Sgt. Manleh

By KansasBrawler

This figure is a rather unusual addition to my collection. I’ve never been that big on international variants or really much of what the Collectors’ Club does beyond the con set until recently. Both of these categories of figures have, in my mind, things that are cool, but usually just too expensive for me to track down on the secondary market. I have opted into some FSS now, but that was only because I made sure to save up for a few months in anticipation of it. However, in 2009, I was actually able to attend Joe Con and it was a blast. Mercifully for my wallet, most of the souvenir sets really didn’t appeal to me. There was one set that surprised me and I knew I had to add it into my collection: International JUMP Jet Pack two-pack. I thought the design for Starduster was good and it was helped by the fact that the blue the GIJCC used was better than the baby blue Hasbro did when recreating him and I was intrigued by the other character, a man named Sgt. Manleh. While Starduster wasn’t good enough to make it to the display shelf, Sgt. Manleh kept hanging around and is a nice reminder of my great Joe Con experience in Kansas City. I’ll admit, the way it’s worked out has kind of surprised me. I really got the set because I’ve always kind of been fascinated with Starduster, but Sgt. Manleh has appealed to me a lot more than I thought he would so he’s the one that is still on display. I wasn’t expecting that when I bought this set in 2009.

Sgt. ManlehSgt. Manleh’s original figure was part of the mythical “Argen Seven” (even though that term isn’t really accurate because there are more than seven of them, it’s kind of stuck around with these guys) and was just a repainted and race-changed Stalker. Manleh was originally a paratrooper in a (for the time) cutting edge blue camouflage color scheme to better hide him while falling through the sky. I appreciate that the GIJCC decided to update his specialty. I really like the idea of him being a jet pack trooper rather than a paratrooper since it’s a bit more interesting and fanciful. It then makes sense to include him in a JUMP trooper set and, let’s be fair, he’s really not dressed that well for a paratrooper. The uniform is much more basic than what an actual paratrooper would need to wear in the field. In terms of parts used, Sgt. Manleh doesn’t deviate too far from his old-school roots. His torso and legs come from 25th Anniversary Snake Eyes and true to form, his head is a Caucasianed version of Stalker. They did change up his arms and used the ones from 25th Anniversary Airborne. I appreciate that they gave him arms that are a little better insulated since he’ll be working in higher altitudes that would be a bit chilly. Unfortunately, Airborne’s cocked wrists still leave me cold. They don’t look quite as bad on Sgt. Manleh than they do on other figures, but it’s still a little annoying. I hate preposed wrists in general and these poses aren’t good for much of anything. Topping off the body, he’s also wearing Snake Eyes’ webgear. Again, it’s a good throwback to Sgt. Manleh’s original look and it looks great here.

Sgt. ManlehWhat really appealed to me about the International JUMP Jet Pack set were the colors. I thought the blue camouflage was quite striking. Not only did it look like the original Manleh (which I didn’t know at the time), but it also had a United Nations soldier vibe, which is great because that’s kind of what the idea behind the pairing was. Starduster was sent down to Argentina to train the Heroic Commandos in JUMP tactics because Cobra has gotten their hands on them as well. While I’ve never had much use for the international figures, I now kind of see them as more of a UN-sanctioned team that the Joes are. I’ve always seen Joes as specifically tasked with fighting Cobra. However, the international teams I’ve seen as just that. They’re teams from all over the world, working under one mandate to deal with unusual military situations. It might not always be Cobra, but they’re still around, providing support when necessary. Again, your mileage on this idea may vary, but that’s how I use Sgt. Manleh in my Joeverse. The blue camo is sharp and I think the yellow for his webgear really stands out nicely against the blue figure. Being a GIJCC figure, the paint apps are solid. While I have problems with the way the GIJCC handles some aspects of their business, I can’t fault their paint team. Even though I wasn’t thrilled with the Argen Seven souvenir sets, they still looked sharp and Sgt. Manleh is no exception. All the straps on his legs get black paint for detailing and the buckles and grenade on his webgear get attention as well. The Argentinian flag on Sgt. Manleh’s left arm is quite crisp and looks very sharp, however I do wish they could have done something to make it stand out a little better. The blue bars blend in just a little too well with his base color. Putting the flag inside a circle (maybe the same color as his webgear) would have helped it stand out a little better. Even the JUMP jet pack gets some attention from the paint team. The hoses on top and the nozzles are painted silver and the pack itself also gets the blue and white bullseye logo that is used in some capacity with the Argentine Air Force. These are very nice details and I’m glad the GIJCC went to the effort to find a good, real-world logo associated with the Argentine Air Force to put on Sgt. Manleh’s JUMP pack.

