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Firefly

GI Joe Renegades
by Monkey Boy

I really dig Firefly. He's sort of the Boba Fett of the GI Joeverse, which might seem like a bad thing, considering it usually connotes a minor character who becomes wildly (and some might say unfairly) popular due solely to their badass costume and air of mystery, but in the case of Firefly, the similarities extend beyond that. Firefly is actually a mercernary who works for the highest bidder. Also he never reveals his face (try to remember the days before Boba Fett was a snot-nosed kid). Stop me if I've gone over this before.

Firefly is a saboteur hired by Cobra to perform acts of sabotage and destruction. He has a high opinion of himself and his skills - and he's not wrong. He's an expert with explosives, all kinds of weapons, martial arts combat and infiltration. He works alone, he hides his identity, and the only kind of trouble he likes is the kind he himself causes.

Where the Boba Fettesque quality can get annoying is in the uber-badassness of a character. For example, why does Firefly also have to be a ninja, in addition to a demolitions expert and mercernary? However, what's attractive about such a character is that while he's clearly selfish and amoral, he still walks that gray area of not clearly aligning with the obviously good or obviously bad. Yes he often works for Cobra, but that's just because they've been good customers. It's a business partnership, and you'd think if the Joes had a bigger budget, Firefly might even be a decorated hero.

Anyway, Hasbro has been pumping out some pretty awesome Firefly figures over the past few years. They continue the trend with the Renegades-themed line, which features Firefly in the first round of cartoon-inspired figures.

The sculpts of the Renegades figures vary from pretty realistic to pretty blocky and stylized, and Firefly falls more into the latter category. While he's mostly made up of previously used parts, the new parts feature the minimalist and simplified aesthetic of the cartoon. That's not to say he looks bad; on the contrary, I really love the baggy sleeved arm sculpts and finger gloves. I especially like the shells attached to his right forearm. The head is a little strange, marking the first time in figure form Firefly's nose has been exposed, but it works and grows on you. It's also quite show accurate.

Also contributing to his cartoonish appearance is his webgear, which looks to be right out of the cartoon. It's reminiscent of the gear worn by bomb disposal units, with the high collar and skirt. It's a look we've seen previously on the "Pursuit of Cobra" Firefly and Resolute Firefly, but it makes so much sense for the character that I'm surprised it's taken this long to become part of his standard outfit. It's very accurate to the animation model, including a utility belt and bandolier as well as a functional sheath for his wicked machete.

The paint is also mostly show-accurate, and is almost entirely handled with different shades of gray and black, except for the few areas where his skin shows through, some red accents on his sleeves and the hem of his vest, and the brown pouches on his bandolier. It's simple, but again that fits the cartoon's aesthetic, and a drybrushing or wash would be adding detail that the show simply didn't have.

While I haven't seen a full episode of Renegades, the clips I've seen show Firefly's vest alternately being solid gray and having his traditional urban camouflage pattern; while the prototype showed the latter, the final figure does not. It's not off-model, but it is the less detailed (and thus more cost effective) option for Hasbro. In the series, Firefly was also shown to have what appeared to be burn scars on his hands. The figure lacks this element, but since so little of the skin is showing on the figure at this scale it can be forgiven.

The figure is mostly made up of parts that are a few years old, and thus mostly reflects the traditional Joe articulation for the time. His new arms do allow him to take advantage of the newer style of articulation, and he gets pegged and hinged wrists. Otherwise, he utilizes the typical G3 joints we've come to expect.

His accessory compliment isn't quite "Pursuit of Cobra" impressive, but it's pretty nice nonetheless. There's the vest, and a cool machete to go in the sheath. There's also the ol' standby Firefly walkie talkie/phone, which you'd think would have been updated by now. He also gets two firearms: a grenade launcher and a modified AK-47 type assault rifle with a scope, an extra handgrip and "sawed off" removed stock. Both these weapons are nice, and the grenade launcher at least is right out of the cartoon. There's also a mortar shell, which is kind of strange since he has nothing to fire it with. Is he going to throw it? Still, I guess it's technically an "explosive." The standard Cobra logo stand completes the package.

While he gets too many accessories to hold, it's not like the Hazard-Viper, where they just piled extraneous weaponry on him (while neglecting to include essential accessories like the proper number of air tanks). The artillery shell, while it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to include, is nicely detailed, and while the walkie talkie is outdated, it's a Firefly staple and at least makes sense for the character. The two guns are great, and the machete is a nice added bonus. Overall, Renegades Firefly is a really cool version of the character, recognizable but different enough to stand alone as a worthwhile figure.

-- 11/04/11


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