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G.I. Joe Club Membership
Figure: Cross-Country Review

It seems like every time I get a G.I. Joe lately, it’s some hard to get convention exclusive, some figure you have to be part of a club to get, or part of a hefty subscription. Well, it seems that way because it is that way. G.I. Joe is not retail friendly right at the moment. It exists almost entirely thanks to its Collector’s Club with a little help from the company that owns it (doesn’t it seem it should be the other way around?) I know there’s a smattering of 50th Anniversary stuff coming to TRU, but, well… smattering might be generous considering it’s celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the brand*. Oops.

* – Never mind the celebratory releases are product not related to the first 18 years of the brand. Double oops.

While Hasbro has been at the mercy of retailers and the difficulties of franchise management, Fun Publications has stepped in to keep us nostalgia folks interested (or hooked, depending on your point of view). They’ve been using the subscription figures to dig a little deeper into the Joe mythos and find some interesting characters to update (or make for the first time), but I’ve probably been most happy with their Club sign-up figures (the ones you receive for joining up and subscribing to the newsletter). In the last four years, they’ve knocked out some huge holes in fan’s want lists.

For 2014, the figure was H.A.V.O.C. driver Cross-Country. Out of the four he may be one of the best. Dial-Tone was just okay and Iceberg lost out on that terrible noggin’, so It would come down to Footloose or Cross-Country for me. I might lean towards Footloose – those traditionally clad Joes still hold a soft spot in my heart, but I can’t deny how great Cross-Country really is.

I’m not sure where all the parts hail from – I just can’t keep up with the movie figure parts thrown in the mix (I think the movie Flash toy is the lower half, no guess on the top), but Cross-Country looks like they picked the right parts from head-to-toe to nail his look. For the body, the vest is all new. I guess that it’s technically an accessory, but it’s so vital to the figure’s look that I’d consider it just part of the main figure. It looks sharp too, faithful details and a good update to the classic colors.

The only thing I’m not a fan of, and this is endemic to the line for seven years now, is how bulky the upper torso becomes in relation to the lower torso. I kinda wish Hasbro, when sculpting the original pieces, had thought more about the final product. If they’d just designed the bulk of the vest to balance out the lower torso (make it bigger), the figures would come a long way, further than they already have (MOTUC has the same problem, refusing to have a smaller chest for heavily armored characters).

Atop the body is the best new piece though, a new head from Boss Fight Studios. They did an amazing job on the face sculpt. Their work makes Cross-Country feel like the unique character he should be and they top it off with his classic goggles and confederate hat to seal the deal. He looks sharp! Continue to Page 2…

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15 comments to G.I. Joe Club Membership
Figure: Cross-Country Review

  • Zach S.

    Love the last comic!

  • I’ve gone on record that the RAH line isn’t my Joe, but I admire the work here, and that fans are getting desired figures.

    But look. I know RAH isn’t about realism. There’s a veneer of reality that’s used but on the whole, it gets a bit wacky, right? OK, I can go with that. But man, what the HECK is the deal with this guy’s bandoleer?! Over the shoulder, across the chest (and over the vest zipper), then UNDER a pocket, continues to his side where it seems to vanish only to reappear out of a slot on his back…implying it must pass around INSIDE the vest. Um. How exactly does he put this thing on? And what kind of vest is that? It has aspects of both a battle gear load-bearing vest and body armor. God help him if he has to ditch that thing in a hurry!

    That bandoleer thing really sticks out and just bugs the nerts out of me. 🙂

    So, 50th Anny coming up and…no classic 11 3/4 inch Joe love? Good lord, 50 years…

  • Get the old HAVOC; it was a great vehicle.

  • Steelbolt

    The parts list is as follows:
    -Head and vest sculpted by Boss Fight Studios
    -POC Shock Trooper torso
    -ROC Sgt. Stone upper arms
    -POC Desert Battle Storm Shadow lower arms
    -POC Snake Eyes hands
    -ROC Zartan upper legs
    -ROC Flash lower legs

  • Bah. These hard-to-get characters are why I gave up on G.I. Joe.

    I just want them to get around to re-releasing the STUN, Thunder Machine, and Night Raven SP3. Is that so wrong?

  • Jester

    Can Recondo drive a vehicle?

    Well, he used to fly a helicopter back in his Tiger Force days…

  • Seth

    Was that a Chip Chipperson reference???

  • ero

    Great update of one of my most beloved figures from childhood.

    Yeah, paints not great and the glossy paint on the elbow is first-time customizer level but whatcha gonna do? The est and head are awesome and the parts choice is solid. Very happy. I NEED a Sunbow repaint of this guy.

  • Those four figures pictured above are the only reasons I signed up with the club. Not sure if Arctic Mindbender will justify a fifth year, though.

    I agree that the best two of the four are Footloose and Cross-Country. The vintage driver can’t hold a candle to everyone’s favorite stoned out Infantry Trooper, but that’s not the case with their modern versions. While I prefer the more realistic style of figure which Footloose represents, I’ve grown to love Cross-Country as a character in both the Sunbow cartoon and in the comics, largely due to Larry Hama’s excellent use of the guy over the years. Cross-Country is one the most likeable Joes ever and an updated figure was long past overdue.

  • Brainlock

    I had the original (WITH HAVOC!) and I still have to prefer those original sculpts over the “modern updates”. I know I used the HAVOC a lot back then, but he wasn’t left behind, but a regular B-teamer.
    (Man, I’m gonna drop SO MUCH at Kokomo to replace all my storage losses IF/when I get my money….!!)

    CC does look like a re-enactor stumbled into the PITT and just started hanging out, but there is a slight charm to his look. Altho… I can’t help but think he’d be a might touch redneck, if y’all get my drift.

  • Mark

    I hate the 25th style bodies. Every figure is crooked. They cannot stand perfectly straight with all the parts lined up correctly. One leg always loks longer than the other, the head sculpts are to small or to big and the chest/waist joint ruins them.
    I wish they would go back to the older body or the VvV body or better yet create a new one and get rid of the chest joint.
    I did used to collect the 25th and movie figures but getting them here in the UK was not an easy task. The 25th’s were all over priced. But with the poor sales of the ROC movie the toy prices came down drastically, we were able to buy the Night Raven (£40) for £7 etc LOL. After that they didn’t release any of the Retaliation stuff here. Also the scalpers on Ebay put the price of the stuff way up. Not that I cared about the figures but some of the vehicles would have been nice for my vintage figures like the Tomahawk etc……but then again Hasbro had to mess up and change the foot and back peg hole sizes. 🙁

  • J. Lee

    Never had as a kid but did like the character and loved the HAVOC. Would still have it today I’m sure. Have to say not a subber but would look for this guy at a con or show. Looking for updates now on alot of figs so any of thess guys would be fun to own. Price wise is the iffy part for me though.

    I will say I would go with the Vintage. The Jungle Cat (good name by the way) just seems like its 2nd cousin.

    Now a question, If Hasbro finally got around to a real Transformers/GIJoe crossover line for retail. (Transforming vehicles) who would be the HAVOC? My mind keeps thinking Ironhide.

  • “It seems like every time I get a G.I. Joe lately, it’s some hard to get convention exclusive, some figure you have to be part of a club to get, or part of a hefty subscription.” precisely what pushed me (a guy with a freaking Cobra tattoo) out of of Joes.