Last week's review of Ashiko and her Cycle Armor was nearly the last Joe Friday, because we've run out of currently available figures. Then the GI Joe Club comes through!
Footloose was valedictorian of his high school class, captain of the track team, and an Eagle Scout. He was going for his degree in Physical Education on a state scholarship when he suddenly dropped out,
moved to the West Coast, and spent three years searching for elusive answers to cosmic questions. He was standing on the boardwalk along Venice Beach one day when the randomness of his existence hit him between the eyes like a runaway freight train. "I think I'll join the Army," he said, and did. After completing basic, jump school and desert training, he joined the infantry ranks of the GI Joe team.
Footloose makes himself feel right at at home in any environment. However, he enjoys the challenge of trekking through jungle locales the most. If you ask him, he'll tell you something about feeling a connection with everything from the dangerous wildlife all the way down to the pesky mosquitoes. On the flip side, he's the one carrying the latest assault rifle and portable rocket launcher to handle any situation that goes bad. His teammates respect him, although they still think he acts a little weird sometimes.
This isn't our first G3 Footloose, but it's the first in the Real American Hero continuity - like movie Footloose, he gets his torso from Sgt. Stone, but unlike that one, the shared parts end there. He gets his legs from Sgt. Slaughter (the military version, of course, not the wrestling one), but the forearms and hands are new. The colors are more muted than they were on the old figure, a paler green and a lighter brown camo pattern, but it works for him; he still looks like he's wearing military togs, and that's as it should be.
The head was originally seen on last year's con-exclusive Claymore - which is fine, since the original Claymore had a head that was just a repaint of Footloose. It looks awfully angry for a guy who's supposed to be laid-back and mellow, but does anyone care that much about him? He looks like Tom Selleck in a helmet, and that's what we wanted.
And ah, the helmet. That was our major problem with movie Footloose, but it's been fixed here. His helmet is a huge piece (but still hugs tight to his head), sculpted with netting running over the top and a bunch of leaves stuck in it for concealment. This is the classic look, and it's exactly what the fans expected. Great work, Hasbro!
Most of Footloose's other accessories come from Jungle Assault Duke: a pistol, a short machete, an M-4 rifle and a giant green backpack. Oh, and a flashlight that can be tucked away in a slot inside the pack! Nearly forgot about that. The 1985 figure came with a rocket launcher, so he also comes with the launcher and one rocket from Bazooka.
As a 1985 figure, Footloose was pretty much only intended as a replacement for a figure that was being retired - in his case, Grunt. Larry Hama even wrote a letter to Hasbro asking whether the new toys could be old characters, using Grunt and Footloose as an example. Would the line have been as successful with only 13 characters each in a dozen costumes, or could it only survive three decades with a cast of thousands? Either way, Footloose was one of the last 1985 updates we still needed, and he's great. His only problem is that he's a GI Joe Collectors' Club exclusive, rather than a figure you could just go to the store and buy. He's really good, but he's not $44 good.