I have mixed feelings about repaints in action figure lines. On one hand, I really prefer to just get all new characters, on the other, there can be something interesting about seeing a great figure in another colorway. Sometimes it shows off the sculpting better or is just plain fun. I do think they make for perfect exclusives because they are usually nice to have, but not essential for my collection. Today we’re going to take a look at a nice to have set of Cobras repainted Crimson Red, The G.I. Joe Classified Crimson Strike Team.
This set is a PulseCon exclusive, which is a weird concept to me since it’s not really more exclusive than a lot of other stuff they sell on Pulse, but I digress. It may be PulseCon exclusive, but the packaging has that old school feel of a SDCC exclusive. You know the kind that is tough to get in line even to buy, and then if you do get lucky enough to buy it you almost regret it because lugging the thing around the convention center all day is just painful? It’s like that, solid and surprisingly heavy, just without the lines and foot pain. The box comes with an outer sleeve that is decorated to look like a fairly convincing briefcase. The illustration is shiny as heck and there are different levels of gloss and matte finish to it that sell the idea that this is shiny metal.
When you remove the sleeve, there is a battle damaged illustration of the case and that has some embossed details. It’s really quite impressive, it’s a shame I don’t collect boxes.
The box is held closed with magnets and when you flip it open, there is an interior illustration of a computer imbedded in the briefcase with a little scene of a skype call gone bade between Baroness, the Twins, and Chuckles. There’s a cardboard piece with an illustration of a Cobra file that if you flip over shows an illustration of some Cobra pressed gold bars. Once you remove the cardboard with the illustrations, you can see the figures in three individual trays.
The figures are tied into the trays with plastic ties, so I recommend a clipper to free them. Beneath the figures are three little boxes that can be slid out and they contain the little accessory baggies. Everything is appropriately Cobra themed.
There are quite a few accessories, though the twins come with gold and red versions of what they had in their original releases (two knives and a submachine gun with a silencer) plus a gold figure stand with their names printed.
Baroness gets a little bit more interesting of a loadout with two knives, two pistols, two Uzis, two silencers, three heads, two pairs of glasses, a robot snake thing, and two hairpieces. You might notice my accessory photo is missing the second pair of glasses. Well, I managed to drop that into the carpet and lost them for a bit between opening the box and taking these pictures, so I’d advise caution with that one. Carpet monster fodder for sure.
The gold guns and knife handles look like they are gold colored plastic, which is usually not my favorite, but works better than I think it usually does here. The guns are nicely detailed and that’s easier to see here than you usually do with the black plastic. The guns will take the blast effects and the silencers plug into the same port. I can’t say I’m a big fan of the red silencer and kind of wish they left it gold.
The knives hold their shape well and fit tightly into the sheathes.
The pistols are like the guns that came with the Cobra Island Baroness cast in gold plastic, but they are modified to have a little nub at the end so you can attach the silencers from the Uzis. They also had to modify the holsters so there was a little hole for the nub to stick out. I wasn’t able to easily put blast effects into the barrel of these silencers.
The Uzis look like the Uzi from the first Classified Snake Eyes, but they fit Baroness well. Since there are two, you can swap those with the Twins’ guns and she can dual wield Uzis or submachine guns while the twin will have their matching pair.
The knives have gold snake-themed handles and painted silver blades. They work great in her hands, though I wish there was a sheathe for them. I believe these are from the Snake Eyes movie Baroness figure who had sheathes similarly styled to the holsters on this figure. I wonder if I could transplant those sheathes onto this figure…
You know, next time I’m at a show with Lenny from Hasbro, I need to ask what this thing does. It could be a laser beam, some kind of gas gun, or perhaps a robot snake that just bites people. You can imagine any number of things, but I’m curious what they thought when designing it. I do like the touch of sci-fi weirdness it adds to the whole thing and it looks way cooler in black and gold.
My favorite accessories are the glasses, face and hair options that are swappable between the two heads. The head with the golden mask has that mask permanently affixed. For glasses there is a classic round pair and a thinner rectangular pair with yellow lenses. Both have pretty tiny, delicate frames and clear lenses that let you see her eyes well. They are some of the nicer glasses in this scale that I’ve seen and they rest on the figure’s ears and get held on tightly when you pop the hair down on them.
There is a more relaxed hair piece and a more action-flowey one. The holes in the head aren’t terribly deep, so there is a bit of wiggle room with the hair, especially the more relaxed hair. I found that sometimes the forehead would look a little larger and it’s because I didn’t have the hair pushed forward enough. The nice thing about the more relaxed hair piece is that there is some room between the figure’s back and the inside of the hair, so Baroness gets more head movement now than she did before.
The more stoic face has a very classic, disdainful aristocratic feel that is perfect for the character and the smile is a little unhinged in a good way. She’s kind of biting her lip, so she looks almost turned on by whatever evil she’s up to at the moment. There’s a lot of personality here, but the box art did make me wish for an angry portrait.
Finally, there is a head with a snake/skull mask in gold and I absolutely love it. It’s got that over-the-top sci-fi edge to it that I think makes G.I. Joe a bit more than little green army men. I could see building a new character around this look.
Sculpting on these figures is nicely done, though familiar if you have the originals. The portraits on the Twins are some of my favorite in the line, they are such smarmy, punchable, too-handsome faces. Perfect for the characters. The Baroness gets the most new, arms and heads, whereas the Crimson twins are straight repaints. The faces for Baroness fit a lot better my mental concept of the character than the original Classified Baroness, even though I love that figure. The new arms on Baroness have some of the snake texture from her original figure on the underside of her arms, but it is fairly subtle.
This figure fixes an issue I had with the original Baroness in the limited arm range of motion, however this figure still has one of my big action figure pet peeves in that her arms don’t sit at her sides naturally. They kind of stick out from the body as is she’s always ready to draw guns in an old west showdown. The figures in this set have the same articulation except Baroness has a ball jointed mid-torso joint rather than a hinge and no boot swivel. They have:
- Swivel/hinge shoulders, wrists, hips, and ankles
- Ball jointed head, lower neck, mid torso (Baroness only), and waist
- Swivel thighs, biceps, and boots (twins only)
- Double hinged knees and elbows
- Hinged mid-torso (twins only), drop-down hips, and butterfly pecs
Paint is pretty solid and I like the metallic plastic used on the twins silver parts here a bit more than their original figures. I don’t think I noticed the color of the lips on those original Crimson Twin figures, but it’s much lighter on these figures. The Baroness’s chest armor is just amazingly shiny red and extremely cool looking. There is a slight bit of silver paint slop on that cherry red metallic armor that is a bit of a bummer, but it’s still striking. The gold paint on her mask is so much nicer than than the gold plastic weapons, it does make me wish the weapons were painted instead.
Overall this is a neat set of repaints with some interesting new Baroness parts that go great with your Crimson figures that have been released lately. Baroness might also make a great Red Shadows figure for when the Roboskull finally hits. Unfortunately the new head parts don’t really swap on to your old Baroness without modding the neck pegs, but I have to imagine Hasbro will re-release a black Baroness with some of these new parts eventually. The price is a tough swallow because it’s more than what three figures would cost. A lot went into that packaging and I like that they are using what they can to tell stories about these figures, but I also don’t collect boxes. This one I’ll keep because it’s so solid that it will make a useful riser for photography.