REVIEW: G.I. JOE COLLECTORS' CLUB "DTC" SERIES
As the so-called "newsculpt" line of G.I. Joe figures developed in 2002 by Hasbro began to wind down in 2006-07, ultimately to give way to the 25th Anniversary line, whose figure style continues to the present day, Hasbro endeavored to make various series of these G.I. Joe figures available on a "DTC" - "Direct to Consumer" basis.
Subsequent to this, the figures and vehicles also became available at Toys "R" Us, but ultimately, the series ended -- and as had happened before in the history of G.I. Joe, it had ended one assortment short of completion.
As most collectors know, there is a considerable lead time in the development of action figures. In that sense, it's not terribly surprising that a line that has achieved some measure of popularity is already preparing for future assortments, and on occasion, for one reason or another, those toys ultimately don't quite make it out.
And it happened with the G.I. Joe newsculpt DTC line. Understandably wanting to get the 25th Anniversary ball rolling, Hasbro called a halt to the distribution of the final wave of newsculpt figures. Which arguably might or might not have been that big of a deal, if it hadn't been for the fact that the assortment included newsculpt versions of three popular G.I. Joe team members who hadn't yet made it into the newsculpt line and hadn't really been seen for years, two popular Cobra divisions, and just to make the cancellation really sad, was an all-new female Cobra character!
Fortunately for everyone, the Official G.I. Joe Collectors' Club made the necessary arrangements to make these figures available as Club exclusives, single-carded, but available in sets.
This review will take a look at ALL SEVEN of these amazing figures. Let's start with...
OUTBACK - Officially listed on his package as "Stuart 'OUTBACK' Selkirk" for trademark purposes. He was first introduced to the G.I. Joe team in 1987. In his comic book appearance -- he was never in the animation, he first appeared when the G.I. Joe team was headed through a high mountain pass. He caught up with them, and General Hawk asked him about the special survival equipment he'd been asked to test. Outback replied that the equipment, which he less-than-charitably referred to as "junk", had fallen apart after a few days of use, and that he, Outback, had been living off the land since then, entirely content to do so until the G.I. Joes came to pick him up.
Outback was presented in appearance as an individual with fairly bright red hair, of moderate length and somewhat unruly, tied off with a headband. He also had a beard. He wore a white T-shirt with the word "SURVIVAL" imprinted across the front in black lettering, as well as camouflage trousers.
Outback appeared the following year as part of Toys "R" Us' Night Force contingent. His hair was still the same color, but his T-shirt was now grey with green sleeves, and his trousers were also grey. It was also right around this time that one of Outback's most interesting versions came along, a European exclusive assigned to Tiger Force. This Outback had an orange shirt with a tiger face on the front and stripes on the back, and very unusually -- WHITE hair. This odd coloration was also largely duplicated for a South American Outback assigned to their version of the Sonic Fighters.
There was a second, completely new Outback figure in 1993, assigned to the Battle Corps contingent. Even here, though, there was a little bit of peculiarity. Both Outback and newcomer Snow Storm were originally intended to be part of an expansion of the Eco-Warriors, which never happened. This did, however, result in two versions of Outback and Snow Storm being available in 1993, one version each somewhat more intensely-colored than the subsequent "Battle Corps" version.
In 2008, he traded in his white T-shirt for a black tank-top, although it still says "SURVIVAL" on it, this time in white. This Outback has a much more powerful build than before, especially the chest and arms.
The figure also has camouflage trousers that are a pale greenish tan with very intricately painted brown camouflage sections, that look to be good for the sort of woodland environment that Outback seems to prefer. The figure also comes with a medium-sized rifle, a knife and a backpack with a very nicely made harness.
Outback's file card reads as follows:
Stuart "Outback" Selkirk was an instructor at the Survival School and the Jungle Warfare Training Center. His extensive experience includes Central America, Asia, and numerous other locations worldwide. Most people are intimidated by areas where there is no sign of human life for miles. Not Outback. He believes that survival means you're part of the environment, not its adversary. His expertise is essential when the G.I. Joe team conducts missions in vast wilderness regions. Outback leads them in the essentials of wilderness survival: finding food, improvising shelters, using scavenged parts to build necessary gear and navigating without a map or compass. He reads the land like a book, uses it with creativity and cunning, and can survive and thrive in the most remote places on the planet.
"I make sure the team will reach their objective, even when they have to go through the middle of nowhere with nothing but a Swiss army knife and some chewing gum."
