Review & pics by: Fred Meyer
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with cold weather troopers. On one hand, as a life-long fan of the James Bond series, I’ve come to appreciate the excitement of a good ski chase. (One has only to recall the opening of The Spy Who Loved Me or even A View to a Kill to see how a character like Snow Job is tailor made for action.) On the other hand, I always found it hard to rationalize using figures whose non-removeable uniforms were designed for cold weather environments in any sort of adventure set in a warmer climate. As such, figures like Snow Job only saw moderate use in my collection as a young Joe fan. Flash forward far too many years and Snow Job has been released in the G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary collection. Is he worth tracking down? Read on and find out one Joe fan’s opinion.
So, let’s cut to the chase here, shall we? I’m going to forego my usual rambling text to say this: you’ve seen this figure before. Back in 2010 (during my self-imposed hiatus from website work and the fandom in general) Hasbro released the beginning of the incredible Pursuit of Cobra line and this very version of Snow Job was among the figures in that series. As is the case with much of the 50th Anniversary Line this figure is almost a straight-up repaint of a previously released piece. Aside from a minor cosmetic changes-- the inclusion of the “50th star” and the replacement of the olive drab paint apps with a “cold weather” blue, there’s no appreciable difference between the two releases. Everything that held true about the PoC version still applies here. I could go into more detail but I’ll save it for the PoC Snow Job review that’s sitting in my backlog.
In terms of the figure itself, it’s another instance of the classic battle between form and function. From a visual standpoint, this figure is a fine-looking cold weather specialist. The arms and legs are sculpted in such a fashion as to simulate insulated cold weather gear and the high-necked rubber coat overlay completes this look nicely. It gives Yukon Cornelius… uh… SNOW JOB the appropriate appearance for someone of his specialization. When it comes to function however, the figure is much better suited to display than play. The range of motion in the figure’s elbows is extremely limited-- to the point that a true 90 degree bend is impossible. (This makes the figure’s rifle a very pretty but ultimately useless accessory but more on this later.) Even more tragic is the fact that the dreaded rubber skirt of the jacket renders his hip articulation all but useless. Unless the sides of the coat are opened up completely, there’s no way that the figure can sit or crouch-- which just utterly kills any type of dynamic skiing pose. Call me crazy but I’ve not seen a lot of action ski sequences in which the protagonist is going downhill straight-legged. As such, the figure is really ideally suited to standing on a display stand and not much else.
The head sculpt on this particular figure has had a good year. First it was used for Zombie Hunter Outback as part of the 2014 Zombie Initiative convention set and then it was reused for this very release of Snow Job. Not too shabby for a head whose sculpted detail actually limits the amount of times it could be repurposed. Now, if you’ve read my portion of the Zombie Initiative review of Outback, you may recall the comparison of this head sculpt to that of Rankin Bass character Yukon Cornelius . Ever since this head debuted in the PoC line, I’ve found myself unable to see the comparison. From the bushy beard, to the stocking cap, to the ear coverings, this head just resembled the loveable sled dog driver and tamer of Bumble far more than the countenance of Harlan W. Moore. As indicated on his file card, Snow Job is a bit of a con man. As such, his appearance is going to play a role in how effective his cons actually are. While previous versions of the figure have always had a beard, it’s been a trimmed beard. This version seems much closer to the facial hair of the cast of Duck Dynasty than it does to Snow Job’s appearances in both Marvel Comics and in the Sunbow animated adventures. It’s a personal preference but I really do consider the 25th Anniversary Snow Job head to be the superior Gen 3 sculpt for the character.
In terms of gear, Snow Job appears to have the same compliment as his PoC counterpart. I say appears because of how some of the pieces are arranged on the bubble. The camp stove, for example, is found in the middle of the BAT’s gear, and there are two included ice axes. I’ve also no idea if the wrapped SMG is intended for Snow Job or the BAT as it is packaged on the BAT side. So, here’s this Joe fan’s guess for his compliment:
It’s a lot of equipment but fortunately the figure can stash almost all of it on the included backpack! I remember that back when the PoC verion of this figure was released many fans raved about the gear compliment and I have to say that it is a pretty detailed set of equipment. However, as detailed as it may be, it’s a set of gear that definitely seemed targeted more toward adult collectors than children. I really wonder just how many kids would be excited about receiving a camp stove and fuel canister in place of a second rifle or even a pair of snow shoes. Sadly, Snow Job is really only armed with his large sniper rifle-- which the figure has difficultly holding in anything resembling a realistic pose. The stock on the rifle is quite large and interferes with the figure’s range of motion from the shoulder joints. Snow Job can pose with the rifle in a casual standing position but you can forget any type of realistic sniper stance.
One thing that isn’t mentioned in the figure’s packaging anywhere is that this that elements of this figure’s kit can be configured into a lean-to type shelter. Simply combine the bed roll, skis, and ski poles as shown in the image below and Snow Job has a rudimentary shelter from the elements. It’s pretty ingenious even if all the figure can do is lay there like a plank of wood.
Sigh… here it is-- the moment in the review where I give some sort of recommendation for this figure’s inclusion in a fan’s Joe collection. So here it is: if you’re a fan of Snow Job, or you missed the previous release of this figure, then you’ll want to snag this particular version of Snow Job. However, those are pretty much the only circumstances in which I’d recommend snagging this figure. Sure, he looks good standing on a shelf and he’s got a ton of included gear but he’s all but useless when it comes to play value. This version of Snow Job is pretty much incapable of using his included rifle and the rubber coat overlay interferes with with the motion of both the shoulder and hip joints to such an extent that dynamic action poses just aren’t happening. Many fans are going to end up with extras of this figure simply by attempting to acquire multiple Arctic BAT’s and, as a result, this figure is going to flood the secondary market. So, unless you’re looking for a figure to assume the “standing around holding a radio” pose, you might as well just pass on this one entirely. He looks decent but he’s really not all that playable. Of course, that's just one Joe fan's opinion.
|Copyright 2003 JoeBattlelines.com|