FIREFLY v.25 (2013)
It’s time for yet another G.I. Joe: Retaliation figure review. We’re less than a week away from the film’s release. I’m a little annoyed to see the movie “Olympus has fallen” come out the week before as it looks to contain some similar themes. I’d hate to see it hurt Joe’s box office numbers because people think they look to similar. Oh well, I guess we’ll know how that pans out soon enough.
Today I will be reviewing another version of Firefly, the Cobra saboteur. Firefly is probably the most loved terrorist saboteur of all time. The first Firefly figure was released in 1984 and it was action figure perfection at the time. Firefly was too cool for school. The full gray camo uniform, the cool submachine gun, the backpack with secret compartment, the portable phone! This guy had it all. He was portrayed as cunning and ruthless and you couldn’t help but love him. If G.I Joe had a Boba Fett, it was be Firefly. My brother Doug had the original Firefly figure and it was one of the figures of his that I most coveted. As popular a character as he was he didn’t receive a second figure until 1992 and Doug and I had already moved on. Not that we were missing much, to this day the stupid neon green Firefly version 2 remains one of the worst uniform ”upgrades” I can think off.
Firefly was one of those characters, like I mentioned in my Flint review the other day, that I did not own until I was all grown up. When G.I. Joe was revived in 2002 I was 24 and I was ready to fall back in love with G.I. Joe. Absence truly had made my heart grow fonder. I was buying up all the figures that I could. For the first time ever owned a ton of important characters I never had before because as kids Doug and I split the collection down the middle. I grew up without Duke to call my own, can you imagine? Firefly was one of the “new to me” characters that I was most excited about. The first few attempts at revamping Firefly in the new-sculpt era weren’t so great but they did eventually release an amazing upgrade in 2005 which was basically the original 84 version with a slightly improved head and a fresh coat of paint. That was my go-to Firefly.
When the modern sculpt style came into being in 2007 I thought Hasbro did a pretty good job on Firefly right off the bat. The first modern Firefly, version 14, had his classic look and colors and I was content. For some reason or another though some fans did not approve and they rallied for a better Firefly to be released. Hasbro has taken a couple of stabs at him since (10) and I still think the 2007 is the best of the modern day Fireflys. The last Firefly I got came packaged with a motorcycle as part of the initial wave of Retaliation figures and it was an absolute clusterf**k. A disgrace to the character. I don’t know why I didn’t just leave it on the shelf. But nearly a year has passed since the Firefly version 24 debacle and now 2 more Fireflys have found their way into my collection as of last week. Are they better? Are they worse? Let’s find out…
Yes, of course it’s better. Firefly version 24 was one of the worst Joe figures ever produced. I’d take the neon green version 2 Firefly over that guy any day. This guy is much much better. However he’s far from perfect. This is actually a pretty weird Firefly and I’m curious as to what the designers were thinking when they came up with it. It doesn’t look like any past versions of Firefly but there are some familiar elements. It’s akind of hard to tell if this design is based off of his look in the film as screen shots are hard to come by. However I found this one pic of his back which leads me to think that he does where something similar to this in the film. Authenticity is appreciated but that doesn’t necessarily make it good. His lower half is fine and not really worth talking about but his top half is just plain strange. He’s got a green and gray camo jacket with yellow trim. The back has a large tribal looking brown swirl and the front has a big red Cobra logo. Another black Cobra logo graces the sleeve. I don’t hate it, but it’s pretty busy. His arms are cast in translucent plastic which is hardly noticeable but is still kind of weird. Lastly the big buckled collar that he’s got around his neck seems to force his head forward giving him a slight hunch.
The head is one of the things that I actually like about this figure, sort of. He’s got two different heads to choose from. First there’s the standard full facemask head that you’d expect with a Firefly figure. The head looks great and the matching green paint job ties it to jacket nicely. The thing that bothers me about it is the green ski mask tends to make this look more like Beachhead figure than a Firefly. Then there’s the alternate head which I was excited about and was the main reason I picked up this figure. This is the first unmasked Firefly we’ve ever seen in the RAH toy line. I really like the actor playing Firefly in the film, Ray Stevenson, who starred in Punisher: Warzone.
I think he’s a great casting choice and I’m sure he’ll be amazing on screen. The problem is that this head doesn’t really look like Ray Stevenson. It’s about as good a likeness as the Flint head was to D.J. Cotrona. In my Flint review I said that I’m fine with a generic looking face on a toy but that’s only if the face is good and suits the character. I think this head looks too old to be Firefly. The hunch is much more prominent with this head than it is with the masked head as well. When I bought this figure I thought for sure I’d be displaying him unmasked but I no longer think so.
As for accessories Firefly comes with guns and knives of course, but he also comes with a rather impressively sized street sled. It’s a 3 wheeled contraption that he lays on and then I guess he goes street luging. The handle bars light up and the glow is supposed to travel into his arms, hence the translucent plastic but the effect doesn’t really work at all. he also comes with a translucent yellow canister which I believe is supposed to contain those robotic bugs we saw in the first trailer.