G.I. Joe Resolute Set
Welcome back to another installment of my random reviews! This time I'm taking a look at the new G.I. Joe Resolute Set. Like the sets from 2007, this comes in a box with a flap that opens to allow you to see the figures inside. Unlike the 2007 sets, though, the cardboard on these is much thinner and flimsier. It's not a bad thing on its own, but it's a bit of a letdown after what we got before. Even the DVD Battles Packs had thicker boxes. Moving along, the art on the box immediately sets it apart from its casemates the G.I. Joe and Cobra sets - a weathered black case riddled with bullet holes. There's character here, and it does a great job of establishing a grittier mood. There's a sense that this is something different.
For our first figure we have Duke (v32). Sadly, this figure contains the only new parts in the entire set - a new torso, waist, and upper arms. The rest of his parts are borrowed from Duke (v30), the previous "Resolute" incarnation of this character. There's nothing wrong with keeping some continuity with your characters, but it would have been nicer to see more new parts in this set. Hasbro could have at least swapped out Duke's holster for one that doesn't have a gun already molded in it! I guess the budget for this wave went to the other two sets. What new parts he does have are pretty nice, though - a padded shirt with an attached harness. But why the need for the harness? Because Duke comes with a cool little jetpack with movable wings and tail fins. Perhaps this is Resolute's answer to the JUMP Jet Pack, though most likely it's just Hasbro's own invention. Regardless, it's a neat little gimmick to fill out the accessories. Many have noted that the jetpack, harness, and helmet come together to give Duke a very Sigma 6-esque look. I do see it, though it resembles Barrell Roll more than Duke with Jet Wings. Be careful with the peg that attaches to his back, though. Mine snapped off the first time I put it in. Trying to come up with a suitable fix for that wasn't very fun, I assure you.
Next we have Cobra Commander (v42). A straight repaint of version 39, there's not much to say about this figure. He's the Resolute Cobra Commander in red and black. A neat color choice, and the predominant theme among the Cobras in this set, but nothing terribly spectaclar. The cloak still restricts arm movement, and the cape at his waist still restricts leg movement. It's a pretty figure, but without a lot of action in it. He comes with two pistols this time, though, so he's got that going for him.
The Cobra B.A.T. (v19) included here comes with all of the accessories of the single-carded release from 2008. The main difference here is that he's predominantly black. Even the little window over his internal mechanisms is tinted black. This naturally makes him extremely hard to photograph well, but I swear if you look at my pictures at just the right angle and maybe squint a little bit, you'll be able to see all the glorious detail this mold has to offer. What? Don't look at me like that. I didn't use the flash because it would give weird shadows! It doesn't matter if you don't care; I do! Okay, so I'm rambling here. Just know that this B.A.T. is black. Not much more to it than that. Dark and menacing is all well and good, but it makes for lousy conversation material!
And now we come to the last two figures of this set: Cobra Trooper (v16) and Cobra Officer (v10). I'm reviewing them together because they are, in effect, the same figure. Remove all their accessories and they are identical. Fine if the set's supposed to have multiples of the same trooper, but this is just a bit annoying when it's two different ranks. A slight difference in the silver detailing or a different color for one of the paint masks would have sufficed. Just know that years from now, when these figures are sold at garage sales without any accessories, nobody's gonna know exactly what figure they have. (And archiving these guys! Should they go on the same page? Separately? What??)
My ranting about the base figures aside, Hasbro did make an effort to have the accessories differentiate the troops. The helmet of the Officer gets the familiar "V" crest. It's only painted on though, so be wary of scratching down the line. The Trooper, on the other hand, gets a large accessory in the form of a spring-loaded missile launcher! I know, I can hear the groaning already, but if we must have this gimmick, there are worse interpretations out there. This piece comes with a removable stand, two missiles, and a closing cover. Its design seems partially based on the AT-4/M-136 LAW, adding a nicely realistic touch to the sometimes bizarre missile launchers we get. The launcher itself has two handles the Trooper can hold onto, though in practice the stand seems a bit short to look normal in his hands. Thankfully, the support pole has enough extra length in it to extend a bit from the stand.
Overall, I don't know if I would recommend this set to purchase. The figures are nice enough, but the lack of originality leaves me a little cool. There are some nice things here, believe me, but when given the choice between spending my money on these figures and the ones in the G.I. Joe or Cobra sets, I'd tend to lean more towards buying something that gives me more new toys. That said, if you're looking to move past the rehashed designs of the other sets, this Resolute Set does offer a fresher take on the characters.
More action shots:
Images from the collection of: Phillip Donnelly
Figures courtesy of BigBadToyStore - get your G.I. Joes and much more at BigBadToyStore!