Way back in the age of no Internet or cell phones, I was in a Toys R Us with my Pop-Pop one day looking to see something cool and stumbled across this new figure line called GI Joe: A Real American Hero. I had a healthy collection of Megos as this time and was moving over to Kenner’s Star Wars line so this Joe line was a good complement. There were a lot of intriguing options, but for my first ever GI Joe, I decided to grab Scarlett. So began the start of my major action figure obsession.
I thought it was fitting to kick off my (hopefully) long foray into Hasbro’s GI Joe Classified series with the Joe that got it all started for me — Scarlett. Spoiler: the Classified Series is going to be in the running for my favorite line of the year. And I’m probably going to yammer on a bit more than normal with this review.
Packaging: Hasbro is keeping a certain level of consistency with their various lines, which is great for MOC collectors. The setup is closest to the Power Rangers with the featured image on the right and a wide window to showcase the figure and accessories.
I wonder if Hasbro deliberately wanted to avoid too great a military tie-in by using blue as the base package color instead of green?
On the left side of the packaging there’s some sort of breakdown of Scarlett’s skills — she is a master at lock picking (eat your heart out Jill Valentine!), she’s skilled with the crossbow, karate and possibly is great at keeping information secret? I like the idea of the side packaging, but a key breaking them down would be great.
The right side shows more Phil Noto artwork, with four glimpses of Scarlett in action. On the rear it’s a big image of the first wave’s Joes and Destro as well as a slew of vehicles and Cobra officers.
I think it’s odd that Gung-Ho is the lone Joe who missed the wave 1 cut. Otherwise this lineup is very similar to Hasbro’s first foray with the 25th anniversary line. I’m excited about seeing more of these new Joe and Cobra designs.
Likeness: Well that’s the trick, isn’t it? Hasbro just kinda randomly threw this line out there without a comic book, movie, TV show or video game to serve as the source material. I suppose the general concept is this is a 2020 interpretation of some designs of the iconic characters.
Yes, the design is busy, but this new look is still easily identifiable as Scarlett. Of the various Scarlett designs, it bares the most resemblance to the 2002 version with a few more random colors thrown in for good measure. Just in case you thought this was the wildest design of Scarlett we’ve seen so far. I love the texture in the legs and the seams and panels in the shirt.
The armored pieces look slim and lightweight so as not to hinder Scarlett’s movement for the most part. I know some collectors don’t like how busy the design is, but Hasbro’s sculptors put a lot of effort into the sculpt — check out the knuckles and panels on the gloves; the panels on the armor chest piece, the shin guards and ankles. Scarlett’s signature shuriken are included on the left gauntlet.
I like the flow of her hair and the ponytail. It’s wild thinking how the original Scarlett just had short hair. I also dig Scarlett’s expression as it can be read a number of ways that she’s amused a squad of Vipers think they’ve got the drop on her or trying to keep a straight face while Clutch says something obnoxious.
Paint: This is probably the most controversial aspect of the figure as there is a lot of paint apps here. Scarlett’s most common color scheme is orange and purple. I think if Hasbro just stuck to that with maybe another accent color there wouldn’t be so much discussion.
Scarlett has orange, purple, gold, blue, grey, silver and slate grey. That’s a lot of colors. It’s busy, but I don’t hate it either. My only change would have been ditching the grey pants in favor of purple revisit the body suit visual of the original figure.
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Despite all these paint apps, the figure is clean enough on initial glance. Once you start looking closer you’ll see more of the inconsistencies. There’s a lot of stray marks on the gloves and boots.
I’d like for her hair to be a touch darker red instead of orange, but I like the blonde highlights. The freckles are a nice touch.
Scale: Scarlett is shorter than the other Joes, which seems in keeping with the comics and cartoon. I wouldn’t want her towering over Snake Eyes so this is a good thing.
She’s about the same size as a Marvel Legend figure so if you want to a SHIELD/Joe crossover you’re all set.
Articulation: Here’s the really cool part. Scarlett utilizes a new articulation scheme that’s a few notches above the Marvel Legend line and an improvement on the Power Rangers Lightning Collection figure.
This is kind of exactly what I was hoping for with the idea of 6” Joe figures — a superposable line capable of re-enacting some of my favorite scenes from the comics and cartoons.
Scarlett has a ton of useful articulation including a moveable neck socket, mid-torso, waist and drop down hips. The hips are very helpful for kicking poses.
The left shoulder pad limits some articulation and it just needed a little more clearance to be able to work just right.
Normal my biggest gripe is a consistent one from Hasbro — the lack of double elbow joints. Thanks to the butterfly joints, Scarlett doesn’t suffer too much without them besides not being able to hit tighter crossbow poses. An articulated ponytail would have been nice too.
I’m a bit concerned about the joint integrity and whether they’ll get floppy over time.
- shoulders (butterfly)
- wrist hinge
- hips (ball-jointed)
- drop down hips
- knees (double-jointed)
Accessories: Scarlett has a nice array of accessories.
I do wish the shuriken were removable. She has two longer knives that fit into her quiver. A smaller knife fits in her front strap scabbard. They stay in place pretty securely so no danger of them falling out.
Matt K, my buddy on The Fwoosh had the great idea of switching the quiver so the arrows face up instead of down. It takes a little fidgeting to get back in place but once you do the strap stays in place tighter and just looks better.
The mechanics seem a little weird, but it looks good. You’ll probably just want to superglue the two sections together as the top piece will pop off with minimal movement.
Worth It? I got Scarlett for $20. In another grandpa’s tale I’ll tell you I used to get Joes for $3.14. That seems a long time ago, but given the completely original sculpt and new articulation model the standard retail price in this scale is just about right although I would not complain if Hasbro implemented a Build-A-Figure program with this line too.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Design choices and paint slop aside this is pretty much what I was hoping for when Hasbro revealed the Classified Series. A slightly darker skin tone and a few more guns would have put her over the top, but this is a great start to the line for me.
Where to Get It? Honestly, I’ve got no idea. Maybe Target? It seems like a lot of stores actually haven’t gotten them in as of yet and they’re so popular they’ve sold out online a lot of places too. You can pre-order her now from Entertainment Earth and Amazon.