The idea of the G.I. Joe team army builder doesn’t really appealed to me, I have no love for the Sunbow Greenshirt for example, but I do have a soft spot for the old Steel Brigade ARAH figure’s color scheme and helmet design, so I was looking forward to this set. Plus, I love that old jet pack design and was looking forward to adding an official one to my arsenal. Let’s take a took a look at the G.I. Joe Classified Steel Corps Trooper set!
The box has a really fun scene of a battle in front of the Statue of Liberty that makes me almost hear the Cobra theme from the opening of the movie. The insert and side painting makes the troopers look pretty cool.
The set comes with the two troopers, two sets of helmets, three larger guns, three ammunition magazines, two pistols, a suppressor, two knives, two jetpacks and a whopping 13 blast effects.
The rifles are cast in a fairly flexible black plastic which is an issue for the one with the longer barrel, but the other two hold their shape okay. I notice the longer stalks will bend underneath the arms when you pose the troops in a two-handed hold. The guns can all share the three magazines that are removeable.
The female trooper has more limited arm articulation and so it’s tougher to get her into convincing rifle holding poses. Somewhat counter-intuitively, she holds the larger weapons a bit better than the smaller rifle.
The blast effects are also cast in a fairly flexible plastic, which is only an issue for the longer pieces, and They can be straightened with some heat. They fit into the three rifles, but not the pistols and should be familiar to anyone who has bought a figure with blast effects from the Classified line.
The suppressor can also attach to any of the rifle barrels with a standard port and a blast effect can attach to the other end.
The pistols have a familiar look, I want to say they are from an earlier Duke figure, and fit snugly into the thigh holster. It looks good with the male trooper, but it’s a little oversized for the female’s hand.
The knife is fairly tiny and can be stored in a sheathe permanently affixed to the figure’s chest overlay. It’s a really cool design feature, but I did find it got in the way of posing the female trooper in weapons firing poses, less so for the male.
The jetpacks are a highlight of the set to me and they feature a fairly straightforward update on the ARAH Jet Mobile Propulsion unit. The thing attaches very securely to the male figure with a peg, however the hole in the back of the female figure isn’t quite as deep, so there is a bit of a gap between the pack and the figure’s back.
The pack has two small holes that can attach the jump jet blast effects. These effects are also cast in a fairly flexible translucent plastic and aren’t quite straight out of the box, but can be straightened with heat.
The two helmet styles are interesting. One has a more traditional Steel Brigade look, but there is some blue paint detail that make the visor look a little more high tech. I feel like this helmet looks a little under-sized when the troopers are wearing the shoulder pads, but looks better when you remove those pads. The pads give them an almost football player’s bulk.
The female’s head looks a smidge too low on the neck as well, but this effect is lessened by removing the shoulder pads The other helmet has some gold details, more hoses and feels a bit larger so I think it looks better on the troopers with the shoulder pads.
The figures are based on some re-used parts, I believe the base body for the male is Snake Eyes’ lower body with Beach Head’s upper body which makes him a little shorter like Snake Eyes’ original figure in Classified was. The female looks like Lady Jaye legs with an upper body from movie Scarlett. The overlays, helmets, belts and straps look to be new.
The figures move well for the most part, thankfully the heavy chest overlay are split into belt and chest pieces and the shoulder armor is soft enough to get out of the way. The only significant issue for me is that the female has some cruddy swivel/hinge elbows that barely get a 90 degree bend and don’t like to swivel at that bend either. The male also has the excellent hinged upper neck, while the female has a ball and socket, however the difference in poseability is negligible due to the shape and size of the helmet. At this point, the swivel hinge elbows have been mostly retired, so seeing them rear their ugly head again is disappointing. The figures have:
- Ball and socket head, waist, and lower neck
- Swivel/hinge shoulders, wrists, elbows (female only), hips, and ankles
- Double hinged elbows (male only) and knees
- Swivel biceps (male only), boots, and thighs
- Hinged mid-torso and butterfly pectorals
The paint is solid, but not flashy including no shading or washes, but clean separation at the changes, the highlight being the almost glowing look of the helmet visor lines and the Steel Corps patch. The colors are pretty vivid and match my memory of the original ARAH figure well. I do find it interesting that the helmet is a slightly different sculpt than the one that came with grunt.
You can force Grunt’s helmet onto the Steel Corps figure’s neck, but it’s super tight and I think stretches out the socket a bit. The Steel Corps male heads kind of float on Grunt’s neck.
Overall, I like these sets a lot but they are a little fiddlier than I would like and I don’t love the helmet and shoulder pad proportions. I just have a tough time with the female getting cool poses since the bulk of her vest and limited arm articulation get in the way and the jetpack overbalances her. The single elbows are pretty annoying at this point in the line and minimally functional. I do really like the different helmet options, but wish the more classic helmet was slightly larger to look more proportional on the fully armored figure. As it is, I think I’ll keep the gold visors with the arm pads as flight troopers and the standard head without shoulder pads as ground pounders.