It’s amusing sometimes how a character can make a strong impression upon a collector even if the character in question never really saw much use in that individual’s collection during their youth. A great example of this for me is Snow Job. I loved his character in the comic series when he convinced Rock ‘n Roll that he should ask out Gung-Ho’s sister who happened to be a model. (He neglected to mention that she was also under 12!) I also found his infrequent appearances in the cartoon to be a welcome moment as his character was dynamic and quick-witted. However, when I would act out my own Joe adventures as a child I rarely used Snow Job simply because I seldom sent my Joes on cold weather missions. I possessed neither Polar Battle Bear nor Snow Cat and therefore just avoided playing out those kinds of missions. Yet, when I was first able to examine the prototype figure of Snow Job at the 2007 Collector’s Convention I couldn’t help but find myself looking forward to the arrival of this cold weather expert from Rutland, Vermont on my doorstep.
Snow Job is one of those examples of Hasbro’s “A-Game” when it comes to updating a classic figure. The original Snow Job figure was glad almost entirely in a white ski jacket and ski pants, with a bit of brown paint on the shoulder panels of his jacket and on his belt. Some black trim was added around the neck as well as on the pouches on the outside of his legs. If this color scheme and character design sounds familiar that’s because it is almost exactly the same scheme used for the 25 th Anniversary version of Specialist Harlan W. Moore. The black trim on the collar is there albeit in a much smaller capacity. The brown shoulder panels are still there although now they are part of a sculpted harness that crosses the figure’s chest—seemingly mounting the two cargo pockets that adorn the figure’s chest. There are a few changes to the design, however, that accentuate elements of the original design. The two cargo pouches that were found on the characters legs have been replaced—a functional holster adorns the right leg while a familiar cargo pack is found on the left. (Eagle-eye’d fans will recognize the “pocket patrol pack” on the figure’s left leg and will also notice the subtle “Adventure Team” logo on the holster flap.) The character’s ski jacket has been altered to include rolled sleeves and a quilted under-layer on the forearms. Whereas the classic figure had a sculpted jacket seam around his waist the new version features one of those dreaded “rubber skirts” that have plagued the GIJoe line since the days of “Spy Troops”. In the case of Snow Job, the skirt looks great—extended the hem of his coat far below the waist line. At the same time this skirt also restricts the figure’s movement at the hips, meaning the poses like the one depicted in the cover art are all but impossible. The figure’s legs, while mostly featureless before, also have an additional pair of white pouches across the front of each calf. (These will play a key role in the forthcoming Wild Weasel figure.) So, aside from the rubber skirt, I’d have to say that the character design of Snow Job represents a very effective update of the Joe team’s premiere cold weather specialist.
If there was one complaint that I had about some of the more specialized Joe figures I owned as young fan, it was the use of sculpted headgear. Nothing irked me more than having characters sitting around the base in their wetsuits, parkas, or flight helmets when the rest of their team mates were able to be a bit more relaxed. It detracted from the overall sense of realism that I tried to inject into my playtime storylines and was part of the reason that certain characters never saw much use outside of specific missions. When it came to Snow Job, Hasbro seemed intent on removing that design limitation or, at the very least, reducing its effect. The classic Snow Job had a sculpted hood and goggles permanently affixed to his face; the anniversary version is much more variable. Both Snow Job’s hood and goggles are removable for the first time in the character’s history. Underneath lies the face of Snow Job—under ski mask! The character’s face is exposed for the first time even if his mane of red hair isn’t. Instead, a rugged set of features with an extremely strong jaw line and thick beard is visible for the first time in twenty-five years. (That’s got to be bad for his skin!) It’s a nice improvement over the original sculpted head which offers up some additional display options as the goggle and hood can be used in concert or separately. So, while I still don’t get a completely “unmasked” Snow Job this figure is miles ahead of the original in terms of sculpted detail.
In terms of gear, Snow Job is equipped with almost exactly the same kit as the original figure. He’s still got the pair of white skis, the black ski poles, and the back pack which carries his gear. He’s also got the same “cartoon” laser rifle as the original figure. However, now Snow Job is also equipped with a revolver sidearm which I find a bit odd. I would have thought that he’d have been packaged with an automatic rather than a revolver but that’s something that easily corrected with some handy Marauder Gun-Runners gear. It’s nice to see that the original gear is able to be released one more time.
All-in-all, I really like this figure—far more than I would have thought possible. The dreaded “rubber skirt” kills a lot of the more dynamic poses the figure could have been placed in but the overall sculpting detail is very impressive. Small touches like the “Pocket Patrol Pack” and the Adventure Team logo are terrific hat tips to the fans while not distracting from the overall design of the figure. The removable hood and goggles combination is a strong of design genius which simply enhances what is already a solid design update. Honestly, this is another strong addition to the anniversary line in a wave of strong additions. There is not one figure in this wave that entirely superfluous but Snow Job is one of those “don’t miss” pieces that seem to have become more of the norm as far as the anniversary line is concerned. This is a highly recommended addition to any GIJoe collection!