Red Star (2008)

If I had to point to a single impressive element of the 25th anniversary series, it would be the detailed accessories. The small GI Joe scale certainly has a history of amazingly intricate weapons, backpacks and other gear, and the revamped figures continued the tradition. As the modern figures have evolved, Hasbro refined its approach to the layered style of removable gear. Red Star impresses, coming early in the modern era and incorporating so many unique accessory elements.

Red Star’s upper body is mostly made up of the infamous 2007 Duke, a figure widely (and rightly) derided for its awful arms. The cut forearms were such an ugly choice that each appearance of the offensive appendage is cause for one’s bile to rise. Other than that, the figure is pretty cool. The head in particular is full of personality. The unique pack, web gear, hat and rifle are all home runs in terms of detail. Replace the Duke bits and Red Star could have been a perfect figure for its time.

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