Low Light (50th Anniversary)
I haven’t mentioned how I decide when to review a certain figure, but it’s actually important to talk about it here so bear with me on this little tangent. I refuse to review a figure until I’ve had it in my collection for at least a month. It’s primarily to allow the “NEWNESS!” effect to wear off. I’m often quite excited about a figure when I first get it, so if I want to actually put a critical eye to the figure, I need to have it in my possession for a little while. However, apparently the opposite can also be true. I was really down on 50th Anniversary Low Light when I first got him. However, looking at him now, I’m honestly a little hard pressed to figure out why that was the case. Yes, there were a couple slip ups on his paint work, but they’re no worse than things that I’ve forgiven before. The only thing I can think of is that I was influenced by the mostly negative reviews of the 50th Anniversary figures that were hitting the Internet before my sets arrived in the mail, which I guess means I shouldn’t read reviews of things before I get them in my hand.
The 50th Anniversary Low Light is a complete re-release of his Pursuit of Cobra version. That’s fine, though, since he’s a great figure and he was pretty hard to track down. I think every Joe fan deserves to have that version of Low Light in their collection and the 50th Anniversary version is a great way to help that great figure get out to the masses a little better. How sad is it that a Toys ‘R’ Us exclusive figure was easier to run down than his original mass market release? I’ve seen this pack on the pegs at Toys ‘R’ Us multiple times and I literally never saw Pursuit of Cobra Low Light in the stores. If you want a fully detailed review, go back and read either my earlier Field Report or Rob’s review of this figure here at Joe-A-Day. My only other comment is something that I’m not sure how often it happened, but I’ll mention it because you should be made aware of it. While I was removing Low Light from the tray, his right hand came clean out of his wrist. I’ll admit, my heart skipped a beat. The peg was mercifully undamaged and it went back in almost as easily as it came out, but this is the first time I’ve ever had a Joe do that. I imagine it’s a side effect of the fact that these 50th Anniversary figures do feel to be made out of a little bit more rubbery of a plastic than I’m used to. However, I’m also guessing that rubbery texture is probably what kept the peg from breaking when it came out, so it probably saved Low Light here. Like I said, I’m not sure if it’s a wide ranging problem, but I figured I should mention it so other Joe fans know going in that Low Light can pop apart a little bit as your pulling him from the packaging.
I think where I wound up the most down on Low Light was his paint job. The red on his shoulder pad is a little weak. The coverage isn’t great and it’s a bit sloppy on the back of the pad. The paint work on his face also seems a little off. I’m not quite sure how, but something just doesn’t quite look right. However, beyond that, the paint team did an excellent job on Low Light. I’m really not sure why I was so bummed out about Low Light when I first got him. My only wish is that Hasbro had decided to go a little different way with Low Light. I realize he’s a sniper who specializes in night work, but couldn’t they have done something a little different with his paint scheme? As it stands, the only thing that’s different between this Low Light and the Pursuit of Cobra version is the gold star logo on his left shoulder armor where the Pursuit of Cobra era Joe logo was on the original release. I don’t know what alternate color scheme I’d recommend, but considering they turned the Night Viper red, why not also change up Low Light’s color scheme too, just so it feels like we’re getting something a little different? While on the subject of paint work, I have to say, I like the gold paint on the logos for the 50th Anniversary figure stands. It really classes them up.
Once again, where Low Light really shines is his gear. Low Light gets the full assortment of gear he did from the last time. Not realizing it came with the Retaliation Night Viper, I gave Low Light the same small machete that Pursuit of Cobra Jungle Assault Duke came with. I kind of like Low Light having something he can hack through the brush while on his way to his target. I now know the machete belongs to the Night Viper, but I just like the look of it in Low Light’s hand so much that I’m loathe to give it back to him. Though the gear is unchanged, I think Hasbro may have also done something a little different with his rifle. It’s the same piece, but this one seems a lot sturdier than the one I got with my Pursuit of Cobra Low Light. Pursuit of Cobra Low Light’s rifle spends most of his time in its case because it’s so fiddly to get to work right, but 50th Anniversary Low Light’s doesn’t have this same problem. It’s nice that I can actually display Low Light with his massive sniper rifle out this time.
Low Light kind of bummed me out at first. While there’s definitely an element of same- old, same-old here, he’s also not nearly as bad of a figure as I thought he was when I first opened him. Anyone that had trouble finding the Pursuit of Cobra version should really run the 50th Anniversary Low Light down. He’s got all the same accessories, the same paint job and the same great design. While I still wish they’d changed up his paint scheme, I think that could be the part of me that got lucky and found the Pursuit of Cobra version talking. I think if I didn’t have that version in my collection, I’d be perfectly fine with the 50th Anniversary Low Light rocking the exact same look. The Joes from the first wave of figure sets from 50th Anniversary line are a bit hard for me to deal with. Aside from Leatherneck, they’re all basically unchanged rereleases of Pursuit of Cobra figures, but at the same time, they were all really hard to find Pursuit of Cobra figures, so much like the 30th Anniversary army builders, I appreciate that Hasbro found another outlet for some great figures that were strangely difficult to find.