Dee-Jay (Force of Battle 2000)
Every team needs a communications expert and considering Battle Force 2000 was the Joe’s experimental weapons team, it made sense that they get their own communications expert so he can test out any experimental communications gear. His timing for joining Battle Force 2000 was kind of crappy, though, as he was released a year after the rest of the team was and almost immediately before Larry Hama was given the greenlight to kill off everyone on Battle Force 2000 except Dodger during the Trucial Abysmia War arc. Back in the day, Dee-Jay was my Battle Force 2000 figure. I imagine I got him because I wanted someone from that group and he was the only one still available, but for some reason, my kid brain loved Dee-Jay. I was a little surprised Thomas “Dee-Jay” Rossi was released as a souvenir figure. I just assumed since the GIJCC made the attendee exclusive a figure last year, that’s how Dee-Jay was going to get released this time around. Thankfully, though, he was released in the Ultimate Enemies souvenir set with Corrosion, which made it a lot simpler to run down. KansasBrother, my resident eBay wizard, managed to snag me the set at a good price and he sent them my way a little before our main sets arrived. I loved Dee-Jay as a kid and while Dee-Jay is generally the
least-loved member of Battle Force 2000, I’m glad to have a modern version of him in my collection.
Dee-Jay has always had a pretty funky look, and the GIJCC did a pretty good job at recreating that unique look, even if they did release it alongside a repaint in the same souvenir set. The legs are from 25th Anniversary Battle Armor Cobra Commander. As I mentioned in the Corrosion review, I’m not sure these were the right choice for Dee-Jay. I think the 25th Anniversary HISS Driver thigh high boots would have been a better stand in, but I will admit, after looking at the vintage figure, they do look closer to the vintage legs than I’d originally given them credit for. However, I have noticed that the legs don’t seat as well as they could into the hip sockets. The legs were fine on Corrosion, but I had to do quite a bit of tweaking on Dee-Jay’s legs to make his hips look right. The torso and arms come from the first Retaliation Snake Eyes action figure. However, you won’t see the torso because he’s wearing the 30th Anniversary Techno-Viper vest over it. Like the legs, the look is closer to the vintage torso than I initially gave it credit for, but it does lack the metal and tech vibe that the vintage torso had. Truthfully, I might have gone with the Pursuit of Cobra Arctic Threat Destro torso instead. It looks armored like the vintage torso and the some of the armor shapes are similar. The Snake Eyes arms have a nice mix of cloth and metal detailing, and that helps them look like the vintage Dee-Jay arms, though I think the 30th Anniversary Viper lower arms might have given them the ridged armor detailing I remember. As is stands, though, I really do like the sleek look Dee-Jay’s armor has this time around. I think it would have helped make him look a little more futuristic. Up top, Dee-Jay has a brand new head. The GIJCC did a great job at recreating the vintage figure’s head, though I do miss the antenna that was an accessory that attached to the vintage Dee-Jay’s head. The helmet looks substantial and Dee-Jay’s face looks like it’s actually sitting in the helmet rather than looking flat like some of the recent GIJCC heads have looked. All the vintage details, save the antenna, are recreated on the helmet. The goggles look great and the face sculpt has quite a bit of a character in it. All the vintage details are present on the figure and the GIJCC chose parts that capture the spirit of the vintage figure while streamlining the look a bit and making him look just a little more futuristic, which makes sense for a member of Battle
I’ll freely admit, even as a kid, I thought Dee-Jay’s color scheme was just a little weird. It wasn’t a bad color scheme, but I just didn’t quite get why he used the colors he did. Much of the figure is white. His lower boots, gloves, gauntlets, chest protector and helmet are all white. As such, it gives Dee-Jay kind of an arctic look. However, the blue pants, dark grey leg armor
and olive drab shirt don’t really fit with the arctic look. While I may not have liked that Ian“Avalanche” Costello is an arctic figure, at least his color scheme works for an arctic figure. With Dee-Jay’s colors, I’ve never been quite sure how to use him. The paint work is excellent and the GIJCC applied all the colors cleanly, I’m just not sure how those colors work in the field. The hose on the Techno-Viper vest is painted black and there’s some silver tampo work on the chest piece to replicate the vintage figure’s technical detailing on its chest armor. I appreciate the effort, but the silver detailing, without underlying molded technical details, look more like
random silver stripes than anything else. There’s also a little silver on Dee-Jay’s crotch, referencing the vintage figure’s codpiece. The helmet is still predominately white, though it still has the red detailing on the helmet. Silver is used on his goggles and on the tech-y details near his mouth. Dee-Jay’s exposed face is painted with a relatively light African-American skintone. I appreciate that the Joe team’s African American members don’t all have the same skin color as there is a wide variety in African American skintone. The colors and paint work are solid even if I’m still not sure how well his colors would work in the field.
