Review by Otto "The Otter" Phillips
Infantry Trooper - Code name: Footloose
G.I. Joe Collector's Club Membership Incentive Figure 2012
1985 was a huge year for the G.I.*JOE line. The figures and vehicles had been around for four years at that point and it seemed like nothing could stop them; the toy line and comics were in full swing and after two successful mini-series, fans were presented with a full on daily cartoon series that started with another mini-series, catapulting the popularity of the line even farther to the top.
Like the first two mini-series, the third story, The Pyramid of Darkness, was used to introduce the new characters that had been released that year, among them, one of my favorites, Footloose. Footloose was one of the first of what I like to call the “seconds.” These are the characters that now have the same MOS as previous characters: Roadblock was the second Machine Gunner after Rock N Roll, Dial Tone was the second Comm Specialist after Breaker, Sci-Fi was the second Laser Rifle Trooper after Flash, and Footloose was the second Infantryman after Grunt.
One of my favorite things about the vintage Footloose figure was that he was one of the most realistic looking figures in the entire line, with a standard woodland camouflage uniform with properly rolled up sleeves and his trousers tucked into his jungle boots, his Kevlar helmet and his web-gear with grenades and a fighting knife molded in place. He even came with a standard M-16A1 rifle, an M72 LAW (Light Anti-Tank Weapon) and an ALICE pack. If a collector were so inclined to do so, they could take multiple Footloose figures and, after a few head swaps, make a very real looking squad or platoon. Because of his realistic look, he was always one of the go-to characters from my limited collection as a kid.
After the “could worse, but could have been a lot better” release of Dial Tone as the Collector’s Club’s first Modern Era membership figure, The Club did a great job with their Footloose figure. First off, like Dial Tone before him, Footloose filled a hole in the 82-86 line up of figures. Yes, collectors got a “Footloose” figure in a Rise of Cobra figure five pack, but that figure was barely a stand in for the Infantryman that fans wanted. C’mon, desert camo? Paining a moustache on a lighter skinned Airborne head does not a Footloose make.
As for the modern update, it’s a great combination of parts. The head is from Lt. Claymore from the previous year’s Mission: Brazil Convention figure set. Interestingly, the 1986 version one Claymore used the head of the 1985 Footloose, so the two characters have come full circle in their head sharing. The facial sculpt itself is very nicely done with a hard look in his eyes and his trademark moustache, it makes the character recognizable right away, and won’t be confused with any other characters, always a plus in my book, and despite his face not really catering to his care free attitude, being a bit harder than the character was shown to be in the cartoon, it doesn’t really bother me too much. The torso and upper arms of the figure are taken from the RoC Sgt. Stone figure. The forearms and hands seem to be new, something not too common with Club figure parts. The legs are from the SDCC Sgt. Slaughter Triple T variant. I guess if an aspiring customizer wanted to recreate this figure for themselves, it could get very difficult and very expensive to track down the parts.
The parts used to make up the figure work almost flawlessly. The Sgt. Stone torso and arms are bulky and muscular, but not over the top huge and in combination with the forearms and the hands, provide for some great articulation and poseability, being able to hold his rifle realistically. The legs are also a good match and offer a good range of motion, and look good for kneeling stances.
Footloose comes with a good assortment of gear: instead of the classic M-16A1, he comes with an M-4 carbine with optics and a suppressor, a pistol (unfortunately no holster in which to put it), a fighting knife (no sheath) and ALICE pack and flash light from PoC Jungle Duke and a missile launcher with missile that came with 25th Bazooka. His non-removable web-gear is from 25th Falcon. All this gear is a nice update from the vintage figure.
The Club’s Footloose is a great Modern Era figure comparable to the version one figure from 1985. The realistic design and detail is there; from his Kevlar helmet with added foliage, to his camouflage uniform, to the web gear. He even has his unit insignia patch on his left shoulder, the four leaf clover of the Army’s Fourth Infantry Division. While the camo on his uniform isn’t exactly real world woodland camo, it gives a good idea of camo and although a bit darker, is a good match for the version one figure.
Like I said, as a kid, Footloose was one of my favorite figures as a kid and the Club’s membership figure doesn’t disappoint. It would have been nice to have a working holster for the pistol and a sheath for the knife, but those are minor complaints against an otherwise outstanding figure.
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