Short-Fuze (2004)

The Toys R Us exclusive Night Force multipack was an odd duck, particularly in comparison to its 80s predecessor. Re-imagined as a squad clad in darkly patterned uniforms, it was a much more cohesive looking group than the original. It was nice however to see the set appear as an exclusive at the same retailer where it originated.Short-Fuze (2004)

Remember when the Joe team’s mortar soldier carried a machine gun? Me neither, but that’s the story of some of the packs from this era. The weapons load out was often hit or miss, or even WTF. Why no mortar this time around, when other figures of the time (like comic pack Short-Fuze and Iron Grenadier) came with the weapon? Who knows. Since I’ve got a few bins of new sculpt era figures, I’m sure I can spare one for Mr. Friestadt. On the positive side, at least the unofficial reinvention of the Short-Fuze as Downtown in 1989 finally came full circle. His helmet mold must have been long gone, which is a shame, because it’s a really unique piece of headgear.

The shirt patterning tampo is really strange on this figure. The cross-hatch stops at the chest straps. Even stranger, the paint is also applied to the shoulder rivets. I’ve seen solid colored painted rivets before, I can’t recall seeing something like this outside of this set. Who knew it was even possible?

Short-Fuze (2004)


  • I’d use this as Downtown, since the guy had a such a distinctive face. Short-Fuze never got one until the comic pack version, and even after that, no modern era figure has ever given him a distinctive noggin.

  • I understand quite a lot of these multipack figures made little sense [such as that repaint of Stretcher as Dusty]. This is a decent figure. I just have trouble seeing it as Shortfuse

  • Once outfitted with Downtown gear, this is a pretty good figure. Missing the helmet is kind of tough, though.

    In general, the Night Force set was pretty good from a figure perspective. But, the sucky accessories sunk it. Plus, it was on the shelves against the Cobra Infantry set so collectors pretty much dropped it from their radar.

    I still wish we had gotten the Night Force Tracker in lieu of Action Man, though.

  • I may even have this figure, but I never noticed the lack of paint on the “vest”! Even though the GIJoe logo on the trousers bugs me, I like this set. And this figure in particular is a nice, muted color version of it’s source. Tunnel Rat, on the other hand, wasn’t necessary (his v1 is already pretty “Night Force”, then there’s his official NF figure…).

    • The GIJoe logo on figures bug me a little overall. I think I would rather see some army/navy/airforce/marine/coast guard made-up logos. Stuff like that that individualizes the fictional character the figure should be.

  • This Night Force set saw a fair amount of set up time when I got it. I was really interested as it had darker colors, but as I look back at the packaging now, there were very few accessories I cared for.

    Now, as the set goes, I loved that “collectors edition” Doubleblast/ Roadblock with the original gear compliment, but in this Night Force set, it just didn’t work on that figure. I can’t remember what did with that one now.

    Yes, I agree with the above comments that the Tracker should have been in this set. Or at least a new head that would have made him more “Action man” looking apart from Tracker.

    But for Short Fuse here, it was really so close. I wanted it to be Short Fuse, but I also had Downtown, and that just wasn’t working for me. (Much like Doubleblast and Roadblock figures next to each other.)

    I tried sticking the Downtown name to this Short Fuse figure, too, and using it as such. The coloring, as not perfect as it is, was more appealing to me than the more orange of actual Downtown.

    Ultimately, though, I just chose the 1989 Downtown over this 2004 Short fuse as the figure to keep as the modern new one had such a flimsy joint structure, with loose knees, soft oring, and bobble head.

    The 1989 figure, for some reason was able to better bring out Downtown’s muscle structure under the uniform. Downtown has some fairly broad shoulders, and the more solid plastic just made the original figure feel so much better to me.

    It’s too bad that helmet is orange.

  • I think they should’ve stuck to classic Night Force colors…the plaid shirts and the odd camo pants were too busy…and here in “Short Fuze’s” case, they didn’t do the whole shirt, so it looks odd.

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