It’s no secret that I love when the Joe brand creates new characters. Add in the fact that the new character in the Rise of Cobra Senior Ranking Officers Joes set was also in an Accelerator Suit, and I’m a sucker for it. There’s not really too much to Speed Metal, but his simplicity works for him and I like having a blank slate like him to play around with. I love the classic Joe characters, but it’s nice to get some fresh blood into the line every now and then. I know Speed Metal might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but he’s definitely a fun action figure and that’s all I can really ask for.
Speed Metal is a very simple figure. From the neck down, he uses the Accelerator Suit Ripcord body. The design of the Accelerator Suit is great. The legs are nicely armored and sell the idea that it’s the armor that helps accelerate the Joe inside of it. Most of the armor is just protective, but the leg armor has built in strength amplifiers so the Joes can run faster. The torso armor is also rather anatomical, with a large additional plate over the pectorals and plates over the ab muscles and the shoulder muscles. The arms have large, protective shoulder pads and armored gauntlets. The gauntlets aren’t mirror images of each other, but that’s fine. They still look great and it’s clear that whoever is inside an Accelerator Suit is going to be well protected. Speed Metal’s head is shared with 25th Anniversary Serpentor. While I didn’t think the head was a great fit for Serpentor, it actually doesn’t look too bad as Speed Metal. His stare looks a little sterner when peering out from behind the helmet slit and his relatively neutral expression leads me to think that Speed Metal is a bit older Joe who’s quite serious about his job. He’s not going to be whooping in joy while running around in the Accelerator Suit like Ripcord but rather sees it as a means to the end of completing his job. Since he comes off as a bit older and more experience, I kind of see Speed Metal as one of the Joes that was involved in the testing process for the Accelerator Suits. As I was typing this, it actually reminded me of how I’ve come to view Mirage in the intervening years, since he’s the only Mega Marine that has gotten a lot of re-releases. Mirage started out at the Mega Marine’s weapons expert, but since he’s been released so many times without the rest of his squad, I’ve kind of started seeing him as one of the Joe team’s experimental weapons experts—field testing all sorts of new gear to see if it can handle the rigors of being used by the Joe team. I see Speed Metal in a similar vein and since there’s no modern Mirage…yet…I kind of like seeing that role being filled by a new guy.
To help make Speed Metal a little more different, his color scheme is also a big change from the standard Accelerator Suit look. Instead of black and silver, Speed Metal is rocking a dark brown and gold look and it looks really sharp. I realize the dark brown is still rather dark, but this figure seems far less overwhelmingly dark than the other Accelerator Suit figures and the details seem to stand out a bit better. The gold armor looks nice and it actually kind of reinforces my idea of Speed Metal being a commander in an Accelerator Suit. I’ve always kind of seen the gold-headed Steel Brigade as a commander, and the gold armor reminds me of that so I see some parallels in rank. Speed Metal’s skin tone is also a little tanner than most Joe and I like that. Considering the movie Joes are an international team, it makes sense for there to be representatives from all sorts of countries and ethnic groups. Actually between the bald head, darker skin and the stern gaze, Speed Metal reminds me a bit of actor Faran Tahir (Raza in Iron Man and Adwin Kosan in Warehouse 13). I’m sure it was accidental, but I kind of like a movie figure having a head that reminds me of an actual actor, and one that I like to boot, who would bring a great take to a character like Speed Metal. I’ll admit, the look isn’t as strong without his helmet on, but he does have an impressively intense stare and that reminds me of just about any character I’ve seen Mr. Tahir play.
Unfortunately, Speed Metal shares more in common with Accelerator Suit Ripcord than just his body. He also lacks the built in weapons and I think that’s a shame. As such, Speed Metal’s gear isn’t that impressive. He’s got the standard Rise of Cobra FN2000. I’ve talked before about how much I like this gun, but when it’s being wielded by someone in an Accelerator Suit, it’s just a little underwhelming. It kind of feels like Iron Man forgot to put any weapons in his suit and just went, “Eh, this will work.” I vastly prefer the weapons gauntlets, but they didn’t come with Speed Metal and that is a bit of a bummer. His helmet is great, though I’ll admit, mine was apparently damaged at the factory or mismolded because you can see that the bottom doesn’t attach right. I’ve tried to fix it multiple times, but it never stays fixed. That’s an unfortunate strike against this figure since I love having the Accelerator Suit figures in their helmets most of the time.
Speed Metal is a fun new character and putting him in an Accelerator Suit is even better. Considering he was part of a store exclusive three pack of repaints, it’s hard to ask for much more. There aren’t a lot of new Joe characters getting created so I tend to latch on to them when they come out. Speed Metal may not be perfect in his execution, but the fact that I get to have a little more input on his personality because he’s such a blank slate offsets his weak gear. Add in the fact that the Accelerator Suit figures just kind of scream “play with me” and I think he’s a good character and a great action figure.