Okay, this one surprised me.
Not being one of those fans who was desperate for modern updates to all vintage Tiger Force figures, I don’t have a personal attachment to seeing those designs updated, but I know a lot of folks do. When Recondo was listed in the Convention brochure, I figured it was a slam dunk that he’d appear with his familiar blue hat and gray/green color scheme that we’d all seen as a kid, piloting the Tiger Fly helicopter. Instead, the Collectors Club threw a hanging curve ball and gave us an unreleased version of Recondo, originally seen in the same pre-sales catalog as Sabretooth.
It was an interesting choice. I can understand why it would upset some people, because many folks out there feel like they need all of those vintage versions updated. But on the flip side, going the unproduced route is a more intriguing move, because it’s something that hasn’t been done before. However, on the other hand, it just so happens that the unproduced Recondo is in a color scheme exceptionally similar to Tiger Force Flint, so in that way, Recondo seems somewhat uninspired.
At the end of the day, you can only really judge the figure by your own personal enjoyment of it, and Recondo excites me about as much as any Tiger Force figure does… which ain’t much.
That being said, there are elements to enjoy here. Granted, the 25th Anniversary era head sculpt is pretty soft and dated when compared to its peers, but it’s Recondo, that much is inarguable. I love that the Club improved the arms, going with Kwinn rather than the bulbous Flint arms of the 25th Anniversary version. Recondo desperately needs those new arms, and these work amazingly well. Even though the color scheme so lock step in line with Flint, it is still pretty nice, with great shades of green, brown, and black, looking almost more jungle-like than Recondo’s original tan and light green. Purely on his own merits, the figure is fun.
I would imagine because of Wreckage’s weapon choice, this Recondo doesn’t come with his trademark shotgun, instead sporting the great wrapped sniper rifle that the Pursuit of Cobra version of the character came with. I approve. He also has his familiar backpack, removable boonie hat, and the truly bizarre jungle knife that Shadow Tracker originally came with. The knife was a really strange choice, but individually it doesn’t make or break the character. As we’ve seen since day one, the hat has some trouble staying on his head, but for display purposes, it works.
Recondo was an early favorite character of mine that remained somewhat under utilized in the comics and cartoons, but every time he did appear, he made an impact. This figure takes the spirit of the character and does some interesting things with it, and I like that the Club went unproduced with the deco, even though to many folks it will feel like a missed opportunity. In actual execution, the figure is nice, poses well, and has some crisp paint applications. A decent enough update.
Utilizing mostly the 25th Anniversary parts, the figure succeeds by at least addressing the worst area of the original, which were the arms. There are still some limitation to the older parts, but as a whole, it’s not a bad update at all. The Club elected to use his unreleased paint scheme rather than duplicate the vintage version, which was a nice twist, though it may upset some vintage purists.