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GI Joe Classified Series
by yo go re

Is this guy's biggest enemy someone called Fox?

Firefly is undetectable, but his work is unmistakeable. The Cobra Covert Ops agent is a faceless master who operates without leaving a physical trail or digital footprint. In and out without a trace, the anonymity of his destruction serves as his calling card. He trained as a ninja, mastering skills like stealth and infiltration before turning to demolitions and sabotage. He operates as the loudest silent ninja in the world, and even in the blinding blaze of his carefully crafted explosions, Firefly manages to remain hidden in the shadows.

Nice use of an obscure reference by calling him a "faceless master" there! Also nice way to explain why Fioreno Refligh would go study with the ninjas in the first place; as much as we love the world Larry Hama created, eventually the Arashikage compound began to feel like the setting of a farce, with dozens of characters running around unaware of everyone else doing the same; but just having it be so Firefly could improve his own skills makes sense.

Despite the fact that Firefly is wearing a full mask that only leaves his eyes exposed, you can still tell the sculpt is great. The material of his mask stretches and bunches around the anatomy beneath just like it should, and the little bit of visible skin shows evidence of his work with explosives: it's all scarred up. No wonder he looks so angry!

Traditionally, Firefly's outfit was just pants and a jacket in gray camouflage - he wore some dumber things in the '90s, but that was an aberration. But since Pursuit of Cobra, he's more often worn some sort of protective vest, a feature that continues here. The vest is sculpted with three grenades over the left shoulder, a massive pad with a Cobra logo over the right shoulder, and several detonators across the front where most characters would have ammo clips. There's a high collar, a groin flap, and lots of sculpted details in between.

On a lot of these GI Joe Classified figures, we really wish the vests were removeable. Like, yes, Firefly wearing a bomb suit makes sense, but wouldn't you like to see him without it sometimes? His clothes (shared with fellow exclusive Beachhead) are sculpted with a ribbed texture, like his traditional costume, so why can't we get a plain version if we feel like it? The only way to do that would be to disassemble the arms, and they're not designed for that. There's also no telling whether the camo paint, as good as it looks on the limbs, is even continued beneath the vest, which would leave the toy looking weird if you did get it off.

Firefly is just under 6¼" tall (big for his stated height of 6'1") and moves at the balljointead head, hinged and balljointed neck, swivel/hinge shoulders on pectoral hinges, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed waist, hips that are a balljoint mounted on a hinge, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel shins, and swivel/hinge ankles. The legs aren't blocked by the flap on the vest, but the waist sure isn't going to be doing much more than swivelling side to side. His stats are Covert Ops 4, Classified 4, Explosives 3, and Sabotage 4, so nothing that really requires a big range of movement, but it's still better that he moves than if he didn't.

There's something satisfying about a figure that has a lot of accessories and is able to hold them all at once. Firefly has a pair of goggles (with an antenna, suggesting advanced tech) that can either protect his eyes or be pushed up onto his forehead. He wears a backpack that has several tools sticking out of the pockets - pliers, wrenches, knives, etc. A bundle of dynamite plugs into the bottom of the bag, and there's a slot inside where the... shaped charge(?) [sculptor Dennis Chan, who did the accessories and new bodyparts, says it's a tablet --ed.] can fit. His handgun is big and clunky, but a peg above the trigger means it can hang on the side of the bag. Finally, he's got a little bipedal flying drone, and its feet can fit into notches on the top of the backpack, which sort of makes Firefly look like he has Mickey Mouse ears, but does mean he can hold everything at one time. Win!

As one of the "Cobra Island" exclusives, Firefly sold out in seconds on Target's site and never made it into most stores. Even when Hasbro was finally able to produce more of him, he was still an almost-immediate sell out online. Luckily Shocka found him randomly popping into stock and let me know, or else you wouldn't be reading this now. The character is a cool update of the original design, even if he's stuck permanently inside his vest. The biggest problem is, as always, how hard he is to get.

-- 08/06/21

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