In an era where movie tie-ins are vital to mass market toy success, I appreciate Hasbro’s efforts to keep the G.I. Joe line going. We don’t get as many additions to the 3 ¾ line as I’d like, but I’m always excited whenever a new slew of releases hits stores. Of the new sets, I was most looking forward to the Heavy Duty and Stiletto two-pack Heavy Conflict.
Heavy Duty has been a longtime staple of the team as the team’s other heavy machine gun expert. Stiletto is a new character that won a fan poll to get made by Hasbro. Stiletto’s got a great back story as Mercer’s bodyguard who followed him when he defected from Cobra.
Packaging: There’s nothing too fancy about the packaging. The embossed star design is a nice nod to one of the trademark elements of the 80s series. The grey black backdrop is a tad boring and the back package offers a generic write-up with drawings of both characters.
You’ll have to open the figure to read the file cards, which I think is a mistake as that could help sell potential customers on buying the set. And Hasbro probably ought to consider some way to make the set name stand out more. It gets lost among the various languages.
Likeness: I really like the look of these two. Heavy Duty has a great head sculpt that actually does an outstanding job incorporating African-American features. The T-shirt has a good amount of wrinkles and his pants feature some really nice detailing from the holster straps to the kneepads. Heavy Duty has to be fairly strong to lift the heavy machine gun and his arms reflect that with some visible veins.
The odd thing with Heavy Duty though is he doesn’t resemble the character we see on the file cards. He doesn’t have a cut off T-shirt and he’s wearing a vest instead of an ammo belt strapped over his chest. The vest is removable though so you can get a bit close to the card art look. Despite the discrepancies, I’m a fan of how the figure turned out.
Stiletto matches up a little better to the card art. She uses the Helix body and has a ton of detail work from the top portion of her shirt to the banded waist section. The lower half kicks off with a nicely intricate belt, pockets, kneepads and riding boots. Stiletto really stands out among the other Joe females.
Scale: Heavy Duty is appropriately larger than most Joes. He’s about the same size as Gung-Ho, who was hardly a shrimp. I appreciate Hasbro’s creativity with the body parts to scale guys up bigger so everyone is not the same size.
Stiletto is at the same range of most of the other Joe females. No problem on that front. The Joes don’t need a lot of Amazons on the squad.
Paint: This is the only category with a few minor gripes. Heavy Duty has some slop in a few places with the green fading onto his face and the tan bleeding onto his bare skin.
On the plus side, the eyes are sharply painted as are his tattoos to indicate his Cobra kills. The camo on the pants is well done as is the faint beard he’s sporting.
Stiletto’s paints are cleaner throughout her outfit. I just wish Hasbro could have made the scar a bit more distinct so it’s obvious that was not a mistake.
Articulation: The 3 ¾” line remains my starting point for well articulated figures no matter the scale. While some Joes had some problems early on, both Heavy Duty and Stiletto feature great articulation and are able to hit a variety of poses.
Stiletto reuses the Helix body. That body featured great articulation. Stiletto suffers a bit from the scarf riding up on her neck. Heavy Duty has very solid articulation as well, though with the machine guns, I wish he had a bicep swivel. They’ve got:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
- knee (double-jointed)
Accessories: Hasbro might still be reluctant to bump this line to the 6” scale, but they make good on the accessory front. Heavy Duty comes with the traditional 50 Browning Caliber with ammo belt and stand typically paired with Roadblock. Additionally, he’s got a pistol and knife that fit into his holsters. Lastly, he’s got a submachine gun, which likely comes in handy in tight spots.
The one area where Heavy Duty falters is a continuing legacy issue with the updated line: he can barely hold onto either machine gun. Posing him with them requires a delicate balancing act. I miss the days when the Joes could tightly hold onto their weapons.
Fitting her more silent, but deadly motif, Stiletto comes with two swords that fit solidly into the scabbard that plugs into her back. She also comes with two knives, a pistol, a sniper rifle and a submachine gun. Unlike Heavy Duty she can’t attach most of her weapons.
Worth it? I grabbed the set on sale at Toys R Us for $9.98, putting them nearly at the same price as when I started buying Joes in the 80s. Definitely a great price in 2016 for two very strong figures with a ton of accessories.
Rating: 9 out of 10
The set isn’t perfect, but Hasbro did a really nice job on these two. Heavy Conflict is definitely one of the must-gets sets of this wave.
Where to get it? You can get the set from Toys R Us or simply grab them from online retailers like Big Bad Toy Store.