Toys "R" Us Exclusive Doc

Doc created quite the stir during the height of the 25th Anniversary line with the mail away offer, and he continued creating quite the stir afterwards as well. While the furor of the mail away was mostly about its rarity, how to best acquire one, and how the figures were changed down the road, the Toys "R" Us Exclusive mumbling and grumbling has mostly to do with the figure's overall appearence. Knowing the Joe fandom how I do, this does not surprise me, but to some extent, I can emphasize with their strongly worded opinions. I mean, let's face it, Joe fans (more often than not) like the military angle, and as such, they like the realistic camouflage with greens, browns, tans, blacks, etc...

You're not finding any green or brown up there are you? On arctic figures, the trend has been white, gray, brown, etc... you're not even finding any white gray or brown up there, are you?

No, you're not. But is that a bad thing? Many would say "yes", but myself, as a shameless fanboy of the 90's would say "not necessarily". But in Doc's case, I think they went a bit overboard.

Sure I can accept the fact that guys in Rescue gear wear some elaborate colors, but it almost seems like those sadistic Hasbro designers went out of their way to find out just how many bright colors they could sneak into one figure. Really sharp orange, blinding blue, tan pants that almost match Doc's normal pants, only they're a bit more yellow. This figure is brrrright. But part of me still digs it.

The main draw for this guy originally was the fact that his tooling was all pulled from the Rise of Cobra Ice Storm figure, which is a guy that most felt was cancelled and never hitting retail. It's funny, but I actually bought this Doc AFTER I finally got my hands on the Wave 3 Alphas, because I loved the Ice Storm tooling so much. In the end, I think I can find some stuff to love about Doc, too, but I can certainly appreciate those fans who are annoyed at the color scheme. But listen, we all know Doc isn't going covert ops anyway, right? Is it that big a deal?

Like every Toys "R" Us Exclusive, Doc is loaded. He comes with his familiar stretcher and medical bag, his helmet and flare gun, but also has a pair of cramp-ons, a blanket... and a torch? And Firefly's sabotage kit? WTF?

Yeah, Doc seems to come with so many accessories that a few of them don't make a whole lot of sense. But what's so cool about this figure is all in the details. While many folks see a sabotage kit, a closer look will reveal some very clever paint applications that make it something different.

What was once gasoline is now a container of water...but perhaps the coolest thing? What was once explosives, now looks like bandages wrapped in a stethoscope. Amazing. It's awesome how some small paint alterations can really totally redefine how a piece of gear looks. Fantastic work. Just ignore that grenade in the left panel.

Also a very cool throwback is the "Lifeline-esque" RESCUE logo on his backpack and his back. Love the fact that they included that, a very nice homage, in my opinion. The Rise of Cobra logo repurposed with an EKG line is a pretty cool touch as well. As long as you can pretend the acetelye torch is a hyperdermic needle or something, I think this guy is good to go.

Is this figure perfect? Nope. Is he too bright for his own good? Probably. But some pretty neat tooling and some ingenious paint applications on his accessories does get him some bonus points. I can't say he'll see a lot of use in my collection, but there is some appeal here, and I can really appreciate what the designers were going for. Certainly not the highlight of the Headquarters for Heroes, but not a terrible induction into those esteemed ranks either.