Review by Chris Chung & Fred Meyer
Pics by Fred Meyer
Navy SEAL - Code name: Night Fox
SDCC 2015 G.I. Joe Desert Duel Exclusive Figure
What is it about Night Fox that makes this character so enduring? This will be the third time this SEAL vehicle driver was released, but he is just as generic and plain as all of his other offerings. Not that it’s a bad thing mind you, but I find his constant inclusion in the line a bit humorous---as if he’s the personal character of a Hasbro employee. (Better him than another core “Vomit Character”.)
“Vomit Character”? Is that the code name for the poor trooper that cleans up after the Medi-Vipers? Worst… job… ever…
Night Fox uses the legs of the Wave 1 Retaliation Roadblock, and they are a bit long compared to the body. It is also important to note the legs lack double-jointed knees, and the feet have no articulation. Not a deal breaker by any means, but we mention this so there is no surprise. As mentioned above, the rest of the parts come together to form a successful, but plain body.
One thing I was disappointed in, was his deco. His promo pics and box photograph show him in dark brown colors, but the actual toy is light tan/gray with lighter stripes on the chest and arms. The colors can work in a desert environment, but the brown looked much better and I wish Hasbro would have stuck with that.
How do the colors work for you Fred?
Actually I don’t have any problem with the colors at all. Night Fox is wearing the light gray of what is apparently the “Wolf Squad”—yet another new sub-team in a unit that is filled with sub-teams. The gray and white camouflage pattern works well enough and the orange paint adds a much needed splash of color. I have no issues with the colors whatsoever.
What I do have an issue with are the arms used in the character build—specifically the hands, which are sculpted at a downward angle. The result is that Night Fox is utter incapable of holding his included weapons at anything resembling a realistic pose. The Navy SEAL can active a single-handed grip with no problems but a two-handed pose is completely out of the question. Combine this with the long v1“RoadRock” legs and you’re left with a figure build that lacks poseability in a lot of crucial points of articulation. This is my first real Night Fox figure as I skipped the Pursuit of Cobra AWE Striker when it was released and so far I’m just not impressed.
In terms of head sculpt, good ole Night Fox is using the Pursuit of Cobra Beach Head noggin. It works well enough for creating a character w/o having to produce a new head sculpt but, in all honesty, I like to actually see the faces of my Joes. Cobra has enough faceless masked characters; the Joe’s always stood out by having their faces visible with only a few exceptions. Plus, having the included facial scarf and a balaclava just seems a bit redundant.
Weapons and gear:
Night Fox comes with support weapons, and the M2 can mount onto the F.O.E. Striker. Unfortunately only one ammo belt was included, so Chuckles’ SAW doesn’t come with a belt or box. I was also disappointed he didn’t come with his ball cap (pictured on the box art), as the helmet doesn’t stay on if you have him wearing his second mask. But regardless, not really any pressing issues with his gear.
Am I missing anything else, Fred?
Aside from the fact that Night Fox can’t really hold the gear that was packaged with him very well, I’ve got nothing else to add without sounding like a cranky old Joe fan. This kit is actually pretty decent and it works well with the FOE Striker but poor Night Fox can’t really take full advantage of it.
I personally like Night Fox and that’s why I got the SDCC/TRU exclusive version of the Desert Duel set, but I also understand his arguably uninteresting parts and deco doesn’t make him a home run offering. He’s more of a niche character, and for that, I can’t say he’d be for everyone. Unless you really like this figure or you are a completionist collector, avoid secondary market prices to get this guy, because at best, he’s an officially produced custom figure.
One of the reasons I jumped at the chance to order the SDCC exclusive Desert Duel set was to obtain this Night Fox figure. There’s a quote from the classic Star Trek episode “Amok Time" that applies to my reaction to having him in hand:
“After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.”
The Bottom Line: A below-average figure that suffers from several design flaws, preventing him from using either the gear or the vehicle he’s packaged with their full potential. An easy pass for most collectors.
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