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Joe Colton - G.I. Joe Retaliation
Hot Toys

Joe Colton G.I. Joe Retaliation sixth scale Bruce Willis action figure by Hot Toys


Bruce Willis was one of the biggest action stars of the last 30 years.  He's done perfect flicks for every action figure genre - action movies like the Die Hard series and Armageddon; sci-fi films like Fifth Element and  Twelve Monkeys; even superhero movies like Unbreakable.

How is it possible that with all that pop culture geeky goodness he's had almost no action figures based on him? I can think of two, both small scale. One was from Armegeddon, the other from Die Hard. It's a travesty. It's also probably has something to do with him and his willingness (or lack thereof) to license his likeness.

Last year, he played a classic character - the true G.I. Joe, or Joe Colton, in the not so classic film G.I. Joe: Retaliation. And since Hot Toys had the movie license, they managed to get a figure of the iconic actor approved.

This guy wasn't a regular release though, but part of their 2013 'toy fair' exclusives. These are figures that are released at various shows during the year, and potentially through specific retailers.

Regular retail on him is about $215 or so, but some retailers jacked up the price due to the limited availability. He's been shipping for awhile, but should still be available at Sideshow and other retailers.

Packaging - ***1/2
Standard stuff for Hot Toys, but that always means a quality package that's both collector friendly and attractive.

I particularly like the use of the actual character photo on the box. A company has to be confident in their sculpting to give you the chance to do such exact comparisons.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Joe Colton G.I. Joe Retaliation sixth scale Bruce Willis action figure by Hot Toys
Joe Colton G.I. Joe Retaliation sixth scale Bruce Willis action figure by Hot Toys
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Joe Colton G.I. Joe Retaliation sixth scale Bruce Willis action figure by Hot Toys
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Joe Colton G.I. Joe Retaliation sixth scale Bruce Willis action figure by Hot Toys
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Joe Colton G.I. Joe Retaliation sixth scale Bruce Willis action figure by Hot Toys
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Joe Colton G.I. Joe Retaliation sixth scale Bruce Willis action figure by Hot Toys
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Joe Colton G.I. Joe Retaliation sixth scale Bruce Willis action figure by Hot Toys
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Joe Colton G.I. Joe Retaliation sixth scale Bruce Willis action figure by Hot Toys
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Joe Colton G.I. Joe Retaliation sixth scale Bruce Willis action figure by Hot Toys

This isn't a complicated package, with just a simple box inside a slip cover. You can take everything out with no need to damage any of packaging, and put it back later for storage or sale.

Sculpting - ****
While the movie wasn't complete dreck, I certainly didn't want this figure because of the license. I wanted this figure because I have Stallones and Arnolds and even Jack Bauer, but I don't have a single sixth scale Bruce Willis in my entire collection.

That means that the single most critical feature of this figure was the portrait, at least for me. Thank God Hot Toys hit another home run.

This is a terrific likeness, capturing the subtle shape of the nose, eyes, lips and head so perfectly that you'd swear it was Willis even under the macro lens. The lack of hair also lends to the realism, since getting skin texture perfect these days is very doable, while hair texture is still a bit more toyish in appearance. Since Mr. Willis is sans hair, that wasn't a problem for them.

From certain angles, the articulation point under the jawline can be a little distracting, as it wraps its way around his neck. But that's a very minor nit, and the neck articulation is certainly worth the slight visual issue.

Even the expression is dead on, with the slight squint and subtle smirk. It's a pity this figure was made under this license, if for no other reason than it will cause some collectors to pass it by.

The hands are sculpted in useful poses as well, and they are properly scaled. He stands just a smidge over 12", fitting in nicely with other sixth scale characters.

Paint - ****
I'm beginning to wonder if we need to even discuss this category any more when it comes to Hot Toys sixth scale figures.

The skin tone is amazing, and it matches nicely from head to neck to hands. The eyes are sparkly and clear, with just the right touch on the lips. This is about as realistic as you can get, short of a real human head.

Of course, there's also the paint work on the accessories, which is almost as outstanding. Even the smallest of details are sharp and clean.

Articulation - ***1/2
The TrueType body remains one of the best on the market, due to the constant updates and design changes that Hot Toys makes. They are constantly looking to improve the body, raising the bar when others get close.

All the expected articulation is here, and all the joints work cleanly. The poses are flowing, natural and realistic, and you should have no trouble coming up with a stance you like.

