Here’s the first of a 3 part “special” where I’ll be reviewing a figure from 3 different 3.75″ line of figures. In addition to the usual review of the toy itself, I’ll be comparing it and its line to the other 2 toys/lines. They’re all more or less chosen by random (in this case, I chose them because they’re each blue), so they don’t necessarily represent the best or worst of their respective toylines. Well, enough preamble, time for the review.
Round 1, fight!
If you’re a fan of G.I. Joe, then you know who Firefly is and that there’s quite a few versions of him out there. This particular version of Firefly isn’t exactly the flashiest G.I. Joe figure out there, be it a Joe or a Cobra. But that in itself has its charm.
Firefly more or less looks like your typical movie special ops guy with the camo pants, turtle neck sweater and face mask. He’s got a cross-bandolier of grenades and other assorted goodies to break up an otherwise plain looking character design. I personally find his plain appearance to be appealing. There are plenty of “out there” designs in toyland already. Whether you’re talking about G.I. Joe, Star Wars or Kamen Rider stuff. So a little normality is neat. And hey, he’s still cooler than some of the hyper generic army guys the Joes get saddled with. Let’s face it, Evil is Cool.
The traditional colors for Firefly is gray, and that’s one of the problems with this particular rendition. It’s that he’s blue, which at first glance, isn’t very military like in addition to being untrue to the traditional character colors. But for me, I’m fine with it. Much like with the comic 2-Pack Destro, it gives Firefly a more Cobra feel. And at least he’s not neon yellow.
And as much as I harp on Firefly being plain, that’s not to say he’s barren of mold detailing. Far from it. I simply mean he’s plain from a character design standpoint. In terms of molded detail, he’s the usual top notch work we see in the 25th Anniversary G.I. Joes. Hasbro really do a bang up job with their 3.75″ figures as far as mold detailing go.
Despite a generally simplistic design, and let’s face it, it’s a Joe figure, there’s bound to be parts reused, but despite all that, I think Firefly looks good. He might not be your top choice if you’re only starting out on your Joes and you want the big names or something unique looking, but he’s a great addition once you have a moderate or sizable force going.
Compared to the other two figures I’ll be reviewing in this series of reviews (Motion Revive Series 2: Gatack and Full Action Figure: Knight), Firefly as mentioned (several times already), is a little plain in design. But he’s got a whole lot of nicely molded detail that isn’t as evident on the other two, as they’re required to be accurate to their TV show counterparts whereas Firefly’s design nuances are made out of whole cloth. In this regard, I would say that while G.I. Joes technically aren’t any better than MRS or FAF, they’re more overt. With their wide variety of characters, there’s bound to be a Joe or Cobra who suits your taste.
But for Firefly himself, I’m giving him 2.8 out of 4.0 for Aesthetics, he’s nice, but nothing that’ll jump out at you.
Now we come to the big dealie do. This is where (barring price) you can really start differentiating figures and lines. While I’m an articulation junkie, I can also appreciate the aesthetics and characters involved with each figure. But let’s face it, we’ve spent years convincing people that what we waste our money on are “Action Figures”, and it doesn’t help the Geek Cause when the action figure is about as posable as a pregnant sloth. Yeah, I’m looking at you Armidala, and you too Sallah.
So onto Firefly. He’s got the standardized articulation of the 25th Anni Joe line, which is pretty darn awesome.
Ball-joint at the base of the neck (1)
Ball-jointed mid-torso (2)
Ball-hinged shoulders (4)
Ball-hinged elbows (6)
Swivel wrists (8)
Ball-jointed hips (10)
Double-jointed knees (14)
Ball-hinged ankles (16)
So 16 points of articulation in all, which sounds alright, but in practice, are better than alright. The best thing about the Hasbro joints are the ball-hinges. They allow for rotating as well as lateral movement. Which isn’t all that different than a regular ball-joint, but the range is higher. This means that Firefly can lift his arms straight up for a Karate Kid pose if you want, and he can move his feet to stand on tippy toes. Also, the ball-hinges look good. A regular ball-jointed elbow might look kinda weird, but not so with the Hasbro ball-hinge, which tends to be incorporated into the sculpt itself. This means Firefly can look good while rotating his arms toward his body without the need for a swivel/cut on his bicep, which may affect the appearance of the mold.
Unfortunately, the 25th Anni Joe articulation model has one major drawback, which until fixed, will forever condemn them to being a distant runner up against the likes of Motion Revive Series, Full Action Figure or even Microman, in terms of articulation.
Firefly, as with the rest of the Joes and Cobras, have no swivel at the thigh. This wouldn’t be a problem if, like with their elbows, their knees employ the Hasbro ball-hinge, but no. Firefly’s knees are double-jointed, which in itself is super duper, but without a swivel movement at the thighs to take advantage of their range of motion, greatly limits the posability of a G.I. Joe.
He can still strike a pose, but he could have done soooo much more if he had that extra point of articulation. But as is, he doesn’t. Also, in Firefly’s case, the bandolier does limit his torso joint somewhat.
I won’t go into too great a comparison with the articulation of the other two toys to be reviewed, I’ll do it later on so as not to drag this review too long, but suffice it to say, Firefly’s (and the Joes in general) major disadvantage against them lie in the missing leg swivels.
That said, Firefly and the25th G.I. Joe line probably represent the most consistent and best articulation of 3.75″ figs in Eagleland. You’d be hard pressed to find much better out in regular retail.
3.1 out of 4.0
Hmm, seems like this review’s gone rather long, so I’ll try to be quick about it. G.I. Joe figs tend to be a mixed bag with accessories, but overall, they tend to be fairly generous.
Firefly comes with a machine gun, as well as a holstered pistol. Additionally, he comes with a case he can carry on his back, which can open up to reveal various items of an explosive persuasion. This is awesome, because in the Cobra Desert 7-Pack, this accessory also shows up. However, in the context of an “Extreme Terrain” set, the contents of that case could be construed as supplies. For instance, there’s a rectangular block and a cylindrical bar, which in the Desert pack, could be food rations and a flare respectively. But with Firefly, that block is suddenly C4 explosives and the bar is a grenade. Awesome what a little imagination can do.
All in all, Firefly comes with a decent set of accessories. Not the most impressive, but very respectable indeed. And it’s in this category that the 25th Joes trump most of the other 3.75″ lines.
3.5 out of 4.0
Firefly’s a very nice specimen of 3.75″ toyism. He looks good and is well articulated. He might not be especially exceptional, but he has few drawbacks. I admit that his overall score is bolstered somewhat by having neat accessories, but the figure itself is still solid.
If you’re a new collector, you’ll probably want something flashier, but if you just want to bolster your 3.75″ ranch, Firefly’s a good go to guy.
He’s not quite in the league of MRS figures, but that’s primarily due to the limitations of not having swivel thighs. A really sweet mold with good proportions probably puts him only a little under par of a typical FAF toy, but we shall see when I get to reviewing Kamen Rider Knight (FAF) and Kamen Rider Gatack (MRS) respectively.
3.4 out of 4.0
0.0 – 0.0 = I’d pay to get rid of it
0.1 – 0.5 = I’d give it away
0.6 – 1.0 = I wouldn’t take it for free
1.1 – 1.5 = Very Bad
1.6 – 2.0 = Bad
2.1 – 2.5 = Average
2.6 – 3.0 = Good
3.1 – 3.5 = Very Good
3.6 – 4.0 = Excellent