Low Light has always been a favorite character of mine. His file card humanized him in a way that instantly made him appealing and his gear was some of the best in the early RAH days. Over the years, his look changed (as did his hair color) but I always thought the original was the best. I could never get into the pompadour black-beard sniper—mine was always the shy sandy-haired sniper with the goggles. Apparently the same holds true for the team in Pawtucket as Low Light’s DTC update is a direct homage to his early RAH countenance.
As with Grand Slam, I have to start this review by stating that Low Light is an almost complete repaint of the Chief Torpedo figure from Spy Troops, with the exception being the use of the VvV 7 Snake Eyes arms and the use of VvV Gung Ho’s vest. When pics first surfaced of this figure on the web, I was prepared to give him a luke-warm reception. Just a few months earlier, I was going through my extra figures and trying to figure out what to do with 40+ Gung Ho vests when I hit upon the idea of giving them to figures that needed “a little something”. The Chief Torpedo mold—while working extremely well for his given specialty, is a bit plain without the re-breather around the neck. So, one extra vest later, I had the original Joe SEAL geared up for action. When I saw that the DTC Low Light was made along the exact same lines, I wasn’t thrilled.
This body mold works surprisingly well for Lowlight. It’s essentially a generic zippered coverall with several pouches and pockets sparingly scattered throughout the body. It’s a detailed yet extremely generic body whose parts can easily be cannibalized to make endless combinations of characters, as seen on sites like JoeCustoms.com and CommandoCustoms.com. It’s also extremely evocative of the original Lowlight body—minus some of the molded gear. In other words, it’s a body that I can see being used by more than one figure, as it is an extremely plain uniform. However, I have to give Hasbro props for the paint applications used to add distinction to this mold. On the left leg is strapped a map. Easily visible by either a pilot or a ground pounder, this was original painted off-white in the Chief Torpedo release. However, for Low Light Hasbro made it a topographical map complete with a past date painted across the bottom. It’s a fantastic detail of a type not usually found on a repainted figure and one that helps Lowlight stand out just a bit from his parent figure. The tactical vest, with its red highlights, is also extremely evocative of the original Low Light design. It’s an accessory that I’m surprised hasn’t been reused more often but one that will no doubt surface in future waves. The Snake Eyes arms aren’t my first choice for this figure but I can understand why they were used. A figure like Low Light has an extremely large rifle accessory and the swivel wrists allow that accessory to be more easily posed. The hands are still open too far and the forearms still look as though they should be bare skin and not painted plastic, but that’s a grievance that goes back to my Wave 7 Snake Eyes review. Overall the body works for Lowlight.
When I first saw the Chief Torpedo head, complete with stocking cap, I was reminded of Lowlight so it’s only logical that this is the head that is used for the team’s premiere sniper. I’ve seen customs that also use the Frostbite head and, while I think that it would have made the figure stand out more from Torpedo, I prefer the head that was used. The different hair color and painted face give it a somewhat different appearance from the Chief, but the two figures standing side-by-side evoke memories of the 1982 Clutch/Breaker/Rock n Roll clone saga. If I leave the included goggles down over the eyes, I can pass them off as two different figures but it’s still really obvious that they’re of the same origin. Where this figure really shines is in the accessory category. Hasbro saw fit yet again to provide a DTC figure with a killer new weapon and this Lowlight is NO exception. I’m glad to see that each of the Joe team’s current marksmen (Low Light, Barrel Roll, and Crosshairs) is equipped with different rifles. Repaints need something to help them stand out from the original and new accessories are one way to accomplish this. The new rifle works well for the character and even thought it’s near impossible to get a Joe into a good sniping pose, it looks great with the figure.
So, is Low Light worth getting? I have a hard time answering this question. By nature, I oppose repainting one figure into another unless there is a new head sculpt involved. I can understand Hasbro’s need to save a few $’s with DTC as the target audience is much smaller than at mass retail, but I still like something to make the new character unique. However, try as I might I can’t dislike this figure. I’m a HUGE fan of the Chief Torpedo mold and yet I really don’t mind this reuse for Low Light. The overall design and style are SOOO close to the original that it’s just a perfect fit. I’d like to try painting a Frostbite head and seeing how it fits on this body in the future but for now I’ve got my original team marksman and I’m happy because of it. When DTC Wave 3 shows up in more substantial quantities, I can see a lot of Joe fans picking him up and adding him in to their collection. So, while not 100% original, Low Light’s still pretty darned good.