MTF-GENERAL REY (CUSTOM)
Here’s my second attempt at a custom G.I. Joe figure using Marauder Task Force (MTF) parts. I think it’s more successful then my first on, Doc, but it still leaves a little to be desired.
As a kid I collected G.I. Joe figures but I also collected the G.I. Joe comic books published by Marvel. Well, technically my brother Doug did but we shared a room and I read them all. Doug and I had our own distinct collections back then but in a way all of our things were shared. He read my Spider-Man and Fantastic Four books and I read his X-Men and G.I. Joe books. There was no need for us both to buy them. The same was true of toys. Doug would have Flint but I’d have Lady Jaye. As kids Doug and I had very similar interests and we were very agreeable so that worked out great. 1990 was the year that we both lost interest in the continuing adventures G.I. Joe. The cartoon had been off the air for a few years by then and the toyline consisted of more and more rehashes of old characters which failed to excite us. As a result the comic book began to feel stale. Doug decided to quit collecting the series with the milestone 100th issue (May 1990) and that was also the final year we bought any of the new figures even though the line carried on for four more years.
During my teen years my life was pretty much devoid of G.I. Joe but I never stopped loving the Joe and Cobra characters I grew up with. I was still collecting toys and comics the whole time so its not like I ever got “too cool” for that stuff, it’s just that G.I. Joe seemed to have lost its way those last few years and the property fizzled out because of it.
When G.I. Joe returned to comics in a back-to-basics series in 2001 courtesy of a new publisher, Devil’s Due, I was 100% on board. When the toys returned in 2002 I was even more pumped. The new toys had some issues in the early 2000s (i.e. wonky proportions and decreased articulation) but I thought the comics were fantastic. Devil’s Due had some A-list talent on the book and you could tell they were passionate Joe fans and not just license holders. Some of the characters, concepts, and storylines introduced by Devil’s Due, like the Stall siblings, the Plague, and the Coil were some of the most exciting Joe storylines I’d ever read (no disrespect to Mr. Hama who wrote all the Marvel books).
One new character Devil’s Due introduced was General Rey. He first appeared in issue 37 published in 2004. I gotta say, when he first showed up I really didn’t like him. He kinda looked like Duke with grey hair and I didn’t see the point of him.
I figured there were plenty of established characters Devil’s Due could have used in his place rather than creating some new loser that nobody cared about. It was like when Marvel shoehorned Cable into the New Mutants. I still don’t like Cable. My dislike for Rey was fuelled by the fact that another one of my favourite comics, B.P.R.D., also had a new team leader inserted into the roster in 2004. Captain Benjamin Daimio seemed just as out of place and unnecessary in that book as General Rey did in G.I. Joe. It’s funny how good storytelling can change your mind about things. By the time Rey’s and Daimio’s storylines came to a close I didn’t want to see them go. Both have been gone for several years now and I miss them.
As it turned out, the mysterious General Rey was a clone of Cobra’s fearless leader, Serpentor. It’s been a while since I read the story so its a little rusty in my mind but if memory serves General Philip Rey was placed on the Joe team as a sleeper agent. Even he didn’t know who or what he really was. He was supposed to turn on the Joes when triggered to do so by Dr. Mindbender but he heroically resisted his programming and became a true ally of the Joes. I came to like the character so much by the end or the arc that I really wanted a figure of him. Sadly that never materialized and it likely never will in any official capacity. However, thanks to Marauder Inc., I am able to take matters into my own hands 10 years after the fact.
My General Rey build is a simple one. I used the desert camo body, the brown armoured vest adorned with a couple of brown pouches, the white haired white-guy head, and a couple of other minor accessories. As soon as I saw the white haired head on Marauder’s site I knew I had to attempt this. I think the end result is pretty good. I’m sure I could make it even better and more accurate if I was willing to do some cutting and painting but I’m too lazy for that.
I got lucky with this figure because so much of the sculpting on the basic MTF body matches up quite well with Rey’s uniform from the comics. The colours match up much better than they did on my Doc figure as well. The only thing that kind of bugs me about this figure is the head. It’s about as accurate a head as you’re likely to get for a General Rey figure but it looks too generic to me. I’ve got multiple variations of this head in my collection so it’s hard for me to associate it with a unique character. Aside from that I’m pretty happy with my General Rey. 8 out of 10.