Alas, it was announced at the 2007 G.I. Joe Convention that the 8" Sigma-style G.I. Joe line has run its course. Hasbro presented a number of unproduced products, including a magnificent Scarlett figure, even as they announced its conclusion. A genuine shame, especially in light of the considerable expansion of concept that the line enjoyed this past year, with the Adventure Team, the more plausibly military Combat Squad, and a departure away from the "Sigma Suits" for the regular G.I. Joes in the line. Sadly, such is all too often the way of the toy world.
But there was a newcomer in the last 8" Soldier assortment that I was extremely interested in -- LOCKDOWN! And fortunately, I was able to add him to my collection.
Most of the characters in the Sigma-style 8" G.I. Joe collection are based, to varying degrees, on counterparts in the 3-3/4" world. Duke, Tunnel Rat, Destro, Storm Shadow, Heavy Duty, etc. But there are exceptions. Lt. Stone was really the first. Technically, that name had been used in the G.I. Joe Extreme line, but the new Lt. Stone was very clearly an entirely different character. We recently saw a new firefighter named Inferno. And now we have LOCKDOWN.
Lockdown is listed as a Law Enforcement specialist on his packaging. More to the point, given the equipment he comes with, he's a S.W.A.T. specialist. The primary S.W.A.T. specialist for the G.I. Joe Team in its 3-3/4" days was a character named Shockwave. However, Shockwave is already a part of the 8" line, as a Covert Ops Specialist in the Combat Squad series. That particular figure bears more than a slight resemblance to the Night Force incarnation of Shockwave.
Lockdown, on the other hand, looks a fair bit like the D.E.F. version of Shockwave. In 1992, a team of law enforcement specialists, including Cutter, Shockwave, Mutt, and new character Bullet-Proof, were organized to fight the drug-pushing HeadMan and his horde of urban lackeys, the HeadHunters. For D.E.F., an entirely new Shockwave figure was created, who wore a medium blue uniform with black padding. It also presented Shockwave as unmasked for the first time, a fairly ordinary but very decent headsculpt with black hair.
Lockdown looks quite a bit like this second version of Shockwave. The shirt is short sleeved, and there is a very slight color difference between the shirt and trousers, although both are blue, but the outfit is heavily padded in black, and the headsculpt under the helmet does have black hair.
Certainly Lockdown's eyes must be well protected. The figure has a very nicely designed helmet with a transparent green visor, and there are gold-colored dark glasses molded to the face as part of the headsculpt. One would hope that these don't provide so much protection and light filtering that he can't see where he's going.
There are the letters "S.P.D." on one side of the helmet, very neatly lettered. One must assume that the "P.D." stands for "Police Department", but the "S" is anybody's guess, unless, in a bit of a throwback, it stands for "Sigma". Either that, or Lockdown is an ally to the Power Rangers SPD team on the side...
Although I believe Lockdown looks better with his helmet in place -- makes him look more menacing -- the figure does have an excellent headsculpt. Fairly short black hair -- nothing weird about it unlike the strange strands of hair hanging down in the face of both Inferno and Flint. There's a sort of "no-nonsense" expression to Lockdown's face, and one eyebrow is slightly raised, giving him a certain expressiveness even though you can't see the eyes.
The uniform is well designed and well detailed. There is protective black padding on the chest, shoulders, and around the knees. The uniform itself has been designed to look "thick" enough so that it doubtless provides some protection of its own. Interestingly enough, it's the same body mold that was used for the 8" Shockwave figure. But it looks so different given the drastically different color scheme (and the fact that Shockwave is wearing a cloth tunic), that you'd hardly know it. Both Shockwave and Lockdown also share leg molds with Inferno.
Lockdown is also wearing very heavy-looking black boots, and he comes with a metal dogtag on a chain that has the "stars and stripes" G.I. Joe insignia on it. There is a 2007 copyright date on the outside of his right leg. I don't know why, but that's something I've always looked for.
Another new attribute that G.I. Joe 8" figures have acquired this past year was KUNG-FU GRIP. This was first introduced with the original 12" Adventure Team in 1970, and involved molding a hand in a partially clenched position out of flexible plastic so that the fingers could be moved, and allow it to hold small objects. The 8" version is slightly different. The right hand has been molded with a separate group of fingers that are attached to a spring in the hand. This allows the hand to open and then retract and quite firmly grip its weapons.
Speaking of accessories, Lockdown comes with a generous supply of them, especially for one of the less-expensive carded "Soldier" figures. He has a very authentic looking police shield, molded in dark blue and with the word "SWAT" painted on it in white; A fancy, futuristic, but not implausible-looking pistol; a pair of "power cuffs" that actually open and close; and a "Jolt-Volt" Battering Ram. This is the largest accessory, and the most detailed. It has two adjutable handles for Lockdown to grasp, is marked "EMP-310v" on the sides -- interesting markings for something called "Jolt Volt", and it has a spring-loaded battering ram feature that packs more than enough of a wallop to knock an 8" G.I. Joe right off his pins, no problem. Although I've never paid as much attention to accessories as I have to figures, I do have to say that I've always been impressed with the quality and detail that Hasbro has consistently put into the accessories that come with their 8" G.I. Joes.
There's a character profile for Lockdown on the back of his package. It reads as follows:
G.I.JOE LAW ENFORCEMENT
Code Name: LOCKDOWN
Specialty: Police Weapons and Tactics
Personal History: Lockdown worked in several military law enforcement agencies before coming to the G.I. Joe Team. He has superior knowledge of codes and procedures, plus extensive hands-on experience in capturing criminals. If a wrong is committed, Lockdown slams the perpetrator - right into the slammer. He's an expert with weapons and tactics used to smash his way into fortified buildings and strongholds in pursuit of his quarry, providing the G.I. Joe Team with powerful support when they need it to take down entrenched Cobra forces!
Complaints? Not a one. Seriously. This is a well-designed, well-detailed, neatly painted, superbly produced action figure. I have no problems with him whatsoever. If all of the toy companies of the world made all of their product this well this consistently, I'd be one happy camper.
Let me add this -- I think Lockdown is a superb code-name, and I'm honestly surprised it's never been used before. But as far as I've been able to determine, it hasn't been. I'd also like to mention the fact that on the cover to G.I.Joe - America's Elite #25, which features a group shot of every G.I. Joe ever assigned to the team, Devil's Due included the three Sigma-based newcomers -- Lt. Stone, Inferno -- and Lockdown. I thought that was pretty cool, actually.
In conclusion -- Lockdown is a cool figure. His blue uniform makes him stand out among the G.I. Joes, and is impressive in its own right. At the same time, it's not Cobra blue, and Lockdown doesn't look the least bit like a bad guy. Sadly, as one of the last of the 8" G.I. Joes, I have the feeling that he's part of an assortment that may not see widespread release. I was honestly surprised to find him. However, if you're fortunate enough to see him, then you should definitely get him, and get him immediately! You might not get a second chance.
LOCKDOWN from the G.I. Joe 8" Soldier Collection definitely has
my highest and enthusiastic recommendation!