Sounds like a great guy to have on a camping trip. Let's now consider the other G.I. Joe team member in this group...
AIRTIGHT - The G.I. Joe team's Hostile Environment Trooper -- listed this time around as "Chemical Officer" -- originally debuted in 1985. The character saw quite a bit of time in the first season of the animated series, most notably in what was easily one of the most bizarre episodes, which saw a protoplasmic blob of immense size tear across the countryside and potentially terrorize a nearby city.
In the comics, Airtight was introduced as part of the group of trainees under Lady Jaye's command that were captured by Cobra, which was testing their new Battle Android Troopers at the time, along with Dr. Mindbender's new fast-growing plant spores. Airtight was joined by Crankcase, Bazooka, and Heavy Metal on this mission. Airtight was described as something of a practical joker, and a P.N.G. - Pencil-Necked Geek.
Airtight didn't see a lot of extensive use in the action figure world. There was only the initial figure in 1985, which saw a slightly recolored foreign edition as part of the South American contingent of Tiger Force. Airtight originally wore a yellow protective uniform with green helmet, boots, gloves, and chestplate. These were colored brown in South America, and his uniform was given some tiger stripes.
For whatever reason, Airtight never turned up in action figure form again -- until now. The figure is an excellent newsculpt rendition of the original character. I mean, really, if you did too much with the basic design, it not only wouldn't remind fans of Airtight, but the uniform might not look as protective as it does.
The colors are largely the same. It's a yellow bodysuit with green trim, although both colors are a little paler than the 1985 version, who admittedly was pretty intense colorwise. The overall uniform does have some differences compared to its original counterpart.
The new Airtight has gloves that only come up to the wrists, and green shoes. The original Airtight had gloves that went partway up the arms, and full boots. The new Airtight also has more green detailing on his legs, which the original lacked. This takes the form of green knee pads, green strips on both legs, and weapon and equipment pouches attached to those straps.
Airtight is wearing a harness with some equipment on the chestplate. This is a superb rendition of the original Airtight in this regard, and in fact is actually more detailed this time around, because some of the sculpted details are actually painted, whereas the original Airtight's chestplate is straight black. Here we have some red and silver detailing that is an excellent enhancement.
As before, Airtight is wearing a protective helmet and face mask. But once again, we have an enhancement -- there is a silver visor which fits over Airtight's eyes to protect them from the harsh toxins he is likely to encounter. And Airtight's uniform even has the three stars and stripes that a lot of G.I. Joe uniforms from this era possessed.
I am a little reluctant to call a newsculpt figure an improvement over a
traditional-style. Ultimately, I believe the traditional-style G.I. Joes to
be the best G.I. Joes ever. However, this newsculpt Airtight does have some
additional detailing and accessorizing that make him an extremely
impressive rendition of the character of Airtight, and I am impressed.
The G.I. Joe team has to be ready for any kind of attack from Cobra forces, including dangerous substances created by the fiendish Dr. Mindbender. That's where Airtight comes in. He's a trained expert in chemical weapons, and knows how to detect, identify, neutralize, and contain them. He keeps the team prepped for any eventuality, especially since Cobra is evil enough to attack with every nasty method at its disposal. When a toxic gas has been unleashed, it takes a courageous and coolheaded person to walk in and neutralize it, even when he's suited up in Level 4 MOPP (Mission Oriented Protective Posture) gear made of impermeable, charcoal saturated polyurethane foam. Airtight is the guy for the job. When Cobra comes at the G.I. Joe team with their worst, he's there to save the day.
"Dealing with a dangerous toxin is only part of the mission. The other part is capturing the enemy who released it in the first place, and make sure they never do it again."
Interesting file card, and clearly an update. Originally, Dr. Mindbender didn't come along until a year after Airtight, and I certainly don't remember any MOPP references on the original card. Gives Airtight a little more authenticity, really.
Now let's turn to the Cobra side of things for a bit:
COBRA OFFICER - When Cobra started out in 1982, there were three figures. Cobra Commander, initially only available as a mail-away, the Cobra Trooper, then just called Cobras, and Cobra Officers. And it actually remained that way for a while. Although 1983 saw the introduction of Destro and Major Bludd, as well as the red-garbed HISS Driver, Cobra didn't really start getting specialty troopers until 1984 and 1985, which suddenly saw the advent of the Tele-Vipers, Snow Serpents, Eels, Crimson Guards, and others. After that, Cobra seemed to have a specialty for everything, most of them ending in "Viper".
