Figure Subscription Service 2.0 - Tollbooth

While there are many fans, myself included, who live to see new characters brought into the G.I. Joe mythology, there will always be a very strong contingent whose main desire is to see all of their classic favorites redone in a modern format. The Figure Subscription Service seems to make an attempt to try and cover both of those bases.

Last year's main 25th Anniversary style "gap filler" was without a doubt Cover Girl, who filled the last vacated slot for 1984 and made a lot of collectors very happy. This year we get two figures who make some progress filling gaps in 1985. Tollbooth is the first.

Even as a kid I wasn't really sure what to make of Tollbooth, who was one of the few figures released in 1985 without the updated construction, which included a bulkier "buck" for the body and the ball jointed head. As such, he seemed a little out of place, and was likely a carry over from the previous year. My 11 year old self had a tough time justifying a pretty bland looking guy in a basic brown uniform and a hard hat, and even as an adult, not being able to find a well established place for him, I ended up killing him off in my dio-story. I think from an engineering standpoint I can definitely see his purposes now, and part of me almost wishes I didn't end his life, since I honestly think this update redefines the character in excellent ways.

Firstly, he has a new head sculpt designed and sculpted to perfection by the wizards over at Boss Fight Studios. Complete with a slightly cock eyed hardhat and an awesome gruff looking face sculpt, there is immediate character in this figure.

His torso and arms look to be from the old school 25th Anniversary Tiger Force Flint, which is a bit of a mixed message in my mind. I think far better short sleeve arms have been done lately, most obviously with Kwinn and Footloose, but even so, I do like the more muscular look of these arms and makes it nicely distinctive from other similar figures. He looks like a guy who does a lot of manual labor, which is a neat touch. I'm still not a fan of the Flint arms, though, and with such large strides made in recent years, their use is a bit of a head scratcher.

The lower legs here are from Rise of Cobra Duke (and Pursuit of Cobra Night Fox) which makes Tollbooth look quite a bit shorter than some of his compatriots, but it's not a huge deal in my opinion. The legs are plain enough and work nicely for the character, and while he certainly is short, I don't think he's obviously so.

Certainly among some of the larger figures like Repeater, Big Boa, and Shadow Tracker you can see a clear height difference, but he still comes in close to Tunnel Rat, and only a touch shorter than Night Fox. Yes, he's short, but certainly not of terrible proportions, and I think we've all seen short people before in our lives. Last time I checked, being 6 feet tall wasn't a pre-requisite for a combat engineer.

Paint applications are straight forward and call back to the original as one might expect from a Collectors Club offering, but interestingly enough they changed up the logo a bit on his shoulder, deciding to forego the rank insignia and go with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers patch instead. It's a great choice that makes sense for Tollbooth, and I love that touch. They also went with some darker colors specifically for the web gear, but I'll get into the webgear more in a moment.


As I mentioned previously with the web gear, the Collectors Club changed things up a bit here. The original Tollbooth just had a normal vest, but this new version has the very nicely designed Night Fox webgear, which is awesome, in my opinion. It's much more combat oriented, and while it doesn't mesh with his vintage look, I think it adds some great design elements.

Tollbooth wins the award for accessory use so far, I have to say. Two of the traffic cones from Techno Viper, the sledge hammer that came with the PoC VAMP, and the pick axe from the Resolute Roadblock all make for some great engineering type accessories, all complimented by the pistol which slides into his holster.

If you'd asked me what vintage characters absolutely had to be redone, Tollbooth would not be at the top of my list. Nonetheless, this is a great update and I really love what the Collectors Club did here. Some terrific vintage elements, a perfect new head sculpt, and well executed modern tweaks makes for a great update to this 1985 character that also manages to fill some holes in collectors' displays. A winner all around.