I did knock them down a half star this time around because I had one shoulder that was a bit floppy. I'm hoping it's a one off problem, but it's annoying enough to hold back a perfect score.

Accessories - ***1/2
There's quite a few extras, although many of them are multiples of the same thing.

There are three hand guns - on his hip he carries the custom Colt 1911A with pearl grips, and under each shoulder he carries another pair, minus the special grips.  All three of these are fantastic sculpts with excellent paint work, working slides, moving triggers, and removable magazines.

He also has the SCAR-L that he fires from the back of the El Camino, which has an articulated stock that folds to the side. Unfortunately, it can't fold flat against the gun though, because the small metal loop that the strap attachs to is in the way. Speaking of the strap, it can be removed from the gun if you prefer. 

His final weapon is not one I recognize from the movie. It's some sort of military shotgun, probably from his arsenal inside his house. I'm sure a reader will recognize it! It also has an adjustable stock and a moving slide action.

The guns look fantastic across the board, and the handguns fit nicely in the shoulder and leg holsters. The rig on the chest is in place in the box, but you'll have to put the leg holster on. It's a pretty easy process though, as it buckles around his thigh and has a strap that can wrap around the belt under the jacket. Don't unhook that belt - undo the strap on the holster instead and wrap it around.

He has extra hands and extra wrist pegs, no surprise there. There are two extra sets to go with the pair he comes wearing - there's a set of relaxed hands, a set of gun gripping hands, a left hand fist, and a right hand designed to support the rifle or shotgun. They all swap easily, and I didn't have any fear of peg breakage.

Joe is carrying plenty of extra ammo. There's six ammo pouches, five small and one large. There are five small handgun magazines that fit nicely in the appropriate pouches, and one large rifle magazine for the large pouch.

These pouches have metal clips on the back that slip onto the belt perfectly. It's a great design, and works easily. I put four of the small in front, and one small and one large in back.

There are two more small magazines, and these fit inside two pouches that are a part of the hip holster.

Also attached to the back of the belt are two small carabiners. Be careful with these, as they are very easy to loose or break.

Finally, there's always the small standard display stand. you won't need it, but it's there for consistency in your display.

Outfit - ***1/2
This isn't a super complicated outfit, but it does match the on screen look well, and it's an extremely well tailored costume.

It includes the pants, boots, jacket and black t-shirt. You can take off the coat and go with the same look that you see on the box cover, if you prefer, but expect to spend some time removing and replacing the shoulder holsters.

Over the jacket is the holster rigging that includes both shoulder holsters and a belt. The various extras slip onto this belt, and the shoulder holsters hold the guns nicely. They have post/hole style closures which can be a little tricky, but once closed they seemed to stay that way.

There's also a left knee pad, giving him a bit more of a specific film look.If you slide it all the way up over the knee, it looks a little weird though, sitting too close to the holster. I had mine down a bit further on the shin, and I liked that look better.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
What I love about Hot Toys figures is that they are still toys. Very expensive, very high quality, very artistic toys, but toys nonetheless. They haven't lost sight of their roots, and you can see the DNA of the original 1960's G.I. Joe figure in this version of Joe Colton.

Value - **
This figure is another example of the rising cost of Hot Toys figures, even if he is a 'special' edition. This guy is coming in at  $215, a price point that was once reserved for the DX series. Compare this to their Enter the Dragon Bruce Lee, released just two years ago at $220. Two heads, two dioramas, two outfits, PERS eyes...no comparison. Normal figures were $150 or so at the time.

Now, just a couple years later, normal figures are $200. That's a huge increase of 33%. The figures are great, just as you'd expect, and as long as they continue to sell out, our wallets aren't going to see any relief.

Things to Watch Out For -
You want to take a little care working with the guns, but they aren't any more fragile than normal.

Overall - ***1/2
This is a fantastic Bruce Willis portrait on a less than exceptional movie character. Fans of the actor who have been joinesing to have a sixth scale version in their collection - like me - will be happy with the result, but it just makes me long even more for his other more iconic characters to get the Hot Toys treatment.

The real issue here is that he's a fairly basic figure coming in at more than $200. It's a fantastic head sculpt, but it's hard to justify that kind of money when both the actor AND license aren't must haves.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow still has him for $215.

- Big Bad Toy Store had their preorder at $300.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
As I mentioned, there's not a lot of Bruce Willlis' figures out there, but NECA did do one in a 7" scale from Die Hard.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Joe Colton G.I. Joe Retaliation sixth scale Bruce Willis action figure by Hot Toys


This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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