Sgt. ManlehFinally, we move on the Sgt. Manleh’s accessories. First and foremost, you must love the JUMP jet pack if you bought this set. I’ve always been fascinated by jet packs and there’s something very cool and retro about the JUMP’s design. I’m glad to see it used here again. Hasbro did a great job updating this piece for the modern line and while it looks good in both green and blue, I think it looks incredible in black. The JUMP jet pack fits very nicely on Sgt. Manleh and the control fits on his hand despite Airborne’s funky wrists. Sgt. Manleh carries the 25th Anniversary Para-Viper’s SMG, which I’m already on record as saying is a really great piece. He also carries a pistol and a knife to fill the holster and sheath. I’m very glad the GIJCC filled both of these and it helps Sgt. Manleh look a little better equipped for battle. The final accessory is an alternate stand. The first time the GIJCC used the JUMP jet packs, they repurposed a Star Wars flame stand for Jango Fett’s jetpack for use with the JUMP. I’m very happy to say that this trend continued with the International JUMP Jet Pack two pack. This was a great idea back and it’s a great idea now. My only real beef is that the footprint for the flame base is a bit bigger than the figure stand so I can’t display him on the flame base because I don’t have the space to do it on my shelves. The base is translucent and I’m a sucker for translucent accessories. The JUMP doesn’t fit very snugly on the pegs at the top of the flames, but it’s tight enough. Sgt. Manleh looks really sharp lifting off from the ground with flames around him.

Sgt. ManlehMy favorite part of Joe Con was not knowing what the souvenirs were actually going to be. While some disappointed (like the Crimson Command Chopper—seriously, you’re doing an internationally themed Joe Con set and you don’t tap Action Force for Stalker and the SAS Panther but you take a R.H.I.N.O. copter which doesn’t work great for modern era figures and turn it red and use the name of one of the cooler SpyTroops era Cobra vehicles), I thought the International JUMP Jet Pack two-pack was brilliant. It was reasonably priced for a souvenir set, though I can’t remember for sure how much I paid for it back in 2009 and it was a fun pairing. I was able to add two very cool Joes to square off against the Crimson Strike Team while not buying figures I don’t have that much attachment to, like the three members of the Argen Seven in the souvenir three-pack. I’ll admit, I got it because of the JUMP jet packs, but I fell in love with both Starduster and Sgt. Manleh. Starduster has a good existing backstory that I wasn’t familiar with and Sgt. Manleh was a great blank slate for me to mess around with. While I’m sure the pair violated my “never pay more than $30 for a Joe” rule, I also think that Joe Con is one of those special occasions where I can suspend some of my action figuring buying rules and I’m glad I did. I think my collection is more diverse by inadvertently expanding into international figures.

Sgt. Manleh


  • Looks like a good figure. I wish we got more obscure characters in basic lines instead of just Duke and snake eyes all the time.

    • James From Miami

      And don’t forget about Cobra Commander, and Destro, also having a new figure every single year. And many other versions of all of those characters. I actually wish that Hasbro had done reissues of all of the foreign o-ring figures that were exclusives in other countries back in the 1980’s, and give swivel arms to those figures that originally were done with the 1982 straight arms. And then instead of having them sold only at conventions for a lot of money, have all of those figures, either sold at all stores, or only at Toys R Us, as affordable exclusives. I would have picked up all of those o-ring reissues, specially the foreign Tiger Force figures. And it’s not as if the Hasbro folks could not have made at least some of them, or most of them, because they did have most of the molds that were used to make the original figures.

      • Its sad an infuriating when you look at Yojoes figure archives of recent years. The figures are usually just Duke, Snake eyes, Storm shadow and Cobra commander with a few other revamped now over used characters. What made the 82-94 line so great was its variety

  • I’m assuming the name is a play on the word manly. Not too bad a figure. The blue camo’s strange, but then again, I’m a huge fan of the Joe team that has everyone wearing tiger stripes.

  • James From Miami

    The design of this figure’s face reminds of someone, some actor most likely. I’m thinking of Robert Downy Jr. in Tropic Thunder. I wonder if I could use the head of this figure for an o-ring custom.

  • Nice figure. I wish Hasbro cared about the brand.

  • I think Hasbro’s lackluster efforts in recent years is becuase the company is run by accountants. With toys being more expensive to produce and with fewer kids buying them, they have to cut courners. G.i.joe is now the adventures of Duke and every transformers line is padded out with dozens of wretched bees. The only transformers line in the past 8 or 9 years to not revolve around Bumblebee is Combiner wars and it reuses all the moulds 4 or 5 times. Star wars is doing gangbusters at the moment but i’ve noticed recent episode 7 waves is relying on repacked Rebels figures.

  • Manleh’s original filecard:

    part of the squad amazing feats, Manley, leader of the group, is the world champion of Military skydiving, it holds the record for height and falls on fixed & moving targets (1,000 pointes obtained over 1,000 possible points, amazing!
    It specializes pair parachute jumps among the most impenetrable darkness and in the most difficult places (gorges, forests, ect.)

    It leaves out the fact that the’s decked out in the national blue of Argentina. That aspect of his character should have been explored.

    I would have loved to have seen characters like these done in swivel arm, vintage versions. Had Joe dealers been able to do exclusives in the 2000’s, it’s likely we would have gotten more variation in the characters and seen more foreign characters. But, since those rights were exclusive, that type of thing couldn’t happen and we got Duke after Viper after Alley Viper after Big Ben instead.

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