With feelings somewhat smoothed over, I decided that I would stay the course with the G.I. Joe Classified line. We'll see how the upcoming Target exclusive wave and SDCC, now Hasbro Pulse, exclusive go as to how much longer that continues. For now, let's take a look at wave one.
I ordered a case from Entertainment Earth quite some time ago, which finally made its way to my house on the week of July 20th.
One case of figures includes six figures, and with five in wave one, that means there's an extra inside, which appears to be number 02. Gee, I wonder which figure that could be?
No surprise, it's Snake Eyes. As such, the case breaks down as follows: 1 Roadblock, 2 Snake Eyes, 1 Destro, 1 Duke and 1 Scarlet.
The back of each box is the same image, and ironically enough, it contains most of the characters who have already been announced. The only one I don't recognize is the troops behind the head of the Baroness. They look almost like Alley Vipers, but I'm not 100% certain.
There's also a ton of vehicles on the back of the box, and I admittedly hope they don't go down this road. I know that the Baroness is coming out with a motorcycle, but I hope they don't continue this route. Vehicles in six inch lines are expensive and take up a lot of space. While I'd want the figures, I'd ultimately end up having to sell the vehicle on ebay to recoup some money.
The sides of each box feature unique artwork to the character. However, I feel like this was a missed opportunity on Hasbro's part to create an ongoing, connectable banner for every single figure in the line. That would have been an impressive nice touch.
The other side of the box shows a series of symbols, which I suppose may or may not mean anything, as well as the figure's number and name, along with the G.I. Joe logo.
Destro's card deviates slightly in design by way of changing up the colors.
The tops of the boxes incorporate the team logos into them, while also keeping in tone with the color change for Destro.
Meanwhile, the bottoms of the boxes are all the same, with all the legal jargon.
Alright, so let's crack them open in numeric order, starting with Roadblock.
The overall design and paint applications work well for this figure. It feels like a re-imaging of an iconic figure from the vintage G.I. Joe line, and I can appreciate this upgraded look as a result.
Though solid all around, some of the detail which stands out for me on this figure is the white star on his vest. In fact, all of the detail on the vest is pretty spectacular. Additionally, the lion tattoo on his left arm. The gloves, while definitely nicely painted, feel to detract a bit.
For some reason, I can't help but shift my eyes to them when looking at the figure. For some reason, their bright red color just keeps attracting my attention, distracting me from the rest of the figure. I'm also not sold on the gold padding for his knee and boots, with the red trim.
Though many have voiced complaints about the futuristic stylized weapons, I actually think this works, so far, with the line. The addition of painted on detail, bumps and ridges sells that these weapons could in essence function.
A stand out feature on most of the figures in this first wave is that while they are all unique in design, the Joe team members all have a similar blue diode somewhere on there. A communicator, perhaps, but regardless, something which ties them all together as a team.
- Nice center of gravity, meaning the figure stands consistently well, regardless of the pose
- The majority of the articulation works well with the figure (see CONS for further comment)
- Though definitely futuristic in style, the large cannon feels appropriate for Roadblock
- The inclusion of a removable magazine for the weapon is a nice added touch, but only stands to be a glaring omission for the other figures
- Sheath for the knife was a nicely added touch for convenient storage
- Probably a flaw specific to my particular figure, but the left arm cannot hold up the weight of the gun on its own
- Torso articulation is not only lost, but encumbered by the non-removable vinyl vest
- The inclusion of a peg hole on the back of the figure is odd, considering the figure doesn't include a backpack, nor a peg on his massive gun to attach to it
- The side handle on the gun feels incredibly fragile, as if it would break off with the slightest amount of stress
The back of the figure, as well as the right side, seem almost forgotten among all the standout detail the front and left side got.
Here's a closer look at the detailed tattoo which adorns his left arm. At first glance I couldn't tell what it was. It looked like it was just a smudge of paint.
Here's also a closer look at the accessories which are included; cannon, magazine and knife.
