Sigma 6 is no more. Seriously. Hasbro has just dropped the "Sigma 6" designation for their 8" GIJoe figures - technically, new offerings are just in a "GIJoe Commando" series or a "GIJoe Soldier" series, or the Adventure Team, or whatever other terms Hasbro comes up with. But fans probably always use the old name to refer to this style of figure - it's just a convenient way to clarify which figures you mean.
Flint worked with many stealth forces
before joining the GIJoe team. He leads espionage operations, while Duke commands tactical missions. Like a cat hunting the night, he is silent and unseen, until he attacks with the full force of his impressive combat skills. He and Snake-Eyes make a perfect team: the knife that cuts the night, and the arrow that pierces the dark. His multi-weapon system can be configured in different ways, and the custom-made sword is this stealthy hunter's formidable "claw."
Well, that's certainly weird! As we all know, in the "normal" GIJoe Universe, Flint is many things, but a Stealth Commander? That's a new one. Even the cartoon and the comic were in rare agreement over his role on the team - the badass, competent soldier who was a good leader, but still personable with those in his command. And spent his free time drilling the privates with Lady Jaye.
But just because the Sigma 6 figures have all been fairly faithful to their 3¾" counterparts so far, there's nothing saying they have to be, so we can learn to love an all-new Flint, can't we? Just look at Firefly. A good toy's a good toy, no matter what its name is - so is this a good toy?
Flint is looking very outdoorsy in this incarnation, wearing big thick boots, cargo pants, a shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and a real cloth vest which opens at the velcro flap in the front. And dog tags, like all the good guys. His face is thin and angular (even by Sigma 6 standards), and he has shoulder-length brown hair. Long hair? On Flint? Weird! it even falls down in front of his eyes, a bit. If you looks closely, you'll see a long scar running down the left side of his face.
Most of the Sigma 6 figures have the same articulation - Flint's only difference is that instead of balljointed ankles, he has hinged ankles and swivels at the boots. Working up from there, he has balljointed knees, balljointed hips, a swivel waist, a torso hinge, balljointed wrists, balljointed elbows, balljointed shoulders and a balljointed neck. The new figures also feature Kung-Fu Grip - a name that should be familiar to even casual Joe fans.
When it was introduced in 1974,
the Kung-Fu Grip referred to a new style of hand - rather than hard plastic, molded in the shape needed to hold the figures' guns, the new hands were rubber, which curled around the accessories (and other figures) realistically. The new Kung-Fu Grip is an idea so darn clever, I'm surprised no one's thought of it before: the hand is sculpted to have a hinge to move the fingers, but it's spring-loaded, so it closes automatically after you stretch it open. Smart! Now that Hasbro's come up with this, let's see it integrated into Marvel Legends - that'd take care of people's complaints about hinged hands not being able to hold accessories.
Since this Flint is less "soldiery" than most of the other Sigma 6 Joes, he's not really wearing webgear, per se. It's actually a climbing harness, as you can tell by the loops going around his legs. The harness features four gear loops, and he even includes a carabiner to clip in place. In the package, you'll find it attached in front of his left hip, but you'll want to move it to the right - the way the belt is fastened means that force applied on the left side will make it come undone, and that's not a position any climber would want to be in. The cloth vest features four plastic pockets, but they're not actually part of the harness.
Flint includes a climbing rope, of course. This is much better than the average "hook and handle" most figures come with. The device is actually a working pulley, attached by a hook to a four-pronged anchor. Feed the end of the 28" rope through the carabiner, then through the pulley, and you can use the power of physics to raise and lower the figure. It's quite the unique offering.
Of course, you know there's no way
that Flint's just climbing those mountains for fun - he's got a mission to accomplish. To keep him properly armed, he's been given a "MAC-8 weapon system," a modular gun. The set includes 10 pieces which can be assembled however you like to create multiples styles of weapon: the base piece is a pistol, but you can turn it into a machine gun, a sniper rifle, and more. It may seem goofy in description, but this accessory is really fun, and gives the figure some versatility. His sword is 6" long, and features a spiked handguard.
The first thing you'll notice when you find these in the store is that they've changed the footlockers; they're now bright red. The design is also more rounded, with more of a sporty than military look,
and there's only one large clip holding it shut. Flint doesn't have any foam to hold the weapons in place, but he's hardly the first figure to suffer that fate. He's actually packaged sideways, to simulate his rock-climbing adventures, and the back of the cardboard tray has a scene to go with it: the side of a cliff, with a blue sky in the background and a Cobra camp down on the ground.
There's no shortage of fanboy bitching about poor Flint, here, because he's different than what they used to know. But he's been going through a lot of changes in the comics, recently - ever since the death of Lady Jaye. Maybe Sigma 6 Flint went through the same thing? Imagine the love of his life died protecting him, and he fell into a nearly suicidal depression, let himself go and began taking bigger and bigger risks - but he found some small measure of peace out in the wilderness, and took assignments that sent him out there. Or, if that's not good enough, just say he's some other Joe, and forget the name on the package altogether. This is a good figure, no matter what you want to call him. Now give us a Lady Jaye, Hasbro - Sigma 6 needs women!