CRIMSON GUARD IMMORTAL v.3 (2015)
About a week and a half ago I reviewed a Crimson Guard Officer figure. Loyal reader and frequent commenter Guy requested that I follow that up with a review of the leaders of the Crimson Guard, Tomax and Xamot. The modern-era versions of the twins are on my short list of pending reviews but before I get to them I’m going to first take a look at another member of the crimson clad family; Crimson Guard Immortal.
The first Crimson Guard figure was released in 1985. The Crimson Guard were said to be the soldiers who were most loyal to Cobra Commander. However, that proved not to be the case in the G.I. Joe comics published by Marvel in the 1980s as it was a CG that murdered the Commander and stole his identity. Over the years Hasbro has released numerous variations of the classic Crimson Guard. Like when Pink dyed her hair blonde the CGs refuse to be fashion slaves to their namesake. The Guards have donned uniforms ranging in colors from yellow to tan to black.
One of the first Crimson Guard uniform variations came in the form of 1991’s Crimson Guard Immortal. I had stopped collecting Joes by ’91 so I never owned the original Immortal figure. I always assumed they looked different because they were higher ranking CGs but upon reading the file card I now see that there was no mention of the Immortals being squad leaders. The card describes them as fanatical super soldiers and the most formidable fighters in the Cobra Legions.
The ’91 Immortal figure was rereleased with a new blue paint deco in 2003. I never acquired that one either even though my passion for collecting Joes had been renewed with a vengeance the year prior. Version 2 came packaged with a vehicle I didn’t want so the added cost deterred me buying a brand new one. Plus I didn’t suffer from completest fever in those days so I didn’t feel compelled to seek a loose one out on the secondary market either.
Since I never owned either of the previous incarnations of this character I have no nostalgic ties to the Crimson Guard Immortal and wasn’t clamoring for a modern-era update. When the Club announced last year that Immortal would be included in their third Figure Subscription Service (FSS) I was rather indifferent about it. I’m always happy to add new trooper types to my Cobra ranks but I would’ve preferred to see a Secto-Viper or a Sea Slug.
Often times proposed FSS figures that I’m lukewarm about end up wowing me once I have them in hand. That is not the case with Crimson Guard Immortal. Overall I think he looks pretty cool and he fits in nicely with the rest of my crimson army but there are just a few too many issues keeping him from being a great figure.
A lot of people out there don’t seem to like the vest the Club gave him. They say its a poor approximation of the armour chest plate of the original. I personally don’t have a problem with the vest. It adds some bulk to the figure and I think it does a decent job of recreating the armoured look of the original’s torso. The head sculpt is pretty good but there’s something a little off about it. The goggles seem to sit a bit low making it hard to imagine someone’s face fitting inside there. However the original looked that way too so I can’t knock the Club for replicating the design of the vintage figure.
What I don’t like about this figure are the arms and feet. The feet have really annoying rocker joints at the ankles. Sometimes too much articulation can be a bad thing and that is the case here. These type of joints make it difficult to line up the figure’s feet holes with the pegs on the stand and even when you do the holes aren’t deep enough. The result is a very wobbly figure. The arms used here are brutal. The shoulder joints appear to be lower down on the torso than they should be and the vest accentuates it. The elbow joints are goofy and the silver gauntlets don’t look good. Worst of all are the hands, he’s got incredibly long hands with ape-like fingers. He can barely hold onto any of his accessories. So now I’ve got a wobbly guy who drops everything; it’s like he’s a drunk.
Speaking of accessories Immortal comes with two guns. The smaller one fits in his hand okay but the larger one is useless. He also comes with a missile launcher and 3 missiles just like the original but he can’t hold that either so it’s pointless too. Lastly he comes with a flag featuring what I guess is the Crimson Guard logo. I love the flag but for the love of god why didn’t the Club give him a display base with a hole to place the flag in? The Club’s FSS 2.0 Keel Haul got a hole for his flag. How come the guy whose hands don’t work has to carry his? It’s cruel.