Pythona (GI Joe Collectors Club)
Everything the GIJCC did during 2016 pointed to the fact that they were sure they weren’t going to be in business next year. People had been asking for a Sky Patrol con set for years and the membership figure, Pythona, was a similarly constantly-requested figure. If they weren’t going to be back, they did a great job of clearing out most people’s wish lists. I’m glad the GIJCC is still going to be around for a couple years, but honestly, with as good as Pythona is, it might be a little hard for them to top this membership figure. Big Lob looks pretty good, but he doesn’t excite me quite as much as Pythona does. This is somebody that truthfully only diehard Joe fans would want, but that’s really what the GIJCC should be doing and they did a great job with her.
Hasbro doesn’t have a very extensive parts library for female figures, so Pythona gets quite a few new parts, but the GIJCC still reuses some pieces smartly to help round her out. The lower legs come from Retaliation Jinx while the upper legs come from 30th Anniversary Renegades Scarlett. They work well together to create the smooth look she had in the cartoon and that’s all I’m looking for here. The lower part of the torso comes from Rise of Cobra Reactive Armor Scarlett while her upper torso is all new. The reactive armor parts work decently, though the anatomical armored detailing is a little off-model. The new chest is just a smooth female chest, and that’s something we haven’t seen before in the line, though I’m sure Hasbro and/or the GIJCC will be getting some mileage out of it in the next few years. The arms come from 30th Anniversary Renegades Scarlett but she does get new hands. The hands are great pieces. Since Pythona really didn’t have any guns or other accessories to carry, the GIJCC went with some new hands to reflect the fact that in the movie her main method of attacking people was slashing at them with her dangerous, clawed hands. It was a smart move and the new hands really do add a lot to the figure. Up top, Pythona’s also rocking new head sculpt. This is an amazing piece and the Four Horsemen did a great job of translating the GIJCC’s initial design into plastic form. The look is severe yet attractive and everything is nicely in proportion. In a new move for a Joe figure, Pythona has two different options for hair. In the movie, she had an impressively long top knot hairdo, yet she somehow managed to stuff it under her hooded cloak. To facilitate that, the hair is actually removable, so if you want her to look like she did while infiltrating the Terrordrome at the beginning of the movie, it’s just a simple matter of popping out the hair and raising her hood. This figure comes together very well and man, can she move. This is arguably one of the most poseable modern Joe figures and considering she’s a dangerous infiltrator, that really helps her out a lot. Rounding out the figure, Pythona also has a removable cloak. This is an excellent piece. Usually, I’m not a fan of soft goods in something this scale, but the GIJCC managed to make something that’s light enough that it doesn’t get in the way, yet stout enough that it still works as a cloak. The cloak can either be worn simply draped over her shoulders or you can put her arms through the slits like I have. Much like the hair, she wore the cloak both ways in the movie and I’m impressed at how well the GIJCC managed to recreate both looks with just one piece. Of course, the most important part of her cloak is the hood, and when the hood is up, it looks perfectly natural. That’s not something you can say about soft goods hooded cloaks in this scale. This figure is very impressive and I’m glad the GIJCC managed to make a great Pythona figure before closing up shop.
The GIJCC paint team has always done excellent work on its figures, and Pythona is no exception. While her paint work might not be super complicated, precision counts on a figure like this, and the GIJCC did not disappoint. The base of her bodysuit is a purplish-pink and she has some darker red spots and swirls on top of it. Though she may be one color short compared to the movie, it’s still enough to get the idea across. The spots are cleanly applied and honestly, if you’re not wild about the look, the cloak cover ups a lot of the body so you don’t see much of it. The paint work on her head is excellent, with the pink facial tattoos and red eye makeup. My only real issue is with her skintone. The images from the movie show Pythona with a slight greenish tint to her skin. It helps make her look a little more inhuman and I kind of like that. However, the figure opts for an obviously Caucasian skintone and that hurts her just a little in my opinion. Pythona isn’t supposed to be human and I wish her skin color reflected that just a
I think part of the reason Hasbro never made a Pythona action figure back in the day is that she really didn’t have much in the way of accessories that could make her interesting. Most of her fighting was done with her talons, so there wasn’t a lot Hasbro or the GIJCC could tap for accessories. The GIJCC did include the tentacle pack that was included with 25th Anniversary Nemesis Immortal. I actually kind of like seeing it here, though it does further my theory that the tentacle pack has always been a weapon rather than something that Nemesis Immortal would wear. Pythona can throw the tentacles at a guard to wrap them up and incapacitate them if she doesn’t feel like killing them outright. Beyond that, Pythona doesn’t have anything else, though really, that all she needs. The figure is way more important than the accessories in her case.
Hands down, Pythona is the best GIJCC membership figure I have in my collection. The overall design is very well executed and while the paint work may not be completely on model with the cartoon, it’s good enough to pass muster. Pythona is a figure that’s really only going to appeal to the die-hard Joe fans and that’s why it’s great the GIJCC covered her. As much as I love the FSS and membership figures, there’s been a lot of stuff that the GIJCC has done lately that Hasbro proper should have done. I’m still a firm believer that exclusives should be something that have a decent amount of fan appeal but don’t leave people’s collections incomplete if they can’t get them. The recent membership figures have been great, but characters like Cross Country and Frostbite really do leave holes in collections. It’s great that the GIJCC filled those holes, but at the same time, should it have been up to them to do it in a fashion that isn’t nearly as accessible to most Joe fans? Pythona walks the line of a smart exclusive perfectly. She has fan appeal but truthfully only we die-hard Joe fans that are part of the GIJCC really care enough about her to want her. Pythona probably wouldn’t sell well at retail, not because girl figures don’t sell (they do) but because most people don’t remember her from the movie and would have no idea who the character is. The GIJCC really did a bang up job with what they thought was going to be their last membership exclusive figure. As happy as I am that the GIJCC is going to be around until 2018, the 2016 membership figures and con sets are tough acts to follow.