Hoover sent me a great link to a series of reviews by Fred Meyer (of Joe*Battlelines) on the new G.I. Joe 25th Anniversary line of action figures that are just now starting to hit store shelves. I mentioned them a little while ago, and I’ve been looking forward to them since I don’t have any of my original figures anymore and because they looked to be very much in the vein of the Transformers Classics line, which was pretty awesome. From the promo pictures the figures looked amazingly detailed and appeared to be molded so that they are faithful to both the original character packaging artwork as well as coming pretty close to the designs on the original cartoon. Though some of the figures look better than others, I pretty much resigned myself to getting them all which was eventually made unavoidable since they’re being packaged in special edition 5 packs, and I’m not sure if they’re going to be available individually.
Fred Meyer has done a bang up job reviewing this new line of figures, which points to the line not quite seeming as cool as they did at first. It seems that there is a pretty large form vs. function issue with the figures in that Hasbro has ditched the O-ring design of the past 25 years in favor of a more realistic set of articulation points, that in the end seem to hinder movement and pose-ability which is sort of a backfire in design. Honestly, I’m typically not that much of a stickler for massive articulation, as it tends to make figures look all lanky and over-jointed, so I’m not sure if this is going to bug me as much. Actually, even though the molds are pretty darn awesome, I see a pretty big issue with the whole pivot-able head on top of a ball joint. From most angles it makes the jaws of the figures look like they are two feet long, or the necks elongated. Characters with helmets seem to be less effected by this design, but it’s still noticeable. I’m sure when I see the actual figure it’ll be much less of an issue as they’re a lot smaller than they appear in most photos, but close up it’s pretty ugly. In fact when you see the close-up photos there seems to be an odd texture to the plastic that makes the figures look weird, which once again I’m sure won’t nearly be as much of an issue in the actual toy.