Ralph “Steeler” Pulaski (2015)
It’s time to move on to the biggest set of this year’s San Diego Comic Con exclusives, and the one I was most excited to get. With a green Joe-themed HISS tank, two oft-forgotten original ’82 team members and a boldly repainted Skystriker, it looked to be a fantastic set. Over the next several days, we’ll be breaking it down into its component parts. Looking at things in this way has allowed me to focus in a bit more than usual with these “battle in a box” offerings, and give every piece its day.
Steeler had seemingly been a tough figure to get a decent rendition in the modern style. His two 25th Anniversary figures were less than spectacular, but I did like the 80s- future styled boots that replaced the typical lace-ups seen previously in 2007. Since then, Steeler has most recently appeared in a JoeCon convention set as part of the Night Force team, albeit with different legs from this release. The helmet and visor are a nice fit, and look much less cartoonish than the headgear supplied with the last o-ring comic pack version of the character. Oddly enough, his teammate Grunt is equipped with the sort of holster web gear that’s familiar to the 80s team’s tanker. Steeler’s vest appeared with Chuckles in the Joe Con Night Force set.
Once again, the attention to paint details is impressive. Steeler’s best has its buckles picked out in silver, and his mic screen is highlighted as well. I’m reminded of the extra attention than the JoeCon figures often receive, and seeing that sort of detail on more..um, affordable toys is nice.
I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but somebody is really in love with the first Retaliation Roadblock legs, as they’re here yet again. Since the top of the body is of a larger stature, the legs match up a bit better this time around. Despite their lack of ankle and double joint knee articulation, the parts look nicely generic and work with the rest of the uniform. With both Steeler and the Grunt in this set outfitted in fairly nondescript green BDUs, I am reminded of their ’82-83 originals. The color blocking is a nice modern touch, and adds a bit more interest to a uniform that could have turned out drab. Actually, the emerald green is anything but. I’m really liking it, and it fits in with the current round of 50th figures’ more vibrant color schemes. If I had to make up the original thirteen Joes, I’d like to see them all in this kind of getup. In fact, the pair’s look inspired me to decorate the Chimera with 082 as its call letters.
Tomorrow we’ll see how Grunt fared in his latest incarnation.