FLINT v.23 (2014)
Many Joe fans weren’t very happy when Hasbro first revealed their 50th anniversary product. The issue wasn’t so much about the quality of the figures but with the limited amount of product. G.I. Joe was the first ever action figure. Fans like myself felt that the brand deserved more than 8 measly releases (which would only be available at Toys R Us) to commemorate its golden anniversary. It was especially disappointing that of the 18 figures being released, most of them were repaints or straight rereleases of figures we already had. However, for a while there it looked like we weren’t going to get any product at all so I was happy to be getting anything new. When the 50th anniversary product became available for pre-order I ordered all of the sets but one.
The “Battle Below Zero” set was a no brainer because it came with a new version of Ice-Viper, my favorite Cobra trooper (along with a Snake Eyes and a couple of vehicles).
The “Heated Battle” set was another hit because it included a new version of Heat Viper, my second favorite Cobra trooper (along with a rerelease of Blowtorch).
“Arctic Ambush” had a winterized version of the Cobra B.A.T (along with a rerelease of Snowjob).
“Social Clash” had new and improved versions of Lady Jaye and Baroness.
“Night Marksmen” had a repaint of Night Viper (along with a rerelease of Lowlight).
“The Eagle’s Edge” had Leatherneck and a spiffy new version of Destro (plus a rerelease of Hawk).
And “The Viper’s Pit” had a cool new repaint of the Viper (along with a new Beachhead and a rerelease of the Cobra Trooper).
Every set had at least 1 figure that I wanted, except for “Danger at the Docks”. That set came with a Flint repaint, a rerelease of the Cobra Eel, a VAMP MK II jeep, and a Cobra night-landing raft. There was nothing wrong with any of those toys per se but I already have the Eel, I already have many Flints, and I simply don’t have room to display vehicles, no matter how cool they are, so I try to avoid buying them because I know they’ll be going directly into storage. I was actually quite proud of myself for passing on it. It was proof that I’m not some mindless zombie that has to buy everything Hasbro throws at me. I don’t regret passing on it at all.
At least, I didn’t regret passing on it at all until I started reading reviews and seeing pictures of the set online. Apparently the Eel figure wasn’t an identical rerelease of what we got before, it was actually an improved version with new parts and weapons, and the Flint wasn’t just some Flint repaint like I thought, it was a very well constructed new figure made up of existing pieces. I decided I needed the “Danger at the Docks” set after all, but by that time I couldn’t find it for sale at a reasonable price anywhere; all of the online shops had sold out of their pre-orders and my local Toys R Us hadn’t stocked any of the 50th anniversary product yet. I checked the online stores diligently everyday hoping that somebody would restock it. Finally I spotted one online a couple weeks ago (with free shipping no less!) and I snatched it up. It arrived in the mail the other day.
I’ll talk about the Eel, Vamp, and raft another time; for now I’m just going to focus on Flint. I know I just reviewed Micro Force Flint the other day so I apologize for the repitition. I’d hate to “over-Flint” anyone. But I was so blown away by this figure that I wanted to post a review promptly. This is my new favorite Flint figure. Which is saying a lot because there have been some excellent Flint figures released over the past few years. I didn’t expect to like this Flint as much as I do but as soon as I got him out of the package and started fiddling with him I was completely won over.
The torso and legs of this figure are borrowed from 2013’s Firefly version 26. That was a nice figure but I actually think the parts make for a better Flint than they did a Firefly. The legs have lots of detail and include a sheath for a knife and a holster for a pistol. The collared shirt works well to replicate Flint’s signature look but the addition of the turtle neck sweater beneath makes it that much better. The arms are from Agent Mouse and the head originally appeared on Flint version 18 (which I don’t have) though it’s been repainted and looks quite different now. It’s a great head sculpt with a stern look on the face and a nice-looking beret. After getting removable berets on my last couple of Flints I’m actually glad to see this one sculpted in place.
He’s got Shotgun shell webgear which is a must for Flint. It’s a little big for him and sits a little high on his shoulders but can be pushed back down into place fairly easily. I like that they colored the shells red on one end and silver on the other; it’s a nice little detail. The removable webgear also has a sheath for a second knife. Besides all the sheathed and holstered weapons Flint also has his trusty shotgun and a display base.
The paint job is the best and worst thing about this figure. It’s bad in that there are some quality control issues. My Flint has black plastic showing through his flesh painted forearms and he has flesh colored plastic showing through his black painted gloves. It looks sloppy, like something you’d see on a dollar store knock-off. Other folks have gotten Flints that are much worse than mine so I’m glad the lower arms are the only problem areas for me. Quality control issues aside, I think this paint job is awesome conceptually. The gray camo pants are a nice change of pace from Flint’s usually green camo pants. Those combined with the gray turtle neck and the black gloves makes me view this figure as some sort of night mission or stealth Flint. The gray also ties him visually to the gray Vamp which makes for a nice cohesive set.