From the time he made his first appearance, Zartan has always been very high on the “favorite characters” list for me.  From his mysterious appearance, to his near superhuman abilities, and his level of skill, Zartan was an evil character that was very, very cool.  You’d think that because I enjoy the character so much that I might be annoyed at him getting saddled with an obnoxious paint scheme and bizarre specialty.  But I remain surprisingly pleased at this figure, which boggles my own mind.

First of all, Zartan, even being known for his swamp-based headquarters, doesn’t lend himself to being any kind of eco-terrorist at all.  That seems like something must better suited to a new character…however, Zartan gets the short stick.

The figure tooling itself is exactly the same as the previous Zartan from what I can tell, aside from the modified “Kung Fu Grip” on his right hand (which is actually an exact copy of the Lockdown Kung Fu Grip hand).  The figure sculpt actually works amazingly well in this format, which surprised me.  I’m not quite sure why but Hasbro definitely went with a “Joker” type color scheme with Zartan, from top to bottom.  A deep, vibrant purple trimmed with a bright almost florescent green really makes Zartan…  bright.  REAL bright.  Bright almost to the point of silliness.  But anyone who knows me knows that I don’t necessarily have a major issue with the colors of some of these toys…after all, I’m one of those guys who still loved G.I. Joe in the 90’s.

The colors honestly work together pretty well, and since we tend to see purple and green together so much (the aforementioned Joker, the Incredible Hulk, Green Goblin, etc…) I must insinuate that they are colors that compliment each other, so in turn the figure doesn’t end up looking too bad even though it’s so blinding to the eye.

The Kung Fu grip works fine, just as well as Lockdown’s, but I’m not exactly sure why Hasbro took the time and expense to retool it, since it doesn’t necessarily add much to the overall experience.

Without a doubt, though, the highlight of this figure has to do with his gear.  Even though his primary weapon has nothing to do with Zartan’s specialties whatsoever, I do really like the overall design.  His water-shooting backpack, hose, and main cannon all look really cool.  The weapon is oversized and looks really deadly, even if it is only shooting water.  Zartan’s wicked looking double-bladed sword also hooks to the hose and squirts water, and the staff that Zartan comes with as well.

As cool as his offensive cannon is, the real stars of his weapons compliment are his various blades and deadly weapons.  He’s got his huge double-bladed sword, which is very cool in it’s own right.  He also comes with various smaller daggers that are all very nicely designed, too.  As redundant as seeing Zartan yet again is, the new weapons are much appreciated and hold a great design aesthetic.  He’s got pegs on all of his knives as well, so they can hook into various spots on his uniform, not to mention a spot to plug one of his knives into the end of the staff.  There seems to be a nice array of modular weaponry here. Even for a shameless gimmick, the water squirting capability of the weapon is pretty darn neat as well. It works fairly well on my Zartan, and is a funny little thing to add to the overall neatness of the figure.

A lot of folks have kind of focused on the semi-transparent green plastic on his arms, and it is sort of a selling point.  The plastic here is about as transparent as the Hi-Tech figure was in Wave 1, ‘07 Soldier assortment, meaning it’s not totally see through, but the semi-translucent green lower arms look pretty darn cool…I love the way they mix the green and flesh on the upper arms as well.  All in all, even with an exceptionally bright color scheme on the figure, I really love the way all colors mix and interact with each other, and even as another Zartan, we get a little life and zip to a re-released figure.  The updated weapons are another great addition.

It was a bit of a tough call here with this figure…by no means is this figure a necessary addition to your collection, but for an over-bright repaint it’s still a pretty darn neat looking figure and has some cool weapons.  Zartan lovers may be left scratching their heads, and folks who are into military realism won’t be big fans, but overall it’s a neat update. Definitely isn't for everyone, but those of us who have an appreciation for some brighter, more out of the ordinary colors and paint styles, this figure has a certain strange appeal.














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