Snake Eyes
(1 of 10)
(2 of 10)
Cobra B.A.T.
(3 of 10)
Storm Shadow
(4 of 10)
(5 of 10)
Cobra Viper
(6 of 10)
Crimson Guard
(7 of 10)
(8 of 10)
(9 of 10)
Snake Eyes
(10 of 10)

Crimson Guard - Hall of Heroes (Figure 7 of 10)

Maybe it was just my fascination with red things, but even as a kid the Crimson Guard was one of my all time favorite G.I. Joe concepts. The idea of a Cobra "Elite Troopers" who masqueraded as normal American citizens was just awesome to me. I loved the vintage figure, and it still remains one of my favorite figures of all times. It is so iconic and so classic.

It always bummed me out just a bit that Sunbow didn't really take the Crimson Guard concept seriously, and mostly just worked them in with the regular troopers, dealing humiliation to them alongside every other generic Cobra soldier out there. The comics did better, I think, especially with the whole Fred concept, but nothing really captured the essence of the Crimson Guard like my own 11-year old imagination.

So, if you told me that twenty-two years later, we would have gotten a modern update to the Crimson Guard, and that twenty-four years later I would have been totally sick of them, I would have thought you were nuts. Yet, here we are.

Listen, the Crimson Guard are cool. I've already established that. But for the love of everything holy, how many of them do we need? When the initial figure hit in 2008, it was a great one, even with the somewhat limited knee articulation and clunky leg movement. But then we got a comic pack. And then we got a senior officer 3-pack. And then we got a FIVE pack. Pretty soon we had Crimson Guards coming out of our ears in every shape size and color variation. So, really, when we found out that the Hall of Heroes would feature a Crimson Guard, my response was an overwhelming "meh". What could Hasbro do that they hadn't done already?

Turned out, not much. Sure, they made some key improvements, such as making the shoulder braid silver, giving him the Fred head as well as including the more modern machine gun (a gaffe the comic pack version inexplicably made). They also added a pretty cool sheen to the helmet that contrasts with the flatter crimson of the uniform itself rather nicely.

In short, they didn't cover any new ground, they just covered the existing ground better. Granted, they should get credit for that, I suppose, but at original retail prices of just north of ten bucks, perhaps collectors wanted more?

Along with the removable helmet, the Hall of Heroes Siegie came with his familiar backpack (all done up with some nice paint variations), the pistol that barely fits his holster, and his awesome machine gun. Not much new and different, but again, just better than it was.

You know I guess the end result is what the Hall of Heroes was billed as...this is pretty much the ultimate version of the Crimson Guard. A plastic surgery Fred head, the removable helmet, the right weapon, improved colors. Yeah, this figure is as advertised. I guess the only issue is by this point we had so many Crimson Guards it was tough to get really excited over the minor changes.

As it stands now, with the amazing additions of the Pursuit of Cobra line, I find myself dying to see Hasbro revisit the CG concept with some new ideas and new tooling, while still admiring how well they did translate the vintage look, too.