GI Joe Classified is a line that elicits a lot of love and hate from collectors. Many (myself included) have been clamoring for 6″ scale Joes for several years, and when they were announced, enthusiasm was through the roof. In reality it’s been a mixed bag. The sculpts have been excellent, while the decos have left many fans saying, “Really?” Too much gold & red paint, goofy “futuristic” guns, and terrible distribution have frustrated a lot of collectors who anticipated this line for years.
And then there’s the dirty words fans only mumble under their breath, “Cobra Island”, the name of a subset of figures released only at Target stores. Not only are these being made exclusive to a physical store during a global pandemic when people are constantly being told to stay at home, they were produced in quantities far too small to satisfy demand. Many stores never got them, while others got them but they seemed to never actually hit the shelves and were presumed bought up by Target employees. Any that did hit shelves were quickly scooped up by scalpers, effectively making these grossly overpriced ebay exclusives. And to rub salt in the wound, two of the exclusive figures were the Cobra Trooper and Cobra Viper, figures most collectors would really like to own multiples of to fill out their Cobra ranks. It’s been a black eye for Hasbro & Target in what should be a glorious return of GIJoe to retail toy isles.
All that being said, I paid the ebay-tax for most of these, including Firefly, the Cobra Saboteur. Hasbro curiously gave Firefly an EOD vest as part of his gear which raised a lot of eyebrows. He’s planting bombs, not diffusing them. Why would a saboteur need an EOD vest unless he’s really bad at his job? That just wasn’t going to do at all. They also added white into his urban camo, which might be more real-world accurate, but Firefly has a long history of being purely dark grey on light grey. So that needed some work too.
It wasn’t easy to take an exacto blade to a figure I grossly overpaid for, but I got rid of all the extra EOD kibble from his vest. Then I painted it a grey close to his body color, painted over the white camo, added more dark grey camo to give him much more of a classic ARAH Firefly look, and painted on a few more details. Overall, I’m very pleased with the modifications, and he’s definitely much closer to the 6″ Firefly I always imagined.
‘Til all are one, collecting is half the battle!