Packaging - ***1/2
The Spy Troops packaging is decent and still works well. The card is is a decent small size even though two figures are packed together. The insert shows off some attractive illustrations of the characters and serves as a file card, as well as housing a Joe comic written by the legendary Larry Hama. The figures themselves are nicely visible through the bubble so collectors can find their toy in perfect shape if necessary.
Sculpting - ** 1/2
It's a shame when a new version of GUNG HO, a classic figure, looks less interesting than the one before. Yes, this version does sport a bald head (for use with a removable hat) but this figure just looks scared to death. To add insult to injury, he has a very generic costume that does not reflect the character it is meant to be on. This is unfortunately the trend lately on our favorite heroes. I may be a little harsh because it really isn't THAT bad, but it could have been a lot better. ZARANA overall has a decent head sculpt but the HUGE shoulders is something too hard to ignore. Thankfully, the gear provided for the sister of Zartan is an interesting set with a fair amount of detail in the clothing. The hair is pretty interesting and has enough attention put in. In the end, it's a so-so figure that I was really looking forward to.
Paint - **1/2
The paint application on both figures are all pretty decent. ZARANA stands out of the two for having a better color key than GUNG HO. With that said, the paint applied on both faces are done fairly well and I have no complaints with the execution. Average paint on so-so sculpts is just harder to judge.
Articulation - ***
Both figures in this set have the standard issue 14-point articulation which consists of: ball-neck, ball-jointed shoulders, cut biceps, elbows, waist, legs, and knees. I took an entire star off because we have seen that the Joe figures are capable of additional points in the wrists, heel, and feet areas, which would make these figures a 20point wonder. Unfortunately that
isn't the case here, but it's still good.
Accessories - ***1/2
Joes always come with a fair amount of accessories, which is always welcome.
GUNG HO is equiped with some gear that can be placed over the figure, two guns, a knife, and a removable hat! That's pretty darn cool! ZARANA'S gear isn't as impressive but it's ok. Some older collectors may recognize her rifle with a wind wheel attached to it. She also comes with another gun and the unattractive camo-poncho. Master of disguise, she is not.
Value - ***
Two figures for $7.77 isn't a bad deal, especially if they have the amount of articulation that these figures do. But with the amount of articulation that we have seen possible on a few other Joe figures, I would pay $1-2 more if that were to become standard.
Overall - ***
As disappointed I was with the pair, they still make a fine addition to the JOE and Cobra team. GUNG HO could have been a lot better in regards to sculpting but it's acceptable. I will never stop complaining about the female figures and their giant shoulders, but ZARANA is still a good figure.
Where to Buy:
This set was picked up at TARGET, but can also be found at TOYS'R'US and
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