I will fully admit that Big Ben has never been one of my favorite characters, even with his great entry in the 1991 line, and certainly his rampant appearance in 2000 – 2002 didn’t change that opinion much. I think part of it was that I loved the 1991 run of figures so much, he sort of faded into the background in an awesome selection of character updates.
Back in 1991, Big Ben was equipped in what appeared to be arctic gear with a heavy machine gun, and I was never a huge arctic fan anyway. If I wasn’t a big fan of Big Ben even in 1991, his constant resurgence in 2000 would have definitely pushed me over the edge. So Big Ben hasn’t been high on my list of figures I wanted to see, but now that I have the Figure Subscription Service in hand, I realize that narrow opinion was a fallacy. This Big Ben update is nearly perfect.
With a new head sculpt (sporting a nicely updated Bluetooth headset replacing his previous old school earpiece) immediately Big Ben is a character meshing perfectly with more modern updates. As we’ve come to expect, Boss Fight Studio did terrific work here. Utilizing a nice build from parts in recent years, the figure is stocky and solid, yet maintains fantastic articulation and range of motion. I absolutely love the G.I. Joe: Retaliation G.I. Joe Trooper arms, they have great details and bend really far to allow for nice poses.
The Pursuit of Dusty legs adds some bulk to a winter based figure, and the overall look of Big Ben is terrific, really separating him from some other contemporaries.
The Club deco borrows heavily from the original 1991 version, which actually has the very nice added benefit of being a close match for the Z-Force deco as well, and Big Ben actually jives with the FSS Quarrel in a nice way. Utilizing his British background, the Club takes this opportunity to dovetail Big Ben with “Special Action Force” giving him a nice arm patch on one side the the Union Jack on the other, which again puts him in league with Quarrel (and the upcoming Jammer) very nicely. These are the kind of great added details I like seeing from the Club in these FSS entries.
Big Ben is pretty loaded with accessories. He has a large backpack, which opens up, twin machine gun ammunition belts, and the heavy machine gun to go with them. He also comes with the grenade launcher from the G.I. Joe: Retaliation Trooper, a pair of grenades, and a satchel. He doesn’t come with the bag that opens for the grenades as other versions have, but the overslung satchel charge is a nice homage to it.
If you’d asked me to name 50 figures I wanted to see in the FSS, I’m pretty sure Big Ben wouldn’t have been on that list. But the Club took that somewhat forgettable character and made him extremely memorable. A great build, a fun deco, and terrific accessories makes for an impressive FSS entry, and one that I’m extremely happy we got.
For this entry into the FSS, the Collectors Club managed to take a character I had little affinity for and make an amazing modern update. Nearly a perfect parts combination, really great paint deco, a great new head sculpt, and awesome accessories give us one heck of an FSS update. Love this guy.