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Shipwreck & Crimson Guard

Combat Heroes
by yo go re

Hasbro's Heroes-scale figures don't seem to follow any logical plan. The Star Wars sets, which have been running the longest, always pair two characters who make sense together - the Adventure Heroes did the same thing. Transformers and GI Joe, on the other hand, seem to just pull names out of a hat to see who goes together. Just take a look at today's review.

Shipwreck is the Joe Team's sailor. Well, one of their sailors. They have no shortage of guys from the Navy, and most of them are even SEALs, so that doesn't make Ship special, either. No, his claim to fame is being the most stereotypically "sailor-y" of the bunch. He's a hard-fightin', hard-fartin', ugly-ugly son of-- well, enough quoting Bender, you know the rest. Seriously, if you have Netflix, go watch The Last Detail, and you'll see what kind of guy Shipwreck is.

This figure is Shipwreck in his little Village People sailor suit, rather than his later, badass, longshoreman outfit, so you already know he's going to look goofy; the "Heroes" style just exaggerates it, giving him an intentionally cheesy look. He's standing with one fist on his waist, and is holding a gun that's half pistol, half sawed-off shotgun. How do you manage that kind of combo?

Shipwreck has always been kind of a "larger than life" character, and his face expresses that well here. He's got his white sailor's cap, and a beard Hemingway would envy. He's sculpted with a grimace, and a single curl of hair has fallen onto his forehead. Paint is good, though the edges of his sleeves show some minor problems. Amazingly, he not only has a crisp blue-green tattoo on his left arm, there are red and white military insignia on his sleeve.

Like Snake-Eyes, Shipwreck is known for having an animal companion - in this case, his parrot, Polly (in England, "Seasick.") Polly is permanently attached to Ship's shoulder. She's not molded there, just glued on, but she is neither movable nor removable. And speaking of not being movable, Shipwreck himself only moves at the neck and left shoulder; usually it's just the women who get short-changed in the articulation department.

Shipwreck didn't have an arch-enemy in the Cobra ranks - nothing like Storm Shadow and Snake-Eyes, at any rate - but they could have given him an Eel or something. Instead, he's paired with a Crimson Guard, the elitest of the elite on Cobra Island. Sure, they're accomplished soldiers, but that's secondary to their real purpose: infiltrating society and attaining positions of power to help further Cobra's goals.

The Siegie's uniform is complex and fancy, and the sculpt is beyond reproach. Okay, he doesn't have spurs, but that's the only that's really missing, and it's a minor detail that no one is likely to care about. He does have a supremely hunched stance, however: it's not just squat, like a lot of Hasbro Heroes, he's actually bent over at the waist, as well, so he ends up being quite a bit shorter than Shipwreck. Did Cobra Commander drop a contact lens and tell the Crimson Guards to look for it?

Paint is decent, but there's still room for improvement. He's a nice dark red, with silver accents on his sleeves and epaulettes. The silver does spill over a little, but better that than being too thin and watery, right? His mask is metallic grey, and his aiguillettes are gold. Cleverly, his boots are gloss black, while the gloves, belt and holster on his left leg are all matte. He has a silver Cobra logo on his backpack, but the campaign ribbons on his chest don't get any paint at all. Of course, since they're usually hidden behind the big gun.

To aim that gun, the Siegie is articulated better than usual: he moves at the neck, shoulders, waist and left wrist. Wrist? Haven't really seen that since the "Star Wars Adventures" days, when Luke needed to get his lightsaber into his X-Wing cockpit. Still, the hunched pose makes him predisposed to falling flat on his face, so be careful.

As solitary figures, both Shipwreck and the Crimson Guard are good offerings - they're excellent chibi versions of the classic designs, and that's what they should be. The fact that you have to import them from the wilds of Canada is a little bit weird, but they're plentiful enough up there that prices aren't too bad. And heck, if all you want is Shipwreck, there are probably loose ones out there some army-builder is willing to part with. The real coup, of course, would be if Hasbro ever got around to releasing that box set that was due to have Tomax and Xamot, so the Siegie would have someone to answer to.

-- 06/11/10


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