Hasbro G.I. Joe 25th Anniversary Issue #32 ½
Review by C.J. Stunkard, Images by David Yeh
Army building has become one of the premier ways for fans to make displays as large and expansive as they want. Hasbro's 25th Anniversary comic pack #32 ½ carries on this retail army building tradition, featuring Cobra Officer and Crimson Guard. First off, the Cobra Officer is a unique character from the comic series named "Scarface," but in a display, it will be difficult to tell if one is using 8-10 of him instead of the previous versions of the standard Officer (we'll call him Scarface for the rest of the review). Along with Scarface, the set includes a Crimson Guard, who features a brand new head sculpt, who also fits seamlessly into an ever-increasing Crimson Guard force.
The figures come on Hasbro's standard blister card/bubble combo with the each trooper secured in a removable tray and in full view. Getting the figures off the card is easy and Mint On Card collectors will love the in-package display of both figures and their accessories.
As for the figures themselves, the sculpts for both figures have already been used for the previously-released Crimson Guard (v9) and Cobra Officer (v4) figures, with the exception of the new heads (well, just new decos/paint on Scarface). The new heads are both good and unique. Scarface is just slightly different from the previous Officers, featuring painted hair and his two distinct scars down the front of his face, making him a perfect army builder but also a unique entry to an army that's already full, The newly-made Crimson Guard "Fred Series" head (with removable helmet) is fantastic. The included file cards inform us that all Crimson Guards receive plastic surgery to look uniform (such as Fred I, II, III, VII, etc.) and the Aryan blonde hair/blue eyes combo is a perfect match to the iconic comic book portrayal. Both of these figures are excellent additions to the 25 th anniversary lines, either as army builders or unique Cobra troops.
Hasbro's paint applications for all the 25 th Joes have been spot on, and these figures are no different as both figures look fantastic with a heavy focus on the little details such as eye color, accessories and even shirt-buttons (on the CG). Hasbro really does a terrific job making these the most detailed figures in the line's 25 year history (well, 26 now).
Speaking of accessories, they are terrific! The Crimson Guard's rifle is a substantial departure from the usual assault rifle with bayonet carried by the elite cobra soldiers, but the new weapon still looks good [editor's note - it's an M-1 Garand rifle from WWII!], and adds a unique touch to the early days and formation of the Crimson Guard (as featured in the included comic issue) and the CG's extensive points-of-articulation allow for some excellent posing opportunities with the rifle. Scarface's rifle (AK-47), knife, and removable gear also look good and fit the figure perfectly. Each figure also includes a 25th Anniversary style base with the figure's name printed on the beveled edge.
At $9.99-$10.99 for the set, the value is evident. You're essentially saving a buck on EACH trooper as single carded Joes retail at $5.99, BUT what makes this set really worth your time and money is that (a) single carded officers with the red masks have not beeen released; and (b) single carded Crimson Guards have been difficult to find on the shelves. That being said, this comic pack is an exceptional buy. You're getting unique versions of troopers that can also be used as army builders, and you're getting them at a cheaper price than the single figures - which aren't available anyway. It's really a great deal, and those looking to build a crimson army or platoon of cobra soldiers will love adding these into the mix.
Taking all this into account, Hasbro's 25 th Anniversary Scarface and Crimson Guard two-pack is fantastic. It is another wonderful entry to the new Joe collection from Hasbro, and all Joe collectors will want to pick it up and add these great figures to their collection!