G.I. Joe Collectors Club Membership Incentive 2013 - Iceberg

The formula at this point seems pretty well established...using the Convention set to build new stories as well as tie in classic characters, the G.I. Joe Collectors Club seems determined to focus their attention on the yearly incentive figures to filling in glaringly vacant holes in the classic line up of a Real American Hero. Dial Tone kicked off the practice in 2011, then Footloose pretty much perfected it last year. This year, we get Iceberg, a pretty big piece of the 1986 puzzle, and the last non vehicle driver figure that was left to release from that pivotal year.

Over the past few years, the Collectors Club has done an excellent job using established parts to create authentic looking reproductions, but this year, I think they tried a little bit too hard to be a little bit too classic themed. Where as figures like Footloose and Dial Tone seemed to accept the fact that they would be a little bit different than the old school version, the Club really put a strong focus on Iceberg's boots, and unfortunately I think that's to the detrement of the overall look and feel of the figure. It is a shame, because the majority of this figure is actually quite nicely done.

I'm a huge fan of the Arctic Snake Eyes/Snow Serpent figures, and the torso use here is excellent, giving the figure a nicely detailed and bulky winter look. The Airtight arms are equally bulky and equally reminiscent of a padded arctic jacket. I love the Airtight arms quite a bit, as they have terrific range of motion in the elbows, plus the new wrist joints that add some great flair to the figure. But the main problem with the figure structure in my mind is with the legs. I can understand why the Club went for the 25th Anniversary Spirit Iron-Knife legs. The detail at the top of the boots looks much like the furred lining that the original Iceberg had there, and the leg sheath matches the classic version as well. The main issue is that Spirit's legs are so thin that they lack the feeling of arctic protection. Combine that with the fact that his torso and arms are extra bulky and padded, and the entire figure ends up looking pretty top heavy, especially with the fur shoulder pads added.

Along with this, the re-used vintage head sculpt, which was simply retooled for a modern figure looks terribly dated in comparison to the intricate sculpted detail of more modern parts. The head sculpt isn't horrible, but compared to the excellence of figures like Footloose, Repeater, or Psyche Out it really stands out quite a bit.

The Collectors' Club remained faithful with the color scheme as well, going white throughout much of the uniform with the right twinge of blue/green trim. The gloves and sheath have a great dark shade of the color, with a much lighter shade on his torso. It breaks up the pure white color of the uniform quite nicely and is also reminiscent of the 25 year old original.


While the Club threw itself back in time over two decades for much of the inspiration for this figure, they actually just stepped back a few years to look at a good accessory compliment.

I think everyone is familiar at this point with the canceled Pursuit of Cobra "Arctic Threat" Duke an almost infamous figure that was originally slated to come out at the tail end of the Rise of Cobra era before a shift in focus away from the film doomed all of the actor-licensed figures to the cutting room floor. This figure has been available from time to time on the gray market, but it's great for the Club to make these parts more accessible.

The main canceled accessories here are the snowboard, backpack, and machine gun, all of which were re-used from this Arctic Duke figure. The snowboard and backpack hook together for transportation, and the snowboard has a pretty cool spring-loaded flip out blade action feature. The machine gun is a similar weapon that was the standard among the Rise of Cobra, but with some additional sculpted arctic wrap around it.

Along with the canceled parts, there is also the rocket launcher that came with Bazooka (and was also slated for release with Duke), a shoulder holster, a knife, an arctic repaint of Recondo's gun, and the fur shoulder pads from the Snow Serpent. The array of accessories here is simply fantastic, and is one aspect of this figure that is remarkably well done. The accessories all manage to make perfect sense for the character (the '93 Iceberg repaint even came with a snowboard) and also fill in some large gaps in some collections. If there is a bummer about the accessories it's that the snowboard was obviously designed specifically for the Arctic Duke figure, and Iceberg does not fit on it very well. His feet don't work in the holders and his foot holes are even a little loose on the pegs.

I am, by and large, quite impressed by most of the Collectors' Club offerings, but in the case of Iceberg, I think they missed the boat. I can understand budget limits for a brand new head sculpt, rather than just a retooled one, but I would think there were better choices for the legs that might have lost some of the vintage accuracy, but would have made for a better overall toy, which I think should be the most important thing. Judging by what we've gotten from the Figure Subscription Service and what looks slated to come with the second run of that same theme, I think Iceberg is more of a hiccup than any kind of trend, and I greatly look forward to Collectors' Club product going forward. They can't all be home runs, and considering I have no real love for Iceberg as a character, the fact that this character got somewhat of a short straw doesn't break my heart.