If there is one major influence of the Sunbow cartoon on current GIJoe continuity it’s the Greenshirts. Mostly faceless (except for Sparks), these were the GIJoe counterparts to the standard Cobra troopers. No longer was GIJoe an elite counter-terrorist squad; instead Joe was a full-fledged branch of the military with squads of loyal troops ready to save Democracy. When Devil’s Due relaunched GIJoe in comics, the Greenshirts made the transition. As a result, many fans have been looking for a figure to fill this role of generic trooper. Many army-builders made use of the hordes of Mirage figures accumulated with the Viper reissues. Hasbro came through and gave us a full-fledged Infantry unit for GIJoe. How is it as a set? Read on…
There are essentially two basic bodies in this set and one head. The first body is similar to that of the comic pack “original thirteen” including Zap, Stalker, Hawk, etc. The second torso is from the original HISS driver and later utilized in the “Rip It” repaint. The heads are all identical—being repaints of the “Downtown” head that was later repainted and used for Short Fuze in the Night Force six-pack. The bodies are all identical in overall color scheme.
If I sound a bit like Ben Stein’s teacher in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, it’s because I just can’t get excited about this set after having opened it. When I first heard that a Greenshirt set was coming out, I was giddy. Would they look like the classic Sunbow Greenshirts and use a torso similar to the original Zap? Would they look like the ultra-cool Devil’s Due Greenshirts and be based on either a Tripwire or Sci-Fi body? Would they be another “action soldier” re-release like the comic pack Flash? However, the anticipation for me was greater than the realization.
I think it’s the reuse of the head that just kills this set for me. In order to make the figures look different, the hair color, facial hair, and skin tone are varied from figure to figure. However, this head is not one that I would have chosen for a generic troop builder. In fact, the head of the Mobile Command Center reissue Leatherneck would have worked extremely well for this set. Heck, that whole body has a nice modern military feel to it. However, just seeing an endless sea of goatee’s and beards just doesn’t cut it for me.
Another problem I have with this set is the choice of bodies used. Two of Greenshirts use the HISS driver torso and the other four use the classic “original 13” torso. This worked well in the early 80’s but the chest is a bit dated now. When you add in the fact that I’ve also just seen this chest in a fair number of the recent comic packs, I have a hard time getting excited about it. The HISS driver torso on the second body isn’t bad—but it just isn’t something that I would consider modern military.
If this set does have one strong suit it’s the sheer number of accessories you get with it. Every trooper has an M-16 with grenade launcher and there are enough other rifles, pistols, SMG’s, and backpacks to arm 10 other figures. The backpacks and stands are also a nice touch. The helmets, which I first encountered with the RAHC “Big Brawler” figure, don’t sit on the heads too well. In fact, the helmets are the weakest accessories in the set.
I think that I got spoiled by the design of Devil’s Due’s Greenshirts. It’s sleek, practical, and just plain stylish. I was hoping for a set of those figures or even the Sunbow Greenshirts. Instead, this is the first TRU exclusive set that I’ve bought that I’m not really happy about. The whole pack comes across more as a Lanard product than a Hasbro product and that’s a shame, considering some of the other fantastic sets that Hasbro has released. In the end, I can’t really recommend this set to highly—it’s got a lot of great gear included, but so do a lot of Ebay auctions. The figures are nothing to write home about and, for $20.00, you could do a lot better with your money.