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Well, if you read my Croc Master review, then you know unlike a lot of folks, I’m actually a Croc Master fan. Well, unlike a lot of folks, I am really NOT a Mutt & Junkyard fan. For whatever reason the first G.I. Joe animal “specialist” really never did anything for me, and I never grew to appreciate the character to any certain degree. I’m not sure why, since he was fairly heavily featured in the cartoon, and made his presence known in the comic book as well, but still, not enough to really endear him to me or make me care about him particularly. I don’t know if it was just the figure or what, but there wasn’t much to get excited about.
The Anniversary version does manage to fix some of the flaws I had with the original, but it also creates some new flaws, and I kind of end up with the same opinion I had back in the day. I can appreciate Mutt’s place in history, and I know he’s a pretty central character, but ultimately he isn’t a figure I really care about and while there are some minor “wow” moments with this figure, nothing to really knock my socks off.
From a tooling standpoint, Mutt’s upper body and upper arms pull from the COBRA Viper tooling, which is a great move. I’m really starting to love the library of parts that Hasbro is building, and they’re only giving themselves more to work with, which is great. The parts fit Mutt seamlessly. However, not all parts fit seamlessly, mainly those awful legs. I’m not sure if this was factory issue, or the fact that Hasbro was re-using the torso/waist, but for whatever reason, the legs were designed about twice as thick in the thighs as they should have been, and we end up with a figure that almost looks ridiculous. He’s not quite as bad as the Duke that is slated to come with the Greatest Battles DVD Set, but it’s pretty bad, and unfortunately it does take away a bit from the figure. The Anniversary line has prided itself on fluid sculpting and aesthetic design (sometimes at the sacrifice of movement and articulation), but this figure looks neither fluid nor aesthetic…it looks somewhat clunky and ugly, and most of that stems from the leg joints. It’s especially unfortunate because most of the sculpting is excellent, from the head to the lower arms, the kneepads, and those cool boots. But ultimately, whether a factory issue or a strange design choice, the legs just do not “mesh” and it reflects poorly on the figure as a whole.
I’m happy to say that the accessories do not have much that reflect poorly on them, however, and are pretty much a vast improvement over the originals that came with the figure twenty-four years ago. There is much better sculpting on the helmet, I like this new style of muzzle, and the night stick retains the cool look it had back then. The biggest difference, though, is the submachine gun. Wow, this new Mac-10 is simply incredible! It blows away the miniscule firearm we got back in 1984 and the detail of the silencer and the weapon itself is pretty much flawless. Almost worth the price of admission on their own. The fact that it fits perfectly into his leg holster is only an added bonus. What a great weapon, and a huge selling point for the figure. Junkyard is a somewhat mixed bag, I do think. He looks a bit fiercer than the original one we got in ’84, though sometimes having a permanently opened mouth can be hit or miss. He’s not bad. Not terrific, but not bad.
This figure has a lot of good stuff going for it, and the resemblance to the original is impressive. But the legs just bother me a bit. Ultimately he fits in fairly well with the rest of the building 1984 roster, he has great accessories and his paint apps are great. There really is not much to complain about, so perhaps it’s my inherent distaste for the Mutt character, or maybe it’s just those funky legs, but while this figure fits a nice hole, it just doesn’t blow me away.