Monday, January 2, 2012

REVIEW: GI Joe 30th Anniversary - Renegades Scarlett

Produced by Hasbro | Released December 2011

SCARLETT is an undercover agent who believes that COBRA is not the nice organization it appears to be. She is smart and computer-savvy, trained in martial arts and an ace shot with her high-tech crossbow. Her sleuthing into the truth about COBRA causes the events that lead to the group becoming RENEGADES.

GI Joe 30th Anniversary Renegades Scarlett
It's been a while since Hasbro released any of the ladies of the GI Joe universe, so I was pleased to see that the 30th Anniversary/Renegades cross-over line would include perhaps the most famous GI Joe (GI Jane?), Scarlett. So how does Ms. O' Hara fare?

I'm not going to spend a great deal of time dwelling on the packaging. If you've seen on GI Joe pack (or indeed, pretty much any single carded figure) then you'll know what to expect. It's eye-catching enough and there's a pretty neat illustration of Scarlett on the back. Whilst the clip and collect card isn't up to the standards of the ''usual'' GI Joe cards, there's not much to really object to.

I must apologise for the heavy use of the flash on these images - I was having some lighting issues when I took these photos (but you're really not missing out on much, to be honest...)

Scarlett is fairly secure in the packaging and there are no issues with restraining trays twisting limbs or other packaging problems. It's the work of seconds to get her out of the pack and ready to play!

Sculpt And Design
One of the things I really like about the Renegades figures is that Hasbro hasn't adopted the same approach used by The Clone Wars figures, namely that each character is sculpted in an ''animated'' style, with angular lines and simplistic colouring. Instead, they've translated the dynamic style of the on-screen characters using a look that doesn't really jar when compared to a ''regular'' GI Joe. Or at least, that's been the approach so far. Scarlett, however, has been translated into 3D superbly but - as a result - a lot of the cartoon's angular design has been carried over into the figure. And I'm not really sire if that's a good thing. 

Without trying to sound sexist, the angular style used in the animated series worked fine for the male characters but I always thought it made the females look odd. Sure, Scarlett is a covert operative and soldier first and foremost, but every other rendition we've had of Scarlett has also portrayed her as a bit of a looker. Similarly, The Baroness has always had an aspect of the wicked, sexy seductress. Yet in the Renegades universe, Scarlett has a definite man-jaw and The Baroness looks like Harry Potter's emo kid brother.

Women are always difficult to portray well at this scale but Hasbro has made a number of advances over the last year or so and really upped their game (the Fantastic Four's Invisible Woman is phenomenally lifelike - expect a Review soon) but the problem here is that the source material didn't do Scarlett any favours. It really boils down to whether you liked the on-screen look of Scarlett in Renegades. If you did, you'll love what Hasbro has done here. If not, well be prepared for a bit of a shock. Personally I think this figure looks remarkably like Kenneth Williams, but there you go...

In terms of the body sculpt, Hasbro has done a reasonable job, again given the source material. Scarlett's Renegades costume was fairly plain and the figure reflects that. It's disappointing though to see how simplistic Scarlett's arms, for example, are. There's a minimal amount of sculpted wrinkle at the wrist and... that's it. Where there is an opportunity to add detail - such as on her flak jacket - the designers have managed to incorporate enough detail. But only just. 

On a more positive note, much of the figure's construction is unique so at least she stands-out on the shelf.

Thankfully things improve dramatically when it comes to Scarlett's articulation set-up. Although she lacks the tilt-able wrists seen by her line-mate Duke, she's still an incredibly flexible and very poseable figure.

One really cool addition over the usual set-up is the inclusion of tilt-able ankle joints. As you can see in the above pictures, this adds a lot of flexibility to the figure's posing options and I'm hoping to see more of this in future releases.

My Scarlett had no issues with her joints and was capable of holding any pose I set her in with ease.

Scarlett's colour scheme from the cartoon is captured nicely here. It's not going to wow you particularly and the fairly flat application would have benefited from a couple of washes or low-light passes, but it's acceptable enough.

My Scarlett's actual app is very cleanly done. It may not be particularly inspiring or complex, but at least it's been applied nicely!

Extras And Accessories
Compared to some of the other figures in this wave, Scarlett is pretty poorly equipped, coming with a stand, a two-piece crossbow (the transparent elastic band is not part of the mechanism but as anybody who's ever owned a Scarlett knows, her crossbows tend to fall apart) and a plasma pistol. And that's it.

Whilst this may seem like a rip-off - especially when you consider that the early prototypes of this figure included a lot more in the way of equipment - you could adopt the approach I have and realise that this is pretty much the standard Scarlett equipment roster, as seen with such figures as the 25th Anniversary Scarlett. It's also worth noting that Hasbro has invested a lot in the way of new body parts with this figure, so we can - almost - forgive them for not including quite as many accessories.


Final Thoughts
This is a tough one to call. There's not really much wrong with the Renegades rendition of Scarlett but at the same time there's really not much to recommend it - beyond the fact that she's the only female figure Hasbro has released for the line in over a year (unless you count con-exclusives.) As an integral part of the GI Joe team - and especially the Renegades version of it - I expected more. What's here is fine for what it is - a pretty literal translation of the on-screen character. But I do wish Hasbro could have added a few extras to just make her pop a little more. I'd have loved to see, for example, the inclusion of the longer jacket she wore during her ''undercover'' investigation of Cobra Industries. Or even the previously-promised sword rack.

As it stands, Scarlett is one of those oddities that's difficult to really find that much fault with yet at the same time has very little to really get excited about. It almost feels as if Hasbro has included her simply because they had to, rather than they wanted to and there's just a sense of her - and in turn, us - being short-changed here, simply as she's so bland.

The ankle joints are nice, though.

Sculpt and DesignB
Extras and Accessories B-
Final ScoreB

Image Gallery


  1. I'm still kind of mixed on it to be honest. I'm happy we got her but I just wish it had been a bit more interesting.

  2. Her face looks a lot better with a better paint job.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...