Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Wrapping Up 2022: Crimson Guard from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro


   So far as I'm concerned, the Crimson Guard is the last of 2022 G.I. Joe: Classified Series releases that I'm checking out as the remaining Python Patrol and Tiger Force Target exclusives really seem like 2023 releases that leaked out a bit early. The Crimson Guard is the third figure in the series that also includes Dusty and Zarana, and while some people found the Siegies in late summer/ early fall, mine was the last figure from the most recent series I got my hands on. The Crimson Guard are supposed to be the most elite Cobra operatives out there and in the comics they functioned like sleeper cells, embedded as regular citizens in regular towns across the country. Their uniform is very dressy but this figure is also loaded with functional combat gear, so it's clear he's ready for anything. Let's take a look at the Crimson Guard after the break and see if he's up to snuff for the Classified Series....

The Facts:

Height: 6 1/2ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/ hinge ankles, boot swivels, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed drop down hips, balljointed waist, mid-torso hinge, butterfly pecs, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed neck base, and a barbell jointed head.

Accessories: Rifle, magazine, pistol, holster, knife, sword, scabbard, and backpack. 

Non-Scalper Price: $25 dollars

The Positives:

* The look of the Crimson Guards hasn't varied much over the past 38 years: A crimson red dress uniform with silver highlights and black uniform elements like gloves, boots, and belt. The only time the outfit has really changed beyond color swaps (Python Patrol, desert) was the DTC release in 2005 with a more elaborate jacket and the 2013 Renegades Retaliation release with the removable flak jacket. This guy stays pretty classic, though, and the silver paint decorations are all neat and clean, making him look like a million bucks. There's a lot of detail on the decorative parts of his outfit, such as the epaulets and cord, and on parts of his uniform like the belt.

* The helmet looks great and matches the vintage toy nicely with much nicer detail work on the grill for the nose and mouth. There's also a Retro version of the Siegie coming out, but he has more silver in the face like the comic and cartoon versions.

* There's some nice detail work on the ribbons and medal on his chest, too. It all looks fantastic, even in hand and up close.

* The Crimson Guardsman definitely has noticeable kneepads on here and I love how they add a bit more of a tactical look to him. He might look like he's ready for being on ceremonial duty or for an inspection but he's also ready to roll if he needs to spring into combat. Those boots are slick, too, with a great leather texture to them. 

* I'm definitely repeating myself when it comes to the articulation of Classified Series but it's always excellent. The Crimson Guard has a quality build with a great range of motion. He's fun to pose in a variety of poses utilizing any of his four included weapons. 

* The Crimson Guards are supposed to be sleeper agents, living and working in communities across the country with their gear hidden in their homes. The Crimson Guard comes with what looks to be an M4 rifle, which works as a solid modern weapon for the Siegies. It's a pretty standard rifle that could easily pass for an AR-15. The rifle has a bayonet attached for some close quarters fighting, too. 

* Not only does the rifle have an excellent sculpt but it also has a removable magazine. I'm so happy this is a pretty standard feature on most figures in this series now. I just love it. 

* The Crimson Guard sidearm is pretty standard here and is a big upgrade from the more ceremonial style pistols or super short shotgun carried by most earlier CGs. It's just a basic pistol but it gets the job done and looks to have a snakeskin texture on the grip. 

* It slips right into the removable holster on his left hip.

* This knife is really cool, too. It has a snake head design on the butt and a hook on the guard. It's a nasty looking weapon that seems like a unique trophy awarded to the Siegies to carry. 

* There's a fantastic sheathe attached to the belt on the right side where the blade can slip inside perfectly. 

* Last up is a ceremonial sword. The 2013 Crimson Guard was the first one I can recall coming with a ceremonial sword and it's an addition I'm glad Hasbro included (I would have liked to have seen the armored vest, too). It's a great sword sculpt with a snake motif on the butt and handle that matches the knife. 

* Want to have Crimson Guard on display for inspection? A scabbard is included which holds the sword, and it can be placed on the Siegie's left hip. Get ready for a duel, Fred!

* This version of the Crimson Guard comes with a black backpack that looks pretty sophisticated. Not necessarily filled with technology or anything, but it's almost designed more like a high end briefcase than a backpack. It's got a little silver Cobra logo on it and everything. The retro version coming out has the classic red backpack, so if you really want a red backpack wait for that version. 

* You can even use it to store the sword and the rifle. The scabbard plugs in on the left side while the rifle's trigger guard fits over a peg on the right side. Now the Crimson Guardsman has his hands free!
  The Crimson Guard is another figure that could easily be considered one of the best of the year for the Classified Series. He's an excellent figure with a few solid updates, fantastic paintwork and colors, and a really nice complement of accessories. I love when a figure comes fully loaded like this! The sword was a great addition. The retro version is coming out soon and we've also seen images of a Python Patrol version, but I'd also wager we'll see an unmasked "Fred" version at some point, too. Maybe with a swappable helmet? That'd would be pretty cool. A two-pack with a swappable head Fred series Siegie and armored Cobra Commander would also be pretty nice...


