Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Action Figure Review: Python Crimson Guard from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro


   Hasbro continues their Target exclusive Python Patrol and Tiger Force repaints with the Python Crimson Guard. The Python Crimson Guard was indeed one of the releases in the vintage 1989 subset from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, though he wasn't one I had as a kid (I had the Python Viper, Tele-Viper, Officer, and Copperhead). I'm sure he gets a lot of flak for being not all red despite being a Crimson Guard, but plenty of groups and such are named after colors but don't always sport those colors. It's not like the Green Berets where their green berets no matter the environment, or that the divisions of SEAL Team Six which are given color designations dress head to toe in those colors. The Crimson Guard usually wears red, yeah, but they can still work as part of the Python Patrol. Of course, they're also a popular figure and having them in Python Patrol makes for an easy repaint. Ready to check out Python Crimson Guard? Then join me after the break...

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:

* Since the standard Crimson Guard figure came out less than a year ago, this is one of those times where I get to reuse parts of that review, particularly since this guy really is just a repaint. The look of the Crimson Guards hasn't varied much over the past 38 years other than color swaps (Python Patrol, desert, "shadow") other than with the DTC release in 2005 with a more elaborate jacket and the 2013 Retaliation release with the removable flak jacket. This guy is classic through and through, Though his outfit is now yellow and gray with the snake pattern across the shirt flap. 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, where some crimson and silver are present. 

* The helmet looks great and matches the vintage toy nicely with much nicer detail work on the grill for the nose and mouth. The colors are the same as the standard release, but mixed around. Black for the helmet (instead of red), silver for the face (instead of black), and a red visor (instead of silver). I love that red visor. Red visors are just totally boss. Always have been, always will be.

* 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. I'm also digging the paintwork on the epaulets and the nifty Python Patrol logo on his left bicep. 

* The articulation for the G.I. Joe: Classified Series figures is 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. Lots of room for options here.

* 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 Python 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 and a red buttstock, which just looks really cool. 

* It really shouldn't be a surprise at this point but the rifle has a removable magazine. I'm 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 a bit of an 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 fits easily in the removable holster on his left thigh, too, so it's always close at hand. 

* 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. The red handle with a black blade that the Python Crimson Guard carries is just incredible and much cooler than the knife on the standard figure.

* It also has a sheath for it attached to the right side of his belt. 

* 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 your Python Crimson Guard on display for inspection or ready to for some good old fashioned swashbuckling? 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!

* The Python Patrol version of the Crimson Guard comes with the black backpack as the standard figure. It's designed more like a high end briefcase than a backpack, and there even seems to be a smaller carrying handler underneath. It's got a little silver Cobra logo on it and everything. 

* 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 Python Crimson Guardsman has his hands free!

   Not everyone likes the repaint subsets like Python Patrol and Night Force, but I'm definitely a fan and I think the Python Crimson Guard looks awesome. He's a seriously cool figure. Yeah, he's a repaint and the third Siegie in the line, but the colors work nicely, especially the extra red details on his weapons. Frankly, I thill think he's an Epic figure and a neat pickup. I imagine he's kind of the commander of the Python Patrol unit, right? That seems to be a good use for him. Who else are you looking forward to in Python Patrol? I know they're not vintage but I'd like to see Major Bludd and the Rock Viper from the 2003 Toys 'R Us exclusive Python Patrol set. Those guys looked great!

Looking for more of the Crimson Guard? Then check out my review of the Classified Series standard Crimson Guard.

For more G.I. Joe: Classified Series reviews check out the following:

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