Immediately this first Soldier wave of 2007 seems to start off on a highlight. Where as with many waves we're sifting through the repaints and rehashes to try and find a great new character to cover, in this wave we've only got one rehash/repaint and three fantastic new characters. It's a very nice reversal of fortune, especially because this version if Hi-Tech is terrific, even as a repaint.

Hi-Tech was a core character of the Sigma 6 mythos who had gone missing for a while...he didn't make the cut for the first several waves (rumor has it, the dismal sales of the 12" Valor Vs. Venom Hi-Tech discouraged retailers from requesting the same character in future waves) but once he hit in 2006 Wave 3, he was a hit. Somewhat critisized for being overly skinny, nevertheless the figure was still great. Elaborate additions to his left arm as well as added Sigma ports throughout and a great interactive weapons system gave us a very, VERY nice update to the Hi-Tech character and immediately made him a credible addition to the line up. Now, just a few months later, we're getting a second version of Hi-Tech already, and personally, I think it's a very worthy update.

The figure itself is a straight up repaint of the original version, with the same head, same body, same pretty much everything. However they change the figure up considerably by giving him an intense new paint scheme that really livens up the figure considerably, which really plays off of the overall Hi-Tech sculpt very nicely.

Dubbed as the "Technology Expert" this version of Hi-Tech looks cutting edge from the ground up. Even with the same great tooling as he originally came with, the new paint apps make this figure really jump. He's got a great dull green base paint scheme with a hint of gray. This gray/green paint base blends perfectly with the somewhat smokey half-transparent lower arms and legs, giving Hi-Tech a pseudo-invisible active camouflage kind of look, which is very neat. The translucent effect is hit or miss, it doesn't end up as clear as I hoped it would, but it still has a very nice overall look. Topping this figure off perfectly is the amazing camouflage pattern done up in a goldish green. I was a little nervous at first that the camouflage would be too "busy", but it really isn't. It gives Hi-Tech a very tech-oriented appearence, which fits him well, and the paint scheme ends up working very nicely. It's odd, though, the camouflage is almost a mix between camouflage and "static" lines of some sort, perhaps attempting to demonstrate Hi-Tech in mid "phase". A great paint scheme regardless.

The only somewhat minor complaint I might have is that his lower limbs aren't quite as transparent as it looked like they may have been originally...they're more of a smokey gray. But it's still a very neat effect and I like it a lot.

Rounding out this figure are his accessories. Absolutely terrific accessories. It's rare in the Soldier assortments that weapons absolutely make the figure, those changes are usually reserved for the Commandos. But in this case, the gear definitely makes the man, from the obvious straight down to the obscure.

First of all, Hi-Tech has a revamped pair goggles, which I don't really like as much as I do his originals. However they have the unique feature of holding "earbuds" from Hi-Tech's iPod. That's right. iPod. Hi-Tech is carrying around his trusty MP3 player...I love it. He also comes with a COBRA "arachno-bot" which is a spider-shaped spy robot, which is kind of a neat accessory for him to have.

The most evident accessory would have to be his massive weapons pack. Hi-Tech comes with a shoulder-mounted weapons system which attaches to him with a very, VERY cool and nicely designed elastic harness, which is quite cool. The two weapons on top of the backpack unplug and can be used in conjunction with his other gun he comes with, adding very cool layers of interactivity that blend with the original version of this figure, too. It really gives you a great sense of Hi-Tech being a tech wizard who can customize his own weapons on the fly and just create things out of nothing. Great batch of gear...great.

So even with a totally rehashed figure, Hi-Tech manages to bring some great life to the mold with this outstanding new paint scheme and a great accessory compliment. Even at a soldier price point and Soldier format, this figure gives you a ton of bang for your buck and ends up really being worthy of purchase. At first I really wasn't sure of this figure with the funky camouflage thing going on and the fact that it was yet another Hi-Tech...but this figure manages to impress me in almost every way, and I can't help but really bring out the positive here. You will not be disappointed in this figure at all, there's a lot to love here.














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