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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!
Wave 6, 2008 Mercenary Wraith (Variant)

COBRA Bazooka Trooper | COBRA Para-Viper | Croc Master | Duke | Mutt & Junkyard | Mercenary Wraith

Review by Justin Bell

First of all, you’ll have to take this review with a grain of salt…I haven’t been able to get my hands on a regular version of Wraith yet, so you’ll have to make do with the variant “translucent” version.  I’m sure everyone feels very sorry for me.  ;)

Even though the colors are drastically different, the figure itself remains unchanged (which could be considered better or worse, depending on your opinion).

Whether the fandom likes it or not, the Devils’ Due comics are forever a part of the G.I. Joe lexicon, and while there are some aspects of that run that I would like to forget, I do think that Devils’ Due added some cool things to the mythos, and one of those things is Wraith.  Sure, he was sort of a cookie cutter character in a cool suit of armor, but the armor was cool enough that it carried him, and I think he ended up integrating into the G.I. Joe vs. COBRA mythos fairly well.  Well enough that I’d always wished we got a figure for the character, and…well, now we have one.  But does it do the character justice?  That’s kind of another story.

The base figure itself is actually pretty cool.  I love that new head sculpt, and the parts chosen from Snake Eyes v34 are fairly inspired.  I really like the armored gauntlets and the sculpted armor on the lower legs, but there are some downsides here and there.  The oversized chest armor really restricts his arm movement quite a bit and is a bit too large to be streamlined like the Wraith armor was meant to be.  That’s really unfortunate because obviously it’s the armor that makes his character cool, and if the character loses cool points for being in the armor, it kind of defeats the purpose.


And while I do really like the arm gauntlets, the mounted guns are a bit clunky and the hoses are so thin and flimsy that many fans are simply snipping them off rather than break them (trust me, pose his arms more than a few times and they WILL break).  I do think if you snip off those cables yourself it actually adds some nice playability to the figure, but the armor still has a negative impact on poseability.

The paint apps and coloring on both figures is still nicely unique.  Various silvers, grays, and blacks make the normal version look fairly comic-accurate and even though he’s wearing metal armor, there’s enough color differences sprinkled throughout to still make the figure interesting.  The “clear” variant of the figure uses a very nice somewhat opaque light blue plastic that simulates the stealth function reasonably well.  I really love the fact that they went to the trouble of flesh-coloring the face, though, that is a very nice touch.  When the mask is flipped down, you still get that translucent appearance, but with the mask flipped up it looks normal as well.  I really love that little feature.

Accessories are another low point for this figure, however.  He’s got a wildly oversized P90 submachine gun that he can’t even hold, much less fire.  His backpack is somewhat generic and uninspired, as well.  I love the facemask, but really, there’s nothing else to write home about.

I’ve been waiting a few years for this character, as have many fans, and unfortunately the end result doesn’t really deliver.  I think it would have been tough to translate the armored character from the comics into a toy realistically (though Hasbro seems to do well enough with Iron Man figures of various scales) but this figure just really doesn’t do anything for me.  Probably the weakest link of the wave, which is a shame considering how excited I was for it.

Archive entry:
Mercenary Wraith (v1a) (Standard Version)
Mercenary Wraith (v1b) (Translucent Version)

More action shots:

Images from the collection of: Justin Bell

For a great selection of G.I. Joe figures and vehicles, check out BigBadToyStore.com.

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Yo Joe!

11/14/08

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