Friday, January 22, 2010

Night Stalkers: Getting More From The Rise Of Cobra Part V

If there's one thing the 25th Anniversary and Modern Era G.I. JOE lines needed, aside from specific characters on my personal list of wants, it's more females. The original five-packs released in 2007 included Scarlett and the Baroness. Since then, Hasbro has released only one additional female character, Lady Jaye, followed by two more versions of Scarlett, three more Baroness figures, and two more Lady Jaye figures. Cover Girl, Jinx, and Zarana are still waiting for their turns.

With the launch of The Rise Of Cobra line, Cover Girl finally got some love, but this was based on the likeness of Karolina Kurkova, not the Courtney Krieger we all remember from 1983. It also brought the introduction of a brand new character, Agent Helix, which was definitely a welcome addition. I'm always down for new female characters in the property. Reusing her head sculpt, Hasbro released a 2009 version of Dialtone. This wasn't the Jack Morelli Dial-Tone from '86, but Jill Morelli, a female comm specialist using a nearly identical code name. The movie line also included two versions each of Rachel Nichols' Scarlett and Sienna Miller's Baroness.

Just like Marlon Wayans and Saïd Taghmaoui became my unmasked Iron Grenadiers, I had something other than Scarlett and the Baroness in mind for these movie figures. With no female army builders available for Cobra, and no hint of any being part of Hasbro's plans for the future, these releases presented an opportunity. I was a big fan of one element of the 2007 G.I. JOE Convention exclusive set, so I set out to create a 25th/Modern-style update to the concept.

I already had a Scarlett head from the body I used to create my ROC/DDP-style Jinx, and I bought the "Paris Pursuit" Baroness figure with the intention of using her for something other than Baroness. I wasn't sure exactly what I would do with her at the time, but it was a great figure, so I was certain to come up with something. After picking up the Toys R Us five-pack with Dialtone, I decided to grab two more "Paris Pursuit" Baroness figures and a Cover Girl. With a brunette, a blonde, and a redhead, I now had all the necessary ingredients for a set of Night Stalkers.

Night Stalkers
Looking at the different ways I've incorporated The Rise Of Cobra toys into my 25th collection, this group is easily my favorite. Maybe it's a good thing for me that Hasbro hasn't produced any female army builders in Cobra uniforms, because I might spend myself into the poorhouse if they did. I had already bought the 2009 G.I. JOE five-pack (with Snake-Eyes, Flint, Lady Jaye, Shipwreck, and Hawk) to create my Female Viper Officer, and I would have painted several more if that version of Lady Jaye had seen a single-carded release. For now, though, the Night Stalkers will serve under the Baroness and bring a little diversity to the workplace on Cobra Island.

Brunette Night Stalker
The Brunette Night Stalker is simply the "Paris Pursuit" Baroness body with a Dialtone head (originally used for Agent Helix), armed with two of Baroness' guns.

Redhead Night Stalker
The Redhead Night Stalker uses the head from the "Desert Ambush" Scarlett, and she is armed with one of Baroness' guns.

Blonde Night Stalker
The Blonde Night Stalker has Cover Girl's head and silver pistols. Cover Girl's head sits too low on the neck if you push it all the way down, but it's very easy to position it for a proper look, and it stays in place perfectly. For whatever reason, this head sculpt looks much better to me on this body than it did with the ROC JOE uniform. Maybe it's her facial expression; perhaps it's more fitting for a Cobra operative.

I'll post a bonus installment tomorrow with something different, a way to add something to your movie collection that Hasbro neglected to release.

Night Stalkers: Getting More From The Rise Of Cobra Part V