Night Fox (2013)

I’ve become a Night Fox fan. Night Who? He’s a recent arrival on the scene, and thanks to the lack of truly detailed file cards or a presence in any media, he’s a bit of a blank slate. His original figure, a driver from the Pursuit of Cobra line, immediately became a favorite of mine among the modern driver figures, thanks to its multiple accessories. Can you believe that a less articulated second version of the figure would inspire me to be even more excited about a character?

I think my interest in Night Fox boils down to his look. The first figure, though a combination of existing parts, had a mysterious kind of feel to it, bringing to mind how I felt about the original commando Snake Eyes figure when I was ten years old. Being a masked man with just basic background information conjures up all sorts of ideas, besides the fact that the mask also makes him look like a no-nonsense keister-kicker. This version’s masked, helmeted and goggled head just does something for me. It’s a supremely cool head sculpt. Then again, I may just be predisposed to liking this figure in spite of its articulation because the positions of its arms remind me of my old Fisher Price Adventure People figures.

This version wears a uniform akin to the recent GI Joe Trooper mold, with its unbloused pants and pocketed sleeves. Though this figure is only articulated at five points, the sculpting is as detailed as anything in the modern lines. I suppose that fact also makes the lack of usual poseability hurt just a little more. This could have been an incredible figure, right out of the box. As it stands, he’s disappointingly stiff. However, there is hope to salvage it, using just a little bit of ingenuity.

Fellow fan of odd Joes and site contributor JD also inspired me toward customizing the figure after his AWE Striker and Ninja Combat Cruiser field reports last year. Knowing that the figure had a removable vest and the usual ball joint head set my thoughts to making my own more articulated Night Fox. I’ve gone the LBC route for a start, and used a Cobra Shock Trooper body to give Night Fox a lot more ability to move around. The color match isn’t quite right, and there are Cobra sigils on the arms, but it’s only a start, and you get the idea. A little modification had to be done to a tab located inside the vest, which sits in a weird slot on the chest. Were they thinking that the vest would slide around? Very strange.

The Retaliation driver issue stinks, to be sure. But there are some solid designs among them, even though they’re not up to the usual GI Joe articulation specs. Thankfully, modern construction allows for almost endless and easy customization, and all you need do is pop off a head here and there, find the right body parts, and some of the drivers can be fixed.



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