Monday, June 6, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe Jungle Assault Crazy Legs

Produced by Hasbro | Released May 2011

Crazy Legs is a classically trained organist. The Airborne Rangers, however, don't care how perfectly you can play Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor: they're only concerned with your willingness to jump out of a helicopter into a hot landing zone with nothing but a rifle and some grenades. Crazy Legs is, of course, Airborne Ranger qualified and has been cross-trained as a forward artillery observer.

Packaging Shots

Jungle Assault Crazy Legs
Crazy Legs is an unusual release, given that there have only been two previous Crazy Legs figures released (in 1987 and 88 as ''Crazylegs,'' trivia fans) but it's good to see the ranks widened to incorporate less well-known figures alongside the more common Dukes and Snake Eyeses. Es. It's also interesting to note that in the Marvel GI Joe comic continuity, Crazy Legs is dead...

Crazy Legs' sculpt is simplistic but very good for what it is. He's clad in a one-piece jumpsuit and parachute (a separate piece - more on that later) and Hasbro's designers have done a good job capturing the look of such a garment perfectly. The suit has a very lifelike baggy look to it, with the pants being especially loose-fitting. There's also a lot of detailing, with various pockets and pads augmenting the sculpt. 

The torso piece is especially detailed, with quilted padding sculpted into the jerkin and his wrap-over collar being visible at the neck. However, there is one oddity in the sculpt: a 2mm hole just above where his parachute harness sits. Presumably Hasbro thought the harness would cover this hole but it doesn't. As to its purpose, that remains a mystery. I wondered perhaps if one of his weapons (see Extras below) featured a compatible-sized peg that could fit into this port as a way to store his gear but that's not the case. All I can assume is that this is a hangover from the figure that previously used this torso piece and there was a secondary accessory/clothing piece that fitted here.

The figure comes with his (removable) parachute pre-attached. This piece is a pretty cool bit of design, overall and looks good without compromising the figure's articulation too much (which we'll come to in a minute.) There's a nice, ''baggy cloth'' look to the backpack and the harnesses are nicely detailed. 

The head sculpt is pretty good but - like General Hawk - looks nothing like the card art. The sculpt makes Crazy Legs look a lot younger than the artwork suggests, which is fine if you view either in isolation but it's a shame the sculptors and illustrators couldn't come-up with a common design. Anyway, Crazy Legs comes with a (removable) helmet and beneath it he's wearing a stocking cap, which features some nice ''weave'' patterning to the sculpt. The facial sculpt is good, if a little generic.

Articulation is good and the harness doesn't get in the way as much as you might expect. Although it's not possible to get him to stand with his feet together (thanks to the parachute), it's not really an issue and you can get some good poses out of Crazy Legs without removing it. His shoulders feel a little ratcheted but again, there are no issues posing him because of that.

Interestingly, he has two sets of holes in the bottom of his boots, both of which will fit the pegs on his stand. I found the heel ports were much tighter than the flat of the foot ones and when he's posed with the latter he can feel a little unsteady.

Paint is very nicely applied, with a colour scheme that pays tribute to the original Crazylegs but without descending into the TOO BRIGHT colours seen in some of the 25th Anniversary figures. The muted olive drab works well with the red (even if it doesn't really say ''Jungle Assault'') and the paint is very cleanly applied. I especially like the detailing on the inside leg and shoulder pads, where the red is trimmed with black piping. There's also some very neatly-applied white detailing on his black collar.

Facial detail is picked-out cleanly and I like the way the brown of his gloves matches that of his parachute. It's a very coordinated look that works well.

One thing that does seem lacking is detailing on his harness. There are some sculpted buckles that would really pop were they enhanced with some metallic/silver paint but sadly the harness has no such paintwork. My Crazy Legs also features a little bit of a miss-application on his left boot, resulting in a patch of olive drab where the pants and boot meet. It's a shame, as the rest of the app is very good.

Crazy Legs comes with his pre-attached harness (as discussed previously), helmet, goggles, a pistol, SMG and assault rifle. He also includes his own display stand which, interestingly, seems to give his name as ''Crazylegs'' not ''Crazy Legs.''

The helmet is a pretty good fit and looks OK for what it is (let's face it, open-faced helmets like this never look cool.) Atop this piece is a pair of removable goggles that can be positioned on the helmet's fore or slipped down over his eyes. What's nice is that the goggle lenses are picked-out with some paint detailing, which enhances their look dramatically.

Arms-wise, Crazy Legs comes with a pistol and assault rifle, both of which are fairly common pieces to the range but they do look good, as Hasbro wisely decided to cast them in black plastic. Both are excellent fits in his hands and look good when held.

In a nice callback to the original Crazylegs, the figure also includes an SMG with folding stock (this was the original figure's signature weapon.) This appears to be a unique weapon (I've never seen it before anyway) and it looks pretty good. Getting him to hold it can take a little work, especially with the stock extended but it's good to see Hasbro's designers thinking practically about the kind of weaponry a paratrooper would use.

Speaking of practicality though, Hasbro has dropped the ball when it comes to storage. Crazy Legs doesn't have a single holster, clip-in port or any other way to stash his equipment. OK, at a push you could feed the SMG or pistol through his harness but it looks impractical. That's a major drawback for me, especially given how much thought Hasbro puts into storage on other figures.

The other major oversight in my view is that Crazy Legs doesn't include a working parachute. That would have really pushed Crazy Legs over the edge and given a real wow factor to the toy. After all, the Captain America: The First Avenger line features a figure with a working 'chute, so it's not like Hasbro don't know how to do it...

Final Thoughts
It's difficult to judge Crazy Legs, because every time I look at him I see what he could have been, rather than what he is. The sculpt is fine (for what it is), the paint-job is good and his accessories are - again - fine (for what they are.) It's just he could have been so much more. He's crying out for a working parachute and - had Hasbro included such an accessory - he'd have been one of the must-haves of this Wave. As it stands, he's an OK-to-fair addition to the line but he's not really doing anything you haven't seen before and whilst everything is OK about his design (as it stands) he just doesn't pop or have anything to make him really leap out at you.

It's too bad I can't see past his wasted potential, as he's really not a bad figure. It's just with a little more thought and some better accessories (and somewhere to store them) he could have been an outstanding toy. Every kid at some point ends up making their figures ''parachute'' out of a window or over a stair well and it's utterly baffling that Hasbro didn't think of this and make Crazy Legs the GI Joe that could do it for real.

Production QualityB
Final ScoreB+

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