Tuesday, March 17, 2009

All In The Family: Zarana

When Hasbro made it clear that they had no plans to release an updated version of Zartan's sister, Zarana, in the 25th Anniversary G.I. JOE line, I looked back at the photo I took of their custom figure of the character from JoeCon 2007. The parts were easy to identify: Scarlett's head, arms, and legs, and Lady Jaye's torso. That was a good start, but I really didn't like the way Scarlett's arms looked when painted to be sleeveless. I thought Zarana could use a bit of an update, too, so I decided to go with a combination of the original look and the Devil's Due Publishing design. I switched to Lady Jaye's arms and substituted Scarlett's lower torso for Lady Jaye's, which allowed for a crop top. I painted her boots black with a bit of brown drybrushing to give them a "dirty" look. I also added Lady Jaye's removable holster belt and painted the handle of her pistol pink so Zarana could accessorize a little. I originally used Scarlett's head, but since she was one of the few members of the G.I. JOE team I had opened for my display of loose figures, I really wanted a unique head for Zarana. That led me to this head from Alyosha's Broken Arrow Toys. Here's the end result:

G.I. JOE 25th Anniversary Zarana
I know you're a bad, bad woman...

One of the things that distinguished G.I. JOE from other toy lines in the '80s was the diversity of the characters, but that hasn't been reflected as well as it could have been since the 25th Anniversary line was introduced in '07. So far, we have three black males (Roadblock, Stalker, and Alpine), three white females (Scarlett, Lady Jaye, and Baroness), four male characters of Asian ancestry (Storm Shadow [Japanese-American], Quick Kick [Japanese and Korean], Tunnel Rat [Chinese], and the Hard Master [Japanese]), two Native American males (Spirit Iron-Knife & Airborne), and one presumably Polynesian male (Torpedo). That's a total of thirteen characters, ten of whom are males. Compare that to nearly sixty unique white males, not to mention the armies of white Cobra Troopers, Officers, and Vipers in all their various incarnations. Honestly, how hard would it be for Hasbro to thrown in a few black Cobra Troopers here and there? No new tooling is required. Anyway, the line desperately needs more female characters, which was part of my motivation for trying my hand with Zarana and the subject of my next entry, which I'll post in a day or two.

As I mentioned the other day, I truly lack even a hint of artistic ability, so the concept would definitely benefit from having a more skilled painter at the other end of the brush. For my purposes, though, Zarana will suffice, at least until Hasbro finally gets around to releasing an official version. If they don't, though, my display will be fine with this attempt at Zartan's sister.

Custom 25th Zarana
Good enough for me...

Zarana's bike is the Psycholoco from Mattel's Hot Wheels 1:18 Moto line, with Cobra decals from ReproLabels.com.

Zarana is armed with a Heckler & Koch UMP, available as the Tactical Assault Rifle w/ Removable Ammo clip from Marauder "Gun-Runners".

All In The Family: Zarana

Related entries:
All In The Family: Zartan
All In The Family: Zanya
All In The Family: Conclusion