ALPINE v.6 (2015)
This afternoon my 4th FSS 3.0 shipment arrived. The Collector’s Club never tells us what order the figures are being shipped out in because they want it to be a surprise at the mailbox. Most American club members seem to get their shipments within a couple of days of each other but I live in Eastern Canada so it takes about 2 weeks longer for mine to arrive. Therefore the surprise is always spoiled for me by posts on the various Joe sites I visit regularly. Approximately 2 weeks ago I found out which 2 figures would be included in the 4th shipment, Alpine and Hit & Run.
Based on the images I’d seen online both looked like they’d be decent figures but this was a duo I wasn’t too excited about. I prefer to add new characters to my Joe ranks rather than constant reissues of characters I already have. Of the 12 known figures included in the FSS 3.0 only half of them are new characters who hadn’t yet been released in the modern era, like Vypra and Slice. The other 6 are updated versions of characters I already own modern-era style figures of. At least in the case of Spearhead, Repeater, Muskrat, and Psyche Out they were updated versions that put the characters in their iconic version 1 outfits.
With Alpine and Hit & Run I already have modern-era figures of them in their iconic version 1 outfits. The new FSS Alpine presents the character in his less well known new-sculpt era outfit and the new FSS Hit & Run is just an “improved” version of the Hit & Run we got in 2009, a figure which I was content with. So neither of these 2015 updates were figures that I felt I really needed in my collection. But as per usual the Club has left me pleasantly surprised.
The Hit & Run is quite nice but I’ll talk about him in a future post. Today I’m gonna take a look at Alpine version 6.
The first Alpine figure was released in 1985. He was the Joe team’s mountain trooper and he came with some pretty cool climbing gear. He was featured heavily in the G.I. Joe cartoon so he quickly felt like an integral member of the team. I imagine he’s a favourite of many Joe fans. I had the original figure and really enjoyed playing with him as he scaled the mountain that was my bunk bed.
Alpine got a bit of a make over in 2004 when version 2 was released during the new-sculpt era. The new-sculpt version traded in his jacket and goggles for shorts and a full beard. I didn’t love the new look but I didn’t mind it. It seemed a little too casual an outfit for combat but it wasn’t a bad figure. My least favourite change was probably the color scheme. He went from wearing sensible green and brown to garish yellow and red. Hasbro must’ve agreed that the new colors weren’t working for him because they re-released the figure twice more that same year in variations of green and brown.
When the first modern-era version of Alpine was released in 2008 the figure was based on Mr. Pine’s original 1985 appearance: brown pants, white T-shirt, green jacket, goggles, moustache. It was a fine update of the original so I would’ve been fine if we never got another Alpine after that.
Unfortunately that figure was pretty hard to find and many fans missed out on it. So there was demand out there for another modern-era Alpine figure. The Club answered the call and released this figure.
Alpine version 6 is based on Alpine version 3, one of the green and brown repaints of the yellow and red version 2. However, the Club has made some good choices to make this figure more closely resemble the most iconic version of Alpine. Instead of a full beard and a ball cap this version has a moustache and a hat with goggles. I actually think it looks pretty great overall and when I compare it to the 2008 figure I liked so much I think I might prefer this one.
The full body (with the exception of the lower arms and hands) is borrowed from the 2013 Kwinn figure which works exceptionally well here. It’s well detailed, well articulated and well proportioned. The head is a brand new sculpted piece from Boss Fight Studios. I was a little iffy on it at first but the head has grown on me over the past couple of hours. I like that he’s smiling and there’s a ton of great sculpted detail in the hat. The colors are classic Alpine and they compliment each other nicely. Plus there are plenty of little paint apps throughout, such as the socks, watch, and shirt logo, which break-up the earth tones.
For accessories Alpine v6 includes a display base, a pick axe, a backpack which holds the axe, a grappling hook with rope, and a couple of guns. They’re all nice pieces and the guns even have painted stocks which is always appreciated.
The Club’s annual 15-figure Convention Set is going on sale soon and I’m not as thrilled with the contents as I have been in past years. Skipping it has crossed my mind because those sets ain’t cheap. But figures like this which surpass my expectations are the reason why I’m going to shell out my cash when the time comes. 9 out of 10.