Review by Fred Meyer & Chris Chung
Pics by Fred Meyer
I can’t imagine that there are a lot of people out there waiting in line to sign up for a job as a HAZMAT specialist. It takes a certain kind of individual who is willing to work with viruses and chemicals so deadly that just a drop can kill you in seconds. Throw in the fact that these individuals are often times separated from these deadly substances by the thinnest of layers of materials and you’ve got someone that is either incredibly dedicated to their job or more than a little nuts. When the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club announced that the theme of the 2014 Joe Con set featured the Eco-Warriors, I hoped that my favorite HAZMAT specialist would make the cut.
Clean-Sweep was your favorite HAZMAT guy from Eco Warriors? Sheesh man, you need to get out more! Deep Six could run circles around that guy. In flippers. Not only did Deep Six have the cool wetsuit ala James Camreon’s “The Abyss”, he also came with a dolphin. A dolphin!
Thankfully the folks at Cattle Baron Drive felt the same way and thus the generation 3 version of Clean-Sweep was born. Does he live up to my self-induced anticipation or should he be relegated to the storage closet?
Storage closet! Was that too soon?
Read on and find out two Joe fans' opinions!.
In 1991, the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero brand was nearing the end of its initial retail lifespan. The line had seen its “glory days” about six years earlier and while it was still a strong presence in the toy aisles, it wasn’t the powerhouse that it had been. The military near-realism that had initially driven the designs of both characters and vehicles had faded and instead the aesthetic was one of neon colors and more extreme designs.
I gotta say, I never liked the Eco Warriors subset. I realize Hasbro was trying to capitalize off of “Captain Planet”, but the idea was cosmically lame, except for the designs of the Cobras. Instead of wanting to drop a nuke on D.C. or rule the world, Cobra instead wants to pollute the water or dump litter on the highways. Talk about lightweight and silly antics. No wonder it fit perfectly in the awful DiC version of ‘Joe.
Yet, in the midst of all of this “fantastic reality” there was one figure whose design was surprisingly realistic. Clad in a simple HAZMAT suit with a removable hood, Clean-Sweep was one of the most “bland” of all of the 1991 releases.
Bland he was. It was kind’a cool in it’s own “realistic” way, but he looked too much like a dumbed down Airtight. Oh, and nevermind Airtight---the most logical guy to be in a HAZMAT team, wasn’t in the set. But Flint was. Right…
To recreate the original HAZMAT look, the GIJCC went to the “Well of Retaliation” and once again utilized parts of the Data-Viper body. The torso, arms, and waist are all borrowed from the Cobra electronic warfare specialist while the upper legs come from the 30th Anniversary Airtight figure. For the lower legs, I’m seeing the Resolute Destro boots but I could be mistaken. (Chris has a better eye for parts than I do with the Generation 3 figures.)
You are correct sir; the lower legs are indeed from Resolute Destro.
Overall, it’s a solid combination comes together to produce a functional poseable modern HAZMAT uniform.
I agree he looks good, but here the “scale creep” is starting to show up. He’s very tall. Not ridiculously tall like some of the other recent figures, but his height almost makes him look like he’s part of a different line.
The various pads and pouches on the body are painted in “90’s Neon” green while mimics the vintage color scheme perfectly. Normally I’m not a big neon fan but in this case the green compliments the bright yellow plastic used for the body. In a slight deviation from the ARAH original, the figure’s gloves and boots are black instead of brown but it wasn’t a detail that I noticed until I stood the new figure side-by-side with his vintage counterpart.
It’s still brown, just a different shade. Hold it against someone in black---like Crazy Legs, and you’ll see the difference.
(It’s still weird to think of ARAH figures as “vintage”-- dang, I’m getting old.)
Yes you are. I was supposed to remind you to take your Geritol. Continuing on with paint, this was one figure in which the paint was applied very well. I don’t see any issues at all, except for perhaps the brown covered by yellow on his lower legs above the boots.
One of the wisest moves that the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club has done in years is to retain the services of the talents folks at Boss Fight Studio to produce new head sculpts for their convention and FSS figures.
Agreed. I don’t believe the Club would have been able to provide any more figure innovation if it wasn’t for Boss Fight (or someone else who would have done similar work). As we found out the hard way, simply putting a hole in the bottom of a vintage head to sit atop of a modern figure didn’t really work because of proportion issues and aesthetics.
This talented team of former Hasbro employees not only used to work on the G.I. Joe brand but they’re also fans and it shows! The sculpts produced by BFS are typically spot-on in updating (and in many cases improving upon) the head sculpts that fans remember from their youth. However, Clean-Sweep is a bit of an exception-- which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The original Clean-Sweep head always seemed more “lab technician” than “front line soldier”-- as if Clean-Sweep was someone who was on loan to the Joe team for special operations as opposed to being a full-fledged member of the team.
Actually, that’s still how I perceive him. Nothing about Clean-Sweep says operator, and certainly not Tier 1, so I see him more of a “fobbit”. If it wasn’t for his E-4 ranking, I‘d even say he was a civilian contractor instead of military.
For the Zombie Initiative set, it is safe to say that the years have been kind to Specialist Daniel Price.
