Monday, February 20, 2012

REVIEW: GI Joe 30th Anniversary Seymour ''Sci-Fi'' Fine

Produced by Hasbro | Released December 2011

Sci-Fi is a laser trooper who is a master of precision and patience. A laser weapon requires someone who can hold his position for an extended time. Sci-Fi is perfect for the job because he's a slow-moving, easy-going guy, and an experienced marksman. He can keep perfectly still as the laser burns through enemy weapon systems in a continuous-burst beam.

30th Anniversary Sci-Fi
Sci-Fi was released as one of the last of the GI Joe 30th Anniversary figures. So like every other figure released in the last couple of months, he's been a tough one to track down (I eventually ordered him online.) Was he worth all the hunting and effort? Read on and find out...


Sci-Fi uses the standard GI Joe packaging. There's really not much else to say here that hasn't already been said, but if you've never seen the 30th Anniversary packaging before - and given their scarcity recently, that's quite likely - the above images should give you an idea of what to expect.

Sculpt and Design
I'm a big GI Joe fan. I'm also a fan of my sci-fi and shooty pew-pew space adventures. So I should be absolutely blown-away by Sci-Fi then, right? Eh...

The basic sculpt is fine for what it is, but the problem is that the basic sculpt is, well, basic. Whilst Hasbro has done a fine job of translating the character design into a modern Joe figure, it's just the original design wasn't really that great. And unlike Lifeline - who makes up for his plain looks with some cool pouches, weapon storage and accessories - Sci-Fi can be pretty much summed-up as ''a figure with a helmet, gun and a backpack.''

OK, so there's a little more to it than that but in essence that's what you get here. And whilst it's all done in a perfectly fine way, there's just something disappointing about Sci-Fi. Considering how unusual his role and look are, he should be better than this. But there's just nothing here to really get fired-up about.

Although the design isn't particularly inspiring, the execution is solid enough. There's some nice detail on his folded clothing, I like the harness/belt buckle details and the armoured/mechanised plates look good. But overall there's not really anything here that really engages the eye. There are no surprises or neat touches and that's disappointing.

The head sculpt is fine - again, for what it is. I doubt many people will display Sci-Fi without his helmet, though, as the hood/balaclava looks a little geeky.

Sci-Fi's articulation is pretty solid, overall. The figure's joints are nicely manufactured on the whole and the figure features the standard range of GI Joe movement.

Unfortunately Sci-Fi has some pretty serious issues holding his weapon, which seriously impact his poseability. For starters, the weapon features a pretty long power-cable/flex, which slots into the base of the rifle and then into the backpack. Whilst this is a nice accessory it can inhibit movement somewhat. Worse though, his hands don't seem to be designed in a way that make it possible for him to grip the weapon. Both wrists are so thickly padded that the rifle stock tends to get in the way when you try to get the gun into his hands and the actual hands themselves don't seem to want to hold the weapon. It's not a case of the hands being too ''open'' either - they're simply too shallow to really hold the weapon and no amount of squeezing or hot-to-cold water bending is going to fix that.

Thankfully on saving grace is Sci-Fi's paintwork. This is a pretty good adaptation of the original figure and the cartoon character. The colouring is accurate to the original and the app is very clean - although whether the former is a good thing depends on your view of the more cartoonish-looking Joes and their place among the more lifelike modern figures such as those found in the Pursuit of Cobra line...

Extras and Accessories
Sci-Fi comes with his backpack, power cable, rifle and two helmets.

The helmets are almost identical, except for one minor detail - the visor. If you prefer the original character look from the cartoon, you can use the visor half-open version. But if you want a more modern look, you can go with the blast visor down look. Either way, you'll be pleased with these helmets, as both fit well, are easy to get on but are pretty solid once they're on.

As for the rifle and backpack, it all works together just fine but - as mentioned - it can be problematic getting Sci-Fi to hold the weapon - although that's down more to the figure's design than being a fault of the accessories.

I also found my Sci-Fi didn't really want to stay on his base, as if the feet ports were slightly too large for the base pegs.

Final Thoughts
After some of the other 30th Anniversary figures, Sci-Fi is a bit of a disappointment. Truth be told I wouldn't be surprised to find Hasbro had produced this exact figure for the 25th Anniversary line but simply didn't get around to releasing it. That's not to say there's anything wrong with the 25th line, as there were some cool figures but that was five years ago and to be honest, what we have here is really quite disappointing, especially when compared to other recent figures or even those in this wave.

If you're a fan of the character - or ''classic'' Joes - you'll like Sci-Fi, I'm sure. I just wish Hasbro had put more effort into the toy though. As I said before, it's literally not much more than a figure and a weapon. Which would be fine if it was 1990 but this is 2012 and we've come to expect a lot more from our toys, especially from the GI Joe line.

I also have to say that when posing Sci-Fi - which is about as close as I get to ''playing'' with my toys - I found the experience pretty dull. The weak hand sculpt, restrictive weapon choices and general ''meh-ness'' left me feeling really quite uninspired and after about three poses I found myself struggling to come-up with any other inspired ways to display him. I dunno, maybe kids would enjoy playing with Sci-Fi in the back yard and using him to take out their HISS Tank. But I really struggled to make any kind of connection with the figure and found myself just wanting the photo session - and indeed this Review - to be over with.


Sculpt and DesignB-
Extras and Accessories B-
Final ScoreB-

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