One could argue, and I believe fairly effectively, that by the time Cobra had expanded its ranks and specialties to this degree, that the original Cobra Troopers and Officers were largely outmoded, especially when the plain-blue Vipers came along. And yet, many fans still retained a soft spot for those original generic troopers, and they've made any number of resurgences since that time, most notably during the 2002-2007 run of traditional-style figures, when they turned up in a several comic-based sets, as well as a very well-received Cobra Infantry six-pack, as well as slightly altered versions in the Cobra Night Watch set.
The Cobra Troopers and Officers have even made their way over to the 25th-style line. But they had a little more trouble getting into the newsculpt line for some strange reason. The newsculpt Cobra Trooper barely made it into the DTC segment before the line was brought to an end, and the Cobra Officer had to wait for this Club exclusive set.
As one might expect the original Cobra Trooper was basic. It was a guy in a blue jumpsuit with a helmet and mask across his face, some weaponry sculpted to him, a rifle, and a red Cobra emblem on his chest. The Cobra Officer was pretty basic as well. It was a guy in a blue jumpsuit with a helmet with a little "V" like shape sculpted into it, some weaponry sculpted to him, a rifle, and a silver Cobra emblem on his chest.
It doesn't sound like much, but hey, it was 1982. The G.I. Joes that year weren't much compared to later years, either. In 1982, this whole G.I. Joe team idea was an untested concept. No one knew if it would work. It sort of had to be kept somewhat basic.
The newsculpt Cobra Officer is an interesting case of "basic idea meets the sort of modern detailing and equipping we can get away with these days." The figure is wearing a Cobra blue jumpsuit. It's right after that where things get interesting...
The helmet is removable, and has the "V" shape painted on it in silver. The figure seems to be wearing some sort of protective "mask", more than just a face mask, underneath this. The silver Cobra emblem is actually sculpted to the figure, and is placed slightly to the figure's left on the shirt. The emblem is also huge compared to the original. It's also slightly obscured given the amount of equipment this Cobra Officer comes with.
The accessory that came with the original Cobra Officer was a lone rifle. This newsculpt Cobra Officer is wearing a separate harness with equipment pouches, a grenade belt sculpted to his torso, and he comes with two rifles of considerable size..
Painted detailing is also more extensive than the original version of this figure, as the gloves and boots both have what look to be these protective ridges on them, painted in silver.
The original Cobra Officer had a design that said, "We're just starting out, but we're still a dangerous threat". This Cobra Officer has a design that says, "Who needs all those specialized Vipers?! Point me at the Joe Team and get out of my way!"
The Cobra Officer's file card reads as follows:
These front-line fighters lead Cobra attack units into battle, but they are "officers" in name only. The only real rank they have is over their own little squad of Cobra troops. They are among the meager handful from the teeming ranks of Cobra troopers that, for some reason, whether it's previous experience, personal ambition or dumb luck, manage to show some level of initiative, organization, or leadership skills. Ultimately, somebody has to keep the ranks together and moving with a purpose, so that even these low-level Cobra forces achieve their given objective.
"We are dedicated to destroying the G.I. Joe team and will be there when Cobra conquers the world!"
Moving along, let's consider the next Cobra in this group:
COBRA NIGHT VIPER - the original Night Viper was released in 1989 and remains a longtime personal favorite of mine. I thought the design was amazing, and really liked the color scheme of green and black.
Hasbro's done a decent job here. The dark green is pretty well a dead-on match for the original. The figure has ridged areas on his legs and boots that are good counterpoints to the original. He has a Cobra emblem on his left sleeve, and a very nice reproduction of the distinctive Night-Viper emblem on his right sleeve. These are moved from their original locations, and I might have made them light green instead of white, but it's nice to see them present and accounted for, especially the Night Viper emblem.
There's some white trim on the uniform that I could honestly do without, but it's not too bad. The figure is wearing a separate harness that does add to the overall detailed look of the figure. And, something that the original Night Viper didn't have -- he has a removable helmet. The figure is wearing a green "mask" underneath. And the helmet has something that I definitely think is an improvement over the original.
In 1989, night-vision technology was just finding its footing. It would become commonplace and well-known in Operation Desert Storm, but in 1989, it wasn't as widely known, nor as sophisticated as it would become. The original Night-Viper came with this removable visor that had this huge scope on the end of it. The scope was actually molded as a separate part.
