Review & pics by: Fred Meyer
Arctic Assault Trooper - Code name: Iceberg
G.I. Joe Collector's Club Membership Incentive Figure 2013
I’ve had a long-time love/hate relationship with cold weather specialists. I’ve always loved the personality quirks of characters like Snow Job but I’ve hated the fact that he was pretty much permanently molded in cold weather gear. As a G.I. Joe fan I understood the need for an extreme environment specialist but as a kid I never really set any of my adventures in those areas of the world. As such, characters like Snow Job, Frostbite, and Iceberg pretty much languished in my figure case unless I needed someone to man a communications console on the Flagg while my favorite characters were out on a mission. However, the GIJCC decided that after nearly 30 years one of those specialists deserved a new lease on life and so Iceberg was brought forward from 1986 to 2013 with new style construction and some old school sensibilities. Was it worth it? Read on and find out one Joe fan’s opinion!
I’ll start right off by saying that Iceberg’s body construction is one of those “glass half full” cases. His body is comprised of parts from all across the 25 th anniversary line—including parts that I’ve actually reviewed before here at JBL. His torso comes from the 2008 wave 4 Arctic Snake Eyes, his arms appear to originate with ’08 wave 5 Barbecue, and his legs were generously donated by the 25 th anniversary Spirit. To give him a more “cold weather feel”, the fur collar from the Snow Serpent was added to the mix and the result was Iceberg and for the most part this combination works. The Snake Eyes torso has enough sculpted folds and padding that it could pass for a cold weather jacket and the Barbecue arms are pretty proportionate to the torso. I almost wish that a different upper torso had been used simply because I would hope that a cold weather trooper would appear a bit bulkier but that’s just a personal preference. I do like the inclusion of the new hands with wrist articulation which seems to almost be standard on most new figures going forward.
If the upper torso is the “glass half full” then the lower torso is the “glass half empty” portion of Iceberg. Back in 1986, Iceberg v1 was released with sculpted snow pants, cold weather boots, and a sculpt knife on his left leg. Apparently the folks at the GIJCC ran down this parts list, looked at their 2008 25 th Anniversary figures, and decided that Spirit’s lower legs were the perfect choice to use. After all, Spirit’s legs had the boots and the sculpted (and functional) sheath on the left leg just like Iceberg. So what if those same legs also featured sculpted fringe on the side, right? Ironically enough, I don’t have an issue with any of those details just mentioned; rather, I have a serious concern about how the legs fit with the actual torso. As previously established, Iceberg’s torso is from the 25 th Anniversary Arctic Snake Eyes figure whose body was later used to create the 25 th Snow Serpent. It was a completely logical move given the appropriate bulk of the body which simulated thicker cold weather clothing. Unfortunately, the legs of Spirit are much thinner than the torso that they’re paired up with and result is less than desirable. Okay, I’ll just say it—it doesn’t work. There’s a noticeable gap in the hip socket that once seen cannot be unseen. Given the quality of the incentive figures the GIJCC has released over the past few years this is truly a step backwards. The parts don’t blend well and the resulting fit has given my Iceberg figure extremely loose hip joints. Personally, I think the Club could have just gone with the Snake Eyes/Snow Serpent legs and many fans would have been okay with it. However, that’s just my two cents.
In a case of “what’s old is new again”, the GIJCC released Iceberg with a retooled version of his original 1986 head sculpt. Now I’ve heard some fans complain that it looks out of place with the rest of the generation 3 Joes but personally I don’t see it. Sure, some details such as the ears aren’t as sharp as they are in the newer sculpts but overall it works. There’s no way anyone can say that Club released this figure with a head sculpt that doesn’t look like the original and, if reworking original sculpts allows for a few of the more obscure Joes to see and updated release then I’m all for it.
In terms of kit, the new Iceberg figure is really a step up from the original who was only packaged with a single rifle. This time around, specialist Clifton Nash has been given the SMG of the Rise of Cobra Ice Vipers, a white version of the Assault on Cobra Island Recondo figure, and the same rocket launcher as the 25 th Anniversary Bazooka. In addition, Clifton has raided the gear of the cancelled Rise of Cobra Arctic Duke figure and is equipped with his backpack, hardness, and snowboard. It’s a real step up from just a single rifle and it gives Iceberg a more varied array of weapons to take on Cobra’s cold weather troopers. (He’s also go Spirit’s knife to tuck into the leg sheath.) The GIJCC went all out on equipping this Joe and it really pays off—especially the snow board which features spring-loaded blades that extend out the side. I’ve heard conflicting stories that these are both for stabilization and that they help the board glide longer during jumps. Either way, I can safely say “I dig it!”
So, at the end of the day is Iceberg worth your hard-earned cash? I’m going to say “yes” overall. Okay, I’m not alone in having some issues with the choice of legs used and the plastic in this figure seems to be much softer than in other more recent releases but overall the design works. The color scheme is very faithful to the original and the improved gear selection really goes a long way in winning me over. However, I’ll add this caveat—I was never a huge fan of Iceberg “back in the day.” Outside of his appearance (and subsequent transformation into a killer whale) in the Sunbow episode “Iceberg Goes South”, I have very little connection to him as a character. Now, before all the Iceberg fans grab pitchforks and storm JBL HQ let me clarify one point. Even though I had no real attachment to the character he’s now on my radar thanks to the efforts of the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club. In fact, I’ll take things a step further and cite that Iceberg (along with the ongoing Adventure Team comic in the newsletters) was the reason that I renewed my membership. Much like Footloose and Dial-Tone in the years prior, Iceberg was enough of an incentive for me to sign on for another year in the GIJCC. So in that case, it was “mission: accomplished” in the eyes of this Joe fan. I’m glad I own him but I wouldn’t spend exorbitant amount to get him. Of course, that’s just one Joe fan’s opinion!
The bottom line: Iceberg is worth snagging for a good price. He’s not a perfect figure but overall the positives far outweigh the negatives.
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