25th Anniversary Comic Pack Firefly
Sometimes it feels like Hasbro makes figure decisions just to spite me, or more accurately, my wallet. The 25th Anniversary Firefly figure was good, but then they released aneven better one in a comic pack with a different take on Storm Shadow just a few months later. Don’t get me wrong, I like the original Firefly, but had I known there was one even better coming shortly thereafter, I might not have hunted for the single carded release as hard as I did.
The comic pack Firefly is basically the same figure as the initial 25th Anniversary release and that’s fine, it’s a decent design. Unfortunately, it does make me kind of feel like I got a bit hosed by Hasbro since the core figure is the same. There were some changes to his accessories that help make him different from the carded release, but it does kind of bother me at how much of this figure is the same. From the neck on down, Firefly uses 25th Anniversary Beachhead parts. The legs are a standard pair of BDU pants and they do work pretty well for Firefly. He’s got a boot knife molded on his right leg and I think that’s a great detail for Firefly to have. I can see him using it to stealthily get rid of a guard. His right leg also has a functional pistol holster molded into it. It’s nice that Firefly has a decent sidearm since he’s not always going to want to use his rifle. On his left leg, he’s got a pair of pouches to carry some spare clips. While I do kind of miss the explosives charges the classic Firefly had on his left leg, I think the clips work just as well and allow the parts to be repurposed a little more easily. Firefly also gets the slightly reworked groin area. Beachhead was another figure that had a running change made to get rid of diaper crotch. I found mine earlier enough that he had the problem, but thankfully, subsequent reuses have used the remolded crotch which allows him to be more poseable. Firefly’s upper body is a standard commando sweater and while I didn’t necessarily think of that for Firefly, it does work pretty well. My only complaint about his upper body is that his arms look a little funky. They just seems a little too skinny and his shoulders are overly round and it makes it look pretty obvious that they’re ball joints on a toy rather than looking like a real person’s arms. To help make this Firefly a bit more different than the single carded figure they released a few months prior, the comic pack Firefly gets a new vest and belt. Both pieces were clearly designed to replicate Shockwave’s torso, but Firefly used them first and it was quite a while before we actually saw a Shockwave figure. The belt has a bunch of pouches on one side and some flash bang grenades on the other. I like that Firefly’s carrying some nonlethal weapons on him. If his mission is more along the lines of stealing data, he might not want to be tossing explosives left and right so this gives him another option. The belt also helps hide the 25th Anniversary Beachhead’s molded belt so it distances him from his brother from another mother a bit more. His vest is very well-detailed and looks thick enough to protect him from getting shot. While Firefly’s never worn a bullet proof vest before, I think the look works well for him. Considering I get a bit of a Solid Snake vibe from this version of Firefly, I don’t see why he wouldn’t be wearing a little added protection. Even Solid Snake threw on some Kevlar just in case. The vest also has some grenades molded on to the right side of his chest and another knife in a sheath on the left. Firefly is clearly prepared for any contingency on his missions. Firefly’s head sculpt comes from the original 25th Anniversary Firefly and I think it’s a great piece. The mask is based a bit on the DDP version where he had two seams running from just above his eyes that meet up on the back of his head. It’s a good look for Firefly and it helps make him look a little more distinct from Beachhead. Firefly’s eyes show a relatively angry stare. He’s not quite as mad as the 30th Anniversary Renegades Firefly, but there’s still a bit of emotion behind those eyes and I appreciate that. It’s a little hard to make masked figures look interesting but at least Hasbro realized they could do something with his eyes to give us a bit of insight into the man behind the mask. To spice things up on his head, Firefly also gets a great pair of removable goggles. I absolutely love this piece. They’re designed well enough that they look natural sitting on top of his head, but you can also slide them down over his eyes and it completely covers the opening in his facemask. These were very well done and I like how much it adds to Firefly’s look. I see them as a cross between a set of eye protectors and an advanced thermal imaging system. While they don’t provide Firefly with full night vision capabilities, they’re enough to provide him a bit of advantage in the dark and that’s all he needs to cause some damage.
The biggest change on this Firefly is the paint scheme. While I liked the first 25th Anniversary Firefly, I think this one’s colors have it beaten hands down. Though I like the original Firefly color scheme, for this version, they made his colors a bit darker and he really does look sharp this way. The main body is a dark gray and it has darker gray camouflage blobs over them. I normally criticize figures for being too dark, but even with this relatively dark look, Firefly looks eye-catching and the details on the mold don’t get lost in the darkness. To break up all the gray, Firefly’s vest is black with some brown for the straps and green on his grenades. It’s a very cohesive look and while I never thought I’d need two Firefly figures based around his classic look, this darker urban camouflage looks great on him. The brown paint is applied crisply both on the vest and on his leg straps. My only real complaint is that I wish his knife handle was colored some color other than black. It really doesn’t stand out against his black vest and I think that’s a bit of a drawback.
Where this Firefly really shakes things up is with his gear. This Firefly is kitted out for all kinds of sabotage missions and I love seeing that. Yes, Firefly’s original accessories are classic, but the 25th Anniversary figure felt just a tiny bit dated. The comic pack Firefly feels much more like a modern take on Firefly even though his design is strongly tied to his classic look. Starting off small, he has a pistol to fill his holster. It’s not my favorite piece, but it fills the holster nicely so it’s a decent option. Firefly’s primary weapon is a great new modern assault rifle. This is another one of those pieces that I’d be happy if Hasbro used with every figure. It’s realistic and it looks great in anyone’s hand. It appears to have a suppressor on the front end so I can see Firefly using it to stealthily eliminate targets and with the scope on top, he can use it at a further range than a standard assault rifle. Finally, Firefly also gets an updated backpack. The original backpack is iconic, but it’s a bit dated. This thing carries just about every tool of the trade Firefly might need on the job. The backpack is designed as a case that can stand up on its own. When opened up, you find all sorts of tools molded into the compartments. Four of the objects are removable pieces. Firefly has a flashlight for night work, a multitool for making adjustments to his bombs in the field, a small brick of C4 and a gas can. These are all great little pieces and I appreciate the effort that Hasbro went through to make them removable objects that Firefly can interact with rather than just molded details.
I have never had a figure in my collection become obsolete as quickly as the carded 25th Anniversary Firefly. The comic pack version is such a great modern interpretation on the original Firefly that it blows the more faithful update completely out of the water. All the classic Firefly elements are still there, but the better color scheme and more modern equipment just makes him far superior than the first modern Firefly they made. I wasn’t necessarily sure how much I was going to like a new Firefly so shortly after tracking down the first one, but within about a month, the classic Firefly had gone into storage while the comic pack version stayed on display basically until I moved. That’s some pretty impressive staying power and it’s a testament to how great this particular version of Firefly is. If you never ran down either 25th Anniversary Firefly, this one is the one you should spend your energy looking for. It’s got all the classic Firefly feel without the dated equipment. It’s a great update and really, if it weren’t for the fact that I like the sci-fi elements of the Pursuit of Cobra version, I’m quite certain this Firefly would still be on display.