Scoop (FSS 5.0)
The Joe team has always been a bit ahead of its time. While Americans weren’t familiar with the concept of embedded journalists until the second Gulf War, the Joe team has had someone on the team whose job is to record and broadcast information about the fight against Cobra since the late 80s in the form of Scoop. Scoop isn’t a figure that should really have that much fan interest, but for whatever reason, he really caught on with the Joe fans over the years. I became more interested in him after watching the Operation: Dragonfire mini-series for the first time ever as an adult because at least there, he started out as a Cobra spy on the Joe team who had a change of heart. That was something not in his filecard, but it was a bit of an interesting wrinkle to the character that doesn’t get a lot of play. Regardless of how Scoop is seen in your collection, I was pleased to see the GIJCC decided to give Scoop a modern figure, though he does have a couple big problems that the GIJCC really should have fixed during the production process.
Scoop’s vintage look was actually pretty simple. He was wearing a jumpsuit with a thick vest over it and a helmet on his head. That’s essentially what the modern version has as well. The legs are from Retaliation Ultimate Firefly, which means they’re essentially Pursuit of Cobra Desert Battle Snake Eyes II legs, but they’ve got the new knees without the holes for removable kneepads. The straps for the holster and pouch actually reference the vintage figure’s legs fairly accurately and that’s a nice touch. The torso is from Retaliation Firefly, and while that’s a slightly strange choice, the high collar is a decent throwback to the vintage Scoop figure’s high collared vest. Over the Firefly torso, Scoop wears the vest that came with Resolute Beachhead. The look is a bit more military than Scoop traditionally had, but the large pouches are appropriate and can carry all the things that he had strapped to his chest back in the day in them. Personally, my favorite touch is that instead of the knife sheath, the GIJCC plugged in the Pursuit of Cobra Shock Trooper radio into the vest. That’s a nice touch and it’s something I think fits with Scoop’s character quite well. After all, in the field, he’s going to want to keep his hands free as much as possible, so a radio up on his shoulder means he can communicate with the Joes (or record his thoughts about the battle) without needing to have something else in his hands. The arms are from 30th Anniversary Lifeline. They’re fairly simple, but like the vintage figure, they’ve got tight cuffs and again, it’s an effective callback. However, personally, I would have rather seen the Retaliation G.I. Joe Trooper arms used here because they had a molded detail in the wrist that looked like a communicator and that’s something I remember from KansasBrother’s vintage Scoop figure a lot more than I do the tight cuffs. Topping off the figure, Scoop uses the same head that the GIJCC tooled up for Project: Downfall Airborne. While it still looks a little more like Airborne than it does Scoop, it’s still an effective reuse, though personally, I would have preferred Scoop with a removable helmet like he had back in the day. Overall, this is a well-designed figure with several nice callbacks to the vintage figure.
Unfortunately, Scoop has a pretty glaring problem and that’s in his color scheme. The vintage Scoop figure wore yellow and green. This version is wearing orange and green. From a vintage accuracy standpoint this is a big problem. Scoop has never worn orange and green, so I really don’t know what the GIJCC was thinking here. However, after having the figure for a while, I will say that the orange and green still look pretty good together. Yes, it’s not vintage accurate, but it’s still a decent color scheme. The jumpsuit is orange, with black on the boots, straps and cuffs, while the vest is a dark green with some black pouches and black on the straps. Up top, the helmet is green with a red visor. Like with Airborne, though, it seems like the paint for his exposed chin is just a bit too thickly applied because the details seem a bit muted. The paint work on his visor is also a tad fuzzy and there’s a bit of red paint that dips down onto his face underneath the visor. That’s a bit surprising since the GIJCC’s paint team usually does things so crisply. I’m a bit of two minds about Scoop’s paint job. The orange and green look is completely wrong, but at the same time, it’s a nice look, so I don’t really dislike it as much as I originally did. It’s still a big problem and I don’t know how the GIJCC dropped the ball so badly, here, but in a happy accident, the figure at least doesn’t look horrible.
For someone whose job is to document the battle, Scoop has a pretty solid gear load. Scoop gets a knife and a pistol to fill the sheath and holster on his right leg. If that’s all Scoop had for weapons, that would bring him in line with the vintage figure. However, the GIJCC also gave him the same great modern assault rifle we first saw with Pursuit of Cobra Jungle Assault Duke. It’s a bit of a surprise, but I like that Scoop has a few more weapons than he used to. It helps make him seem a bit more like a soldier whose job happens to be documenting the battle rather than a journalist tagging along with the Joe team. However, all the extra weapons do seem a little at odds with the filecard, which casts Scoop in a non-combat role, and one that not all the Joes were a fan of until he proved himself in the field by getting a fallen soldier off the battlefield and to a medevac site. In terms of gear to reflect his actual specialty, Scoop has a handheld microphone and a video camera. The camera came from the Best of the 80s DVD set while the microphone was originally released with SDCC Sgt. Slaughter and it’s a smart call to reuse both these obscure pieces here. My only problem is that, unlike the vintage camera, there’s not a good way for Scoop to hold the camera up on his shoulder. Yes, he can carry it by the top handle, which is a way some cameramen carry and use their camera, but with a camera like this, I always think of it being up on the cameraman’s shoulder. I never saw the Best of the 80s DVD pack in person, but I think there was a stand for this camera, and I do wish the GIJCC had used that if there is actually a stand for it. The camera and microphone are both great pieces and are a nice callback to Scoop’s vintage gear, however, I’m also glad the GIJCC gave Scoop a little more weaponry so he’s not underarmed in the field.
It seems like every year, there’s one controversial figure in the Figure Subscription Service, and I think this time it’s Scoop. Yes, objectively speaking the color scheme is completely wrong and the GIJCC should have fixed it. However, it’s still a decent look and while they said they were going to try and fix things, that apparently didn’t materialize and the original mockup showed him in orange as well. I don’t necessarily like it, but that is the figure the GIJCC showed me when I put my money down for the set, so I knew what I was getting into. I’d still prefer a yellow Scoop, but the orange and green still work shockingly well together, so I’m not going to declare a figure a total failure just because the color scheme isn’t vintage accurate. The figure’s design and construction is solid and works well for Scoop and the gear is wonderful. Yes, the GIJCC dropped the ball pretty badly by making him orange, but just because a color scheme is less-than-ideal doesn’t make Scoop a bad figure.