Wednesday, April 13, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe 25th Anniversary - Mercenary Wraith

Produced by Hasbro | Released 2008

MERCENARY WRAITH was known for years by the GI Joe team and the COBRA organization. Each group hoped that the skilled spy and fighter would choose to join them. In the end DESTRO was the only one who discovered what MERCENARY WRAITH truly lived for: chaos and destruction. MERCENARY WRAITH doesn't care about causes or sides, right or wrong; he cares only about the next mission or battle, the next chance to cause harm. Using stolen technology, he acquired a stealth assault suit that makes him virtually invisible, He is protected from weapons fire by impenetrable ceramic plates and is an expert marksman with the built-in forearm cannons. The only flaw in the suit is that an outline of him can be seen if he moves too fast, but by then he is so close to his target that you only get a quick, shadowy glimpse before MERCENARY WRAITH makes his move.

Packaging Shots

Mercenary Wraith
Mercenary Wraith - or Wraith as I'll call him from now on - comes from one of the last of the 25th Anniversary Waves and was released in two versions: the one we're looking at here and a very cool clear plastic variant.

The sculpt is pretty cool. What's nice is that the figure treads the line between realism and fantasy well. This isn't an iron-clad superhero - this is a guy wearing (albeit very advanced) armour over ''regular'' clothing and there's just enough realism here to keep the figure grounded. I like that.

The figure's sculpt features some small details such as pockets and harnesses and does a good job of conveying Wraith as being clad in armour (rather than simply wearing clothes) thanks to the extra, removable chest piece (with shoulder pads.) There's a bulkiness to the toy I like and much of the upper body is covered in angular plates and hard surfaces. I also like the way the figure has a kind of cobbled-together look to his suit, as if it's experimental rather than a standard-issue production suit.

Another cool touch is the visor which can be lifted to reveal Wraith's face. Is it just me, or does he look suspiciously like Tony Stark...?

This detail does not come without its price though, namely that the bulky armour and arm-mounted weapons (which are attached by cables to the upper arms) tend to restrict arm movement significantly. It's very difficult to get Wraith to level either of his forearm-mounted cannons with a straight arm and whilst there's some flexibility and play in the cables, you will quickly exhaust the number of arm poses you can employ.

The remainder of his joints are fine and he's quite poseable, which allows you to work around the inflexible arms quiet easily to get some great poses from him. It's just something you should be aware of.

Paint is nicely applied, on the whole, with the silver plastic of the armoured pieces featuring aqua-coloured panels that - aside from a minor chip on the right shoulder - are clean apps. His legs and feet feature darker silver/grey paneling that matches his belt and vambraces. Overall the colour work is good and cleanly applied, with his facial details being well done and the eyepieces on the visor having a nice two-tone blue ''glow'' effect that's especially good.

Wraith comes with a clip-on backpack (that fits well) and a bullpup assault rifle in the same dark brown plastic. Unfortunately, try as I might I couldn't find any way to get Wraith to hold this weapon. It's simply too long in the stock and that - combined with his restricted arm articulation - makes it impossible for him to use this accessory.

Wraith also comes with his own stand.

Final Thoughts
Mercenary Wraith is a very cool toy, with a great sculpt of a cool design. As I say, it's fantastical (after all, it's chameleon armour with wrist-mounted cannons) but has just enough of the ''prototype'' look about it to make it almost real. It's bulky and angular, not a sleek superhero suit and it's certainly more plausible than the Delta 6 Accelerator Suit. The opening visor is an unexpected bonus that just adds a little extra coolness to the figure.

The articulation suffers as a result of this look but you can work around the restricted shoulder and arm joints without to much effort. And yes, the included rifle is utterly useless, but given his suit features wrist-mounted weapons, I don't think it's too much of an issue, as I'd imagine 99% of people would be posing him using the cannons anyway.

Mercenary Wraith is a great addition to my GI Joe collection and I'm sure fans of the classic line will be equally as pleased with him, too.

Production QualityB
Final ScoreB+

Image Gallery


  1. Nice! Was he a find from one of the new stores you went to check out?

  2. Nope. I picked this guy up at Marshall's a couple of weeks ago. I'm hoping to hit the new spots this weekend...


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