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GI Joe Figure Subscription Service 2.0
by yo go re

In 2012, the GI Joe Collectors' Club offered a box set of Oktober Guard figures at Joe Con. It was a big chunk of the team, but not the full thing. Now, with Figure Subscription Service 2.0, they're filling a few more holes.

Dragonsky may not be a founding member of the Oktober Guard, the Russian/Warsaw Pact equivalent of the GI Joe team, but he is nevertheless one of its longest standing members. For many years, he has served as both mechanic for the team's many vehicles, and its flamethrower weapons expert. He takes full advantage of this when combating the enemies of Mother Russia. He can aim a fiery blast with amazing precision, and never seems to be bothered by the intense heat.

Dragonsky has remained a faithful part of the Oktober Guard team despite various voluntary and involuntary roster changes, shifts in the command structure, and even the fall of the Soviet Empire itself. He feels that Glasnost and Perestroika do not apply to him, as his sense of duty to the old ways is "grandfathered in," so his patriotic love of the homeland is more than justified.

Boy, "grandfathered" is right - Dragonsky was born in 1936, making him possibly the oldest member of the team. In fact, every time he appeared in the comics, he was bald, so the suggestion is it was because of age, not just a style choice. This version uses Airtight's head, so he's got a cowl on (something that makes a ton more sense for a flamethrower trooper than not wearing any protection).

In fact, the entire body is from Airtight, making Dragonsky a "budget saver" for FSS 2.0 - the club was already using the molds to create Ar Puro, and now here they are again, just done in a new color. Sadly, while the design does suit someone who works with fire, it doesn't even remotely look the way Dragonsky looked in the comics. Now, he's hardly the first character to get redesigned for Generation 3, but there are better ways to build him that would have looked more on-model.

Unlike the last Dragonsky released, this one actually has a helmet. It comes from Rise of Cobra pilot Firefly, but with its angular silver visor, it looks more like a G3 update of Lars Lazer. A tube runs from the front of the front of the mask to a pocket on his chest. Although the figure gets Airtight's vest, the tech gear on the chest is gone, replaced by the pocket from Firefly's vest. To provide a little more protection, he gets the lower piece of armor from RoC Flash - it's just held in place by the straps that run around the figure's sides, rather than plugging in anywhere, but it doesn't look bad the way it is. However, it does have an unfortunate side effect: namely, it makes us realize that they could have just repainted Flash and given him a different head, and it would have looked more like Dragonsky than this does.

Speaking of paint, Dragonsky is purple. Like, totally purple. Two tones of purple, but still purple. If you look at the comics (or the old toy), you'll see that Dragonsky's normal colors are dark purple and magenta. If this toy were painted in those colors, it would probably even work. The purple looks really nice, but no doubt there are fans out there who wish he looked more like the old toy.

His accessories are nice, at least. In addition to the helmet, he's got the same backpack fuel tanks and flamethrower as the last figure, but this time actually gets a jet of flame to fit in the nozzle - that was missing before. And being a Russian soldier, he's also got an AK-47, but you'll probably arm with him the flamethrower most of the time.

Overall, the toy is not made as well as it could have been, but Dragonsky is still very nice. He's another member of the Oktober Guard that needed an update, and even if his colors don't let him blend very well with the rest of the team, it's good to have him.

-- 04/18/14

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