Peril in Paradise General Mayhem
Once again, I saved my favorite figure from a con set for last. Considering how much I loved the original General Mayhem figure, it should be no surprise that I’m really sold on this one as well. I know some circles of the Joe collecting community don’t like it when the GIJCC creates its own characters and then re-releases them in modern form, but I think it’s great. Considering how few new characters Hasbro has created in the modern line, I appreciate that at least the GIJCC is trying to expand the line every now and then. The Joe line can’t live by Duke and Cobra Commander alone, so why not throw in a guy like General Mayhem every now and then. I think he’s a great addition to the Joe line and makes perfect sense for inclusion in the Peril In Paradise set.
General Mayhem is a figure that I’ve parted out a few times for the virtual customizing challenges during JoeCustoms’s custom celebration. However, I have to admit that the GIJCC made a better version than what I came up with. The legs are from Rise of Cobra Destro, and that’s a great call (and one I’ve used in my versions). They stand in nicely for the original figure’s legs and have a very dictatorial look to them. The torso is shared with Rise of Cobra SDCC Destro and I’ll admit, that choice is a bit surprising. I generally went with the standard Rise of Cobra Destro torso, but the SDCC version works quite well because the GIJCC had Boss Fight Studio tool up a new jacket to put over it. The new jacket is a great piece, if a little more generic than I’d like for General Mayhem. It looks like a basic military dress coat and that’s fine, however, I kind of miss the skull and crossbones belt buckle that General Mayhem had. I’m sure that’s to allow further reuse (does this mean we’ll be seeing Generals Flagg or Austin in a future FSS wave?), but I thought the belt buckle was a pretty striking piece and added to General Mayhem’s sinister vibe. The arms are shared with Retaliation Ultimate Cobra Commander and they stand in quite well for the original General Mayhem’s look. I do wish they were a little bulkier so they look more like a jacket, but they’re still a good choice here. I’m not wild about the left hand because its “the world is mine” grip does make it a little difficult for him to hold his accessories, but it can be done, so that means it’s better than the first 25th Anniversary Cobra Commander’s closed fist. Up top, General Mayhem also picks up a brand new head sculpt. I’ve talked about how great I think the folks over at Boss Fight Studios are, and this head shows off their talents very well. The original General Mayhem used Gnawgahyde’s head, so he had a permanent angry snarl. This General Mayhem loses that, and it’s probably for the best. You can see a bit of anger in the way his mouth is held, but it’s much more subdued and makes for a better looking figure. The sculpting for his hair is great and the mustache-sideburn combination looks amazing here. This head sculpt is very well done and I’m glad the GIJCC was willing to spend some tooling dollars here to make a great piece. The head sculpt really makes or breaks General Mayhem and the new piece really makes this figure. It will be interesting to see what it gets repurposed for (Ambush is the only figure I can think of with that particular facial hair configuration), but the nice thing is that without the snarl, it can be reused a bit more easily. Topping off the figure, General Mayhem also uses Retaliation Lift Ticket’s helmet. Considering I figured it was a bit of a long shot that the GIJCC would tool up a new helmet that looked like Long Range’s, the Lift Ticket helmet is a surprisingly decent stand-in. I looks pretty high tech but it’s also different enough that you’re not going to confuse him with Destro’s other helmeted, monocle-d general, Voltar.
General Mayhem was definitely one of the sharpest looking figures in the M.A.R.S. Invades con set, and this version of General Mayhem looks great in his vintage color scheme. General Mayhem’s uniform is black and red with gold trim. The Iron Grenadier colors work really well for General Mayhem. The gloves and boots are a relatively light gray and the gray is carried over to his shirt as well. The whole look hangs together very well. The paint work on his belt is a tad sloppy, but it’s not terrible. General Mayhem’s original logo is tampoed on his left arm just like back in the day. The paint work on his face is just a tad heavy and I think it mutes some of the details in it. The helmet is black with red for the monocle and gold for the mic. It’s a solid color scheme and it’s worked for the Iron Grenadiers since 1988 and looks just as good on General Mayhem in 2015. In fact, I think it looks slightly better than the original General Mayhem just because the red is a little deeper than the original version’s was.
General Mayhem didn’t come with a lot of accessories back in 2005 and he doesn’t have too many now, but what he has are great pieces and the GIJCC managed to reference his original gear very effectively. General Mayhem’s primary weapon is the same assault rifle that Rise of Cobra Reactive Armor Duke came with. It’s a strange-looking piece, but it actually works pretty well as a stand-in for the small weapon that General Mayhem came with back in the day. General Mayhem’s other weapon was the RPG launcher Hasbro had recently tooled up at the time. However, rather than go with the standard RPG launcher, the GIJCC decided to use the rocket launcher that came with the 30th Anniversary Viper and I think that’s a great call. It’s a bit more substantial of a piece, so it looks a little more in proportion with the larger, modern figures. Plus, it looks just a little more high tech and I like that. I’ve always thought the Iron Grenadiers figures should come with a bit fancier gear. After all, they’re part of Destro’s personal army. I’m sure M.A.R.S. doesn’t sell their fanciest tech to the highest bidder. I can see Destro as someone who holds back certain weapons from the market to equip the Iron Grenadiers with so if he ever needs to fight someone he’s previous supplied, he’s still got a few tricks up his sleeve. I’m still not sure what I think about a general carrying around a bazooka, but it does fit with the vintage General Mayhem look, so I’ll take it here as well. These two accessories are great and it’s nice that the GIJCC found a way to make nods to his original equipment while updating it a bit.
I’m a sucker for General Mayhem, so when he was announced as part of the Peril In Paradise con set, I knew this was another set I’d have to get. I’ve talked before about how the original General Mayhem was a white whale in my collection that I finally was able to get when I went to Joe Con in 2009. Considering how quickly modern con sets have been selling out, I didn’t want to run the risk of not getting him, so I jumped on a non-attending package the day the GIJCC put it up for sale. Yes, it took quite a bit longer to get the set than the GIJCC initially said it would, but sadly, I’m kind of getting used to that with GIJCC product. At least I know that the delay means I’m going to be getting some high quality product. In my opinion, the Peril In Paradise con set was an unusually strong set to begin with, so saying that General Mayhem is the best figure out of the set says a lot. I get the same great feeling I get from this version of General Mayhem that I got from the original when I got him seven years ago. It’s a great figure and it’s fun new character to discover. The GIJCC made a great call when they created this character back in 2005, and I’m happy to see him show up again in the modern line. Just because he wasn’t created by Hasbro doesn’t mean he’s not a great character who deserves a modern figure.