Inferno (2007 Sigma 6)
You’re not looking at a long lost Rescue Heroes figure, it’s Inferno, a firefighting specialist from the end of the Sigma 6 series. Actually, other than the obvious scale and style, there’s no Sigma 6 branding on the packaging, just the Real American Hero subtitle.
The final assortments of the Sigma line were a problematic experience for me to find at retail. Earlier assortments lingered on the pegs, with the multiple Snake Eyes and Storm Shadows choking out the lesser knowns. Most of my later Sigma purchases, especially the Cobras, were a case of “see it, buy it”.
Inferno was a case of “never saw it” and so I had to check online regularly. I got lucky in finding his entire wave online at Walmart.com and opted for the Site to Store option to save on shipping charges. The trade-off is the sometimes interminable wait at the service desk, usually while they can find an employee who knows how the heck the system works. When I showed up at the store and electronically “rang the bell”, I imagined a Janine Melnitz type sitting at a lonely desk in the back room, polishing her nails and then noticing the flashing light on her phone. “We got one!” she yelled, as the Site to Store team sprang into action. Actually, no. It took about ten minutes for someone to find Todd the stocker to hand me my sealed case. That’s right, I opened a sealed case of Sigma 6 figures–the kind of thing collectors dream of (well, at least the stuff probably only @GeneralsJoes and I dream of).
If Lt. Stone was the ultimate example of the Sigma 6 concept, then Inferno and his compatriot Lockdown were the examples of what could have been had the line gone on longer and fully melded with the Real American Hero mythos. This figure is just pure unrefined toy goodness to me. There’s no pretense; it’s big, bold and loaded with personality. It even has a modern version of the classic Kung-Fu Grip. What’s not to love?
The accessories and new head sculpt come together in a way that satisfies the kid in me. The huge axe connects to the incredible backpack (with translucent light bar–to which I’d love to add some LEDs). The helmet and rebreather are removable, and under the helmet is a newly sculpted head with lots of personality. The figure’s hair appears to be wet, capturing the look of a firefighter in the midst of battling intense heat. The other added gear, including gauntlets, chestplate and belt, effectively adapt the underlying mold to a new use.
I’ve had so much fun revisiting the odd and forgotten corners of my Joe collection with this blog, but unearthing my Sigma 6 figures has really rekindled the joy of toy collecting for me. As much as I’ve liked the collector focused toys of the last two years, I look forward to seeing what Hasbro might have up their sleeve for the kid market in the time following the second movie. Part of me is hoping to see a separate line along the lines of Fisher Price’s Imaginext, a fun and fascinating toyline that pushes the same toy buttons in me that Hasbro’s Sigma 6 did.