While some small Joe collectors are lamenting the fact that there doesn’t appear to be much mass retail GI Joe presence on the horizon, I have to feel even worse for those large scale figure collectors, who have already been without much in the way of new product. Even the latest film didn’t generate the traditional highly articulated twelve inch Joes. I suppose it’s just the sad state of the market today when Hasbro releases even large figures with limited articulation. Just a few years ago, it wasn’t so. The twelve inch Joes continued in some format, albeit movie tie-ins. A separate series of real-world large scale Joes hit shelves in 2010, but didn’t last long.
The big guys also got their due during the early 2000s relaunch. Granted, there were some cost-cutting measures employed along the way, like molded shirts in place of cloth, but I think the run generally acquitted itself well. There were also a few real gems among them. I’ve been intruiged enough to go back and pick up a few that I had missed along the way. The usual big name characters were present as expected, but some of the newly created Joes and Cobras made the journey to the twelve inch scale as well.
Dart was interesting to me not only due to his background as a Native American character, but also for his design. His 3 & 3/4 inch version was one of the earlier relaunch figures whose proportions weren’t too wonky. He also had a nice, nondescript uniform that didn’t beat the viewer over the head too much with iconography. This version follows the same restraint. I assume much of the reason for the lack of Dart’s particular cultural imagery is due to his being made up of a variety of reused parts. The head mold is new, and features some impressively sculpted long hair. It’s the sort of thing you don’t encounter often in the large scale GI Joe lines.
Sometimes these later large figures come across as more than a little slapdash, but Dart at least brings something new to the twelve inch table. The only things really out of place are his ill-fitting helmet and his rather eastern looking arm guards. Maybe they’re on loan from Kamakura.