The newsculpt Night Viper definitely has an improvement here. The helmet has a night-vision visor that is much more plausible in appearance, and even has little bright green eye lenses.
This Night Viper is very well equipped, as well. Two nasty-looking Uzi pistols and a rifle.
So -- is this Night Viper a match for the original? No, and the original also saw a very capable release in India as part of the Funskool line, even if they somewhat hysterically molded the scope in yellow, as well there is a very nice Club-exclusive original Night-Viper sold as part of the Operation Flaming M.O.T.H. series. The original Night Viper is not going to be equaled or surpassed.
However, within the newsculpt series, is this a capable Night Viper figure? Yes. The basic elements are all there, the colors are good, the insignias are present and accounted for, the overall design is nice, and I like the distinctly more up-to-date night vision equipment.
The Night Viper's file card reads as follows:
Cobra Night Viper troops wear specialized gear for nighttime operations. Their helmets have a wide-angle image intensifier, directional sound amplifier and passive infrared detector, enabling them to easily locate the enemy via sight and sound with diabolical accuracy. Their combat suits are constructed of a customized synthetic composite that reduces their own infrared signature and renders them invisible to most conventional ground radar systems. Trained and billeted in perpetually dark environments, they constantly hone their skills by trying to sneak up on one another undetected. Shining a light in their faces tends to stun them momentarily and max their scanners, but that works only when you can find them before they find you.
"The night is our ally, the darkness is our weapon."
Interesting comment about their combat suits. I've often thought that the Night Viper would make a good candidate for Python Patrol, but it's never happened.
Heading back to the G.I. Joe team, we come to a fairly prominent member:
LT. FALCON: First introduced into the figure line in 1987, Falcon has probably had one of the more schizophrenic histories between animated series and comic book.
Lt. Falcon is a Green Beret, some of the toughest soldiers you could ask for. It only made sense that one of them would turn up on the G.I. Joe team. And given that some interesting color schemes were starting to make their way into the toy line along about 1987, Lt. Falcon also had a distinctly military look to him at a time when G.I. Joe was starting to edge away from that a bit. The original Lt. Falcon was dressed in a green uniform with black camouflage, and of course had a green beret.
The character was never all that prominent in the comic books. He did appear, and was certainly a steady team player, but he wasn't on the level of someone like Snake-Eyes or Stalker.
Lt. Falcon's main appearance was in the animated G.I. Joe movie in 1987. Unfortunately, it wasn't the most complimentary of appearances. He was voiced by actor Don Johnson. Nothing wrong with that, certainly, but Falcon was portrayed as a class-A slacker and general foul-up, who thought nothing of shirking duty to try to make a pass at Jinx, brought unauthorized personnel into secure areas (another girlfriend who turned out to be Zarana in disguise), and by abandoning his post was semi-directly responsible for the escape of Serpentor and the wounding of several members of the G.I. Joe team in the process.
The only thing that kept him from being discharged or imprisoned, was the fact that he was Duke's half-brother, something never mentioned on his file card. Duke went to bat for his trouble-making half-sibling -- not that Falcon was especially grateful -- and managed to keep him on the Team -- barely. Falcon was still assigned to training duty with Sgt. Slaughter and his Renegades. The stockade might've been preferable.
Falcon managed to redeem himself by the end of the movie, but during the second season of the DIC-produced animated series, Lt. Falcon turned up again. By this time, he had a different uniform, coinciding with the figure of him that was available at the time, a recolor that was part of the Super Sonic Fighters team. Since Don Johnson wasn't available, Lt. Falcon was given a new voice.
He was still portrayed as Duke's half-brother, and frankly, he was a bigger screw-up than ever. Now, in order to keep his edge, he'd turned to drugs. This was the two-parter that led to a tenuous but effective team-up between the G.I. Joe team and Cobra to take down the Headman and his drug-pushing Headhunters. At the end of it, Lt. Falcon and the sister of a prominent Cobra Crimson Guardsman -- which was how Cobra had gotten involved, knew they still needed treatment.
Admittedly, within the world of G.I. Joe, the comic books have tended to be given more credibility than the animated series, and I am certainly inclined to go along with that here. Unfortunately, the comic books never really developed Lt. Falcon all that well. He's seen as an effective soldier and that's about it. No mention of him being Duke's half-brother is ever made or implied, and when it comes to "official canon", I think we can put that one in the same category as the episode that implied that Destro and Lady Jaye were related.
