Crazylegs (Pursuit of Cobra)
Ah, phantom waves…the bane of every collector’s existence. It always seems like some really good stuff gets shunted off into final, hard-to-find waves of toy lines. Be it the WarriorsThree from Thor, Kwinn and company from Retaliation or the great figures in the last wave of Pursuit of Cobra, it’s always maddening when Hasbro brings the heat in one of the last waves of a line only to be unable to find it on store shelves. Thankfully, I have an awesome brother who feeds my Joe habit from time to time and ran down the Pursuit of Cobra phantom wave and netted me modern versions of some pretty important nostalgic favorites, including Crazy Legs.
I always really liked Crazy Legs as a kid. Red was my favorite color growing up, but there weren’t a lot of Joes with red details. I think that’s always why I defaulted a bit more towards Cobra. However, the red-colored Joe paratrooper really caught my attention. I’m very glad that Crazy Legs had enough of a following to get a modern update, albeit rather late in the line. The original Crazy Legs had a unique, quilted look for his vest and shoulders. The design team managed to accomplish a reference to this through a rather effective combination of reused parts. His torso comes from the Paine Brothers version of Snake Eyes while his arms are a combination of Lift Ticket’s and Snow Job’s. The textures between Lift Ticket and Snake Eyes mesh remarkably well and look enough like Crazy Legs’ original quilted looked to pass muster for me. I even find myself liking the use of Snow Job’s lower arms. I like the look of a paratrooper with some extra pouches on his forearms. I don’t know why, but it just seems like something that would be useful in their line of work. However, I don’t think the reuse of arctic parts works nearly as well for his legs. Crazy Legs uses the 25th Anniversary Snow Serpent legs and I think they’re just too bulky. I’m also not a huge fan of the way his boots work. The Snow Serpent’s boots are designed for snow shoes to go on them. When his foot has a snow shoe on it, it’s fine on the figure stand, but without the snow shoe, it’s a bit more fiddly. I find it annoying when figures have trouble standing on their own figure stand. As a kid, I liked the stands because it would let the figures hold more extreme poses, but this version of Crazy Legs has trouble even maintaining a neutral stance because of the funky Snow Serpent boots. His upper body is rather sleek, while his lower body seems a bit unnecessarily bulky. I understand that you’d want some insulation when you’re jumping out of a plane from the heights Crazy Legs would, but Hasbro branded him as a Jungle Assault figure. To me, that says you’d want your gear to reflect your on the ground mission needs rather than for the brief time you’re falling through the cold skies at high speed to reach your objective. Honestly, until I had the figure in hand, I assumed Crazy Legs was an Arctic Threat figure since he used the Snow Serpent legs. I think Hasbro dropped the ball on the legs a bit here and it does unfortunately negatively impact the overall look of the figure. If they’d wanted legs with pouches on the thighs, the Pursuit of Cobra Shock Trooper has a similar aesthetic but I think would have meshed a little better with the upper body. Over his torso, Crazy Legs wears a newly-sculpted parachute rig. The parachute also helps disguise the parts reuse. My one constant complaint about the Paine Brothers Snake Eyes torso when it gets reused for anything other than that figure is the hole in its chest. However, the chest strap on the parachute harness does a great job of covering that up so it doesn’t bother me nearly as much. The parachute rig is nicely detailed and really reminds me a lot of Crazy Legs’ original parachute, only this one works a bit better since the
figure it’s intended to go on is a bit larger and toy-making technology has improved a lot since 1987. Crazy Legs is all about surprisingly-inventive parts reuse and his head is no exception. Crazy Legs’ head is new but not really. It’s the first time it’s been a figures primary head. Crazy Legs shares his head with Pursuit of Cobra Zartan…or more accurately the Sandstorm disguise. I don’t have a figure on my shelf that uses this head as its primary display head so to me it’s like Crazy Legs got a brand new head sculpt. While I do miss the smile that Crazy Legs had (another thing I think appealed to me—the guy looked like he loved his job of jumping out of planes), it’s still a nice way to get a newish head on a figure without Hasbro actually having to pay to accomplish that. I can see Crazy Legs in it, so it’s good enough for me. However, his red helmet probably helps sell the look a bit better than the Sandstorm head alone would. While I think the helmet is a tad flimsy, they did a great job at making it look like Crazy Legs’ old helmet. I really appreciate that Hasbro went as far as making a new set of goggles that can slide down over his face. They could have just reused the goggles from Pursuit of Cobra Dusty, but they went that extra mile to make round goggles like Crazy Legs had on his helmet back in the day, and I’m glad they did. It really helps cement the look.
