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GI Joe 25th Aniversary
by yo go re

In the recent Dreadnoks: Declassified series from Devil's Due, we saw just how Zartan got his chameleon powers. Turns out they're not natural, but the product of a military experiment. Of course, Zartan wasn't the intended recipient, but wormed his way into the project with the help of another future Dreadnok, Buzzer.

Buzzer was an extreme left-wing Cambridge sociology don who went to Australia to research the biker gang phenomenon only to be changed into the very object of his research. Years of intellectual displeasure and extreme indignation at society's two-faced morality manifested into the intense desire to chainsaw apart the expensive geegaws of technological society.

In the cartoons, Buzzer's personality was nowhere near that fleshed out. There, he was just the blonde guy with the ponytail and the chainsaw. At least in the comics he got to be the Dreadnoks' second-in-command, leading the crew whenever Zartan wasn't around. Well, at least until Zarana entered the picture.

This is a nice update. Honestly, on the old figure, it was just the clothes he was wearing that connected the toy to his fictional representations; this one looks a lot more like what we expect from the character. Namely, he's tall and skinny. His outfit is the same as it was back then, which actually makes sense for this wannabe biker: personal hygiene wasn't high on the Dreadnoks' list of priorities, so it's entirely possible that these are the only clothes he owns.

Buzzer is wearing silver glasses, but he's not just trying to look cool: like many teachers, he actually does wear glasses. Sure, the choice of silver may be a vanity thing, but you can bet those are actually corrective lenses. If Dreadnoks worried about driver's licenses, Buzzer's would have a restriction marked on it. His sunken cheeks go to show that James Marsters would be the perfect choice to play ol' Buzzer, here - if there are Dreadnoks in the movie sequel, that's my choice for the role. He'd just need a ponytail and his best British accent.

There's an interesting quirk about Buzzer's sculpt: he's not designed to face straight ahead. Look at the little black buttons running up the front of his beige shirt, and you'll notice they don't run straight down to his silver skull and crossbones belt buckle, but instead go off to the side a bit. Why? Tell you in a minute. Buzzer's also wearing jeans and big grey boots, a black glove on his left hand, a brown bracer and a spiked elbow pad on his right arm, and a bit of armor on his left shoulder. His belt is black, with a green pouch, and a green strap runs over his shoulder. He's even got a pair of silver dogtags sculpted on his breast pocket.

Buzzer has two accessories of varying quality. He has his trademark diamond-toothed chainsaw, of course, and though the sculpt is good, the plastic it's made from is soft and it's painted weirdly. The plastic means the blade wants to bend to the side, something which would render any real chainsaw useless. The blade has an inexpicable red flame pattern painted on it, and the teeth are red as well. The color works fine back in the body of the saw, but not on the cutting surfaces. Time for a custom! The figure also includes a red gas tank and a grey frame harness backpack to tote it around. They're two separate pieces, but they're glued together pretty firmly.

Remember how we said Buzzer wasn't sculpted to face straight ahead? That's because of the chainsaw. He's just as poseable as any of the other TFAC figures, which means he can actually brandish his weapon realistically - and with a chainsaw, "realistically" is "on an angle." By twisting the sculpt slightly, Buzzer can still be lined up nicely, but also aim his chainsaw more or less ahead of him. Very nice.

It's cool that the GI Joe 25th Anniversary Collection is giving us updates of the "big three" Dreadnoks (and if Buzzer is any indication, they're going to be great), but hopefully they'll go beyond that at some point and take us into the expanded lineup. I want a TFAC Road Pig! And Gnawgahyde! And Heartwrencher and Zanya, too. Heck, give us Thrasher and an updated Thunder Machine. There are tons of cool Dreadnoks, and Buzzer leads the pack.


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