Wednesday, July 6, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra - Shana ''Scarlett'' O'Hara (Desert Ambush)

Produced by Hasbro | Released 2009

The GI Joe team's intelligence specialist, Shana '"Scarlett'' O'Hara is also an accomplished warrior. Descending from her zipline, she defends an embattled desert convoy. Her Reactive Impact Armor protects her from weapons fire as she battles with speed and skill.

Packaging Shots

Scarlett (Desert Ambush)
Also known as the Reactive Impact Armor Scarlett, this figure was the first Scarlett released as part of the Rise of Cobra toy-line (with the ''Base Camo'' Scarlett following later.) 

The figure sees Scarlett donning the Reactive Impact Armor, previously seen with such figures as Heavy Duty, Ripcord and Duke. Thankfully, though, Hasbro elected not to recycle parts from those male figures and - like yesterday's Agent Helix - the result is a figure that's definitely female.

The sculpt's silhouette is nicely done, with Scarlett appearing very womanly. Too many times we see female figures being produced that are simply skinny men with boobs stuck on. That's certainly not the case with women in the GI Joe range and it's certainly nice to see the designers putting in the effort to make the female characters feminine without being overtly sexualised. Yes, this Scarlett is definitely a female action hero body-type but she's also not simply a pair of walking breasts.

The detailing on the sculpt is a lot better than that seen on the Duke and Ripcord figures clad in similar armour. I always felt those figures looked skinny but here Scarlett doesn't appear to suffer from that same poor design. The armour includes an assortment of panels, plates and folds to engage the eye and comes with a good level of detail. It seems closer to the movie costume than the male versions for some reason and - whether you like the design or not - it's at least accurate.

Scarlett comes with a pre-attached belt and hip holster. This is a pretty cool accessory, with the holster not only holding one of her two pistols but also including a side-clip into which her other gear can be snapped. The belt breaks-up the shape nicely and is a practical accessory, so that's a definite plus.

Scarlett's face seems a hybrid of Rachel Nichols and previously-released Scarlett figures. Whilst it doesn't quite capture the on-screen look it's still a pretty good head sculpt and she's certainly not the worst-looking figure Hasbro has released in the line. The hair is nicely sculpted but - obviously - such long tresses bring their own problems when it comes to articulation (see below.)

Scarlett's articulation is very good. The figure's lack of bulk, folded costume pieces or other such inhibitory parts work to allow the figure to be posed in pretty much any stance you can imagine. The only exception is her neck joint, which is somewhat limited by her long hair. That aside though, all is good. 

Scarlett's paintwork isn't massively complex but what's here is good. There's a slight brushing of a lighter tone on the armour's plated sections which works well and is cleanly applied, plus detailing on her buckles and belt that look good. The facial app is fine, although her eyebrows are perhaps a little heavy and a darker tone of red or even brown would perhaps have offset this a little. Sadly her hair lacks any kind of multi-tone effects or apps, which is a shame, as it does look a little bit ''plastic blob'' without such detailing.

Scarlett comes with a pre-attached belt and pistol holster, two pistols and her trademark crossbow (all of which look good and fit nicely in her hands) and a zipline harness.

This harness is a pretty cool accessory, featuring two arm straps and a ''feed'' wheel. A cable is threaded through this wheel and is attached at one end to a grappling hook, with the other attached to the oversized grappling ''rocket'' that may then be fired from the included grapple launcher. It's a cool play thing but - as you can see - it's not an ideal display piece. Personally I'd have preferred a regular-sized grappling hook on either end.

Scarlett also includes her own stand.

Final Thoughts
I wasn't sure initially about this figure, given that the Duke and Ripcord Reactive Impact Armor figures weren't particularly good. Thankfully this Scarlett has less in common with those figures and more with the excellent Reactive Impact Heavy Duty.

The feminine shape of the figure is nicely done. As I mentioned before, Hasbro has got this right and made her a clearly female figure without making her overly sexual. Add to that the fact that there's a lot of detail in the sculpt and the result is a very nice-looking figure. She may not be as complex as some of the Pursuit of Cobra toys in terms of sculpting and gear but she's certainly one of the better-looking Rise of Cobra toys out there.

She's also a toy I could imagine being a lot of fun to play with. The launching grappling hook and zipline harness are neat little play accessories and I could imagine her being lowered over many a stairwell or through many a window. Small accessories aside, she's certainly robust and simple enough to be used in such adventures without worry of her being damaged.

What I really like is that Desert Ambush Scarlett has been designed with a bit of thought. She has enough accessories to make her fun to play with without being fragile or a display-piece only but at the same time there's enough going on to make her look good on the shelf. 

It's just a shame we never got to see Hasbro's Pursuit of Cobra take on Scarlett - or indeed any women - as given the excellent quality of this figure and yesterday's Agent Helix, I'm sure they would have been superb.

Production QualityA
Final ScoreA-

Image Gallery


  1. Am not too impressed with this figure it must be the face of it or the lack of colors.

  2. The face isn't perfect but it's a pretty cool figure. You know I'm not a fan of the overly-bright figures, so this one scores well with me on that front. :)


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