G.I. Joe vs. Cobra - Big Ben

As anyone who reads my reviews, or my profiles section probably knows, I am a big fan of the molds Hasbro used throughout the 90’s.  Some figures were a big departure from the norm, but I still think they did an excellent job with a bulk of those figures, and the good far outweighs any bad that came down the pipe.  For every ’94 Muskrat, there was a Crimson Guard Commander, Headhunter Stormtrooper, and Flak Viper to make all the pain wash away.  You need not look anywhere past the Big Ben figure to clearly see my point.Along with Big Bear, Big Ben was the first Joe from a foreign country and he really made a splash. 

Coming from the United Kingdom, he was a much respected SAS Operative, coming to the Joes and bringing his wealth of knowledge with him.  In my world, he worked for the ultra-secret Action Force team over in Europe, and was a liason between them and the Joes.  If I am ever able to get any of those European Action Force figures, rest assured, there will be a meeting between the two teams in a future dio-story…but only if the price is right.  :)

Big Ben has always been a great figure.  His original version done in dark browns and greens really showed through and was a gem of the early 90’s.  His accessories were fantastic, his mold was great and military-like, and the colors were perfect.  When he was redone in 2001, he still held true, only now he was relegated to a permanent Arctic role, which I really didn’t care for.  But now, Big Ben is back and ready to rumble in the jungle again!The mold still holds true to this day.  A simple jackets and pants…wool hat with earmuffs…a single microphone to his mouth and a pair of machine gun belts strapped across his chest.  To this day, Big Ben still retains his classic, but immortal look.  And this new version is just far too cool to be trapped in plastic!His jacket is now done in a grayish/tan hue.  Much lighter than the ’91 version, but still a great subdued color.  The straps for his backpack are a deep green and match the green of his wool hat. 

The gunbelts are cast in a nice brass sheen…and then there are the pants!  Hasbro has experimented with the whole “marbleized” plastic thing before…see the 2001 version of Duke and Sidetrack to see some examples…but they really hit their stride here.  The green pants are swirled just enough to give a real impression of camouflage without busting out the paint brushes.  The dark and light greens mix together just enough to get the camo, but not too much to look kind of…fake.  Big Ben’s legs are almost the highlight of the whole figure and really look very, very cool.  Add the little G.I. Joe logo to that and you’ve got a sweet looking figure!

Not only that, but much to my surprise, Hasbro kept the bulk of Big Ben’s very cool accessories. He’s got the gun, the pouch and the grenades, and is only missing his oversized backpack. It almost seems as if Hasbro gave the Joes all the cool weapons and kind of stuck the Cobra batch of Wave 1.5 with the junk. But more on that later...