Red Spot (2003)
I miss the days of Joe vs. Cobra/Spy Troops/Valor vs. Venom. Say what you will about the articulation, designs and proportions, I loved the fact that Joe was back on toy shelves. The concept of offering Joe figures in two packs was a great value and a good concept, whether it was a Joe/Cobra combo or a Cobra troop builder pack. All in all, the period represented a fun new direction for Joe, while staying close to its roots.
Red Spot also represents one of my favorite aspects of the era: the new character. While the mainstay Joe characters were well represented in the line, Hasbro also introduced new Joes and new Cobra troops into the mix. Red Spot certainly isn’t the first Joe laser trooper, but his look is different enough to stand out from the classics like Flash and Sci-Fi.
There are proportion issues again, such as the long leg syndrome and teen- tiny hands that can barely hold a weapon. What works for me however is the overall look. There’s enough oddness to make me really take note, from the strange digital camo to the otherworldly helmet. It’s most certainly not a boring figure.
Naturally, one would expect a tech savvy character to be a geek, and Red Spot is a geek, to be sure. But he’s a geek with a difference, according to his file card. He has solid social skills and he’s a chess master as well as a black belt in aikido.
While the concept may not be new to the series, it’s always nice to get a figure thrown in the mix who isn’t a straight re-hash of an old design.