Have you ever seen pictures of a toy you just KNEW you were going to love, even months before you got it in your hands? It's easy to cast hate and disdain on figures you see pictures of...you can usually get a decent idea of a design asthetic you hate even before you get a chance to hold the figure in hand. But loving aspects of a figure before you even own it can be a tricky proposition, because there are so many aspects of a toy you can't always appreciate properly until you get it in hand.

The minute I saw Lt. Stone's concept art in the G.I. Joe Collectors' Club newsletter several months ago I knew I was really going to like how this figure ended up. The eyepatch, the beret, the overall dark look to the Sigma Suit uniform. It looked like he had a ton of potential. Even the 2.5" version had a great looking cybernetic arm and some other amazing possible features. But could the final result really be as great as pictures showed? You don't get an idea of effective articulation of a figure untl you hold it...you can't really grasp how the figure looks with his accessories until you get the chance to pose the figure yourself. Yet, in spite of all the cautioning I gave myself, I couldn't help getting psyched up for this character and figure. Can this figure possibly live up to the self-imposed hype? Could Lt. Stone be the "next big thing" in Sigma 6 land?

Short answer: Absolutely.

It seems like we've come a real long way since February when we saw Hi-Tech at the International Toy Fair in New York City, and thought it might be Lt. Stone way back when. Let me just say right now, I'm very, VERY glad I was wrong. As I've said throughout my reviews, it's new concepts and new ideas that really make me happy with my toy releases, and Lt. Stone is a new and improved Sigma 6 agent.

When most longtime Joe fans hear the name "Lt. Stone" they immediately think back to the blonde-haired Duke clone that led the G.I. Joe Extreme team way back in 1995/96...well, this version couldn't be further from that, and Hasbro has done an awesome job revamping him for the new century. Presenting him as a British secret agent was a stroke of brilliance, and that cocky smirk on his face immediately brings some character to him. His eyepatch and beret just finish off this mysterious image perfectly, and from just the neck up, immediately a backstory starts forming in your mind. The fact that the beret is removable only adds to the cool factor, and I'm happy to say the hat fits his head pretty much perfectly.

The rest of Stone's body ends up being a little on the skinny side. The first thing everyone said about Hi-Tech was that he looked rediculously, unnaturally scrawny. Well, here' a newsflash: Lt. Stone uses the EXACT SAME torso as Hi-Tech. So yes, Stone is just as skinny as the Sigma 6 tech geek, but thankfully the rubber holsters and belt really offset this look perfectly. The fact remains, the figure is just as skinny as Hi-Tech, but he doesn't LOOK as skinny as Hi-Tech, which to me, is the important part. From here on out, though, the rest of the figure is nearly flawless, in all honesty. Great sculpting, fun features, and just an all around terrific toy, from top to bottom. As mentioned, the rubberized shoulder holster and belt both fit the figure perfectly and look awesome (plus they do offset the skinniness pretty darn well). His right arm has a partially pulled up sleeve that adds a cool touch of character, and I really dig the oversized boots (with a knife sheath on one of them!) as well. The entire figure just seems to come together perfectly.

Then there's the cybernetic arm. We still don't know the full story behind his robotic arm, but one thing I do know...it looks GREAT. With a perfect mixture of translucent green and metallic gray/silver, the arm is sculpted PERFECTLY. There's little touches of armor plating everywhere, rivets, dials, and other added touches. From shoulder to fingertips, this arm is practically a work of art. The opaque metallic surface and the semi-translucent green parts all blend together perfectly, and this one part of the figure adds so much to it...it's very, very cool. It's almost enough to make you just look on past the little details throughout the figure, but the slightly oversized padded gloves, twin thigh holsters, and sleek boots just compliment everything. What a great, great action figure.

So, as fantastic as the sculpting is, what good are the intricate details without some good paint to top it off. Well, the color choices on Stone are damn near perfect as well. He's got the same black-based Sigma Suit, and his trimming is a very dark brown/red which does an awesome job keeping the character a more "covert" agent. No bright blue, yellow or green to see here, just a very dark, deep almost crimson/maroon, and it's a fantastic color choice. His beret color matches the red shade of his trim, and his holsters, belts, and boots are all a great leathery shade of brown. There's an adequate smattering of silver on the buckles as necessary, and of course the arm...yeah, the paint apps on the arm are just flat out incredible. The fantastic paint apps are just the final great touch on an already wonderfully sculpted figure.

