I'm actually pretty amazed at just how versatile and great the Soldier releases have been since day one. You'd think that with the higher price point, Hasbro would focus a lot of their attention on making amazing Commando releases, and just use the Soldier price point as a "go between" during down time. But instead, we've actually gotten some really impressive releases at the Soldier price point, which is great. From the original Tunnel Rat and Kamakura, to Sky B.A.T., the original Firefly, etc... we've gotten some very valued releases in the lower price point. Perhaps it makes some sort of sense, I guess, so Hasbro can focus on the core characters in the larger price points, but I find myself looking forward to Soldier releases more than the Commandos. This wave is no different, and this figure is a big part of why.

I got 2007 Commando Wave 1 a couple of weeks ago, and this wave simply smokes it in every way...every possible way.

When Firefly was first announced as a Sigma 6 character (which, ironically enough was shortly before LAST year's Toy Fair) there was a slight outcry that Hasbro was really changing things up too much in this new universe. We were told that Hasbro was well aware of his COBRA roots, and as time went on it became obvious that Hasbro knew what they were doing and ended up developing Firefly as an even more interesting character than he potentially could have been. Then, once we saw the COBRA version of Firefly during the Joe Convention last year, everyone knew right then and there just how much respect Hasbro had for the Firefly character. They did him, and they did him well. VERY well. This figure is one of the highlights of the Sigma 6 line thus far, no doubt in my mind.

Sigma 6, to date, seems to be able to do things that the 3 3/4" line has had trouble with over the past few years. Producing high quality, great concept updates to classic characters that give us some great new ideas, yet still maintain a consistent style similar to their classic looks. Updated Zartans, Destros, and Fireflies gave us some very strange decisions, some more successful than others, yet the Sigma 6 run seems to have perfected this. Destro's update is great, Zartan is incredible, and Firefly? Holy crap. Firefly is flat out amazing.

First of all, his head sculpt is a very simple concept, but an incredible execution. A terrifically sculpted knit balaclava covers his angry face, with a lot of emotion showing through his squinted eyes. You can almost see the evil grimace through the mask, and he immediately as some personality. The rest of the figure uses all new tooling, and it's great tooling as well...his metal chest armor looks great, and I really love those pouches sculpted on top of it. From his shoulders to his forearms, he has some very ornately sculpted armor which obviously draws influence from his original Sigma 6 version and gives him some character. His legs use the sculpted "baggy pants" look and use them to perfection, really giving the figure some thickness and yet still retains some heavy animated styling. The oversized armored boots compliment the rest of his look and you end up with an obvious terrorist badguy, who happens to have some exaggerated animated features, but who still looks vicious and nasty, as Firefly should.

From a paint apps point of view, Firefly is amazingly successful as well. Since day one, gray camouflage has been the trademark of this COBRA saboteur, and while that is changed up somewhat in this release, it is still extremely well-done. He's got a dark gray/black shirt underneath the armor to add a dark "covert" look to the figure, but maintains his gray camouflage on his legs and it looks terrific. The bright silver of the armor adds a little flash to the figure and contrasts the dull dark color of his overall uniform. The end result is a very vibrant, exciting figure that still has strong links to his roots and just looks terrific.

As for Firefly's accessories, they are somewhat of a mixed bag. First of all, thankfully he comes with two of his trusty machine guns, which is a nice change from the first version, which only came with one. I also love the slight changes to Firefly's mask giving him a more skull-look and making him look a lot more evil. However, from here on out, his accessories are pretty much forgettible. Like a few other figures in recent memory, Firefly uses liquid fire-based weapons, but they're kind of crappy. His large staff/launcher type of thing is strangely designed and I don't really see it as a user-friendly weapon at all. Firefly seems like a stealthy, sneaky, quick-moving assassin, and this clugey flame staff type of thing just does not look good, and I'm not a big fan of the flame-launching function.

The flame chainsaw looking thing is also very strange looking and isn't all that successful at replicating what a liquid-fire cutting device might look like. I don't really know what the mindset is behind this weapon and it just isn't all that exciting.

One somewhat bright point are the two flame gauntlets. While the concept isn't necessarily my favorite, the way Hasbro executed it is pretty darn good. The gauntlets themselves are nicely done, pretty similar to the Arctic Duke gauntlets, yet I really love how the flame ignition system works. There are a few nozzles on the back of the gloves and what looks like a great ignition system and fairly realistic flame sculpting effects. It ends up being a pretty authentic looking piece of equipment, and I can only imagine how damaging stuff like this would be in real life.

I do have a minor complaint about his machine guns, though it can't really be seen as a Hasbro problem. The rubberized material used to make these weapons has caused a bit of warping to the machine gun barrels. Nothing that's impossible to fix, but it does detract a bit from the weapons overall...however, that's a safety regulation these days, so it's tough to fault Hasbro for that, and really it's a pretty minor complaint for what is, essentially, one of the finest Sigma 6 figures released to date, and it's not really a close call.

All in all, Firefly hits on almost all marks with room to spare. Most of his accessories are kind of odd, but I love this two machine guns and his mask, and his flame gauntlets are passable as well. Those are the only questionable points about this figure, though, as every other aspect of Firefly is just amazing. The tooling made, the paint apps, the character...all of it is just remarkable.

A fantastic update to a great character and you end up with a nasty looking terrorist with some fun animated styling, and it just looks wonderful. Awesome, awesome work on this one, and I highly recommend this figure to anyone who is even remotely a G.I. Joe fan. He's a great new COBRA character and the perfect addition to your COBRA corps. Buy it without hesitation.














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