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SIT-REP
This is the Sit-Rep, soldier, the Situation Report! It's here where we get the intel on the new troops, talk to the big brass, and generally do anything else that isn't in an archival capacity! So what are you waiting for? It's time for your debriefing!

25th Crimson Guard (single-card) First-Look

By Justin Bell

Introduction: Ever since 1985 I was a huge fan of the Crimson Guard. The idea of an undercover trooper who was an elite agent for COBRA just seemed like a great idea. Some secret gestapo army that was incredibly skilled in martial arts and armed warfare...it really seemed to put COBRA at an immediate advantage, and I'm a COBRA fan as it is, so I couldn't help but love what they did. Larry Hama's portrayal of these guys in the comic also made them shine even further, giving us intricate characters like Professor Appel and the various different "Fred's", one of which even became COBRA Commander for a time. They are really the backbone of the COBRA organization to me, and I'm thrilled that Hasbro decided to give them their due this early in the line. I'm equally thankful that they decided to do it after tweaking the hip articulation and perfecting the sculpting techniques. This figure looks and moves terrifically.

Sculpt: From a design perspective, this figure is a pretty direct translation of the one we got back in 1985, but in my opinion, is improved in almost every conceivable way that it could be.

The head is probably the biggest real change to the figure, giving us a much more dramatically sculpted, angled look to the helmet which has gotten some negative press, but I actually like it quite a bit. It's more exaggerated than the original, and looks a bit different, but I still love it. It doesn't look too big, but it's definitely large enough to realistically fit over someone's head.

The figure itself feels quite solid... a lot more structurally sound and well-constructed than the early Anniversary stuff we've seen, and the figure just feels right. Tight joints, improved articulation and incredible detail throughout really make the Crimson Guard shine. From a proportion perspective, the figure comes across a little bit on the tall side, and his legs are a bit extended, but the whole thing still works remarkably well.

Articulation: The Crimson Guard has the pretty standard 25th Anniversary articulation, with elbows that bend about as close to 90 degrees as you can get. The hip articulation works very well and gives him pretty free range motion where it matters. His leg swivel is above his boots, which is very nice aesthetically. One slightly bothersome feature is that we're getting a lot of pants sculpted over the feet with these new figures, which ends up restricting the motion of the ankle joints somewhat. Nothing terrible, just a minor nitpick.

Accessories: This figure comes with the gear he should...a perfect backpack with updated backpack peg to fit in the 25th Anniversary figures. It looks just like the vintage version. His weapon is fantastic, too. A pretty straight-up reissue of the "Siegie's" perfect assault rifle with bayonet, but a little bit larger size than I was anticipating. Still, the weapon is terrific, and he can hold it very well.

Conclusion: One of my favorite characters and favorite figures of the entire 25 year run of A Real American Hero gets a great new update and the figure looks fantastic.

-YoJoe!

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Yo Joe!

12/06/07

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