Of course, Sigma 6 is very well known for their accessories, too...especially the Commando series. How does Lt. Stone stack up? He doesn't stack up...he simply sets a new standard that all other figures will now have to work hard to compete with. Stone comes with an impressive array of weapons that are not only beautifully designed, but are exceptionally functional as well. They don't just look great, they serve a purpose.

First of all, even the simplest additions make for some great accessories here. The removable beret, shoulder holster, belt, and thigh holsters all count as "accessories" and do a fabulous job accentuating the figure and really adding to the character. Stone's primary weapon is an oversized spring-loaded rifle that has become typical with these figure releases, but instead of missiles, it's a "net launcher". The net fires pretty nicely and actually as a feature I don't mind it a whole lot...but what's even better is that once you remove the net projectiles, the launcher itself is a very nicely designed, fun looking gun! I love the double-barrel configuration, the way the weapon is sculpted, and the overall look of the gun itself. Even as something that launches a net, it looks like a deadly offensive weapon. No complaints at all on this. Complimenting this launcher is a trio of pistols, two of them with silencers, and one without. All of these pistols fit seamlessly into their holsters and best of all, they look like realistic weapons. Sigma 6 has kind of been skirting the line lately with over-the-top elaborate, unrealistic guns, and I'm quite excited to see some more standard weapons being worked in here. They really suit his "spy" personal very nicely, as well. The last weapon is a simple knife, which slides into his boot sheath. The blade is a little long and it doesn't fit in there quite as snugly as I'd like, but it's still not bad.

Even if these were all of the accessories he came with, I'd be pretty happy. But no...Stone comes loaded with disguise gear as well! Apparently this new member of Sigma 6 isn't just a secret agent, he's a Master of Disguise, too. Very cool. The Zartan mask/hood combo fits easily over Stone's head, but ends up looking a bit large on his body, and is not my favorite addition. It does look pretty close in comparison to Zartan's actual head and face, which is good, but the size difference is evident. While you can put this on with the chest armor and such included, it doesn't really match, so a Zartan disguise doesn't work as nicely as it could. The COBRA Trooper disguise, though, is just plain cool! With a nicely designed helmet, cool chest armor, and multi-part arm shields, Stone manages to pretty nicely approximate the look of the COBRA Troopers in the cartoon (although he does not resemble them very closely). It's a great action figure approximation. I am a little disturbed because it looks like the armor on the arms is specifically designed to work with Stone's specially configured arm-ports. I was hoping they would be more universal so I could use the COBRA disguise on other figures (without the tell tale signs of cybernetic arms for oen thing) but it looks like that's not going to happen without at least some modifications somewhere. Still, regardless of that, his disguise gear is great.

Pay attention, now, too...because you're hearing it here first. If you like the black armor that Lt. Stone has buy the figure AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Hasbro is going ahead with a running change on this wave, and only the first 1000 or so figures will have black armor. The rest of the released figures will have BLUE armor. I personally think the blue will look really cool, but those of you who want black armor, buy Stone as soon as you see him, he won't be that way for long!

As if all of these disguises wasn't enough, Stone also comes with a cool little adapter that allows you to hook all of his disguise gear together and carry it around easily! Such a great and obvious little feature that really adds another extra flair to the figure and really helps make it as great as it is. Lastly, Stone comes with a small set of handcuffs, which again don't seem absolutely necessary, but Hasbro actually made quite cool. They have adjustable clasps and well-placed swivel joints so they can adapt to many COBRA agents in many different arm positions. Just another awesome little touch.

What is there possibly to complain about with this figure? Honestly? Not a whole heck of a lot. I hadn't been as excited as I was to get a Stone figure in a long, long time...the cartoon helped get me even more fired up, and now that I have the figure, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this is my favorite Sigma 6 item to date. Considering we have Destro, Zartan, Sigma Strike Duke, and Firefly, that is REALLY saying something...but from a character stand point and an actual physical toy standpoint, Lt. Stone has become the new pinnacle of action figure engineering that all other Sigma 6 toys will now have to be compared with. Considering Hasbro seems to be growing with every wave, I find myself almost giddy with anticipation waiting to see what might just be in the wings next year.

Fantastic, fantastic work, Hasbro. Keep it up.














    Top of the Page  
text links HomeThe StoryThe SeriesThe ToysThe FilesThe ForumsThe Staff