I absolutely love the fact that we got Tiger Force Outback before we got our standard deco Outback, both because it’s such a fun international variant, and it proves that nothing is really off the table when it comes to figures Hasbro might consider revisiting for the Classified line.
I’m really digging the fact that they’re focusing so strongly on Tiger Force and Python Patrol as this Target exclusive run– it makes a lot of sense. Folks who don’t care so much about repaints don’t have to track them down, and it allows Hasbro to re-invest tooling dollars in figure variations that make a lot of sense.
I will say, however, folks who are waiting for the standard deco of Outback are doing themselves a disservice– this figure is amazing. Check out my G.I. Joe: Classified Review page or access the review directly at the link below:
If you’d told me, even when the G.I. Joe: Classified line started, that we’d be seeing the UK exclusive deco of Outback before the regular ’87 release, I would have thought you were nuts. If you’d told me that Outback would actually be the first Tiger Force figure released in the Classified line, I would have said you were double nuts.
Yet here I am, with the figure in my hands, and I’m still having a hard time believing it. But believe me, I’m not complaining.
I’ve been around the online G.I. Joe community for a long time and can still remember the days when the UK Exclusive Tiger Force Outback was a strange fascination that domestic collectors barely knew about. Of course back then, many of us hardcore collectors sort of rolled our eyes at the silly “cat deco” on the t-shirt and the vibrant orange and blue color schemes the UK Tiger Force figures had.
I’d like to think as we’ve matured (ha, right) we’ve learned to appreciate those more esoteric color schemes, especially since Hasbro revisited them purposefully for a Toys “R” Us O-Ring 6 pack so many years back. Of course, as a Hit & Run fan, I have a real fascination for that era of UK goodness and seeing Outback get this early treatment is both exciting and hilarious at the same time.
Frankly — I absolutely love it, not just because of the orange shirt, but his unique white hair– he almost looks like a completely different character. Hasbro has really leaned into some of the more obscure aspects of G.I. Joe early in this iteration, and I’m here for it.
Of course, Hasbro did change things up a little bit. Instead of giving us the old school cat deco on the t-shirt, they did the Tiger Force logo, a new logo they whipped up just for the Classified line, it seems. Personally, I’m fine with that compromise, giving us the underlying color pallet of the UK version, but making it just a little bit more “on brand”.
Back in 1987, the original Outback was pretty revolutionary. Having a figure with both removable web gear and a removable leg-mounted flashlight was a rarity, and Outback had them both a good three decades before they did it in the 25th Anniversary.
His bulky sculpt and removable gear really set him apart from most of his ’87 peers and while the Classified version isn’t quite as distinct from a design perspective, the things it does, it does exceptionally well. I might even say it does them perfectly.
While it’s true that separate web gear and removable accessories aren’t such a novelty these days, I can still say with confidence that Outback achieves the look exceptionally well. The sculpting on Outback is fantastic. For a bearded dude in a t-shirt and camouflage pants, he looks amazing, with some really intricate work on his determined looking face sculpt and a series of different folds and textures throughout his makeshift uniform.
The size of the figure is really great, looking a bit bigger and larger than some of the other Joes, but still not quite as big as Gung Ho or Roadblock. He fits into his role perfectly well. The combination of orange on the t-shirt, the brown web gear and camouflage pants somehow manages to work amazingly well together, reminiscent of the UK original yet also looking new and exciting. The camouflage on his legs is nicely understated, a great blend of green and brown that mutes the colors a bit and offsets the brightness of the orange.
Along with the basics, it’s also the little things — the weathering in his hair that makes it look more real than just a blank wash of white– and the ARM HAIR. YES. THEY PAINTED HIS ARM HAIR. Pretty great detail work there.
Outback, from a design perspective, is legitimately one of my favorite figures in this line.
What else is there to say?
Even with the web gear and the leg straps on the figure, he maintains full range of fantastic motion, the joints moving smoothly and with terrific poseability. His ab crunch works even with the straps and I find myself able to get him in pretty much every single firing pose I can dream of.
Outback’s complement of accessories is yet another example of the near perfection this figure achieves. He comes with a lot of different accessories, but not too much. As Hasbro has managed to do with nearly every release, they’ve found ways to stash every item on the figure without anything left over. For a survival expert like Outback, this is no small task.
His fantastic backpack has two pegs, one for an awesome shovel that comes included, the other for the rifle, just in case you want to stash it away. His left leg strap holds his flashlight (which is still small enough for him to hold) with a spot on his left ankle for the knife. His rifle has a removable magazine and a great sling which can also be used to carry the weapon if you don’t want to put it on his backpack.
Lastly, Outback also comes with a great pistol– I’m not sure if it’s a specific type of pistol, but I love that he’s got a cloth wrap around it, a nice little touch that differentiates the weapon from others in the line.
In a world where Hasbro leans on re-used tooling for so many toys, I remain consistently impressed by how many new parts they cram into these figures. Each of these accessories is used here for the first time, as far as I’m aware, and the figure itself doesn’t feel “re-purposed”. Granted, we’ll be getting a standard deco Outback down the road, but I’m still really blown away.
Outback rose to near legendary status back in the 80s because of his revolutionary design elements and bulky sculpt. While the removable gear isn’t so landmark setting now as it was back then, this figure achieves those objectives magnificently well. His sculpting, his accessories, his paint deco– everything about this figure (including its source material) is executed to near perfect status.
If I could come up with any complaints, it would be with availability. Granted, while he was relatively easy to pre-order either on Target.com or Hasbro Pulse, distribution has been terrible. As it stands, he shipped to the UK a good several months ago, but currently has a release date of October on Target’s website with no clue when he might actually ship. That’s not Hasbro’s fault, but it is an unfortunate effect of this figure’s exclusivity.
G.I. Joe Classified Tiger Force Outback
With a great UK Exclusive inspiration, the perfect compliment of accessories, and an amazingly cool sculpt, Outback ticks every single box anyone could want. I’m sure some collectors would prefer the original deco, and I have no doubt that figure will rock as well, but I really dig this one, too.
– The sculpt is insanely cool
– Love the source material
– All those great accessories
– Target exclusivity and limited availability might provide a bit of frustration
Wow! Awesome… just when everyone is in “Rise of COBRA” mode, a two-part video focusing on the old school 25th Anniversary G.I. Joe universe and the Invasion of COBRA Island has been posted to GIJoeMovie.com! I’ve embedded the video below, this is really awesome. To avoid the Auto-Play stuff, I’ve put the video after the “jump”.