Toxic Zartan (2007)
For your consideration: Toxic Zartan. Before you hit the ‘Back’ button on your browser, for a moment, take Sigma 6 out of its place in GI Joe history as the line that supplanted an improving small scale line in 2005. Put the mostly god awful cartoon series out of your mind. Look at the figures purely from a toy perspective, without the baggage of what GI Joe had been in the past. Still with me? Good.
Why is Zartan toxic? Does it make sense for a master of disguise? Not really, but who cares? Just look at this figure. I really think that sometimes toy designers just decide to put everything cool they can think of in a design. What more can I say here, except purple, translucent green and Kung Fu Grip?
I often wonder why I’m fascinated by translucent plastic action figures. I think it goes back to the Micronauts line. Now there was the perfect marriage of kid attractors: clear plastic and chrome. Wow, if they had only been able to work a bit of chrome into Zartan here, it could have been sheer toy bliss.
Not that Zartan isn’t a fun figure in his own right. If a funky look isn’t enough, he has an action feature weapon. His prodigiously sized rifle squirts water. Hmm, shades of Eco Warriors? Now that I’m thinking about it, Eco Warriors could have been an interesting angle for Zartan back in the 90s.
In addition to the water squirting rifle, Zartan comes with some wicked looking blades. It’s interesting to note that Zartan in GI Joe lines of late has taken an interest in bladed weapons. First in Sigma 6, then later in the movie lines. It’s another departure from the norm, but one that I think works for the character, particularly considering the Marvel comic Zartan’s ties to the Arashikage sword master.