Red Torches (2010)
Aside from O-ring figures, the one thing I’ve been missing in recent convention exclusive sets: new army builders. I know the club’s propentsity for throwing in multiple new troops in a con set probably spoke more toward the expense of including six distinct molds vs. six copies of one mold than a desire to provide collectors with new troop types, but I still miss them all the same. Some of those con troops, like the Iron Anvils, Skull Squad and Night Stalkers are favorites of mine.
The Red Torches, as part of the last o-ring con set, were a nice mix of an unsung mold and a justification for a modern flamethrower trooper. While the Eco Warriors concept gets its share of flak, the molds themselves weren’t bad, as evidenced here by the use of Eco Warriors Flint’s body. The hazmat style suit lends itself well to the function of a flamethrower. And speaking of flamethrowers, the file card finally addresses the use of the abandoned weapon in modern times. Not only do the Red Torches use a more controlled substance in their weapon, but the flaming destruction they produce can also generate fear in enemy forces. The figure also included the familiar Barbecue extinguisher gun, only this time it’s dispensing a mind-altering toxin. Both are great ideas that perfectly fit the fearsome Red Shadows.
The head sculpt, looking similar to the Built to Rule Shadow Viper, is very nice, and makes for quite an intimidating appearance. Overall, I’d say the Torches fit in well among the forces of Baron Ironblood and the Red Shadows troopers. Maybe in this year’s con set we’ll see a new Cobra troop builder fighting against the Oktober Guard. Then again, they could also have the Guard vacationing in India, where they run afoul of modern style interpretations of Funskool figures. I can dream, can’t I?