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Best of 2021: Hasbro G.I. Joe Classified Zartan

Zartan was my most wanted character from my current favorite action figure line and he was executed almost perfectly the first time out, so he was a no-brainer for my figure of the year. Except this year has felt so long that I almost forgot that I got the original release in 2021! The figure so nice I didn’t mind buying twice, let’s talk about G.I. Joe Classified Zartan.

2021 has been an amazing year for action figures and it is tough to narrow down a favorite. In preparation for picking my favorite figure of the year I looked back over the photos I took in 2021. Just scan the below gallery of just figures I’ve reviewed this year which only represents a fraction of the toys I’ve bought and really enjoyed and that will give you some idea of how tough it was to choose.

I didn’t review either Zartan for Fwoosh so I didn’t end up photographing him which is kind of ironic for a figure I loved so much. I just ran out of time, so I’m glad to take some more photos and talk about him now. He did stay handy on my desk all year and ended up in a lot of size comparison photos for reviews of other figures!

The first release nailed the classic Zartan look so perfectly but also updated details and added interesting textures. His portrait is so perfectly creepy with his slightly sly smile and I was also so impressed that they kept the whole belly shirt style and made it look great. It was such a successful figure that I didn’t mind that he was missing the color change feature and I was so satisfied with that one that I almost skipped the deluxe release. I’m glad I didn’t because the deluxe not only added the color change feature and a plethora of accessories, it also jazzed up the paint scheme a bit.

My one beef with the original Zartan release is that he was a little plain in color. They almost over-corrected from all the garish colors in wave one with Zartan and he seemed slightly drab. Well the deluxe version addressed that beautifully with a brighter redddish brown pant and some silver armor accents that make him pop a bit more on the shelf.

The color change feature is not something I really thought I needed in this day and age, but man playing with Zartan and trying to get the shot that conveyed the color change was so much damn fun. He’s also made a great rough thermometer in this colder (for San Diego) winter weather and he’s stayed a nice medium green/gray most of the day.

The extra accessories are fun, and I especially like the look of the skull mask and the comic book references of the Hard and Soft Master masks. I’m in for any and all Hama comic run stuff in this line! While the Stormshadow bow and sniper rifle are nice, the compound bow from the Marvel Legends Old Man Hawkeye and the Motorcycle from the Marvel Legends Punisher also make this figure sing.

The Classified Zartan was a perfect update for his translation to a six inch scaled figure and the deluxe version added a layer of polish to that already great toy. I can’t wait to see what else Hasbro does with my beloved Dreadnoks in Classified and thanks to this amazing Zartan I’m confident I’ll love it.