FROSTBITE v.13 (2015)
The G.I. Joe Collectors Club’s third Figure Subscription Service (FSS) has come to a close. The final package containing figures 11 and 12 plus the mystery 13th figure arrived in the mail last week. The line-up for FSS 3.0 was first announced at the 2014 Joe Con. Faithful readers may recall that I promptly provided my 2 cents on the character selections in a post titled G.I. Joe Convention 2014 News. In that post I made my guess as to who the 13th figure would be. My guess was Golobulus based on two things.
One: the Club promised an exciting mystery figure for FSS 3.0 largely because fans were overwhelmingly disappointed with FSS 2.0’s 13th figure, Grand Slam and you can’t get much more exciting than Golobulus.
Two: Boss Fight Studios was at the Con that year showing off the prototypes for their upcoming Vitruvian Hacks action figure line. Boss Fight has worked with the Joe Club in the past and the fact that their Hacks line features a snake-bodied Gorgon practically guaranteed that we’d eventually see it used for a Golobulus figure.
It turns out I was wrong. However, I now think there’s an even better chance of us getting Golobulus next year because the Club has already announced that his Cobra-La compatriot, Pythona, will be their 2016 incentive figure. My fingers are crossed that next year’s 15-figure Convention Set will be Cobra-La themed and contain a full squad of Royal Guards. Maybe we’ll even get some flying slugs as exclusive convention vehicles. That would awesome.
I already knew this year’s mystery figure wouldn’t be Golobulus a few months back because Boss Fight has been dealing with production delays on their Hacks line meaning no snake body was available to the Club. So then I started thinking it might be Billy, Cobra Commander’s son. But as of the 2015 Joe Con weekend (April 10-12) I knew that wasn’t the case either because the Club announced that Billy is going to be included in their FSS 4.0. Unfortunately the Club pretty much spoiled their own FSS 3.0 surprise that same weekend by releasing Tiger Force Frostbite as one of the attendee exclusive figures.
The original Frostbite figure was released in 1985 as the vehicle driver of the Snow Cat. I had that set growing up (still do) and I had a lot of fun with it. The Snow Cat was an awesome vehicle and Frostbite was a pretty cool figure. Frostbite struck me as an extremely likable Joe. Not only because he had a big smile on his face but also because his black beard made me associate him with one of my dad’s military co-workers, Bob Bilodeau, who always seemed like a pleasant guy.
In 1988 the original ’85 Frostbite was rereleased with a drastically different paint job. He was made a member of the sub-team Tiger Force so in place of an all-white arctic deco he and his vehicle got a bright yellow, tiger-striped make-over. Frostbite took his role on Tiger Force very seriously apparently because version 2 even had orange hair and an orange beard for some in explicable reason. In truth, version 2 was much more interesting to look at but I almost always prefer the original character designs so the white uniformed Frostbite with the black beard was always my favorite.
During the new-sculpt era of G.I. Joe that ran from 2002 to 2006 Frostbite was released a whopping 8 different times. For some reason Hasbro marketed him as the Joe team’s preeminent Arctic Trooper thus pushing the original, Snow Job, to the side (he didn’t get a single figure during the new-sculpt years). Some of those new-sculpt Frostbite figures were quite nice (and some weren’t) but none of them looked like Frostbite because most of them were clean shaven and the uniform was completely different.
When the modern-era figures hit the market in 2007 Hasbro ditched the redesigns and began releasing updated figures of classic characters in their most iconic outfits. I was looking forward to a classically attired Frostbite but all we got was this figure in 2009. I actually think Frostbite v12 is a cool looking figure but again it looks nothing like the original.
As more and more obscure vintage figures got modern-era make-overs the lack of a 1985 design Frostbite seemed all the more blasphemous. The Club heard the fan outcry and finally rectified the situation with this figure.
As I mentioned above, the Club first made this figure available at the Joe Convention in April except that version had the yellow pants and the orange beard because the theme of this year’s Con was Tiger Force. That figure looked amazing and I hope to own it one day but the cheapest one available on ebay at the moment is $105 + shipping and import charges so thats gonna have to wait. As soon as I saw that figure though I knew the Club would soon rerelease it in the classic white outfit which is the version I most wanted. As it turned out I didn’t have to wait very long because it ended up being the 13th mystery figure of FSS 3.0 and he’s now in hand.
This figure is awesome. It may not look it because my crappy camera skills have flushed out a lot of the details in the sculpt but trust me; this is a must-have figure.
The body is made up of re-used parts that work really well together but the head and fur collar are newly sculpted pieces by Boss Fight Studios. The head sculpt is very well done with lots of personality in the face and fine detail in the fur hat. This Frostbite isn’t nearly as cheerful looking as the original but I’m fine with that, fighting terrorists isn’t supposed to be fun. The removable fur collar would be an easy component to overlook but its an excellent piece that really ties this figure together and completes the vintage look.
For accessories Frostbite has two pistols that can be holstered on his belt and chest, a rifle, a wrench, a European carry-all, and a pair of removable goggles. I struggled a bit to get the goggles on over his hat but once they’re on there they look great. This figure is a total home-run and probably the best of FSS 3.0. 10 out of 10.