  1. Nice review, as always. The Classified CG looks like a nice upgrade of the original figure, and the black faceplate makes it look like the old Red Shadows troopers from Action Force.

    I got the Retro variant as i told you days ago, and i must say that i prefer it more, as it mimics the Sunbow Siegies perfectly. One thing i don't like on the Classified CG is that the silverish parts (medals, the epaulettes and the aiguillete/military cord) look way too plastic-painted to me, as rhe Retro CG ones look actually if they were made on real silver.

    Also, the Classified Python Patrol CG doesn't look bad but when i compare it with the Classified/Retro CG i see it too flamboyant and ironical, as CHs are masters on disguise and stealth while the Python Patrol CG habilities are being masters of stealth and disguise.

    Will you do a review of the Crimson B.A.T.? I would like to ser it if you manage to get one.

    1. Also, sorry if i committed some mistakes, i made the comment on my phone.

    2. No problem at all. And yes, I do plan on getting the Crimson B.A.T. I haven't skipped many figures in this line so far: Only the field variants of everyone but Scarlet, movie Storm Shadow, Retro Destro, Fortnite Snake Eyes, and the second Snake Eyes and Timber set, though I'd snag that one if I found one discounted.

      I'm interested to see the Retro CG in hand. Where did you get yours?

      And, yeah, the Python Patrol Crimson Guard is really odd. Always has been, really. I mean, he's not Crimson. I didn't have him as a kid, but I'm leaning towards snagging him when he comes out so long as he still looks kind of neat.

    3. I am from Europe, so at first i was going to get the Retro CG from Hasbro Pulse's website for 40€ (32 for the CG and 8€ in shipping costs). Sadly they got sold out in 3 days. In December 2022 i found a Spanish Website called PiXELATOY which sold it for 35€ (30 for the figure and 5 for the shipping costs). The card was a bit ripped and a bit bended on one corner but wasn't much of an issue. The figure instead was perfectly safe, in mint condition and without any rips, dents nor paint issues.

      Somehow now Hasbro is focusing on Europe instead of North America, as i know that some Spanish websites had Classified CGs even in June 2022 and not for preorder but as a direct sale. And they were way more expensive as i saw some people selling each Classified CG for 40-50€.

      A question i wanted to do: In your country you had issues finding Alley Vipers? Because in Europe they have been so unique and hard to find that i had to get mine on a french website in June 2022. And the only Spanish shop which sold them was in November 2022 and as much as 8 units.

    4. Oh, a funny thing i saw time ago: Seems that the retro CG was a last hour change by Hasbro. If you look all the Retro characters, all are the "unique" type of characters (Baroness, Destro, Lady Jaye, Gung-Ho...), and the only one who stands out of the rule is the CG. Some theories hint that actually we were going to get a retro Cobra Commander and Hasbro decided to put it as the HasLab H.I.S.S. Tier IV reesrd instead, and as selling a Retro Cobra Commander twice could be a potential money loss from sales to Hasbro, they changed the Retro CC planed version to a Retro CG so they can squeeze the last cents out of collectors and buyers.

    5. I did not have an issue finding an Alley Viper in the US. In fact, he's still readily available on Amazon and Hasbro Pulse.

      And that's definitely interesting about the Retro CG. I could see him being popular enough that Hasbro would want to vintage card him (I imagine many figures will get retro carded), but, yeah, he is the first army builder. I do believe the Retro Cobra Commander with the Hiss was a more last minute addition to that campaign since it took of so quickly.

      Honestly, though, if the Retro Siegees sell well than that's a good thing. The Retro Baroness and Lady Jaye have been just kind of sitting on shelves over here from what I've seen while most troops disappear quickly.

  2. I stopped collecting Joes as a kid before this guy came out. Never paid him too much attention. This is a sweet looking figure. Great review. Will need to pick one up.

    1. You had to have stop collected pretty early, then. What's funny is that I didn't even start collecting until the 1986 series when I was around 3. I guess I was really responsible and didn't put small parts in my mouth!

  3. Mate, i wanted to tell you an error: The 2013 Crimson Guard isn't from Renegades, it's actually from the Retaliation film.

    1. You're absolutely right. I'll make the change. Resoute, Renegades, Retailiation. Reinstated. Reloaded. Lots of REs going on with G.I. Joe.

    2. Don't worry, sooner or later we will get G.I. Joe: Retired, where everyone has 80 years old and fight in a retirement home.

    3. We need this! If you go by the vintage bios, some of these guys are really old. I mean, wasn't Mainframe in the Army at the end of the Korean War?

  4. There is an odd part at the bottom of the CG's backpack. It looks like you can attach something there, any ideas?

    1. I've talked with a few other folks about this and I'm convinced it's a handle so he can carry the backpack when he's doing official Cobra business, kind of like an attache case.


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