Review by Fred Meyer & Chris Chung
Pics by Fred Meyer

G.I. Joe Collector's Club Figure Subscription Service 6.0

Special Action Force Officer – Code name: Captain Skip


G.I. Joe and Action Force have a bit of an interesting history. From 1982 – 1984, UK toymaker Palitoy released the Action Force line which pitted a team of international soldiers against the dreaded menace of the Red Shadows. The figures, which featured unique sculpts, were all built on the model of five points of articulation akin to Mattel’s runaway hit Star Wars line. Yet, in 1985 the line changed as Palitoy licensed G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero molds from Hasbro which meant that Action Force directly mirrored its US counterpart. Thanks to this connection, the two properties were now forever linked and so another Action Force team member appears in a FSS roster. Does this make him a worthwhile addition to a modern G.I. Joe action figure collection? Read on and find out what our intrepid reviews have to say!


I know nothing about Captain Skip, and I know not much more about Action Force. For that matter Freddie, you will need to shed some light on this guy.


That Chris—so helpful, I tell you. Okay, here’s what I know about Captain Skip after some hasty internet research. Captain Skip, it would seem, is a bit of a thrill-seeker. Essentially he was akin to pre-accident Tony Stark or a non-tragic Bruce Wayne. Skip was a businessman and international playboy who became bored with the lifestyle. Signed up with Action Force and excelled at, well, everything he was assigned. He eventually became the field commander of Z-Force, the infantry-based branch of the Special Action Force. (My apologies to any of our UK readers. I’m pretty sure I butchered this to some extent.)




How does one assemble a Special Action Force Officer? CaptainSkip is composed of the following parts:  


Skip is mostly a Sgt. Stone body with the arms swapped out for the Shock Trooper. This is unfortunate since the Shock Trooper arms are a tad too short making holding a longer-butted rifle in a realistic firing pose difficult. But as whole, the parts work well enough.


Fred, aside from his short arms, how is the rest of his articulation?


For the most part, Captain Skip’s build works. The articulation in the legs is perfectly usable and he’s really pretty poseable. The only issue that I have are the aforementioned problems with the arms. Visually, they look pretty good but in terms of holding his rifle, it’s not such a great parts combo. Captain Skip can manage a one-handed grip pretty easily but a more stable two-handed pose is pretty hard to achieve.


It might also just be my figure, but I’ve noticed that the shoulder joints on this build are pretty tight. They still rotate up and down but there’s some resistance there—to the point that I was concerned that Skip was going to lose a limb when I first opened him. It’s most likely a factor of mixing parts that weren’t designed to go together initially but it’s still something to keep an eye on.

Aside from the arm issue, I like the build. The extra wrist articulation is a welcome addition to an already pretty nimble build.




Skip has a cool looking black on green camo pattern similar to Jammer, but in Skip’s case his camo is splotched while Jammer had tiger stripes. I wish the Club would have settled on a unified camo pattern for both characters to make them match better, but regardless, the colors work.

 The Club adds also some red detailing to his beret, T-shirt, as well as Z-Force patches to each shoulder and his webgear. On aspect however, was not addressed; and that was his beret flash. That detail was left blank.


 I noticed the difference in the deco pattern as well. Personally I think it was done to help Stone and Jammer stand out from each other a bit more but it might be off-putting to some Joe fans out there. I like the Z-Force patches that adorn each shoulder as well as the back of the harness. I also really like the black line that is applied to the bottom sculpted edge of the beret. It’s a shame that his flash isn’t painted but quite honestly he’s already pretty paint-heavy for a Club build.

The colors used on this figure work to give him a more European flair which contrasts nicely to the more olive drab used for members of the Joe team.




 Skip comes with the following accessories:


Skip comes with a XF7 SMG, probably because it looks foreign and Hasbro never made a correctly scaled British L-85. (Thankfully Marauder Gun Runners has them in-scale!) Sadly the rest of his accessories suck. A flag and pole? Really? But to add insult to injury, he comes with a zip line roller handle, but NO actual zip line. Umm, huh? A little roll of string would have broken the bank on this offering?

Skip also comes with webgear that doesn’t quite fit how it’s supposed to. The shoulder straps don’t rest on the arms, but instead, push up giving him the illusion that his neck is shorter than it actually is. The webgear’s belt also tilts up in the back making him look a little off kilter. While not a deal breaker, a better set of webgear should have been considered.

Honestly, the web harness is the most off-putting piece of his equipment kit. As my esteemed colleague already mentioned—the web gear just doesn’t fit all that wall. It rides up almost constantly and the sculpted belt naturally sits much higher on the torso than the sculpted waistline. I’m no parts guru but I have to wonder if there was a better harness choice out there. (Perhaps even the once that came with Hardtop?)

I find the zip line rig to be a fun inclusion. It reminds me of the original sky hook that came with the 1985 Tomax and Xamot two-pack and adds a fun element of play to what is a figure designed for adult collectors. The zip line presents as less of a stuffy command figure and more as a “man of action” which actually fits in well with his file card background. The original 1983 Palitoy Captain Skip was packaged with a simple grappling hook and this ratchets that concept up to “11”.


While generic and “troop builder-looking”, Skip never-the-less makes for a decent looking figure even if he is a bit offset by dumb weapons and gear. Sure, you can swap stuff out and re-arm him any way you want, but again it’s something we shouldn’t have to do right out of the package.

As for me, Captain Skip is a skip. (Ha! Fred, did you see what I did there? I made a funny pun!) I don’t collect Action Force, and I have no attachment to this character. And while his deco may look cool, I can’t help thinking this should have been Lt. Gorky instead…

At the end of the day, is Captain Skip a worthy addition to a modern G.I. Joe collection? For the most part, I’m going to go ahead and say “yes” but with a few caveats. I’m not a hardcore international figure collector so I had little interest in Skip prior to his mock-up reveal. However, the color scheme and the overall build make him an interesting figure. In many ways he reminds me of the UNIT soldiers from the classic Doctor Who tales I watched in my youth. Visually, he evokes memories of both Sgt. Benton and Captain Mike Yates with just a dash of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. He’s also a unique character from the UK and not just a repaint of a US release with a new name. As such, that makes him more appealing to me. However, there are plenty of fans out there who aren’t interested in the International characters at all. As much as I do like Captain Skip, I can see that he’s not necessarily a figure for everyone—especially at the higher price point that he commands. Of course, that’s just this Joe fan’s opinion.





Copyright 2003