Rather than having a receding hairline and a thick handlebar moustache, Clean-Sweep is now sporting a perfectly coiffed full head of hair and neatly trimmed facial hair that is closer to Tom Selleck than Sam Elliot.
I’ll be honest-- this change threw me for quite a loop when it was first revealed only because it changed my fundamental perceptions of the character. This new head sculpt is less “lab tech” and almost more “Adventure Team” in nature-- conveying the countenance of a more rugged individual who is more comfortable in the field than in the lab. Now, don’t mistake my reaction as a criticism of the sculpt itself as that would be ludicrous. The team at Boss Fight Studio does fantastic work and this sculpt is no exception. I was just puzzled as to why the sculpt (which was based on a 90’s Hasbro employee) was changed. Early speculation online seemed to indicate that this sculpt was based upon a long-time Joe Con volunteer but it is unlikely that the GIJCC will ever confirm this.
I’ll be the first to say the Boss Fight head is great. It is head and shoulders (sorry, I couldn’t resist) above the original version, but I do question the source material. The likeness is based on Collector Club staffer and volunteer Terry Wheeler. From all accounts of what I hear, Terry is a good guy, but I think this runs too close to the edge of a conflict of interest when our money is used to create likenesses of folks who are close to the Club---be it a decision from Boss Fight or the Club proper. It’s bad enough Club’s David Lane has created vanity figures of himself with our membership money over established ‘Joe characters; and has written himself into the Club comics he writes, so this can be seen as an “Old Boys club” mentality
In terms of Clean-Sweeps kit, I find it to a decent assortment of gear. Included with the figure are the following items:
Overall I see this as a “kit half full”. I really love the redeco of the Retaliation Cobra Trooper rifle into some sort of chemical-cure weapon.
Funny that you mention that! Keen-eyed readers will note that the Retaliation Cobra Trooper “canister rifle” that Clean-Sweep uses was actually a weapon homage taken from the anime CGI film: “Appleseed Ex Machina.” It can be seen briefly carried by protagonist Deunan Knute towards the end of the film inside the Halcon fortress, though the Hasbro version adds a red dot sight and reverses the direction of the helical magazine likely to avoid copyright issues.
The briefcase also works well as some sort of field testing kit but I could honestly lose the SMG which is made from some of the softest plastic I’ve seen outside of Cross Country’s wrench.
Yup, the buttery plastic is a real let down, but honesty, in this case it’s not a big deal since the weapon will be stowed inside the briefcase for all intents and purposes. Plus, he can wield a better gun or nunchuks taken from somewhere else.
The real gem of Clean-Sweep’s gear is the newly-tooled HAZMAT hood which utterly transforms the figure’s uniform into a functioning toxic environment suit. Seriously-- I don’t know what it is about this piece but I’m utterly fascinated with it and how well it fits on the figure’s shoulders. Unlike the helmets of his Eco-Force counterparts, the hood completely seals Clean-Sweep’s uniform, protecting him from the airborne threat of the dreaded Compound Z.
This is what vexes me. Boss Fight can create a perfect hood that fully covers and protects Clean-Sweep’s head, but why couldn’t they have done the same thing with Flint and Ozone?
Honestly-- all that’s missing for me is some sort of backpack which is why I refer to this as a “half full” kit. It’s sooo close to being perfect that it kills me. Of course, the original Clean-Sweep didn’t have a backpack either.
Exactly. If they would have gone the extra mile and tooled his original backpack---or even a close modern approximation, this figure would have been close to perfect.
At the end of the day, is Clean-Sweep a worthy addition to any Joe fan’s collection? I’m going to answer that question with a resounding “YES!” I wasn’t able to attend Joe Con 2014 for a variety of reasons nor was I able to purchase the Homefront Heroes package at registration time and yet Clean Sweep was THE figure from the con set that I knew I had to acquire.
Ugh. Like I said dude, you need a vacation to get rid of your Clean-Sweep bromance!
This is a great example of how to take a lesser-known vintage character from the end of the line and successfully update it to the Generation 3 style of construction that fans refer to as “The Modern Era.” (So, what comes next? “Post Modern” Joes?) The parts combination used for the body and the new Boss Fight Studios head sculpt come together to form a perfect HAZMAT trooper that fits in seamlessly with other Gen 3 Joes like Airtight. With this updated looks, “Z+” rifle, and his HAZMAT hood Clean Sweep is a fantastic update to a figure that most fans regarded as a curiosity and is honestly the strongest figure in the entire Zombie Initiative boxed set. Of course, that’s just this Joe fan’s opinion.
The Bottom Line: A more rugged interpretation of the original, Clean Sweep is an excellent update and is definitely worth a purchase to add to any collection.
I have to disagree with you buddy. Is Clean-Sweep is a decent figure, and does he successfully fulfill the role of being better than his original? Yes indeed! But the problem I have are his aesthetics and function. I personally don’t think he’s required buying because he’s doesn’t really have an established personality or presence in the larger community’s fiction except a cartoon episode here, or a mandatory comic entry there. Simply put, he shares too much in common with Airtight to be truly original; he doesn’t have anything remarkably unique except for a newly tooled head; and with Airtight already in the most of our ranks, he just seems too redundant and generic. But most importantly, if you already have Airtight, Clean-Sweep is too expensive to pay for someone who is basically the same thing.
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