There were several figures of Falcon over the years. Right after his 1987 incarnation, he was recolored to become part of the Toys "R" Us exclusive Night Force. A few years after that, he appeared on the Super Sonic Fighters team, and quite a few years after that, he was recolored yet again for the 2003 Convention Set.
The newsculpt figure of Lt. Falcon offered by the Club takes its color cues from the original Lt. Falcon, but the uniform is moderately different. It's still mostly an olive green, with black camouflage on it. Lt. Falcon is wearing a proper green beret with a small insignia patch on it. The uniform has a green harness and belt with a holster, pouches, and two silver grenades, and Falcon also has black gloves, boots, and knee-pads.
Honestly, it's a nice change of pace. One has to assume that whatever "standard" uniforms or outfits the G.I. Joe team wears most of the time, arguably seen in their basic figure form, they're more than prepared to re-outfit themselves as needed for different environments. We have to assume that Torpedo isn't going to wear a rubber diving suit everywhere he goes, and Snow Job isn't going to be silly enough to wear a parka if he gets assigned to a desert mission for some reason.
So Lt. Falcon in a camouflage coat that bears a camouflage scheme very similar to the original figure is well within reason, and the end result is a very nice take on a well-known character.
Falcon is certainly well-equipped! His package bubble is a fair bit thicker than most in this special assortment, and for good reason. Not only does he have a nicely made small pistol and fairly long rifle, he also comes with a big, mean-looking machine gun on a tripod stand. It actually required extra space on the bubble as well as greater thickness. But hey, for those that like as many accessories as possible, you can't go wrong here, that's for sure!
Lt. Falcon's file card reads as follows:
As a second-generation Green Beret, Lt. Falcon has the Special Forces in his blood. His boyhood was spent emulating his father and preparing to be the toughest of the tough. Always disciplined and focused, he hates the down time between missions and thinks it's "fun" to free-fall parachute into the desert for three weeks with nothing but a canteen. He can field strip, clean, and reassemble most common military pistols, submachine guns and assault rifles in complete darkness and not wind up with leftover parts. Scaling mountains, parachuting from planes, rappelling down sheer cliffs and crawling through dense jungle is an everyday walk in the park for Lt. Falcon. In addition to his primary specialty, he was trained in demolitions, medicine and languages (Spanish, French, Arabic, and Swahili).
"The only kind of respect worth having is the kind that you earn, but pulling your own weight and putting your life on the line for your team."
Gotta admit, I like that a lot more than the cartoon version of this character. And it's a cool new figure of him, too. Now let's consider the Club's special addition to this assortment...
PYTHON COPPERHEAD: Copperhead was not initially intended for release in this assortment of figures, Python or otherwise. He was added by the Club, but I'm hardly complaining.
A couple of years back, a standard "newsculpt" version of Copperhead was the annual special Club figure that was sent to all active members at the time. While I've tended to feel that the transition from traditional-style figure to newsculpt figure on the part of established characters has been something of a mixed bag, results-wise, over the years, the newsculpt version of Copperhead brought forth by the Club was a winner.
The original version of Copperhead had a very distinctive color scheme, unlike any seen previously on a Cobra agent, and really not seen much following. Copperhead was first introduced in 1984, as the driver of the Cobra Water Moccasin, a high speed attack boat with a huge fan propelling it from the rear. Copperhead was given an outfit that was primarily turquoise in color, with very bright green detailing. It was hard to miss, certainly, and it was, as I said, a distinctive color scheme that wasn't ever really duplicated on anyone else, even then the line started going for more intense colors in their uniforms.
The Club's newsculpt take on Copperhead did a superb job of duplicating these colors, and even their basic placement on the newsculpt figure. The end result was one of the most impressive transitions from traditional-style to newsculpt that I had seen. I'm not going to say that the newsculpt was superior to the original -- but it was a very effective and impressive transition.
So, why a Python Patrol version? Well, Copperhead was involved in the original Python Patrol back in 1989. He was the lone individual character in a team that otherwise featured troopers. To what degree this made him the squad leader for Python Patrol I really couldn't say. Copperhead had never really shown the sort of initiative to put him on the same level as characters like Destro or Zartan.
For Python Patrol, the original Copperhead figure was recolored with a mostly green uniform, with the Python patterning in it, with black, red, and yellow trim. Copperhead was a major player in the first DIC animated offering, "Operation Dragonfire", which largely pit the newly-created Python Patrol against Slaughter's Marauders. It was arguably Copperhead's biggest moment in the spotlight. The character had never been heavily featured in either the comic book or the original animated series.
