Crimson Guard Immortal (FSS 3.0)
Hands down, I think I was looking forward to Crimson Guard Immortal the most out of this third Figure Subscription Service. I never had the Crimson Guard growing up, but KansasBrother had him and it saw a lot of use in our adventures as a dangerous Cobra operative. Heck, as an adult, I nearly bought the overpriced KB Toys Crimson Attack Tank because it had a version of the Crimson Guard Immortal driving it. The Crimson Guards were pretty badass, but to me, the Immortals were even more dangerous and considering that the Crimson Guards were billed as the best-of-the-best that makes the Immortals even scarier. The modern is Crimson Guard Immortal a great figure and while there are a couple awkward spots on the figure, he’s still a great piece and I really love that the GIJCC was able to release the same figure that Hasbro couldn’t find a way to work in to the 30th Anniversary line.
Surprisingly, the Crimson Guard Immortal pulls a lot of its parts from Retaliation figures. The legs come from one of the Retaliation Snake Eyes figures. I believe it’s the first one they released, but I’m not 100% sure on that front. They work surprisingly well for him, though I do wish he had a bit higher boots like the vintage figure. However, the knee pads work well for the more combat oriented nature of the Crimson Guard Immortal and it’s a decent look. I don’t like the kind of funky ankles he’s got, though, because they affect how he stands on the figure stand and if you don’t get him placed right on the figure stand, he looks awkward. From the legs up, the Crimson Guard Immortal uses Retaliation Cobra Trooper parts and that’s a shockingly good call. The torso is nice and simple, though you won’t see it thanks to the Pursuit of Cobra Firefly vest, but the arms are a bit fancier and have a bit of a ceremonial feel to them. The bicep bands really sell the evil shock trooper look and the Cobra Trooper arms have forearm guards similar to what the vintage Crimson Guard Immortal had. The Pursuit of Cobra Firefly vest is a great choice for the Crimson Guard Immortal’s chest armor. When I parted out the Crimson Guard Immortal, I tended to use the Rise of Cobra Neo-Viper chest armor because it was a bit more of a literal translation of the vintage chest piece, but the more detailed Firefly vest is the better call. The added grenades and spare clips help sell the idea that the Crimson Guard Immortal is a butt-kicker first and a guard second. Up top, the Crimson Guard Immortal gets an amazing vintage-inspired head that we first saw in the Concept Case. The helmet itself is pretty tall, and I’ve seen a lot of reviewers complain about that, but I don’t think it’s a problem. The vintage Crimson Guard Immortal’s helmet was pretty tall, too. Yes, it does slightly throw off the look of the head because at a quick glance it makes me think the visor is just a little too low, but a closer look reveals that things are proportional, there’s just some open space at the top of the helmet. The face plate on the mask is great and looks very intimidating. It looks like a rebreather and I like that the Crimson Guard Immortal is fully protected from things like gas because that just means Cobra Commander uses them in really hairy situations and he wants them fully protected. While the GIJCC may not have reinvented the wheel here, the Hasbro- designed figure looked great back in 2012, and I’m glad it finally got to see the light of day.
Like all Crimson Guards, we know that means there’s going to be a lot of red on this figure. Unfortunately, consistency is a bit of a problem. I think the GIJCC tried to take a page from Hasbro’s book on the Retaliation Crimson Guard and do two tones, but they dropped the ball a bit. The legs are done in a dark red, but the upper legs, as painted elements, fall more in line with the red on his arms, and that’s a problem. It makes the figure look a bit disjointed and it hurts the Crimson Guard Immortal’s overall look. There’s a similar problem with the silver on the figure. The gauntlets are done in shiny silver while the vest is done in a flat gray. I don’t think it’s as much of a deal breaker as other reviewers have called it, but it’s a bit odd that the GIJCC didn’t try to match those colors. The black trim on the figure stands out well against both the silver and the red. The tampo work is also excellent. The GIJCC designed a fancy new logo for the Crimson Guard Immortal division and applied it to both arm bands. It’s a very intricate design yet it still prints well. Up on the helmet, the silver on the Cobra crest is neatly done but the silver on his visor is a little weak. The coverage isn’t quite spot on and it’s a bit of a drawback. I still like the overall look the figure has, it’s just that there are some consistency issues that hurt him a bit.
Back in the day, the Crimson Guard Immortal had incredibly unique weapons. Really, if the figure didn’t come with at least one finger-fired missile launcher, he wouldn’t be complete. Thankfully, the GIJCC agreed with my assessment and found the tooling for the old Crimson Guard Immortal double-missile launcher. The piece looks at home in his hand and the missiles fit snugly enough that they won’t fall out at the drop of a hat but can still be fired by flicking the back of the missile tube. It’s a nice piece and it really helps complete the Crimson Guard Immortal’s vintage-inspired look. Unfortunately, his other weapon, the same rifle that came with the Rise of Cobra Crimson Neo-Viper, is not quite as successful. It’s an okay piece, but the figure really can’t hold it all that well. The grip is very loose and it honestly looks kind of awkward in his hands. That’s a shame since that weapon is the Crimson Guard Immortal’s only standard firearm. Rounding out his gear, the Crimson Guard Immortal also comes with the same flag we saw first with 25th Anniversary “Extreme Scrotal Damage” Duke. The flag pole is a nice addition and I love the Crimson Guard Immortal division logo on the flag. Like the flag that came with the Cobra Combat Ninja, though, I do wish it were made out of fabric rather than heavy paper, but I don’t think we’ll get as soft goods flag any time soon, so I guess I’ll accept it.
Going into FSS 3.0, I had the highest expectations for the Crimson Guard Immortal and the GIJCC made a figure that definitely met them. The overall design is solid and it’s an amazing modern take on a figure I always really liked even though it wasn’t one of mine. The silver and red paint mismatches are an issue, but I don’t necessarily think they ruin the figure. Even Hasbro proper has had trouble pulling off color consistently lately. Yes, I expect more from the GIJCC because their paint team always does such good work and these cost far more than a Hasbro retail release, but at the same time, expecting pure perfection only ensures disappointment. I can live with the red and silver mismatches, though I do think the GIJCC needs to keep a closer eye on things like that. If the quality control starts slipping on the FSS figures, it will hurt them in the long run. The Crimson Guard Immortal was a great way to end FSS 3.0 and he’s an incredibly strong figure.