I admittedly didn't know at first what the magazine was. I thought it was just a generic accessory thrown in for the sake of adding more googahs to the figure. At a glance I noticed the opening on the cannon and put two and two together. It fits snug and secure within, with no fear of it falling out and being lost.
As for the knife, there is a sheath on his vest, where it fits, but it's a bit snug. Additionally, it also bends when inserted, which means it will most likely retain a bent shape if kept there long term.
And here is Roadblock all decked out.
Next up is the ever popular Snake Eyes. With two in the case, this means I'll have an extra for trade stock. This may turn out to be a good thing with how these figures may be difficult to track down in future waves.
Snake Eyes feels almost fragile. He's somewhat wobbly to the touch, yet still manages to stand perfectly, with little to no effort.
It's unfortunate that the majority of the detail on this figure got painted over so that Hasbro could sell the figure twice. Once as this basic release version, and again as the deluxe edition, which actually features the added paint applications to areas such as his visor and pads. Based on the variations in color on Roadblock's weapons, it feels unacceptable that everything Snake Eyes totes is solid black. They didn't even both painting the blade of his sword silver. Then again, they didn't on the deluxe version either.
Overall, Snake Eyes just feels plain in comparison to the remaining figures. I suppose that's part of his draw to collectors, while also being a major flaw. Sculpt wise, it's fantastic. Paint wise, it's a lot of black.
While I would almost give this figure a ten out of ten for its overall design and slew of accessories, there is one major detail on here which detracts majorly for me. That being the use of his clan Arashikage symbol. Hasbo plastered thing not once, not twice, but three times to the figure. Twice on the front and again on the sheath of his sword. The two on the front look out of place, especially the one under his neck.
- For fans, he'll always be one of the most popular characters in the series
- The articulation works well, but you'll need to move some of the accessories out of the way to obtain certain poses
- Of the characters in wave one, his overall design remains close to its original design from the vintage line
- There's a ton of accessories, but more importantly, there's a place on his body to store them all
- The silver buckles on the backpack are a nice added touch of detail
- Belts, holsters and sheaths are individual pieces, and not sculpted on
- There is a detracting overabundance of use of his clan Arashikage symbol on the figure
- While I get its intended purpose, the giant round hole in the side of his sub-machine gun is a detraction
- The peg for his backpack does not fit securely in the peg hole, often times falling out
- Both of his hands were sculpted for guns with fingers on triggers, despite him having a sword
- No Timber, not even with the deluxe edition
What I thought was a nice touch, but what may actually be the root of the problem, is how Hasbro put a hole not only in the back of the figure, but through his grenade belt. It could be this added "layer" of needed penetration that is preventing it from fitting snug and secure in his back.
Though you can't see it well among all of the black, the holster on his right leg not only accommodates his pistol, but has its own slot for the suppressor. Lost accessories may be a thing of the past with this line.
Of the figures, Snake Eyes definitely got the majority of the accessories. He comes with a pistol, suppressor, sword sheath, sword, knife, sub-machine gun and backpack.
All decked out, he still looks like a giant black blob. At a glance, can you even see him pointing his sub-machine gun at the camera?
Smack in the middle of the wave is the one and only Cobra character, Destro. Much like the vintage line, the villains of the series are in short supply. While Destro has always been one of my favorite G.I. Joe figures, I admittedly am confused as to why Cobra Commander wouldn't have been the first, and obvious choice to release.
Destro doesn't disappoint, and if truth be told, is the reason I eventually took the plunge on this line. When I saw that he would be included in wave one, it was a must buy. I love collecting Cobra figures. In fact, for those of you who remember, that was how I started my original vintage line. I had eight Cobra characters to my two Joe team members, and it grew from there.
Destro takes the number one spot for most vintage figure accurate. From top to bottom, he looks right. As Cobra's arms dealer, I would have loved to have had this figure come with weapon cache's filled to the brim with various rifles, handguns, etc. But, I suppose if Hasbro is listening, a deluxe figure will be in the works with one - But probably not.
