This past Thursday my second batch of G.I. Joe Figure Subscription Service toys arrived. This is a service offered by the Joe Collector’s Club in which I get two brand new Joe figures in the mail every month for 6 months. At the end there will be a bonus 13th figure whose identity remains a mystery. Buying into the subscription service was a little pricey but when broken down per figure it was actually better than I expected it to be when the Club first announced the service. And now that my bill is paid and the expense is long forgotten, there’s nothing better than getting two brand new exclusive G.I. Joes in the mail each month. The club has asked members not to immediately post the identities of the figures as they mail them out because they want every fan to experience the surprise factor. It’s a nice idea but not all that realistic. The first two figures that I got last month were Dice and Jinx. Dice was spoiled for me by another review site that I visit. This time around the identities of the wave 2 figures were spoiled for me when my sponsor BigBadToyStore posted them on their site for sale. I wanted to honor the Club’s wishes and not spoil these for anyone but I feel that any real Joe fan already knows who the figures are by now anyway so no spoiler alert necessary.
The second set of FSS figures consists of a Nano-B.A.T. and this figure, Quarrel. I was kind of disappointed to see these two figures ship out together as they were two of the figures that I was looking forward to getting the least. In order to sign up for the FSS you had to commit to buying all 12 of the revealed figures. Some were hits and some were misses. Based on the pictures I’d seen I would have said that the B.A.T. was kinda neat but far from a necessary purchase and the Quarrel I’d have classified as a miss. Well since the figures have arrived and I’ve opened them up and had a chance to fiddle with them I must admit I was wrong. I have changed my mind about both of these figures. The B.A.T. is actually super cool looking but I’ll talk about him in a separate review. The Quarrel is far from perfect but she’s really grown on me these past 2 days.
For those of you not in the know, allow me to tell you a little about Quarrel. The original Quarrel figure was released in 1984, although back then she wasn’t technically a G.I. Joe. In the early 80s the relatively new military toy line was doing so well in America that International toy companies began to release their own versions of the figures under different banners. Most of the figures released in other countries were constructed using familiar American molds but sometimes the names and paint jobs were altered, creating new characters that most American Joe fans wouldn’t discover until after the internet was invented. In Brazil Joes were called “Comandos em Acao” and they put a Snake Eyes head on a Flash body, painted him yellow and silver and called him Cobra De Aco. In Argentina you could get a Stalker with white skin and blue camo named Manleh. They also took the original 1982 Scarlett mold, painted her outfit blue and white, painted her red hair blonde and called her Glenda. These unique characters have become highly sought after collectables. Over in Europe their version of G.I. Joe was called “Action Force” and they battled against the evil Red Shadows. Action Force had their own blonde version of the 1982 Scarlett, only theirs wore green and black and was named Quarrel.
The original Quarrel was a straight repaint of Scarlett and she was even packaged with Scarlett’s signature crossbow. The ’82 Scarlett wasn’t a great figure, she had a rather masculine head, but it was the only female figure around at the time so it was used a lot around the world.
This 2013 Figure Subscription Service version is the first ever update of the character. In the tradition of the original it’s a Scarlett repaint. This Club opted to create Quarrel using the version 8 Scarlett from 2007. This is why I thought this figure would be a stinker, because the 2007 Scarlett was a stinker. 2007 was the first year that the 25th anniversary (or modern) style of Joe figures were released. Some of those early figures don’t really hold up when compared to figures being released by Hasbro now. The 2007 Scarlett had wonky articulation, couldn’t hold her weapons very well, had a hunch due to her pony tail, and again, wasn’t all that feminine. It seemed an awful choice to use for Quarrel as better versions of Scarlett have since been released. In 2008 Hasbro released a Scarlett with an improved, more feminine face which was painted in blue and white as an homage to the Argentinean Glenda. In 2010 and 2011 new versions of Scarlett were released based on her appearances in G.I. Joe: Resolute and G.I. Joe: Renegades. Despite all this, the club went with the crappy 2007 version.
However this figure didn’t turn out as bad as I thought it would. First off they switched out the ’07 head for the ’08 one which drastically improves the figure. The lips are painted a nice shade of red and the hair is sculpted into a french twist; it actually looks feminine. The wonky articulation and inability to hold her weapons are still there but the green and black paint scheme really brings some life to this previously bland mold. I really like the addition on the Union Jack and Z-Force logo painted on her arms. As I said, this figure isn’t perfect but it’s the only Quarrel you’re likely to get so for that reason it gets my stamp of approval.
She comes with 3 silver weapons, a pistol, a rifle and a crossbow as well as a backpack and helmet. Her file card states that she’s a daredevil on any motorcycle and the original figure actually came packaged with a motorcycle so I suppose that explains the helmet. She comes with a standard display base though it is kind of annoying that it’s sculpted in silver instead of the standard black. I’m happy to have been proven wrong by the Club when it comes to this figure. It does not just look like a blonde Scarlett to me as I was sure that it would but rather a unique character who I’m stoked to add to my collection.