Blaster (Force of Battle 2000)
When we were kids, Blaster was KansasBrother’s one Battle Force 2000 figure. From what he can remember, Blaster was a gift from one of the cousins who knew he liked Joes. I never really knew all that much about Blaster as a kid and I don’t think I ever knew his origin until I asked KansasBrother about Blaster when the GIJCC was doing its reveals before con last year. I clearly must have liked the concept of Battle Force 2000 because I got Dee-Jay so I could have a Battle Force 2000 character, but beyond that, he was kind of a faceless Joe in the crowd to me. My nostalgic opinions of Blaster really don’t weigh a lot on his modern version, so it’s honestly a little surprising that I think Brian “Blaster” Davis is probably the best figure out of the modern Force of Battle 2000 main set. That’s two years in a row that the GIJCC has made a figure I didn’t really think much of as a kid into the best figure in a set, and that’s kind of impressive.
Like the rest of the Battle Force 2000 figures, Blaster has a fairly complex build, but it’s also one that reflects the vintage figure very well. Blaster’s legs are a combination of 25th Anniversary Dusty thighs and Retaliation Ultimate Firefly knees, shins, and feet. The legs look kind of on model with the vintage figure, though I think that the Pursuit of Cobra Zartan lower legs might have worked a little better since they’ve got taller boots, but I imagine this choice was made so that Blaster didn’t extensively reuse parts that were used on Pursuit of Cobra Desert Battle Duke. The knees also don’t work quite as well as they could with the thighs, leaving a fairly obvious gap in that joint. It’s not the end of the world, but it does leave Blaster’s legs looking just a little odd. I do think the GIJCC missed an important accessory for Blaster by not giving him 25th Anniversary Airborne’s leg harness since the vintage figure had molded details very similar to those. To replicate Blaster’s armored chest, the GIJCC wisely used the Pursuit of Cobra Desert Battle Duke torso. Considering that piece was designed for a Duke figure, the armor details fit Blaster’s original look surprisingly well. I’m sure Hasbro wasn’t thinking about Blaster when they designed that chest, but it really does look a lot like the vintage figure’s torso. In an effort to distance the chest a little from its original use and recreate the straps on the armor, the GIJCC used the shoulder harness from 25th Anniversary Chuckles. It’s a decent piece, but it does ride kind of weirdly on the Duke torso because of the torso’s popped collar. Blaster also wasn’t a wearing holster back in the day, so I kind of wonder if the 30th Anniversary Marauders Falcon straps might have been the better choice. Regardless, though, it does help make the Duke torso look a little different, which is a good thing because we have seen this torso a lot over the last few years. Blaster’s arms come from the 30th Anniversary Viper and that’s a great call. The rolled up sleeves and the bracers are excellent analogues for the details on the vintage figure’s arms. Topping off the figure, Blaster has a brand new head sculpt. The GIJCC design team did an excellent job on this head sculpt. The helmet is bulky and looks rather futuristic. His face sculpt is fairly neutral, and that fits the vintage figure quite well. A lot of people were rather upset that the GIJCC didn’t mold in the original figure’s face mask or include a way to make it as an accessory. Personally, though, I’m okay with that call. I don’t remember KansasBrother using the mouthpiece a lot on his vintage version and I’m thinking part of it was because it was a bit of a fiddly piece that didn’t really add a lot to the play value of the figure. The head sculpt is solid, though I will say, after getting this figure, I do kind of wonder why the GIJCC picked this head to use for Jonas “We-Can’t-Legally-Call-Him-Ghost-Rider-Anymore” Jeffries because the details just don’t fit for him. This is clearly Blaster, and unlike Avalanche, the helmet details don’t transfer well to another figure.
While Dodger’s overall design might have looked the most military, Blaster’s color scheme definitely screams soldier a bit more than the other members of Battle Force 2000. The base of Blaster’s uniform is a rather vibrant green with olive drab green on his boots and chest armor and darker green camouflage splotches on the boots and armor. The shoulder holster is gray like the straps on the vintage figure and the pistol handle sticking out of the holster is black. His left forearm is covered by a blue bracer while his right one is covered with a black one and he’s wearing a green glove on his left hand and a black one on his right hand. I’m not quite sure why so many Joes have mismatched gloves, but that was definitely a thing for a while. His helmet is green with silver tech detailing on the back and sides and a blue piece of armor on the forehead. Blaster has the cleanest paint work on his face. There’s no slop onto the helmet and there’s no spot where the exposed skin is left the green the head is molded out of. Blaster’s color scheme and paint work is excellent and does a great job at recreating the look of the vintage figure.
The Battle Force 2000 figures were never the best-equipped subteam, and the modern versions do unfortunately continue that trend. Thankfully, at least the GIJCC decided that each Battle Force 2000 figure should get one crazy high-tech weapon and another more realistic one. I love the crazy weapons the Battle Force 2000 figures have, but I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea, so I think giving them both kinds of weapons was a great solution. Blaster’s high- tech weapon is a newly molded version of his original weapon. This is the one Battle Force 2000 weapon I remember because it saw a lot of reuse on the weapon trees. It’s a big, boxy gun with a thing sticking off the front. I don’t know why that thing on the front is there. It looks like a handle of some sort, but that’s a really weird place to put a handle. Since Blaster’s secondary military specialty is listed as “microwave technician”, I always saw his crazy weapon as some sort of portable microwave cannon. Considering there are currently real world less-than-lethal weapons that operate using microwaves to make targets physically uncomfortable by heating up a thin layer of skin to cause pain, I almost see Blaster’s weapon as a prototype version of that technology. Blaster’s realistic weapon is the same assault rifle that came with the Retaliation G.I. Joe Trooper. This is a solid piece and I’m glad to see it getting a little more use. The silhouette looks a little bit futuristic, but it’s still clearly a real world assault rifle with an underslung grenade launcher, and I think that fits with the overall aesthetic of Battle Force 2000 quite well. To fill the sheath on his right ankle, Blaster also gets a knife, but that’s the extent of his gear load. It’s not a lot, but like the rest of the Battle Force 2000 figures, it’s effective.
In my opinion, Brian “Blaster” Davis is, hands down, the best executed figure in the main figure set from this Joe Con. The parts chosen replicate the vintage figure almost perfectly and the paint scheme works well with the parts chosen. The paint work on the face is especially solid and that’s good because the GIJCC has been having a little trouble with painting faces of helmeted characters properly. Hopefully, going forward, Blaster won’t be the exception but the rule. The recreated vintage microwave cannon looks at home in Blaster’s hand and the realistic assault rifle also works well for him. The few criticisms I have of Blaster are relatively minor and the GIJCC came close to giving us a perfect modern recreation of this member of Battle Force 2000.