Ah, Hi-Tech...how confused you made us all back in February.

For those folks who haven't heard the story, yours truly made a trip to New York back in February to do some Toy Fair coverage. Before going, we'd gotten a press release listing of some future releases for the year, and listed in this release was "Lt. Stone". Well, this was the first mention of Stone, and there was no mention at all of Hi-Tech.

So here we all are in the display room, checking out this strange green and black figure with no name tag. It kinda looked like Hi-Tech, but there was no mention of 'Tech on the Press Release...but there was a mention of Lt. Stone, and no other figure that this guy could be. Was this Lt. Stone? After spending 15 minutes talking to various Hasbro PR reps (who didn't really have any other info beyond what was on the release) we decided to run with naming this mystery figure "Lt. Stone" even though it looked like Hi-Tech. So, while we got confirmation that this was H-T a few days after that fact, it did cause some confusion for a few days.

Now, why Hi-Tech? Hi-Tech made his first appearence in the original 3 3/4" line in 2004, a good 22 years after the line began...certainly wouldn't someone like Mainframe or Dial Tone be better? A more established character? No, I don't think so. Both of those guys had some limitations...they were computer experts and communications experts, but not all around technology experts. Not only that, but it's tough to build on characters that have been around for twenty years. You make some changes and suddenly there's an outcry...meanwhile Hi-Tech is a pretty clean slate. And I dig this younger, cocky, ultra-smart tech expert. He's goofy, sure. But he seems to fit in with the team.

So that's my take on the character...so how does this toy relate? It does pretty well.

First and foremost, I was really hoping if we got a Hi-Tech figure, we got one that really matched his look on the cartoon. Having the lined sweater and non-Sigma Suit look gave him a more support staff appearence, which fits his purpose on the cartoon. I guess I can see why they went with a Sigma Suit, and kids want figures that will be out in the field, so they decided to equip him with a Sigma Suit to put him more front and center.

So, while I'm a little upset that we didn't get a cartoon-accurate look to the figure, the Sigma Suit looks cool. His uniform is a bright, direct green, much brighter than the Jungle Commando Snake Eyes or Heavy Duty and gives you a very "techie" look. Now, it would appear that from head to toe, Hi-Tech is pretty much all new from one end to another. His head sculpt is obviously new, with his familiar spikey hair, lean face, and those very cool goggles that cling tight to his head and stay on well.

The first thing everyone notices about the figure itself is the waist size. Hi-Tech is SKINNY. Now that makes perfect sense to me, I mean he is essentially a computer geek who likely doesn't work out a whole lot and shouldn't really be "ripped". It makes sense that he's extra thin, in my eyes. It actually makes it kind of funny to see this pencil-thin geek kid toting around a laser rifle bigger than he is. Kind of a neat dynamic, I gotta say. I will admit, though, I'm not wild about the pants. I like the pants themselves, but I do wish they were full pants and not just weird knee-high short-things. Those just look kind of... odd.

His Sigma Suit has little pegs and ports and other trimming scattered all throughout, too, more touches to make it look more technical and different from the others. In fact, I can imagine his Sigma Suit is a prototype suit that he's constantly tinkering with and upgrading, doing some beta tests to try and figure out what new features to deploy to all suits. That could make for some interesting story elements where a new upgrade fails in the midst of a mission or something. The Hi-Tech character itself really brings some neat ideas to the table, and the figure represents the character well, I think.

As usual, the Tech Specs page will have a lot of detail on the substantial weapons and gear that this figure comes with, but I'm going to touch on it a little bit here as well.

Hi-Tech essentially comes with one gun, though it separates into three separate componants, and each one has some cool design flair to it. I love the miniature blaster, I dig the medium sized weapon, and of course the huge barreled monster is just fantastic. The sculpting, the detail, and the modular abilities all add some great spark to the weapon, and even with just one real gun, there are still a number of different things you can do with it. There are assorted pegs and mounts all over the weapons for the included cable to plug into as well. I probably like the medium conversion (pictured above) the best, just because it seems to provide the best balance between size and power. Plus, it just looks very cool.

The Sentry is another aspect of Hi-Tech that is actually kind of neat, too. It fits securely on his back, and the legs are pretty poseable. They slide back and forth and can rotate up into a "saucer" format, or walking format. The metallic componants are nicely sculpted, the wheel attachments look good, and I love the head/camera combination. It looks like a surveillance camera, but also manages to have some character to it as well. The lid lifts up from the back to reveal an engine compartment inside as well. Like Hi-Tech's arms and his guns, his Sentry comes with a few pegs and such that this cool yellow cable he comes with can plug into. Each end of the cable is different, on "pegged" and one "holed" so they can be used in different ways.

So, all in all, you really have a great figure that might look a little different, but at it's essence has pretty much everything that it takes to make a figure great. Hi-Tech is a critical componant of the Sigma 6 team, and I'm glad Hasbro got this figure out to stores. I would have preferred the cartoon look, but this Sigma Suit look works, too, the weapons are great and nicely configurable and the Sentry makes for an awesome little "sidekick" to the Joe technology specialist.

When it all comes down to it, I can very highly recommend Hi-Tech for a purchase. Even with his overly skinny look and his geeky persona, he's a cool character and a neat figure, and he would fill a big hole in your collection. I definitely recommend Hi-Tech highly.














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