Back in the mid-'90s, Hasbro tried to shake things up in their long-running toy lines. They'd recently acquired Kenner, so they farmed out control of their boys' brands to the Cincinatti offices. For Transformers that move meant Beast Wars, a change that was eventually accepted by fans; for GI Joe, the move meant the creation of GI Joe Extreme, an offshoot that's still despised to this day. However, Sigma 6 paid at least a small homage to this period with the release of Lt. Stone.
Lt. Stone was an elite member
of a well-known British intelligence agency. He prefers to be called a spy rather than a covert ops agent, because "spy" accurately describes the daring, devious and dangerous nature of his work. He is highly skilled at cracking codes, reading ancient languages and solving mysteries. His fascination with secrets has led him to collect many gadgets with hidden weapons and devices. He is an expert at disguise and often infiltrates Cobra dressed as one of its members. An experienced pilot, Lt. Stone flies the Dragonhawk heavy armor dropship for the Sigma 6 team. His left arm, injured during a battle with Cobra, has been replaced with a bionic arm made of ultra-hard dimantium metal.
Back in GI Joe Extreme, Lt. Stone was the blonde-haired, blue-eyed leader of the team - basically, the Emergency Backup Duke. So this whole "British spy" thing is a pretty big departure; seems the name is the only thing they kept, and that is indubitably to the figure's benefit.
Lt. Stone is built using a very slender body, but all his gear does a good job of making him look bulkier than he is. This guy looks like a tough soldier, not some rail-thin pansy. His colors are excellent, too - his Sigma suit is black and crimson, which is definitely much more "spy-friendly" than the garish colors seen on, well, pretty much everybody who's not Snake-Eyes. He's wearing big brown boots, black gloves, and he has his right sleeve pushed up to show his forearm. In addition to the ammo belt and holsters on his hips, he's also got a shoulder holster that wraps around his back like the real thing.
Remove his maroon beret
and you'll see an impressivly designed head. His hair is slicked back a bit, and you can even tell where the strap of his rakish eyepatch disappears under his hair. He's smirking slightly, but in a charming way. His chin is rather pointy, and overall he looks a bit older than the other Joes. Distinguished, even. Technically, since he's monoptic, the pupil on his remaining eye should be painted further out to the side - someone wearing an eyepatch tends to carry their head turned slightly to the side, so they have the maximum field of vision. Basically, he's looking at his own nose rather than at any enemy.
Stone's standout feature, though, is his bionic arm. It's molded from translucent green plastic, then painted with silver and slight copper tones. The sculpt is a bloody impressive piece of work, with rivets, shaped plates, circular indents, internal mechanisms, and much more. Whoever designed this thing (both in the real world and in the fiction) did a great job. Hell, if this is what the Joe's medical plan will pay for, I don't think anyone would mind being injured in the line of duty - that thing's better than a scar for scoring chicks!
Even the figure's accessories are top-notch. He has a fine mix of the fantastic and the mundane,
and as part of a Commando series, has a footlocker to store it all. We'll start with the simple stuff, which can all be stored on his person. A small pistol fits in the shoulder holster, and two more silenced pistols hang on his hips. There's even a knife that can be sheathed in his left boot. Considering how many crazy weapons this line has given us, these realistic things are a welcome change.
Lt. Stone does have one goofball weapon, though: a giant net-launcher. It's not too bad,
as these things go, in that the launcher actually fires strongly, and the gun looks somewhat intimidating. It looks like it was designed for a shoulder strap, but one is not included. A decoder screen pulls out of the stock. Various bits of the gun slide around, and the small pistol can be stored inside for some reason.
Really, make sure you hold onto the instructions so you at least have an idea of what's supposed to be going on here. There's also a pair of handcuffs which are actually functional enough to clap on a Sigma 6 figure of your choosing.
There's still a lot more included with this figure. If you remember our Zartan review, you'll recall that he doesn't come with any sort of disguises, but Lt. Stone does. He has pieces of black armor that cover his forearms, biceps and chest, with red Cobra symbols near his elbows and heart. You then have the choice of giving him a Zartan mask with a translucent hood and silver eye makeup, or a black helmet to turn him into a generic Cobra soldier - the only one ever released in the Sigma 6 line. I'm sure some people were buying Lt. Stone in bulk just for that reason alone.
The costume elements can also be plugged together for easy carrying, according to the instructions.
Lt. Stone is one of the best Sigma 6 figures released in the line's three-year run, and any fan would do well to own him. The combination of the eyepatch, metal arm, foreign (yet English-speaking) origin and "Rank - Inanimate Object" naming scheme may make old-school fans think this guy is a Sigma 6 take on everyone's favorite Sydney-born mercenary poet, but he's not - and since it's his left arm that's bionic, rather than his right, you can't even make a custom version. So, we hate to disappoint, but you can't expect to get Bludd from a Stone.