Lt. Stone (2006 Sigma 6)
From the ridiculous to the sublime. After yesterday’s post covering one of the goofier Lanard CORPS! figures, I thought I’d return to Sigma 6, one of my favorite of the GI Joe offshoots.
A lot has been said about the angst and hate that came about when the Sigma 6 concept was introduced. I recall at the time being intrigued by the look of the 8 inch figures, and decided to give one a try. I bought the first Snake Eyes in the line, and was not only impressed with the playability of the figure, but the quality as well. From the design, articulation, to the paint and even down to the packaging, it was a fantastically executed line in my eyes. Sure, it wasn’t the GI Joe I was used to, and some characters were changed up a bit, but the spirit was still there. Heck, the line even paid respect to the original Joes with a footlocker type storage concept and an eventual Adventure Team subset.
There are a lot of figures in the Sigma 6 line that I really enjoy, but Lt. Stone remains my favorite. He seems to encompass the kind of mystique that I remember when seeing new figures back in ’84-85. I can’t put it exactly into words, but I’m reminded of the kind of feeling I get from an original Firefly, Storm Shadow, Shipwreck or Flint. He brings equal parts of the adventure, spy and sci-fi genres to the toyline, yet it all comes together without looking ridiculous. No other toy property does this sort of thing as well as GI Joe, and that’s a real credit to the people who design, build and market the line.
Playability and accessories were a big part of the Sigma 6 line, and Lt. Stone includes a great set, with his dual silenced pistols, unique chest holster and requisite huge rifle. His most impressive accessories however are the attachments that disguise him as either a Cobra trooper or Zartan. The trooper is the more effective disguise, as the Zartan guise is simply a face mask. Usually this sort of plug-in disguise for an action figure leaves a lot to be desired <ahem Spy Troops> but I think the larger scale and the Sigma 6 aesthetic help it succeed. At the end of the day, the Cobra uniform also gave us the basic trooper that was missing from the line. I only wish I had picked up an extra or two for permanent display as Cobras.
Color and design work well together to create a figure that’s not only functional and playable but also looks good just sitting on a shelf. Though the body mold used is the thinner type and is quite narrow at the waist, it’s not too noticeable with the belt and holsters on the figure. One of my favorite toy design choices comes into play with the robotic left arm cast in translucent green. This is one of my all-time favorite GI Joes, regardless of scale. He’s had a primo display spot ever since I picked him up back in ’06.
From buying that first Sigma 6 Snake Eyes, I was hooked into the style, and eventually picked up the entire run. I was sorry to see it go so quickly. However, there is hope for fans of the Sigma 6 style. Check out this Kickstarter, called The Hero Project, that’s along the same stylistic and play feature lines. Though it’s not Joe, it looks like a great concept with some beautiful and fun figures in the works, pending financial support. I highly recommend giving it a look-see.