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Ultimate Flint

GI Joe: Retaliation
by yo go re

If at first you don't succeed... then why didn't you start with the good stuff?

Flint parachutes into the middle of a menacing Cobra base, leading a GI Joe special ops unit on a mission to take over the enemy base. Trained to fight on land, sea or air, he's already blasting away at the enemy before he reaches the ground.

As we said in our review of the GI Joe Retaliation DVD, the director's cut gave Flint a full character arc that was missing from the theatrical release. You remember at the start of the film, how he was more than happy to run off on his own, without any thought for his teammates? Well, the director's cut follows that up with Roadblock giving him a talking-to about teamwork, and through the course of the film we see that sinking it, until we get toward the end and Flint is the one reminding Roadblock why it's a bad idea to go all Leeroy Jenkins on the enemy. It doesn't sound like much, but that's more character growth than John McClane's displayed in five movies (and counting).

On the last movie Flint figure, the head was the only part that was new; this one can't even claim that, because it uses the same head as before. Like we said when reviewing that figure, the sculpt doesn't particularly look like DJ Cotrona, but it is a fairly handsome product. But come on, Hasbro, how do you reuse this head and not include his beret?

Below the neck, "Ultimate" Flint is basically the same figure as Mouse, which means he's got the GI Joe Trooper body and a fancy armored vest. Actually, if you look at the film, the Joes wear this exact vest, so the more times we get it on movie figures, the better. He does have different arms from Mouse, though: they come from Renegades Law, with a slight retooling on the left upper arm in order to make the sleeves look the same on both sides.

Actually, though he may not seem like it, Flint is a great homage to his original Real American Hero design. Think about it: what did RAH Flint wear? A black shirt with the sleeves rolled up, dark gloves, and camouflage pants. What is movie Flint wearing? A black shirt with the sleeves rolled up, dark gloves, and camouflage pants. Sure, he's got an armored vest instead of suspenders, and the camo on his pants is desert rather than jungle, but that's to be expected. If you put G3 Flint's webgear on this figure, it would perfectly capture his vintage look.

Rather than the idiotic zipline the previous movie Flint toy came with, this one has accessories you might actually like. The majority of his pieces, molded in grey, are the same guns Paris Pursuit Baroness came with: two Heckler & Koch MP7A1s with different loadouts, a Bushmaster M17S bullpup assault rifle, and a gun that is clearly the fictional Baur H-AR from Battlefield 2142. Then in beige he's got a knife to fit in the back of his belt, Mercer's shotgun, and a grenade launcher (that isn't the Mikor MGL he used in the film, but close enough). He also has Mouse's big-boy helmet, and a black harness that plugs into the ropes hanging from the working vinyl parachute. Why is he the first Joe to come with that? Why wasn't it, like, Crazylegs? This is a really neat piece, no matter who it's sold with. You do have to take Flint's vest off to get the harness on the figure, but that's no problem.

Hasbro's first crack at Retaliation Flint was highly disappointing, but even made entirely from reused parts, this one is a much better offering. The figure itself is good enough, but his accessories are all-around great.

Now if only he had his hat...

-- 11/29/13

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