Footloose (Collectors’ Club)
Oh, Kenny Loggins…“Footloose” is such a great song. It just puts a dumbass grin on my face the moment I hear the opening chords. It may be a cheesy wedding dance staple, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. Sorry, my bad…I’m not supposed to be talking about the song “Footloose.” I’m supposed to be talking about the Joe team’s second infantry man, Footloose. Footloose is one of those characters with an odd fan following. I don’t recall him showing up in the comic all that much, but his appearances on the cartoon really did a great job of capturing the burn out that Larry Hama made him in his filecard. A lot of times, there wasn’t much overlap between the Sunbow cartoon and Hama’s characterizations but Footloose managed to pull it off. That’s my guess as to why he’s got such a huge following. It makes sense that the Collectors’ Club made him their 2012 membership exclusive figure…especially after having created his head the year before for Claymore in the Special Missions Brazil II Con Set. While I don’t have a terribly strong connection to Footloose, I have to admit that the GIJCC did a bang up job on him and really did a great job at filling what was a hole in many people’s collections.
Footloose uses a great combination of parts, however, there is a little debate in my mind as to what parts he actually uses. YoJoe lists him as sharing his torso and upper arms with Rise of Cobra Sgt. Stone, but the Footloose parts seem a little thinner than that body. I presumed after adding both of them to my collection that Footloose shared the entirety his upper body with Kwinn. They definitely have the same lower arms, which is great since they have the good wrist articulation but they lack the really awkward bulbs that a few of the earlier Joes with added wrist articulation had. His legs are shared with another exclusive figure, SDCC Sgt. Slaughter. I really like these legs here. They are a great representation of a jungle trooper who tucked his BDU legs into his boots. I like seeing parts that I didn’t have a chance to get because they were associated with exclusive showing up later in the line. It really helps add some variety to my shelves if all the guys who tucked their BDUs into their boots don’t look exactly the same. Even though I question the origins of his upper body, the parts do come together really well and look very cohesive, which is something that could not be said for the GIJCC’s 2011 membership figure, Dial-Tone. Footloose also gets a nice set of webgear to add a little more flair to his torso and it’s a piece we haven’t seen used to death. Footloose shares his webgear with the 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon. That is a really great piece that does a pretty good job of looking like his original torso and it seems so fresh because it hasn’t been used a lot for whatever reason. Topping off the Footloose figure is an excellent head sculpt. While the GIJCC used it the year before for Claymore, I’m fine with that. Claymore and Footloose shared the same head back in the day, so it’s fine that they still do 20 plus years after they were originally released. Plus, it’s a really great sculpt. My only real beef is that he looks just a little too stern. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that he’s got a Tom Selleck vibe going, but at the same time, when I think of a guy like Footloose, I don’t think of him having the same stern stare that Selleck-Footloose has here. He should look kind of laid back. Footloose is a guy that is great at his job, but at first glance, you think he shouldn’t be. Honestly, I’d love it if I got a bit of a Big Lebowski vibe from his facial expression. I do have one other complaint on Footloose’s construction. Maybe it’s just my figure, but from day one, his hips made me think he should have been named “Hipsloose” instead of Footloose. They look kind of like they aren’t seated properly in the socket and it gives him a weird lean. When I was removing his backpack while I was reviewing him since I thought I tucked his machete in there, Footloose came back with the backpack. I know there aren’t a lot of modern Joes with backpacks, but I’ve never had any of the ones that do have that problem when I was removing their backpacks.
