PATHFINDER v.3 (2016)
The first Pathfinder figure was released in 1990, the year I quit collecting G.I. Joes as a kid. The only figure I owned from that year’s assortment was Rampart. For that reason I have little attachment to the characters released that year and the final 4 years of the brand that followed. But that’s not to say that Pathfinder was a bad figure. The original featured a completely new sculpt and some pretty unique accessories. Like Recondo, he was a a jungle trooper but Pathfinder’s specific area of expertise was making trails where there were none, hence his code name and his weed whacker with spinning blade. The card art made it look as though he was wearing a fisherman’s bucket hat but the actual figure sported a safari style hat with one side pinned up just like his jungle buddy Recondo. Pathfinder also had sunglasses sculpted onto his face and a vest sculpted onto his torso. There is nothing overly exciting about the design but I appreciate the real-world look at a time when Joe figures were getting more and more fantastical. I did eventually acquire that original Pathfinder figure in the Epic Haul I received 2 years ago courtesy of Eric (are you still reading, man?).
Pathfinder had only been re-released once (a bland solid-gray repaint in 2001) before this new version hit mail boxes a couple of weeks ago. Pathfinder version 3 is the first ever modern-era version of the character and it was included in the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club FSS 4.0. He shipped out with Jammer, the subject of my previous review, in the third of six mail outs.
Completely opposite of the 1990 original, the 2016 Pathfinder is constructed entirely of reused parts. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though as parts reuse is an inevitability in this day and age; the key is using good parts and that’s what the Club has done here. Pathfinder’s got the baggy pants legs of the G.I. Joe Retaliation Trooper and the torso and arms of 2013’s Kwinn. The parts work together nicely and give him some bulk which he would need to lug that weed whacker through the jungle. Obviously I would’ve preferred a unique head sculpt but the Club went with Lifeline’s head and it makes for a pretty good stand-in. Between the sculpted shades and the inclusion of Recondo’s removable hat this head looks like it was intended to be Pathfinder all along. I do find the head a wee bit small for the Kwinn torso but it’s not too bad. The hat fits pretty good as long as you flip it the opposite way of the original. Pathfinder’s vest is also removable on this version. The vest seems a tad oversized but the Club was limited in its vest selection so i don’t fault them for that. All in all it’s a nicely put together figure.
The paint job perfectly replicates the original and it’s what allows me to forgive some of the proportion issues. The colours look really great especially the crazy camouflage pattern on the pants. The brown and green paint used on the pants matches up very well with the brown and green plastics used for the vest, hat, and belt.
For accessories Pathfinder includes a machete, a pistol that can be holstered on his hip, a backpack which fits nicely despite the vest, a flashlight that can be stored inside the backpack, an axe, a machine gun, and of course the weed whacker. It’s a good lot of stuff that is all appropriate for the character. Some fans may be sad to see that the twin hip-mounted guns of the original are not present here but I’m not bothered by it.
This is a decent Joe figure and I feel the Club did the best it could with the existing parts library. It may not be perfect but I’m always happy to add unique characters to my shelves. 7 out of 10.