Even more than the rest of the vintage Battle Force 2000 figures, Dee-Jay was defined by his futuristic gear. That’s primarily because he had so much of it. The GIJCC did a solid job at referencing his vintage gear, but at the same time, I wish they could have invested some more tooling dollars into his gear load to faithfully recreate his crazy backpack. Instead of a blue cone with huge speakers on the back of them, the GIJCC gave Dee-Jay the Dial-Tone communications backpack they tooled up several years ago. While it’s not the same, it is a great way to reference the original Dee-Jay’s backpack without having to tool up anything new. I always really liked Dial-Tone’s backpack when I was a kid, and it looks great on Dee-Jay’s back, even if you do have to fiddle with it a bit to get it to stay on. The GIJCC recreated Dee-Jay’s crazy rifle and I couldn’t be happier. I know that gun was part of what drew me to Dee-Jay as a kid, so I’m glad it’s here. I just wish the GIJCC could have found a way to mold it out of maroon-ish red plastic instead of white to recreate the vintage figure’s gear colors better. Rounding out his
gear, like the rest of the modern Battle Force 2000 figures, the GIJCC equipped him with a realistic weapon as well. Everyone else got something a little heavier, but Dee-Jay just got a pistol. However, since Dee-Jay is their communication specialist, I’m actually okay with him only having a standard pistol as his backup piece. After all, hopefully Dee-Jay isn’t going to be in the thick of things. He’d need something like a pistol to defend himself, but if he’s the team’s link back to base, he’s not going to be working on his own. The other members of Battle Force 2000
can provide him cover while he’s doing his job of calling in support.
I know that no one really loves Dee-Jay all that much. From what I’ve seen, he’s on a lot of people’s personal lists of worst Joe figures out there, but darn it, Dee-Jay was one of my figures back in the day and I like him. This modern version is a great take on him, and I think the best part is that Dee-Jay actually got released alongside the rest of the Battle Force 2000 team for a change. Honestly, I’ve always thought part of the antipathy towards Dee-Jay was that his figure came out two years after the rest of the Battle Force 2000 figures did. His inclusion seemed like an afterthought, even in the comics, where I believe Dodger made some comment that Dee-Jay was on his first mission as a Joe and he wound up coming back dead. However, getting released alongside the rest of the Battle Force 2000 team turns him into an integral part of the unit. Dee-Jay was a perfect souvenir for this con set. If you didn’t go to the con, it was harder to get him, however, very few people are going to consider their collection of Joes or even Battle Force 2000 figures incomplete without a modern version of Dee-Jay. I assumed the GIJCC would do Dee-Jay at some point after the Battle Force 2000 set was revealed, and I’m glad it was done this way so you didn’t have people upset about him taking the place of someone more “deserving” in one of the last two FSS assortments. Dee-Jay may not be the most popular guy out there, but the GIJCC made a solid figure and I couldn’t be happier to have Dee-Jay on display with the rest of my Joes.