Footloose uses a lot of hard to find tooling, but his gear is pretty common. However, that doesn’t mean that the GIJCC made a bad call on his gear. The majority of his equipment comes from Pursuit of Cobra Jungle Duke, and that’s great. Jungle Duke came with a lot of great accessories. The assault rifle looks great in Footloose’s hands and just feels right. Footloose is an infantryman. He should have a pretty basic weapon. I think the Jungle Duke pistol was also probably one of my favorite small firearms from the line. It looked sleek and functional as opposed to bulky like so many of the other pistols in the line. Jungle Duke’s backpack fits great with Footloose’s specialty and I still like the fact that there are functional elastic straps on it. I do wish the GIJCC would have sent a few paint dollars over to the backpack just to bring out the details on it a bit more, but that’s not a terribly big deal. Footloose also has Jungle Duke’s flashlight, which fits great in the space for it in the backpack, as well as the machete. I do wish the machete had a dedicated scabbard, but it does fit decently between his back and the webgear. Given the choice, I’d rather have the webgear that looks like his original torso than the Jungle Duke webgear that doesn’t bear as strong a resemblance to his regular look. Filling out his weapons kit, Footloose also gets Bazooka’s rocket launcher since Footloose carried a LAW rocket back in the day. I like that attention to detail, but I’ve never been a huge fan of the Bazooka rocket launcher. The launcher looks great, but the rocket doesn’t fit very well inside it. I appreciate they went to the trouble of making it removable, but I’d appreciate it more if it was a better fit just so I don’t have to worry about it falling out at the drop of a hat. Footloose also gets his signature helmet with leaves on top. The detailing is great and thankfully, the leaves on top don’t look like a giant pot leaf this time around. I never saw the similarities, but I know a lot of Joe fans feel that his foliage on his helmet looked like pot, further enhancing his burn out/stoner reputation.
Footloose’s paintjob is deceptively simple, but it still works excellently. Most of the figure is molded in his olive drab BDU color, but the brown camouflage scheme on it looks really sharp. It really looks a lot like the original Footloose and the GIJCC made it look interesting without being too busy. The webgear gets a lot of painted details on its buckles and pouches. That’s kind of why I wish the backpack had gotten the same attention. The backpack doesn’t look like it belongs to this figure because its paint work is relatively underdetailed compared to the rest of the figure. The red four-leafed clover on his left arm looks very sharp. From what I can tell, the only military references I’ve found to it are from the 88th Infantry Division, Artillery Regiment from World War I. If that’s what it’s supposed to reference, I think that was a good call by Hasbro back in the day and I’m glad the GIJCC replicated it here. I really like seeing nods military history on Joes when appropriate. The green details on his jungle boots also add a nice air of realism to them. I wore a pair of jungle boots for many years as my primary shoes and the main body of the boot was olive drab canvas with some black leather for the toe cap. Again, I love attention to details like that. The helmet’s paint job is a little hit or miss, but Hasbro had just as difficult a time doing the lining on helmet netting when they did it for the Cobra Bazooka Trooper so I’m willing to give the GIJCC a pass on that problem. However, the brown for the leaves was applied kind of sloppily and there’s a bit of brown paint on the helmet itself which I’m pretty sure isn’t supposed to be there. I do wish Footloose’s hair was just a shade or two darker. He looks a little closer a redhead than a man with brown or sandy blonde hair. It’s not a deal breaker and I’m sure they did it to distance him a little more from Claymore who had rather dark brown or black hair but it still is just enough off-model that it draws my attention a little.
Footloose is a really great GIJCC membership exclusive figure. He has enough of a following (even from me even though the only version I was familiar with was my brother’s Slaughter’s Marauders one) that it was enough to entice people into the club but at the same time wasn’t such a crucial character that a collection would be incomplete without him. That’s where I get a little irritated with how Hasbro handles the SDCC exclusives in general. I’m quite certain that figures like a classic Jinx and Zarana would have sold very well at retail. However, two good characters were made as figures you couldn’t get unless you were lucky or willing to drop a lot of coin just to get them. While I’m happy to have Footloose, I’m also pretty sure my collection would have survived without him. However, I also know a lot of people of a different mindset and I think it’s a shame that the only way to get him was to join an exclusive club and essentially pay $40 for a single figure. I kind of miss the days when Joe product was more accessible to the general collecting public. Don’t get me wrong, some current product is still hard to get (cough, cough) Wave 3.5 (cough, cough) due to poor planning on Hasbro’s part, but at least there’s a chance at getting your hands on them.