Figure Friday: Celebrating Joevember with G.I. Joe Classified

This week Figure Friday celebrates Joevember by highlighting a couple of Hasbro’s recent additions to the G.I. Joe Classified line. Can Hasbro recapture the nostalgia with one of the franchise’s most beloved characters? Will a figure I ordered over a year ago be worth the wait? Let’s answer both of these questions and ponder a few more by looking at Sgt. Slaughter and Outback!

Sgt. Slaughter

Sgt. Slaughter has been going through a bit of a figure resurgence over the last couple years. Three companies have put out Sarge figures in the past year (Valaverse, Mattel and Hasbro) and if you wanted to count Funko as figures, that number goes up. The Classified Sgt. Slaughter was announced earlier this year and just recently started arriving to online retailers. Sarge has a premium price point, so what comes in the box to justify the $30+ cost?

This Sgt Slaughter figure comes ready for action, with multiple points of articulation for high poseability and 14 character-inspired accessories including his signature drill sergeant hat, sunglasses, whistle, instructor baton, miniature carded action figure, 8 interchangeable hands, and additional weapon accessories; plus a footlocker to stow all his gear! And with custom artwork by Adam Riches highlighting his media-spanning career in the Joe universe, the G.I. Joe Classified Series Sgt Slaughter package will make a mark on shelves.

At first glance, it’s a balding guy in a tank top, but bust open the footlocker and the fun factor goes up by 1000%. The details are what really elevates this figure. There’s texture to the tank top and pants. The paint is crisp and clean. The accessories all make sense, even down to the mini carded Sgt. Slaughter figure. He’s big and brawny with a jaw that won’t quit. It’s a spot-on likeness. This is a GREAT Sgt Slaughter figure. I’d say it’s a perfect figure, but I think the glasses could have been executed a bit better. Whether it was an additional head with the glasses glued on, or an improved design, the glasses are the only thing I can point to as an area of opportunity. They work, but never quite sit right. Outside of that, this is the G.I. Joe Sgt. Slaughter figure you’ve been waiting for.

Tiger Force Stuart “Outback” Selkirk

This man has seen some shit, and I don’t just mean the eight delays I had to approve before Target finally sent me my preorder. Outback is a grizzled old vet by the time he joins Tiger Force. His years of service have turned his red hair gray. If you’re not looking for a silver fox, the ginger version is also on its way. This version of Outback is a Target Excusive which went up for preorder a year ago and is just now finally hitting distribution centers. While the waiting is always the hardest part, it’s all worth it when the figure turns out as good as this.

Outback has an impressive load-out built for survival including a knife, flashlight and shovel which can attach to his oversized backpack. A minor detail that some people might miss is the way the backpack lays on Stuart’s back. It’s much more form fitting than some of the backpacks we’ve been given in the past by the Classified team. It’s always nice to see improvements in the design. Well done, Hasbro! Outback also has a side arm and small rifle to complete the offering, but those aren’t the only guns because Stuart doesn’t miss Arm Day. They may not be 24-inch pythons, but he is definitely shredded. His Tiger Force tee shirt features a nice update to the classic logo. Am I the only one who ever wondered if the Joe’s shirts are standard issue? Do they have to buy that stuff at the commissary? Can you get the Tiger Force logo on a coffee cup or a nice polo perhaps? No? Just me?

The thing I’ve always loved about G.I. Joe is the way the characters spark your imagination. From the character design to the codename, it’s all about building stories. You knew that if you were going on a mission exactly who to bring along based on the challenges you’d face. You knew which enemies you’d encounter based on the theater of battle. The file cards gave you a starting point and the rest was up to you to figure out on your own. While the file cards might be gone, the designers at Hasbro are still telling stories with each character they design. Look into Outback’s eyes and you know that he’s been in the wilderness a bit too long. Look at Sarge and you can hear him barking “DROP AND GIVE ME TWENTY, YOU MAGGOT!” When G.I. Joe gets it right, they really get it right. Both of these figures would make excellent additions to your Classified collections. I highly recommend.

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