Red Zone (2006)

The Steel Brigade has made select yet memorable appearances since the end of the Real American Hero line. Coming at the end of the new sculpt era, the Direct to Consumer Steel Brigade vs. The Plague set was a welcome addition of both new enemies and a modern take on the venerable faceless Joe grunts. Red Zone is the leader of the set and is portrayed as a bruiser almost at the level of Big Brawler.

The figure reflects his badness, giving us an urban operations guy in a sleeveless ripped shirt. Yeah, who needs sleeves, anyway? Most of this mold comes from the late Valor vs. Venom version of Gung Ho. It’s a well proportioned figure and even sports shoulders with hidden rivets and swivel wrists, improvements that continues to be used in Joe construction. The newly sculpted removable helmet recalls the original Steel Brigade while adding its own modern twist on the design. In fact, this design is close to what we’ve seen recently with the Steel Brigade Delta figure. The figure is probably most famously known for being based on a Joe fan who won a contest sponsored by FHM.

Paint apps are appropriately done in the usual SB color scheme, although I think a few more details could have been picked out of the mold, particularly the padding along the sides of the vest.

The figure also sports an awesome weapon in the form of a shotgun with folding stock. It’s even painted with brown detail on the pump–a very cool accessory.

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