FLINT v19 (2013)
Yesterday I began Retaliation week with a review of the 1985 Lady Jaye figure. Today I’ll be reviewing Jaye’s boyfriend (or husband depending on which continuity you’re following), G.I. Joe Warrant Officer Dashiell Faireborn, codename: Flint. Both of these character will be appearing in G.I. Joe : Retaliation when it hits theaters in 7 days. Lady’s Jaye’s movie figure hasn’t been released yet so I had to go old school yesterday. I was worried that could have been the case with Flint too because the movie’s release date was drawing near and none of my local stores had gotten in their Retaliation figures yet. Luckily Big Bad Toy Store had them in stock and were able to ship to me them relatively fast and thus I am able to review a brand new Retaliation Flint figure for you today.
Before I start talking about the figure I would like to quickly touch on the packaging. I may have mentioned this in one of my Retaliation figure reviews last year but these movie figures mark the first time that Real American Hero (RAH) Joes do not include file cards. The packages are completely generic. Not only are there no file cards but there’s no unique character artwork either. It’s kind of a shame because the stellar, character-specific packaging was one of the things that made Joe great back in the day. The file cards gave kids some insight into what the character’s background was, his military specialty, his real name and his home town. They were almost as collectible as the figures themselves and like many collectors I still have every file card from every figure I ever owned. On the flip side of that coin, I‘m kind of happy to be able to tear into these toys and then discard the packaging. After 30 years of collecting I’ve accumulated a hefty pile of Joe card backs and file cards. Storing them is becoming a problem. I hope the individual packaging returns after the movie line runs its course but in the meantime it’s nice to take a break from worrying about folded corners or tears on the packaging.
Now a quick little bit of Flint history. Flint, like Lady Jaye, was first released in 1985. After being introduced during “The Revenge of Cobra” mini-series Flint became a mainstay of the show. I always liked Flint but Doug owned the 1985 figure so that kept me from loving him. He felt like Doug’s character instead of mine. I don’t know if that makes sense but it’s true. It wasn’t until the Joe revival of 2002 that I finally owned key characters like Flint, Destro and Zartan for the first time. After that they finally didn’t feel like Doug’s characters anymore. The original Flint figure was pretty awesome but he had an odd grin on his face which didn’t match up with his tough and serious attitude from the show. The animated Flint was awesome, brought to life by another amazing voice actor, Bill Ratner who’s voice you’d probably recognize from movie trailers.
Flint had lots of memorable moments, including some great covers, from the original Marvel comic run of G.I. Joe. In the Devil’s Due Joe comics Flint and Lady Jaye were married and after she was killed by the Red Shadows (spoiler alert from 10 years ago!) Flint turned into a mean and vengeful s.o.b. Some people didn’t care for this darker version of Flint but so long as Caselli was drawing him I didn’t mind.
There have been some good, some bad, and some ugly Flint figures released over the years. I wish I could say this latest one was one of the good ones but I’m afraid I can’t. Not to say it’s bad either. I think I’m gonna have to put this one in the ugly category. I actually really like the head sculpt. I don’t think that it’s as good a likeness of actor D.J. Cotrona as it could have been but that’s okay with me. When toys look too much like a specific actor they stop feeling like that character to me and just seem like a figure of the actor. The upcoming Bruce Willis figure from G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a good example. It looks great and I’m stoked to get a Bruce Willis G.I. Joe but that’s all it will ever seem like to me, not a Joe Colton. This figure looks enough like DJ to get a pass, but it also looks general enough to be an everyman. The best thing about this whole figure is that Flint’s beret is removable for the first time, and it looks great. I was worried the removable beret would be bulky and weird looking but it fits perfectly; good job Hasbro.
Where this figure suffers is in the body. It’s the same body they used for the Duke in wave 1, which is one of the two figures I passed on from that wave. The reason I passed on it is because it was scrawny and the solid green paint scheme was boring and crappy looking. Those same problems apply here but I like Flint more than Duke so I caved this time around (plus I wanted that beret). The head looks oversized on this body, even more so when you remove the web gear (which the Duke did not have). The web gear helped to bulk the torso up but the lower half is still weak. A decent paint job would have gone a long way in salvaging this figure but the solid sea-foamy green/blue color scheme misses the mark for me big time. I’d rather him be wearing an accelerator suit than this bland uniform. Luckily a figure called “Ultimate Flint” was shown by Hasbro at the 2013 Toy Fair this past February and it looks amazing so this lackluster Flint won’t be at the front of the shelf for long.
As far as accessories go Flint has a couple of guns, the aforementioned beret and web gear, and also a repelling rope backpack. I’m not exactly sure how it works and couldn’t be bothered to figure it out. A lot of the movie figures have come with rope based accessories. They seem well put together and would probably be a ton of fun for kids but I have little use for them. One accessory that is sorely missed is the display stand. Joes and Marvel Universe figures were coming with individually named display stands for years but Hasbro seems to have suddenly abandoned the practice. Not cool. Luckily there’s a great site called smalljoes.com that sells nice generic bases with multiple pegs that come in black or clear. You can see one in this review here. Looks like I’ll be ordering a few more in the near future. Sadly I must give our man Flint a 4 out of 10.