DESERT SCORPION v.2 (2014)
The third Figure Subscription Service 2.0 (FSS) shipment arrived in the mail the other day. It’s hard to believe we’re already half way through. I haven’t even got around to reviewing Widescope from the last shipment yet and now I have Desert Scorpion and Tollbooth to deal with as well. I actually haven’t even got around to opening Tollbooth yet, he’s still lying on my desk carded. He looks pretty rad and I’m looking forward to opening him up and sharing him with you guys but before I do that we’re first gonna take a look at Desert Scorpion. The reason that he got opened first is because the glue didn’t hold up and his bubble was already separated from his card when I opened up the outer box.
The original Desert Scorpion figure was released in 1991. That was the first year that Doug and I did not buy any new Joe figures. We had basically quit collecting in 1990 only getting 1 figure each from that year.
By 1991 I had moved on. G.I. Joe was starting to feel like my little brother Brian’s brand, not mine, as he had just started getting into Joe around that time. Most of the brightly colored 90s Joes that I have in my collection, like this color changing Bushido, were given to me by Brian once he grew out of Joes a few years later.
Brian didn’t own a Desert Scorpion so I never did either. However his best friend Thomas who lived a couple of houses up the road from us had one and I remember seeing Desert Scorpion lying around the house when Thomas was down playing with Brian. The figure was actually kind of cool and he filled a vital hole in the Cobra ranks. They hadn’t had a desert trooper before this despite the fact that the Joes had one since 1985. And yet there was something about Desert Scorpion that seemed off to me. He looked like a cross between Snake Eyes and Scorpion from Mortal Combat. Not that that was a bad look necessarily but the design didn’t strike me as overly original.
Now while I’d rather the club use the FSS to produce characters from my youth that I have a connection to who haven’t been given the modern figure treatment yet such as Fast Draw, I do like how they draw inspiration from all eras of the brand. Desert Scorpion’s pack mate Tollbooth is a good example of an overlooked 80s character getting a modern makeover so I’m fine with them delving into the 90s to bring us this character, even though I have no personal connection to him.
This figure is made using all existing parts. Where the original had a noggin that was reminiscent of Snake Eyes’ this version actually has a Snake Eyes head. The 1991 version had a real cloth hood akin to Dusty. This version uses the sculpted plastic hood previously seen on Night Creeper to emulate the look. It works out pretty well and helps to differentiate Desert Scorpion from Snake Eyes. I’m glad the club glued the hood tin place as it tended to float around a bit on the Night Creeper.
The body is a mishmash of pieces from other figures and they come together well enough to adequately replicate the look of the original Desert Scorpion. Some changes have been made such as the loss of the Superman-like underoos outside the pants and I think that’s probably a good thing. I like the darker skin tone of the figure; it makes sense for a desert trooper. My biggest complaint about this figure is his ankle articulation. The ribbed sculpting of his shins doesn’t allow his feet to come forward very far so he tends to lean backwards. I’m sure this will be one of those figures who I’ll constantly find toppled over on my shelf.
For accessories Desert Scorpion comes with a display stand, a gun (laser?), a spear, and a backpack which can house the spear when not in use. Another nifty thing he comes with is a big robot scorpion. This thing originally came with a character named Sand Scorpion during the new sculpt era. The scorpion’s claws can be detached and placed over Desert Scorpion’s hands though they don’t stay in place very well. The original Desert Scorpion came packaged with a “real” scorpion that was about the same size so this is a cool homage.
The 2001 file card read that Vipers who failed to follow orders were made to be Desert Scorpions as punishment. Only after a year of unblemished service as a Scorpion in the harsh desert conditions could a punished soldier return to the Viper Corps. An intersting concept. The 2014 file card is quite different and makes them sound much more badass. It reads that the Desert Scorpions are indigent warriors from the Middle East trained to survive in the scorching heat of the desert. Their gear is designed to preserve fluids, maintain body temperature and assist in tracking, even in blinding sandstorms. Pretty cool. Desert Scorpion is another decent offering from the Collector’s Club. 7 out of 10.