Not only is the overall design superb, but every joint on in his sculpt twists and turns the way it should, while also being able to support the weight of various poses. I was even able to pose the figure holding out his case, and it didn't so much as drop a centimeter. This figure could have easily been a perfect ten out of ten for me all day, if it weren't for a few things.
Like all the figures in this line, Destro has a peg hole in his back, but yet, not backpack for it. Maybe it's just me, but why put a hole in a figure if it's going to serve no purpose? Sure, this made sense in the vintage line, because that's where the screw was, but why do it on these if it's not going to be utilized? Additionally, the case has a nice red cobra logo on the top side, but yet the logo on the bottom side is left unpainted. Last, it would have been a really nice touch to have the wrist rockets be removable, versus all three of them being glued together in a blob on his arm. With all of that said, he's still my favorite in this entire wave.
- This looks like Destro from top to bottom
- The articulation is unhindered, allowing for multiple poses
- The chrome head was a nice added touch, paying homage to the original figure, while remaining accurate to the character
- I like how his chain and stone around his neck are separate pieces
- Despite its exterior detail omission, the case packs a punch of detail inside (see below image)
- The gray pads on his arms, torso and legs stand out against the majority black outfit
- Though ultimately sufficient, the lack of accessories is not lost on this figure
- The wrist rockets are a single sculpt, which are glued onto his wrist
- Only the Cobra logo on the top of the case is painted
Regardless of the side you look at him from, there's no denying who this figure was intended to be.
Accessory wise, Destro comes with a golden cylinder revolver, a futuristic pistol and a case.
"What's in the box?!?!?!" Well, that's up for debate. Some fans say it's the case from the first live action film, featuring plastic explosives and the detonation device. Others will argue it's a case of money, with a computer installed into the bottom portion of the case. I suppose the answer is up to each individual. Regardless, the detail is superb.
Now let's make a deal...
Probably my least favorite from this series, so far, is Duke.
It's rather ironic that Duke wouldn't be my number one choice for wave one, yet when buying my vintage figures, he was actually my first Joe team member. In fact, I couldn't fathom starting the good guys if he wasn't in the number one spot. Yet for some reason, I feel like in the Classified line, especially with Roadblock and Scarlet among the bunch, that his spot could have been slatted for someone else.
Don't get me wrong, I like the figure just fine. But I guess I would have rather seen another Cobra character, as opposed to this one.
In overall design, Duke is reminiscent enough of his vintage counterpart that you can see who and what Hasbro was going for. However, take away the yellow shirt, and replace it with a regular camouflage one, and I guarantee most people would have to think a moment to figure out who it was. He looks close enough, but of the wave, he's definitely at the bottom rung.
"It's Duke," I said un-enthusiastically. What more is there to say?
- Despite its futuristic look, I think the assault rifle he's toting around is pretty solid
- The slot on his belt to hold his binoculars was a nice added touch for storage
- The detail and paint on the pistol is probably the best so far for the line
- You can't have Duke without a backpack that has a shovel on it, and this one does
- The scar above his eye gives the figure that added oomph it needs to have something unique
- Overall, it's just a boring figure
- The red trim on the gloves looks out of place, as does the silver shin and knee guards
- This figure simply doesn't like to stand on its own - Even without (but made worse by) his backpack on, something about the sculpt stops it from standing long term
I'm seriously already over this figure. He's boring in every sense of the word.
Here's a closer look at his accessories. He comes with a backpack, pistol, assault rifle and binoculars. The shovel on the backpack is not removable, but the attention to detail by way of painting a green strap over it doesn't go unnoticed and is much appreciated.
And here he is, in one of the brief moments I could get him to stand up. Hopefully the stands I just purchased will work with this line.
Last up is the only, and one of the few, females released for wave one.
I'm on the fence with Scarlet. While I can tell who she is, she looks way to futuristic. Almost as if she belongs in a Borderlands video game versus this line. I mean, I don't hate her, and she certainly is above Duke, in terms of my personal ranking of the wave. But she too is not without fault.
