I got really into 25th Joes a few years ago. The figures weren’t always perfect, but with a healthy dollop of nostalgia, they got the job done. When the movie figures eclipsed the anniversary, I bought some. The verdict? Better figures, but not better designs. This weekend, I bought a Joe that had it all.
I had left G.I. Joe behind for a long time when the 25th line hit. I had some Ninja Force and that awesome “Cavalry” Wild Bill, so I was buying them up into the 90s. I remember the return of RAH in ’97 because those figures were spectacularly subpar. I didn’t buy much of anything Joe-related after that. I even tried to ignore 25th Anniversary at first, but the figures drew me in – bad articulation cuts, gummy hands, and all. When the line transitioned into ROC, I bought a few and was impressed with how much better the toys were – even if the movie designs were woefully lacking. Slowly, though, my Joe “budget” dried up – some of my older readers might’ve noticed as IAT used to feature a decent chunk of Joe reviews.
I heard a lot of good things about the Pursuit of Cobra line (I was there for the reveal at JoeCon 2009), but didn’t buy too many of them when they finally did come out (too many DCUCs, MOTUCs, & Transformers to buy). I snagged a couple here and there – and yesterday I found one I really wanted. Low-Light. I tweeted about it and the resulting tweets insisted that I review him posthaste. So here we are.
If you’re not familiar with Low-Light, he’s one of the badass Joes. Snake Eye is the mysterious/dangerous badass. Beachhead is the temperamental/in-your-face badass. Low-Light is the tough/loner badass. He’s a night ops sniper. Yep. He shoots you from hundreds of yards away… in the dark. He’s mean to the other Joes, even when he’s being nice. And he’s a patent holder. Well, wait… that last part doesn’t quite fit, but you get the idea. If he’s up in a tree somewhere looking for you, you’re probably dead already.
Since I’m not up on my POC Joes, I don’t know how much of Low-Light is new. I’m told that he’s got a lot of City Strike Beachhead’s parts, but I haven’t got him handy to check that out. Some stuff I can guess is new like his webgear and head (he’s a mean looking dude, too) because they’re accurate to his classic ’86 figure (my favorite Joe year evah). I think his forearms are new because of the wrist articulation too.
Even with the reuse of Beachhead parts, this figure sings as our first “29th Anniversary figure”. He’s pretty accurate to the original despite having an updated detail or two here and there. The fun thing here though is that the POC line has featured a fair share of figures that are more “realistic” to modern military designs and Low-Light fits in that paradigm. That means he fits in seamlessly with the ROC/POC stuff while at the same time being true to his classic appearance. He’s win-win in that regard. Moreover, he merges the great engineering of the more recent figures with the classic designs that got me to buy so many 25th figures. I don’t think I could’ve left the store without him.
The articulation is also fantastic, though I’d still like to see bicep & thigh swivels incorporated into the Joes. Low-Light features a ball-jointed head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, and ankles. Double hinges in the knee and a torso joint. He can get into a ton of great poses, including some great sniper poses – except that he can’t look up like he’s using the gun. I’m not going to knock Hasbro for this – figures that can truly look up are as rare as 25th Anniversary Joes with no QC issues (zing!), but that would’ve been a nice area to see some added articulation were is possible.
One area where articulation was added is the wrist balls in the hands. This is perfect for a guy like Low-Light. I was even more pleased with the joint in his right hand. It’s ball-jointed vertically. This greatly increases the figures range. I’d love to see that incorporated into more figures – particularly ones that need to hold power swords aloft?
While his sculpt and articulation are impressive, it’s his accessories that really put him over the top. Continue to Page 2…