Wednesday, September 12, 2012

GI Joe Retaliation Trooper

Presenting the GI Joe Retaliation Trooper.

Today is the 11th Anniversary of the 9-11 tragedy so I thought it would be nice to review such an iconic figure today.

The GI Joe Retaliation Trooper is the current chase figure thanks to it's troop building value - and the fact that, if rumors are true - there's only one GI Joe Trooper in each of the currently dispatched Hasbro Boxes.

I'm personally not sure if he's rarer than the Red Ninja... Just occurred to me that I have a Red Ninja somewhere and I've totally forgotten about him... anyway, personal experience indicates to me that he is rarer than the Retaliation Cobra Red Ninja.

I actually found this particular GI Joe Trooper in - of all places - a bookstore.

The GI Joe Retaliation GI Joe Trooper's blister card reads a quaint and short "The G.I. Joe Trooper is armed for action with enough weapons to win any battle! With his mask and survival cloak, he can withstand the most brutal battle conditions on Earth".

There's also a tag up in front that says that the GI Joe Trooper is "Loaded with Action Gear" and - as you can see from the picture of his back - Hasbro was not kidding.  This is probably why the figure is so rare - it does look like it costs more to create such a figure with all that gear, than it would to create a regular GI Joe figure. The GI Joe Trooper is a literal Combat Accessory Pack - that coincidentally comes with an action figure.

The G.I. Joe Trooper's gear includes

  • A Bullpup Assault Rifle. I unfortunately have no idea what it is. I tried researching it, but there is no current NATO weapon that has a cartridge that close to the stock - it practically doesn't have a stock. The Russians have something close to it, but with much shorter barrels. 
  • What is probably an SRS .388 Sniper Rifle with a modified (longer) barrel and a modern Angled Fore-Grip
  • A Grenade Launcher
  • Two high-caliber (.50?) revolvers
  • Two small-caliber pistols 
  • Two military knives and sheaths
  • A poncho
  • A sealed tactical helmet (head) akin to the helmets used by the Steel Brigade Troopers, but closer in appearance to the Spartan Scout Helmet worn by Noble 3 Jun A266
  • An alternate head whose features resemble a young Robert Patrick (Terminator) but with a more modern special-forces hair-cut. 
  • A gas-mask that fits over the non-helmeted alternate head.
  • A shovel
  • 1 military ""Survival cloak" (looks like a simple blanket to me)
  • A back-pack that can actually take practically ALL his gear - and still have room for spare ammunition. It also has two land-mines but they don't come off. 
  • A battle harness with spare ammunition and various grenades for the launcher - a bit low on detailing though. 

What's to like about the GI Joe Retaliation GI Joe Trooper? 

Before we actually talk about the GI Joe Trooper, let me just say that I highly doubt that any rational army would send troops to battle carrying this much weaponry. To begin with, it would be very expensive to give each trooper in an army not one, not two, but three major combat weapons - especially when each weapon defines a different military specialty.

At best you go into combat with a weapon reflective of your primary military specialty, a back-up weapon, a pistol, and as much ammunition and grenades as you can carry. The GI Joe Trooper not only has three weapons, he also has four pistols. What's he carrying all that for? A siege? Someone's been watching too many Schwarzenegger movies where the main protagonist starts with a ton of weapons and ends the film carrying a pistol. It's just not practical, realistic and cost-efficient.

Unless you jump to the cartoon at the end of this review :)

That being said, think of the potential for customization if you had even just a squad of these bad-boys. You'd have a bunch of special-forces troopers with similar equipment that you can mix and match led or supporting Joes. The only thing missing actually are shot-guns, but then who needs a shot-gun when you're walking around with .50 caliber revolvers.

At least three specializations can be formed: Sniper.


And your standard Assault trooper:

Now assuming you really are a fan of Schwarzenegger movies and argue that Bullpups are slower to reload and a fighter would be better off throwing the weapon away, you have the pistolero:

As you can see above, articulation and pose-ability is exceptional and the GI Joe Trooper carries the new wrists from the Pursuit of Cobra line. If you're still subscribing to the empty-the-clip-and-discard-the-weapon tactic, then eventually the GI Joe Retaliation Trooper will be left fighting with knives. They come in a unique set of sheathes but unfortunately fit a bit loosely in his left hand. The GI Joe Trooper's articulation is so good he can hold both knives while they're in their sheathes.

And lastly, the GI Joe Retaliation Trooper's battle harness is a fine substitute to those Pursuit of Cobra Line Joes - like Beachhead here - who have bulky harnesses, giving them a sleeker, leaner look.

What's NOT to like about the GI Joe Retaliation GI Joe Trooper? 

Aside from the amount of gear he carries which makes the GI Joe Retaliation Trooper impractical, the only other problem is the same leg problems that Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow and the  Red Ninja have from the Ninja Showdown Set: the inability to twist their legs. Sometimes it looks like someone kicked them up the gonads and they're still in pain.

Like the Ninja Showdown Set, there was also some excess plastic around his wrists that I had to get rid off to move them. It would also have been nice if Hasbro produced another trooper with perhaps a different skin color to give collectors variety - in the same way that the Star Wars Rebel Commandos were released with different skin-colors.

Other than that, nothing. The Retaliation GI Joe Trooper is a fine action-figure troop builder that is worth looking for and collecting for their customization potential.

This particular Retaliation GI Joe Trooper was purchased from Filbars in Greenbelt Makati here in the Philippines for PhP 895 (Roughly US$ 21). He's available on Amazon for US$ 20.49 (Roughly PhP 881 plus shipping). But he's worth it and I'm looking for more.

And now: The real reason for the existence of the GI Joe Retaliation Trooper:


  1. hah, poor guy becomes the pack mule.

    I'd like to own one of these, let alone a squad. Got to love a figure who has all the articulation and comes with a bunch of useful stuff. Love it

    1. Hahaha! Well he is a walking gun rack and there is no way that he can reach back there to draw any of the pistols. So it made more sense to me that in the middle of battle, Joes would walk behind him and start drawing what they needed. Even the ammo pouch hanging at the bottom of his back-pack is inconvenient for the Trooper, but just right for someone behind him getting ammo. So yeah, pack-mule :D

  2. A very good review, sir. It's a shame that Hasbro discontinue including base stands for the Retaliation figures. This is my first in the line.

    1. Thanks! You're right. I'd appreciate the stand more than the awkward spring loaded weapons that the other figures like Duke and Roadblock bring to the party. I was particularly fond of the dog-tag like stands of the ROC line.


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