GIJCC Exclusive Adventure Team Commander

Maybe it makes me a bad G.I. Joe fan, but I really never had an appreciation for the Adventure Team and their place in G.I. Joe history. Maybe it's because I'm such a fan of the military angle that I never really had much desire to see the Joes as more "adventurers" than soldiers and I wasn't really all that fired up to see the Adventure Team invade my preferred smaller scale.

But once Sigma 6 dipped its toes into the Adventure Team waters, I gained some respect for what Hasbro was trying to do with it, and I find myself really enjoying how the Collectors' Club has embraced the Adventure Team, and woven their mythology into the Real American Hero. It's possible to be an adventurer and a soldier, and I now can fully appreciate and enjoy how the two universes interact with each other.

Like Dr. Venom, the Adventure Team Commander comes boxed with a very well-presented outer surface, and individually carded within. Some very nice touches that give it a great air of exclusivity.

While there is little doubt that Dr. Venom is the big draw with this particular set of figures available from the G.I. Joe Collectors' Club, I find myself finding a lot to love about the Adventure Team Commander as well. Even though he uses some tooling with questionable proportions (from Wild Bill and Shipwreck mainly), the Club is able to appropriate an upscaled head sculpt and the right complimentary pieces to make the irregularities not nearly so glaring. The result is a figure that looks very much like it belongs in its 70's roots, but is still a very fun modern era figure to boot.

The most evident improvement is with the head sculpt. Looking like it was pulled directly from a 12" Adventure Team bearded figure, this smaller scaled equivilent is loaded with fuzzy headed detail and has a picture-perfect face sculpt, almost a perfect representation of its big brother.

A thick rubber coat really finishes off the look nicely, and is placed perfectly so as not to restrict too much leg movement, yet still add a very nice piece of finished detail to the figure. Taken from the Arctic Snake Eyes, the bottom of the coat looks a bit more detailed than the torso itself, but not so much that it takes anything away from the figure.

If I do have any complaints it's that this figure does somewhat exemplify some of the inherent issues I've always had with the 25th Anniversary figures. Because of the sculpting of his baggy arms, the elbow joints lack a full range of motion that I would have preferred. The Adventure Team Commander comes with this great rifle, and he cannot even hold it properly in a shooting stance. Stuff like this is what has bothered me with the 25th era tooling that I'm thrilled to see is getting at least partially resolved in the Pursuit of Cobra (and indeed was partially resolved in the Rise of Cobra as well). Sure, the figures aesthetically look very nice, but articulation and movement is such an important part of the G.I. Joe brand and mythology, it really bugs me when looks get in the way of movement.

Speaking of his rifle, the accessories are pretty well chosen, all told, with Wild Bill's vest, Sgt. Airborne's backpack, a nice small revolver and the aforementioned sniper rifle from the new sculpt era. They all come together to make a very cool adventurer type of weapon collection that isn't too "new school" military, yet still gives him some firepower.

Like Dr. Venom, there isn't much here that revolutionizes G.I. Joe or makes this some amazing new piece of the Joe mythos, but there is a great combination of high quality parts, extremely well done paint applications, and sensible accessory choices that just make the figure feel "right". Sure, he's not going to fit in with your current 21st Century Pursuit of Cobra line, but for G.I. Joe purists and long time fans like myself, there is plenty to love and enjoy here, and I'm very happy that the Collectors' Club is tying the Adventure Team universe in with the Real American Hero in both the 3 3/4" and 12" scales. Continuity is a big part of the draw of G.I. Joe for many folks, and it's cool to see some loose ends tied up.

Try and pull yourself from the futuristic Pursuit of Cobra line long enough to gain some appreciation for the Adventure Team. I think you'll find yourself pleasently surprised as I was.

Order this figure right now through the G.I. Joe Collectors' Club!