Crimson Guard Desert Infantry (2008)
When the Extreme Conditions sets were released, I waited quite a while before pulling the trigger on a purchase. At the time, I was in full-on completist mode, buying every variant and store exclusive set available. By the time the first movie hit, I was much more choosy about what I did and didn’t buy. That’s a good thing, as the Rise of Cobra generated a ton of store exclusives and multi-packs.
While I really like some of the odd trooper combos that were generated as part of the desert and arctic sets, the straight repaints of the Crimson Guard weren’t initially a hit with me. Now that a little time has passed, and I’m looking at some of my collection with fresh eyes, I find that some of my opinions are changing. The figure doesn’t seem to be quite the useless repaint as I once believed.
Sure, the presence of elite troops like this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, particularly from the standpoint of the Crimson Guard’s original purpose. But considering the elite nature of the force, I wonder if their place in the squad serves some sort of command role, or at least a way for Cobra Commander to keep his serpentine hands in all aspects of his forces. After all, we’ve seen the siegies in other sub-groups as well, from Python Patrol to its own shadow regiment.
From a color point of view, the figure reminds me of the tan repaints in the GI Joe team’s early years. Now that I’m thinking of it, we should have gotten a desert set of Joes too. I’ve always wanted a few more team members to keep Grunt and Clutch company. And as a final oh-by-the-way: it looks like the Fred model has also been modified for the desert, with sandy brown hair instead of straight blonde. Now that’s thinking ahead.