Much like the leader of the Joes, she has an issue with standing. It almost felt worse than that of Duke. Additionally, she seems to have a permanent crick in her neck. For some reason, it was sculpted on an angle. Just look at the photo to the left and you'll easily see what I mean. It looks weird, and it only gets worse if you try to shift her head to accommodate it.
I'm also not a fan of her overall accessories. Why she has three knives is baffling, but more so odd is why Hasbo sculpted her crossbow in two pieces. It separates at the top, very easily, I might add, making it one of the most fragile pieces among the bunch.
Speaking of her knives, the sheaths for them are so incredibly tight that I thought I was going to break one in half when trying to put it in place. The thing literally got stuck and bent in half. I don't think I'm ever getting any of those to come out of their holdings.
What I do like is the face and hair sculpting. These are really finely detailed.
- As mentioned above, the face and hair - There is so much detail to be fond just here
- Despite its flaw, I really do like the crossbow design
- Though the gold "armor" is bulky, its color scheme works well with the grey tights that cover the rest of the figure
- Though they look slightly misshaped, I do like that Hasbro remembered to include the sculpted on throwing stars on her left arm
- The red - Once again, it detracts, especially the red and white star arm pad
- Crick neck sculpting
- Too many knives, and the sheaths are too tight
- Two part crossbow that easily falls apart
- Sculpted on, non-removable crossbow bolt sheath on her back
- Overall, this doesn't feel like Scarlet
You can see in the photo above the mentioned crossbow bolt sheath. While it would have been fun to have individual bolts, especially if they fit into the crossbow itself, I understand why that wasn't done. Still, could it have at least been removable?
This figure is flawed in many aspects, but it's still steps above Duke. Scarlet at least has an interesting design.
Here's a closer look at her many knives and crossbow.
And here she is all decked out.
Overall, wave one was kind of hit or miss. It's one of the reasons I sat on the fence for so long with it. Like I said above, it wasn't until Destro got included that I finally took notice. I wish I could say that the upcoming waves have a stronger lineup, but that wold be a flat out lie. Cobra Commander, Baroness, Cobra Trooper and Beach Head are really the ones I'm most excited about, but even they appear to have their flaws, in terms of design.
In fact, since this post is already so long, and I brought it up, let's just go ahead and take a look at where everything stands with this line so far.
The series launched with the deluxe version of Snake Eyes, which was an exclusive to Hasbro Pulse. While I was among the lucky ones who got to pre order this, according to the recent e-mail I got, its not going to ship before August 3rd, 2020.
Of course, we've already looked extensively at wave one above, Roadblock, Snake Eyes, Destro, Duke and Scarlet.
Wave two will launch with Cobra Commander. What I like about this line, so far, is that they are numbering everything, making it easier to track things.
However, for completists, you'll need to jump over to Hasbro Pulse to pre order the regal edition of Cobra Commander. This one is more accurate, in color, to the vintage line.
Wave two wraps up with Gung Ho and a generic Red Ninja.
Hasbro Pulse has announced that their now defunct San Diego Comic Con 2020 exclusive Snake Supreme Cobra Commander will now be offered via their website in September. Oh boy, we'll see how that goes. I suppose, regardless of whether or not the con was still on, that this one would have been an ebay purchase for me. While I'd like to get it for the $29.99 Pulse price, I'm not hopeful this will happen. But, I'll try.
For those of you who have been reading my recent posts, you know all too well about the Target exclusive third wave with Beach Head, a repainted Roadblock (with new head sculpt), Cobra Trooper and Baroness with motorcycle.
Then of course, there's the Amazon exclusive Arctic Mission Storm Shadow, which in and of itself almost killed this line for me.
Followed by the last, and most currently announced figure, Profit Director Destro. This is neither an exclusive, nor a deluxe figure, yet it costs $5.00 more than the rest.
Well, there you have it. An extensive look at wave one, as well as, a through look of things to come, that we know of at this time. Classified line - You in? Out? Still on the fence? Never interested? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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