Of course to me, Crazy Legs just wouldn’t be Crazy Legs if he’s not red and gray and Hasbro didn’t disappoint me on that front. His paint job is deceptively simple, but they accomplished it very well. The base figure is gray but the way the figure is designed it looks like he’s wearing a red padded vest over your standard gray jumpsuit. It looks really sharp and I do like the added details like painting his wrist pouches red and giving him red stripes on the
insides of his legs. The tan gloves also really appeal to me. The color reminds me of a pair of medium-duty leather work gloves I have. They provide enough protection from things that you don’t tear up your hands while working with things like barbed wire (or dare I say, parachute rigging) but they’re not so bulky you can’t move your fingers in tight spaces like the trigger guard of a gun. It’s the attention to details on colors like that that make me smile. I do wish that the buckles on his parachute harness would have gotten some attention from the paint team like they did on Retaliation Airborne, but it still looks fine without those details. The silver for his goggles’ lenses is well applied and given the choice, I’d rather have silver for the goggles than silver for all the buckles.
Most of Crazy Legs’ gear is on the figure, but he didn’t exactly get shorted when it comes to weapons. Starting off with the weakest piece, he comes with the submachine gun that Firefly had. It’s not my favorite piece because the folding stock is so flimsy and it’s modeled after a very old (read: dated) real world firearm, but there is a method to Hasbro’s madness. The original Crazy Legs had a rifle with a folding stock. I think Firefly’s submachine gun is the only modern piece with that feature, so I do appreciate the spiritual nod give to the original Crazy Legs, even if the weapon in question is not my favorite. His second weapon is the modified M-16 that came with the Rise of Cobra PIT Commando. This is a great gun. The detailing is impressive, from the sidemounted flashlight to the banded together clips. All those features worked will for the PIT Commando and I can see a paratrooper modifying his weapon exactly the same way. Finally, he also has a pistol as a sidearm. Once again, Hasbro grabs one of my favorite modern pistols. I’m sure someone came with it before Pursuit of Cobra Zartan did, but that was my first exposure to this pistol and I’ve loved it ever since. It looks appropriately modern but it’s still pretty clear it’s your basic pistol with an underbarrel laser sight rather than a fancy prototype weapon like the very cool pistols Agent Helix had. I can see this being a standard service sidearm across the Joe team so it makes sense that it shows up in the hands of a specialist who’s not known for funky weapons. Everything about Crazy Legs’ weapons is about functionality. The two more modern weapons look good paired together. I do wish there was a way Crazy Legs could have carried the submachine gun on his person. If they had done that, I would have been more okay with its inclusion. As it stands, it’s a poorly designed piece and it really doesn’t fit with Crazy Legs all that well, but it does work in another reference to the original figure so I’m okay with it being here.
Looking back on it, I’ve never quite understood why I thought Crazy Legs was so cool. However, apparently, I must have been in good company because there were enough people pestering Hasbro to make a modern version of him that they did. I’m glad they made him and I’m glad that they managed to make such a faithful recreation of his original look. Crazy Legs was the first of many paratroopers in my Joe collection. I was too young to have gotten Airborne back in the day, so Crazy Legs was my first jumper and I was hooked on the idea ever since. Now between Airborne, Retaliation Airborne, Lift Ticket, Retaliation Lift Ticket and Crazy Legs, I have a pretty impressive group of paratroopers. I’m now thinking when I get my Tomahawk into a better display spot, I might switch out the current squad for my squad of jumpers. That could look pretty cool, now that I think of it.