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GI Joe Classified Series
by yo go re

Tomorrow is another day - but if you cross her, you won't live to see it.

A field operative with intelligence levels so far of fthe charts new charts had to be created to measure her aptitude for analysis and strategic thinking. Scarlett is a competitive martial artist who memorizes law dictionaries "just in case" and a self-styled warrior of justice who's not afraid to bend the rules to do what's right.

For whatever reason, GI Joe attracts a lot of the most unpleasant, toxic people around. Like, an unusual amount. Every fandom has its bad elements, but the right-wing losers have definitely spent time being the most vocal ones here. Like, the writer of the comic was doing a Q&A on one of the prominent fan sites; fans got mad when he said there would be gay characters, so the moderator closed the thread and told him to get out. Comicsgate (the sad little trumpet fart at the end of Gamergate's diarrhea explosion) tried to claim that the majority of Larry Hama's fans were bigots just like them (fortunately, Larry roundly refuted that sentiment). Anyway, this is all a very long, roundabout way to say that Hasbro specifically using the words "justice" and "warrior" to describe Scarlett really feels like the corporate version of giving those people the finger.


Scarlett is one of the original 13 characters introduced at the start of the line in 1982, because diversity is as baked into GI Joe's bones as the term "action figure" is. This is the first time she's looked like a real redhead, though: pale skin (with painted freckles!), and hair that's orange instead of comicbooky red. She looks like an actual cinnamon girl, not someone who picked a trendy hair dye.

Since we stand at the beginning of a new scale for GI Joe, Ms. Shana Mae O'Hara gets an entirely new mold. Her vintage outfit was a yellow unitard over a blue-grey bodysuit, and while this one keeps the colors (a bit darker, but still the same), the pattern is entirely different. It's funny, because Scarlett is one of those characters for whom we're constantly bringing up the term "squint test," and we can really see it in action here: this figure is not dressed like Scarlett, but you can look at her and immediately see that she's dressed like Scarlett (if that makes sense).

Of all her incarnations, this Scarlett is most similar to the Resolute uniform: grey pants and a dark blue shirt with a separate yellow breastplate. Her boots and gloves are the "slightly sci-fi" style we talked about with Duke - gold accents, internal blue lights, all that. She gets little booster jets on the back of her calves, too. There's a lot of red used in this design, starting with the padded strap over her right shoulder (just like the '80s figure had), but continuing to the armor on her left shoulder, the stripes on the outside of her jeans, and even the soles of her boots. The mostly dark body with the light armor on top makes for a nice-looking toy.

Classified Scarlett stands just under 6" tall, which is a decent size for her - no Overwatch-style miniaturness here! And since "more articulation than the competition" has been Joe's strength since day one, she's got a balljointead head, a hinge at the top of the neck and a balljoint at the bottom, swivel/hinge shoulders on pectoral hinges, swivel/hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed chest and waist, hips that are a balljoint mounted on a hinge, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel shins, and swivel/hinge ankles. She wears a belt with a small pouch hanging against her left hip, but that's a separate piece, so it can move out of the way when you move her. Adding a swivel joint to her ponytail would have helped maintain the head's full range of motion, too.

Scarlett is a martial artist, so she's got three throwing stars sculpted on the back of her left glove. Her actual accessories include her mini-crossbow (because you'd have to be a fool to skip the character's trademark weapon), a backpack quiver with sculpted arrows bolts, and three big wicked knives! Two of the knives fit into the backpack, while the third goes in the sheath on the strap across her chest. You can tell which is which because they've got different sculpts.

We're now two-for-two on the GI Joe Classified Series. Scarlett is a wonderful update of the character for this new format - perhaps skewing a little too much into the future rather than the past (the gold could have been toned down, like Duke's was), but she's still recognizably herself, and ready to kick Cobra butt like never before. I just need Hasbro to ship that Snake-Eyes I ordered, so she can have someone to watch her back.

-- 07/24/20

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