G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Scarlett (City Strike)

Note - This is a pre-production sample of a figure that was never produced

First and foremost, a huge shout out to Glumby who so kindly sent this figure over to me...initially I had reached out so I could do a comparison image for my FSS Jinx, but he also graciously allowed me to do a review just on this figure, too. Very kind of him, and I really appreciate it.

We're going back in time a little bit for this one... back to a simpler.... well, scratch that. As the Rise of Cobra transitioned into the Pursuit of Cobra, things were far from simple. Licensing issues with actor head sculpts and a decided lack of direction for the brand seemed to be causing chaos for end-of-line releases, and many figures fell victim to that, including the figure you see above. It's amazing to me that figures like this end up getting cut from production, especially considering how far along this figure got. Awesome Rise of Cobra packaging artist Mike Thompson has a fantastic artistic study on the work that went into this Scarlett package art, and you can see the final art below as well (click the image to enlarge it):

Luckily for G.I. Joe fans, the majority of the product that ended up canceled at the tail end of the Rise of Cobra found its way into the release pipeline, but City Strike Scarlett was one of the select few that remained on the cutting room floor. Thanks to the Figure Subscription Service version of Jinx from the G.I. Joe Collectors' Club, though, we have a nice assortment of her parts and pieces. All that remains missing now is the new head sculpt and her bad ass looking face mask.

Focusing on the figure itself, the tooling from the neck down is all pulled from the G.I. Joe: Resolute Scarlett, which probably made losing this figure a bit more palatable to collectors (just a bit). Her Rachel Nichols head sculpt is a new one, and you'll notice the one above is marked, which is a typical tactic that Hasbro likes to use to discourage folks from hunting down these pre-production items, or at least discourage people from selling them, in the thought that a marked up figure won't net as big a return. The G.I. Joe: Resolute Scarlett tooling is pretty great, and as such this figure has really nice articulation, excellent sculpting detail, and works well as a military operative, or a semi-futuristic commando. I can't help but dig the Sigma 6 like appearance to that uniform as well.

Scarlett's paint apps are very subdued, as were most figures from the Rise of Cobra line, wearing mostly black with different shades of gray for the uniform trim and the kneepads. It ends up making her red hair stand out quite a bit, but the figure is a terrific night operations and infiltration trooper, and even though we've seen the tooling before, and have gotten a few figures based on this look, I find myself really wishing this version of Scarlett had made it out there. You don't often see Scarlett in a down and dirty "wetworks" type of outfit, and I think this works perfectly for that. It's a nice departure from her too-typical tan and green. She ends up blending in perfectly with City Strike Snake Eyes and they make a really terrific ninja infiltration duo.


Up until recently, the biggest loss with the canceled "City Strike" Scarlett was with her accessories. Her awesome tonfa swords, leg-mounted sheath and facemask had never seen retail release and were in hot demand from collectors. As mentioned above, the FSS Jinx rectified that for everything except her facemask (and that swing-wing jetpack has already been seen with a few other figures anyway). I would still like to see her facemask at some point down the line. I really love how the combination of that mask and her jet pack made her look somewhat bat-like. Pretty spooky and very cool.

The tonfa swords work really nicely, and the leg sheath was an interesting idea. It does have a tendancy to fall off fairly easily, however. Interesting that the figure does not come with a firearm, but it seemed as if Hasbro was jumping both feet into the silent weapons element of this character.

At the end of the day, I think the cancelation of "City Strike" Scarlett was probably the least of all evils. Better to not get this figure than something like Ripcord, Arctic Destro, or Zartan who had some considerable new tooling. Now, I'm not necessarily saying that Arctic Destro was a better figure, but with all of the new tooling involved, getting him to retail was an important thing, I believe, especially as he became the foundation for City Strike Destro down the line.

I would love to see this figure brought out somewhere down the line, and I think it does make a certain amount of sense to do so, even with so many of her parts now available. Certainly they would have to use a different head sculpt for licensing reasons, but I think Scarlett could really use a good black ops update, and this serves that purpose very well.