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GI Joe Generation 3
by yo go re

If you've gotta go out, this is a heck of a way to do it.

Pythona is the royal messenger of King Golobulus and the harbinger of destruction to all that encounter her. She is a highly skilled assassin and her stealth and infiltration abilities are unequaled. Her kingdom and its cult-like followers have a burning hatred of humanity, believing the world's natural beauty is being destroyed by modern industrialization. This has set her on a path to spearhead its downfall.

Pythona is a nightmare personified. Contradicting tales describe her as either a stunningly beautiful creature or frightening banshee. The hard truth is that anyone that has had the misfortune of crossing her path only lives long enough to deliver her message of doom. It is said that she utilizes razor sharp claws imbued with a deadly poison to dispatch anyone who is the target of, or dares to impede her mission. Rumors such as this, and her allegedly deathly pallor, suggest that she may be the subject of bio-genetic manipulation.

Pythona was, like the rest of Cobra-La, introduced in 1987's GI Joe: The Movie. She never got an action figure, because GI Joe had already reached its quota of female for the year, and Cobra-La was so poorly received in general that there was no point going back to her after the fact. Alternately, it may just be her costume: while Golobulus, Nemesis Enforcer and the Royal Guard all wore cool bio-mechanical bug armor, Pythona pretty much looked like she was wearing your mom's jazzercise unitard - a plain pink body suit with a bunch of random circles all over it, some of them filled in with magenta - beneath a long black cape. So maybe the reason Hasbro never made Pythona was less about the hate for Cobra-La, and more about the fact that she just wouldn't have made a very good toy.

Having recently reviewed the Vitruvian HACKS female blank body, Pythona can't help but feel a little disappointing. She gets a new head, chest and hands, while the rest are all reused pieces: plain arms and legs, the lower torso from RoC Scarlett and Jinx's feet. Presumably the reason they chose the RoC hips was because that was the only female waist they had without any molded belts or anything; fortunately the paint helps hide the "armored" nature of the sculpt. The chest is free from details, other than the raised edge of her collar, and her hands have sharp nails on their individual fingers.

We have to assume that Hasbro is not allowed to use Star Wars figure parts to make GI Joe figures, because why else would Pythona need a new head when Aurra Sing already exists? Seriously: bald, earrings, ponytail... all they'd have to do is snip off her antenna and paint on Pythona's weird eye markings. Cleverly, Pythona's ponytail is a removable piece, which allows her to wear her hood up.

The cloak is done about as well as you can expect softgoods to be done at this scale, and (if you remember the capes that G1 Serpentor and Dr. Mindbender had) really underscores how crappy Pythona would have looked if they'd made her in the '80s. She's not the only member of Cobra-La to get a Generation 3 figure - there was a Nemesis Enforcer Immortal in 2008, and Pythona comes with the same "tentacle" backpack as that figure. Did she sprout tentacles in the movie? I honestly can't remember. But who cares? They make her look even more inhuman.

There are no surprises in the articulation. Pythona has a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders and elbows, swivel wrists (there must not have been room in the budget for hinges), a balljointed torso, balljointed hips, double-hinged knees and swivel/hinge ankles. The ponytail doesn't swivel, because the peg that plugs it in place is flat on one side. The knees seem too low on the leg - like, the upper part of the hinge is where the lower part should be. Her shins are short. Again, this just shows off the superiority of Boss Fight Studio's work.

Pythona is not a figure that would excite or interest casual fans, but then, she's not for casual fans. She's this year's reward figure for joining the GI Joe Club, something sold only to the hardest of the hardcore collectors. And they'll probably love her, just for existing. But without a G3 Golobulus or Royal Guard, she's just kind of a lonely weirdo.

-- 06/17/16

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