Figure Subscription Service 2.0 - Bombardier

I've been having a severe crisis of conscience when it comes to this figure. My immediate reaction upon seeing the reveal was that it was just a flimsy repaint of a 25th Anniversary figure that already feels pretty dated. My secondary reaction was that the figure was based on a once secret prototype that was dug up by a very good friend of mine, David Tree, and that I was extremely happy that his discovery was honored in such a way.

My third reaction was that this was an addition to the European Action Force team, which is a nice, relatively untapped market...and then my final reaction was when I read the excellent filecard and a whole new character quickly developed in my mind. They say that you only have one chance to make a first impression, and I'll admit, my first impression of Bombardier was luke warm at best, but my further exposure to the nuances of the figure has shifted that opinion somewhat.

While I'm still not a huge fan of the base figure, especially because we've gotten so many figures with better sculpting and articulation since this figure's original release in 2008, there are several intangible elements that brings this figure higher on my "like" list.

A couple of years ago, notorious G.I. Joe collector Ron Connor put out an ultimatum asking for assistance from the collecting crowd to identify a mysterious variant of the Flash figure from 1982. UK collector and owner of All the Cool Stuff David Tree utilized his considerable Hasbro/Palitoy contacts and was able to track down the source of the figure to an early prototype of a run of "Experimental Weapons" branch of the UK Action Force. It was a landmark discovery, and it's exciting to see the results of that discovery land in collectors' hands.

(Mystery figure Images courtesy of

As the vintage version was, this figure is a straight repaint of Flash, from head to toe, so the parts used all come from that figure that is now about 6 years old. The overall sculpting of the Flash figure remains at least somewhat solid, with nice detail on the torso armor, and I love the little touches like the ankle length pants. The Collectors' Club elected to be extremely faithful to the prototype original, which includes a funny mis-matched color scheme on the legs, crotch, and arms, mixing the familiar light gray with the more familiar green. The result is something that looks much like the classic version, but doesn't seem to represent much "real world" aesthetics.

The light gray, yellow, and brown/green shades do compliment each other okay, and I like how Action Force used color schemes to tie team members together. The green/black/red of Z-Force is particularly a favorite of mine.


Bombardier comes with some very interesting weapons, which follow up his place as an experimental weapons expert. The cool mini-tank vehicle that originally came with Rise of Cobra Ripcord fits into that element quite nicely, and makes for a nice identifying trait for this Action Force character.

Along with the rocket-firing drone, the figure comes with two of the large machine guns that Ripcord also came with. They have some nice design elements, though they are pretty large and not very grip-friendly for this older Anniversary figure. Lastly, he also comes with a helmet and visor.

I am well and truly conflicted when it comes to Bombardier. I'm a big fan of Dave Tree, and I commend him thoroughly on what he did to dig up this character, and I really love how nicely developed the file card adds a great new layer to this character. I think in the end, I find more to like about this figure than dislike, though I think the Collectors Club could have hit a home run if they had taken elements of Bombardier and used some more recent parts to develop the figure. I know what the Club was trying to do, but like I said with Quarrel there are certain parts that should just be retired, regardless of the source material and what the Club is trying to do with them, and the more I see them, the more I feel like most tooling from '07/'08 should fall in that recommendation.