
Overall - ***
I'd have to say that the SpyTroops line is only for the die-hard Joe
collectors. The figures are decent but don't reflect the really
popular characters of the 80s. Recondo and Iron Grenadier are
characters brought over from the original line, but they don't look anything
like before. Kids will love the ability to make their Joes and Cobras
act as spies but for older collectors, this might be a line that can pass
you by without any regret. Hasbro has made some great toys here, but
for those who just want cool looking Cobra troops, you might need to wait a
Where to Buy:
Toys'R'Us, Target, and Wal-Mart should all have these in stock for around
About the reviewer: Coheteboy collects most all
of the popular lines including: Star Wars, Muppets, Marvel Legends, Movie
Maniacs, Simpsons, and many more. You can see his action figure comics
at www.deathstarplans.com and
appearing soon at www.galactichunter.com.
Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.