Israeli Defense Force

Today's guest review is by long time sixth scale collector Hutt.  Take it away!

Since it's inception in 1948, the Israeli Defense Force (or IDF) has been the only obstacle preventing conquest of Israel by her MANY Arab neighbors.  This action figure depicts a member of Israel's citizen-front-line forces. After the events of September 11, 2001, Toys R Us opted to remove this figure from their shelves briefly. The reason for this is still unknown, but the IDF GI Joe has recently begun to re-surface at various TRU stores!

Packaging - ***
It's a colorful box, with the GI Joe logo, an illustration of the subject matter, and a cellophane window clearly showing the contents.
The title near the bottom of the box states "Modern Day Israeli Defense Force Soldier".  Aside from the title, there really is NO way of knowing exactly who he's supposed to be.

Sculpting - **1/2
There is a new head sculpt on this figure. He's kind of a goofy, ethnic-looking guy. Kind of looks like Steve Gutenberg from the "Police Academy" movies!  I'm sort of bummed-out by the smaller hands on this figure. They make it difficult for him to hold his weapon properly.

Paint - ***
On par with other Hasbro products. His hair, eyes, and eyebrows are effectively depicted.

Articulation - **1/2
I am spoiled by the new Super Articulated GI Joes! The articulation of the "Classic Collection" line doesn't cut it for me any longer! And again, the little hands suck! As long as he's simply going to be displayed on a shelf in a standing pose, I guess the articulation is acceptable!

Accessories - **1/2
The IDF figure includes a fatigue shirt, fatigue
trousers, fatigue hat, boots, a flak vest, red beret, canteen, ammo pouch, 2 first aid pouches, 3 hand grenades, an M-16 with a removable M-203 grenade launcher, 3 grenade launcher grenades, and a special "Foreign Soldiers" dog tag. I would have been happier with some substitutes in the accessories: a Galil rifle (with a big, fat sling for toting that sucker!) instead of the M-16 and a ballistic nylon helmet instead of the fatigue hat. The Galil rifle, although no longer in use by the IDF, would set him apart from the other figures on my shelf, as would the addition of the ballistic nylon helmet.  Also including some kind of knife for his webbing would be cool.

Uniform - *** 
Real-life IDF troops wear very utilitarian clothing, which is often informal, but generally consists of olive-green fatigues. In combat environments (which is pretty much everywhere in Israel!) a flak vest is worn. This much of the figure's uniform is fairly accurate. The figure's webbing, pouch, canteen, and most of the other gear appear to be of US origins. Just for the sake of setting him apart from other figures, authentic Israeli web gear would have been a nice addition. In most of the source photos I have seen featuring the real IDF, they are seen wearing the ballistic nylon helmet. However, the brim of the fatigue hat can often be seen sticking out from under the helmet in these photos. With that, the addition of the fatigue hat isn't entirely wrong. I still would have liked to see a ballistic nylon helmet with this set, as it is a distinctive piece of  Israeli gear. The red beret that is included with the figure would signify on a real IDF soldier that he is airborne qualified. The beret does not look good on the figure's head, and so it remains tucked into his belt.  Most of the gear on this figure is actually re-hashed stuff from other Hasbro sets.

Value - **
He has almost the same amount of gear and accessories as the recent $15 offerings from Hasbro, so I think the $19.99 price point is a bit steep!

Overall - ***
Finally, Hasbro had an original idea for a figure! (I think their last original Idea for a figure was the 442nd Nisei soldier?) Although he has lots of room for improvement, the IDF figure is a welcome addition to my collection!

Where to buy -
These are showing up at Toys R Us stores once again.

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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