GI Joe Trooper (2012 Retaliation)

The GI Joe Trooper appears to be a new iteration of the generic troop idea that started with the Steel Brigade. I say appears because the movie figures forego file cards, long a staple of Joe figures. I’m more than a little disappointed in this missing piece of the toyline. Those little bits of fiction included with the figures are an integral part of the small Joe mythos. As it stands, I have no idea if this figure represents what will appear in the movie.

When I first saw the press pictures of the GI Joe Trooper, the helmet screamed out Halo. I still can’t escape the comparison, but now that I have the figure in hand, the quality of the rest of the figure more than makes up for the stylistic cribbing. In terms of accessories and articulation, the Trooper is closer to the Pursuit of Cobra/30th anniversary than others in the new movie line.

The gear and its storage are easily up to the standard of PoC figures like Snow Job and Firefly. He’s equipped to the extreme, with four handguns, three rifles, two knives, entrenching tool, a cloak and gas mask. It all plugs in somewhere, so he can actually carry his entire arsenal. The extra head is the only extra part that doesn’t have a home.

All of the modern articulation remains, including the side swivel ankle joints seen on Renegades Scarlett. The extra head is a nice touch, and if mohawks aren’t your style, you can easily perform a head swap and transform this figure into just about any Joe. I’m also happy that the version I picked up didn’t have a blue cloak and gas mask as seen in the package pictures.

The delay of the movie and later waves of toys is a letdown, to be sure. While some fans are concerned about the future of the brand in light of recent events, if I can still open up a GI Joe figure and be drawn into the same sense of fun and excitement I had when I was a kid, I don’t have any worries. GI Joe figures still have a magical spell over me, and i don’t mind if I have to wait nine months to be enchanted again.

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