So -- why not add a Python Copperhead to this special assortment of figures? The Club crafted some very nice package artwork, including an illustration of Copperhead in his Python Patrol uniform, and a silver foil sticker for the front of the card, bearing the Python Patrol logo.
How's the figure? Very impressive, although he doesn't really bear the colors of the original Python Copperhead. Not a big deal, it's still an impressive outfit, and certainly uses a color scheme established by Python Patrol. The bulk of the uniform is grey, including the removable helmet. The chestplate and leg padding are black with the red Python patterning imprinted on it, very effectively. This gives Copperhead a look that would allow him to work well with either the original Python Patrol, or the second Python Patrol figures that came out in 2003, which used this particular pattern color.
Copperhead also has an armored shoulder piece, which is metallic gold and
has the Python Patrol logo on it. Part of his gloves are also gold, as is
his belt buckle. His accessories include a long sword and a rifle.
Copperhead has a long history of racking up gambling debts from boat racing and then attempting to outrun his bookies. Over the years this has taught him to be an expert pilot and mechanic of almost any high speed watercraft. He is a formidable fighter and has become particularly adept at using a custom two-handed machete, crafted somewhere in the Philippines from an old truck spring. This weapon quickly became his favorite for both practical and combat use, allowing him to hack endlessly at either impassible swamp overgrowth or anyone that stands in his way.
Cobra Commander has assigned Copperhead to deliver a special package to Cobra Island. He hand-selects a Python Patrol squad, trained for stealth and infiltration missions and uses his Python Patrol Attack Boat equipped with its distinctive camouflage that defeats enemy radar for the mission. However, the G.I. Joe team intervenes and seizes the shipment. Now Copperhead must work with Cobra Mercenary: Munitia to retrieve this precious cargo and hope their success will put him back in the head snake's good graces.
"I've got it all - stealth, deviousness, and striking power!"
Now, let's consider the final figure in this assortment, the new face in the crowd:
MUNITIA: No disrespect intended towards the other figures in this special Club offering. They're all fine figures. However, I am pretty well persuaded that one of the big reasons such a ruckus was raised in fandom when this particular assortment was initially canceled as far as a standard retail release was concerned was because of this character. What you have here in Munitia is something pretty scarce -- a new Cobra female.
Consider first of all the limited number of female characters in G.I. Joe at all! For the G.I. Joe team, you have Scarlett, Cover Girl, Lady Jaye, Jinx, Bombstrike, and G.I. Jane.
For Cobra, it's even scarcer. You have the Baroness, of course, who was very prominent; Zarana, who is more affiliated with the Dreadnoks; Vypra, a 1998 character with, to put it charitably, limited exposure; and Pythona, a character who was very prominent in the animated movie, and strong rumor has it that she was intended to be the female figure for 1988, until the Cobra-La Team proved to be such a disaster. So she never got a figure. I still think it would've been better if the three-pack had featured Golobulus, Nemesis Enforcer, and Pythona, with the Cobra-La Royal Guard sold individually for the sake of "army-builders", but the water has long since passed under that particular bridge.
So, the total female population of the entire G.I. Joe concept, even if you throw in Daina from the Oktober Guard, can just about be counted on the fingers of both hands -- this amidst a population of hundreds of individuals. Is it any wonder that the female Cobra troopers offered in 2007 as part of the Official Convention Set were so well-received? And, as such, is it any wonder that Munitia would be so welcome?
Consider the three following words -- New -- Cobra -- Female. That's a home run in the world of G.I. Joe if I ever heard one.
Since she didn't really come along until 2006, the character obviously doesn't have all that much history. She did turn up during the "World War III" storyline in the Devil's Due comics, that basically concluded the Devil's Due run of G.I. Joe comic books. She was part of the special team that Cobra Commander assembled called "The Plague".
The figure is excellent. Like a number of female figures in the line, Munitia is slightly shorter than 3-3/4". Her arms seem quite slender, but looks can be deceiving. Her uniform is molded in a very, very dark grey. It's not quite black, but it's probably about 95% black. There is a sculpted Cobra emblem on the front of her uniform, which has been painted gloss black. Similarly, her high ridged boots have also been painted gloss black, to about mid-calf, where they become silver. She also has high wrist bands that are silver.
