Sgt. Hacker (2003)
By Past Nastification
Computer nerds. Gotta have ‘em.
Sgt. Hacker is a figure that was well done for the time, but isn’t memorable. The shortened chest/back is the only poorly proportioned area, and it’s not horrible. The figure is much better than many of the other figures from the New Sculpt era.
The uniform is a light grey jumpsuit with electric blue shoulder padding, plus a mountain-climbing harness. It’s not too far off from what an updated Mainframe uniform might have looked like. I don’t have a problem with the harness, as Sgt. Hacker is perhaps the feisty computer nerd who does infiltration operations.
As Rob pointed out in his review of the figure years ago, it’s lacking in portable computing gear. No techno-backpack, no laptop, no tower. But the molded-on gear is pretty much “1982 Scarlett loaded” with no less than seven pieces of equipment/tools. This includes a knife and a folding saw (best guess) on the chest, two techno-gizmos on the upper arms, a back-of-the-hand techno-gizmo, and an oversized watch (which looks like it might be more than just a watch), and some kind of data device (complete with USB cord!) on the thigh. And about 10 Liefeldian pouches throughout the uniform.
That said, a computer or backpack would have been a better fit for the character than the included Firefly disguise pieces and grappling hook/line. And the Firefly rifle had an awful sonic tab. Remember those horrible things?
The figure has a good headsculpt. It’s very random-person-on-the-street. It’s not cartoony or ruggedly handsome. There’s even a hint of neck fat. This could be the guy who fixes your next sandwich or delivers a package to your house. There’s even a passing resemblance to the actor Jason Segel, which is hopefully unintentional, or someone at Hasbro is very creepy and lonely. This is also a figure that had the head released in molded flesh colored plastic, but was also released with the flesh painted onto the plastic. I prefer the paint, but most people prefer the plastic. So we both win with Sgt. Hacker.
The card art also showed a bespectacled Sgt. Hacker. The figure is molded without any glasses. This is a shame. There are few Joes wearing glasses, and aside from the Baroness, it’s vague as to who is wearing corrective lenses and who is wearing sunglasses. I’ve mentally placed Doc, Lifeline, and Pathfinder into the corrective lenses category. The Dreadnoks, Wild Bill, Gristle, and Dogfight are sporting shades. Short-Fuze, the original Joe four eyes, didn’t even get his glasses until the comic pack figure with a tiny head (which were sadly painted as sunglasses). At any rate, keeping glasses off of Sgt. Hacker was a missed opportunity to sprinkle some realism into the ranks.
Sgt. Hacker is an odd figure. It’s both overgeared (sculpted stuff) and undergeared (loose equipment). Despite the high amount of detailing and a reasonable design, the figure is just bland. But bland is okay, if you just need a figure to sit at one of the computer chairs of the 1983 headquarters playset.