Saturday, March 16, 2013

GI Joe Retaliation: Flint

Presenting Flint from the GI Joe Retaliation Toy Line.

GI Joe Retaliation finally hits the big screen at the end of the month and we get to see if the release delay was really due to the movie having an incredibly horrible story or due to the supposed oversight of not having filmed the movie for 3D release.

Personally I think it's probably because the story sucks - I mean in what universe is Roadblock a Ninja?

Anyway, the GI Joe Warrant Officer Flint will be portrayed by D.J. Cotrona - the guy you all loved in that chick-flick "Dear John" and one episode of Law and Order SVU, and this is his action figure. To be fair at least it kinda looks like him - it's not a recast of previous Flints - unlike that feeble attempt to repackage Scarlett figures and call them Lady Jayes despite the fact that they look nothing like Adrianne Palicki.

GI Joe Retaliation Flint's blister card reads that he is "A tough young member of the G.I. Joe team, Flint rappels down a zip line to infiltrate an enemy base and destroy a menacing missile silo"

As you can clearly see in the packaging, Hasbro seems intent on repackaging the entire G.I. Joe team as the new "Sky Commanders" (A 13 episode 1987 cartoon involving teams utilizing backpacks and rappel lines akin to - but not necessarily identical - to what you see being used by the new GI Joe team) what with Hasbro's inexplicable need to give most of ther Joes ridiculous amounts of
rappel line - though 7 feet of string is impressive.

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

Though GI Joe Retaliation Flint possesses a fine new facial sculpt, not much unfortunately. The cons unfortunately outweigh the  pros.

Let's start with his equipment: That's the battle harness from the Pursuit of Cobra Duke, that was already re-purposed by the 30th Anniversary Stalker (Don't forget to read the erratum) and even by Kamakura from the GI Joe Retaliation "Ninja Dojo" box-set.

That's also the M4 with a Rail Adaptor System  and an Aimpoint Comp M2 also from the Pursuit of Cobra Duke (To be fair, it was recolored before they gave it to the the GI Joe Retaliation "Ninja Dojo) .

Now don't get me wrong, it's a great harness and highly detailed weapon, but constantly re-purposing it? Smarts of laziness and a severe lack of inspiration. Tweak it at the very least (Perhaps drop the machete?).

Hasbro provided each GI Joe Retaliation Flint with the following gear:

  • A Sky-Commander rappel set complete with 7 feet of rappel line and a launching missile (We'll get back to this later)
  • The aforementioned Duke battle harness
  • The aforementioned highly detailed Duke M4 with a Rail Adaptor System  and an Aimpoint Comp M2 
  • A Submachine-gun - I have no idea what this is.
  • A machete that fits into the battle harness
  • One beret. 
We'll kick off with talking about Flint as a Warrant Officer before talking about him as a Sky Commander. Why? For the simple reason that Flint cannot wear the battle harness and the Sky-Commander rappel system at the same time - the harness won't permit it because of the lower back padding that the harness provides. 

It looks like crap anyway because it looks like, if Flint was using it, that he should be travelling sideways. And what's with the grappling hook missile shooting from his butt!!! Is this therefore upside down? I'm not even going to bother deploying it.

Next up is the relatively poor articulation of GI Joe Retaliation Flint. Flint has none of the new wrist articulations that most of the POC, 30th and Renegades series GI Joes had. Happily, just like the POC Duke, Flint can still be made stare down the barrel of his M4. 

I do appreciate - as mentioned all the way back in Duke's review - that the battleharness has enough ammunition to support the M4. It would be great if he had a secondary holstered weapon though. The machete is just not enough. His right hand also has difficulty holding the machete.

The next problem with the GI Joe Retaliation Flint is the fact that, like almost all Retaliation figures, his leg articulation is quite limited. He lacks the ability to twist his legs - or feet - and does not have a secondary joint at the knee that hampers Flint's ability to kneel and makes him quite... stiff when standing (Both feet always face forward). He can still kneel, but he wouldn't be able to do it without the elevated stand.

Even when he runs, his feet tend to point in un-human directions:

I don't really know what the submachine-gun is. I think it's the new standard "Staple-Gun" that the Joes are using in the Retaliation movie. It slightly resembles the Joe "Kata" weapon with an extended barrel, ammo clip, extended stock and holographic sight.

Unfortunately there's no spare ammunition for it on his battleharness nor on his body suit.

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

Ah.... He has a new facial sculpt and his beret comes off? Actually I do love that his beret comes off. I thought that it was a nice touch and that it was about time that such a small detail is executed. 

Other than that unfortunately, nothing. GI Joe Retaliation Flint is still a solid figure, but there's nothing really special about him. He's a disappointment considering how far Hasbro has recently been able to take the GI Joe toyline.

This particular GI Joe Retaliation Flint was purchased from Toys R' Us Galleria here in the Philippines at the retail price of PhP 599.75 (Roughly US$ 14.62). He's available on Amazon for US$ 16.32 (Roughly PhP 669 plus shipping). Could have been much better.

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