There's a bit of flesh tone on the sides of her lower legs. One might think this to be a vulnerable spot, but I don't think Munitia has any vulnerable spots. Black and silver don't make for the most colorful uniform in the world, but she probably wants it that way. Nevertheless, there's a little but of Cobra blue on her. She has blue armbands, and a blue belt, very nicely detailed, with a pistol and several pouches.
Munitia is wearing a sort of old-style leather-like pilot's helmet, that has long flaps in the back. This is not her hair. I tend to think here of some of the episodes of the original animated series, where it seemed as though Zartan's hood was drawn to look like very long hair. Had Munitia been around at the time and appeared in the same series, I can see the same goof being made there. But this long flap in the back is part of the helmet.
Munitia is wearing a thick, high-tech visor over her eyes. This is mostly silver with some green detailing on it. The visor is attached by two pegs that fit into the side of her head, and is removable. If you are inclined to remove it and leave it off, I recommend placement in a well-labeled Ziploc bag. This is a very small piece. I don't think there's much worry of the visor coming off when it's in place on the figure, and the pegs seem to be of a decent length.
Munitia's face is nicely sculpted and well-painted. Her facial expression can probably best be described as impassive. Given her line of work, that's sort of scary. It's one thing to be one of the villains and enjoy it. It's another thing to do what she does and have no particular reaction to it one way or the other. This is also borne out somewhat on her file card.
Like accessories? Munitia has some pretty impressive weaponry. She comes with a very nicely detailed rifle, but that's not the really notable piece. Her other weapon is a pistol that has this really nasty-looking downward pointed curved blade on it, painted silver. Imagine if you will something that's half-pistol and half-machete. I've never seen anything like this anywhere in the G.I. Joe line, so I'm assuming it was crafted specifically for Munitia and is making its first appearance here. There's no shortage of accessory fans in the world of G.I. Joe, and I would expect them to go nuts over this one.
Munitia's file card reads as follows:
Anyone in close proximity to Munitia is suddenly and savagely chilled to the bone. Her icy presence sucks the warmth out of everything and everyone. Her eyes watch you the way a predator calculates its prey. Her face is devoid of all emotion - nothing pleases her, frightens her, or surprises her. She is cool and in control at all times. Her ability to guess the actions of others has made her a supreme bounty hunter. She is often found in the company of Firefly and Blackout, probably because their single-minded passion for devastation and darkness rivals her own. Together, the trio is known as H.I.S.S. (Hierarchy of Infiltration, Stealth, and Sabotage).
"Emotions make you weak and vulnerable. Stay cold and you stay alive."
This is a very impressive figure and an impressive addition to the world of G.I. Joe and Cobra. I think we'll be seeing a bit more of Munitia in the special Club-produced comic adventures. It's about time this interesting new character had her time in the spotlight.
Let me say a few words about all seven figures in general. Paint detailing is superb. It is done very neatly. These may well be the most impressive-looking newsculpt G.I. Joe figures I've seen.
Articulation is of course, excellent. The overall construction design of the newsculpts is extremely similar to the traditional-style figures. The major difference is in the arm design and in the case of Outback, the head and neck. But one certainly can't argue with the range of motion. The figures are fully poseable at the head, arms, elbows (including swivel), wrists (Outback and Airtight, anyway), waist, legs, and knees. I have to say that the figures do not have the mid-torso articulation of 25th-style G.I. Joes, and I'm honestly glad of it. I just don't think it looks that good on a majority of the figures in that line.
The packaging is very nicely done, and reflects the last several assortments of the newsculpt/DTC line. An explosion effect in the background and a nicely rendered full-color line drawing of the character. The cards explicitly state that these figures are a G.I. Joe Collectors' Club exclusive, on the front and the back.
So what's my final word here? I'll admit, I am first and foremost a traditional-style G.I. Joe fan. Always have been, always will be. But a few newsculpts have crept into my collection here and there, and these are a very interesting set, and a limited production run. I am extremely grateful that the Club has chosen to rescue these fine figures from oblivion. They all deserved better than that, and now they're available to all G.I. Joe fans. The entire assortment, which includes Outback, Falcon, Airtight, Copperhead, Cobra Officer, Night-Viper, and Munitia, are all superb newsculpt figures, and will be welcome additions to any G.I. Joe Collection.
The G.I. JOE COLLECTORS' CLUB "DTC" COLLECTION definitely has my highest recommendation!