Tired of playing second banana to Cobra Commander's idiotic plans for world domination, Destro decided to go freelance. Of course, a general is nothing without troops to command, and the Cobra soldiers are, as both Stewie Griffin and The Onion said, "the bottom 10% of our high school class ... off to fight another battle." He needed his own soldiers, and the Iron Grenadiers were the answer.
These specially trained troopers are hand-picked by Firefly for their endurance, tenacity, and pure meanness. They won't stop until they've captured their target. To capture someone they use stun grenades, which emit a chemical that makes the target temporarily unable to move. The immobilized person is restrained with a collar and cuffs that zap him with an electric jolt if he tries to remove them. Able to creep deep into GIJoe territory unnoticed, Iron Grenadier troops are a silent and dangerous enemy.
If all you followed was the toyline, the Sigma 6 continuity seemed to be populated almost exclusively by B.A.T.s - did Cobra even have generic troopers on the cartoon? No matter; now we have Iron Grenadiers to army-build with! And though the design isn't an exact copy of the 3¾" version, this is still one sharp-looking soldier.
The Iron Grenadier's armor is designed to look vaguely like WWII German Stormtrooper gear, which also makes him look similar to the Panzer cops in Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade - just not black. The Iron Grenadier armor is mostly silver, with a bit of darker grey mixed in, and sort of a dark burgundy for the obviously cloth parts of the uniform. The mask, gloves and boots are black, and the red eyes really stand out.
Interestingly, the figure shares the majority of his body
with the Cobra version of Firefly: it's just the head and forearms that are new. Maybe that's why the bio text connects the two? However, like Crime Boss Destro, the changes made are more than enough to keep this from looking like a straight repaint. As we said, the forearms are new, and there are large armored plates on the Grenadier's shoulders. The figure has a nicely asymmetrical design, which is very cool. The shoulder pads are different styles, there's an armored plate strapped to one thigh, and the tubes running into his mask plug in differently. It's tough to make an off-balance design look natural, but this one works.
The articulation is pretty much the Sigma 6 standard -
balljoints, balljoints, balljoints! - but there's one spot that really stands out: the right wrist (the Kung-Fu Grip hand) is still a balljoint, but instead of having the hinge run palm to back, it runs thumb to pinky; that's the kind of motion required to point a sword or something straight forward, and it's not the way action figures are usually set up.
There is no sword or dagger in this set,
but the Grenadier isn't hurting for weapons. He has an "Irogren-5 Grenade Launcher," a rifle-sized missile launcher with one in the chamber and two in the clip, and an "X-3C Capture Spear," which is a truly oddball creation. There are handcuffs and a spiked collar, both on strings that attach to a spearhead on the far side of a hollow tube. I guess the IG will put his enemy in the restraints, then anchor them to a nearby wall or something? It's similar to the things used to wrangle snakes and other unruly animals, but in this case it's just a strange contraption.
The Iron Grenadier is wearing a gasmask, but that's useless without some sort of filtration or air supply. The tubes from his mask run over his shoulders to a large backpack, and a third tube runs from that to the canister strapped to his right thigh. Really, he looks like he would be perfectly fine for hours without taking his mask off.
The Iron Grenadier may not look like his '80s counterpart, but that doesn't mean this isn't a great figure. Yes, the accessories are weird, but the fact that this is a Soldier series release rather than a Commando series release (thus, no footlocker caps) means the lower price will encourage army-building. Even if you just want one Iron Grenadier, he'll be a fine minion for Destro to command.