Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Action Figure Review: David "Big Ben" Bennett (Night Force) from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro


      I love the classic G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero characters in the Classified Series (for me, anyone pre-1990) but I get really excited when post 1990 figures and characters from various non-vintage media sources make it into the line. Today I'm checking out David "Big Ben" Bennet in his Night Force gear. Big Ben is a member of the British SAS and was originally a 1991 figure. He was re-released five more times in different color schemes between 1991 and 2003, so someone at Hasbro really liked him. I'm not sure I've ever owned Big Ben but I was definitely looking forward to this guy and, let me tell you, he's an absolute cracker. Big Ben is part of the Wal-Mart exclusive Night Force series which focuses on the Night Force team (so far just Big Ben and Shooter) investing a source of Dark Energon. Big Ben is loaded down with weapons and ready to deliver some serious firepower. Ready to check out Big Ben? Then join me after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 6 1/2 inches

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

Accessories: 2 swappable portraits, light machine gun, ammo box, rifle, forward grip, magazine, automatic pistol, suppressor, and holster, 

Non-Scalper Price: $25 dollars

The Positives:

* The original Big Ben was wearing multiple shades of green but this Night Force version has thrown some grey into the mix to give him a darker appearance. He is part of Night Force, after all. His outfit is pretty standard combat pants with cargo pockets, laced up combat boots, kneepads, and a heavy field coat in a very deep green. He's sporting two bandoliers of ammunition across his chest (this is a separate piece, though non-removable) and some webgear with lots of pouches and pockets. Big Ben is definitely a very stern looking figure who looks ready to spend some time in the cold and damp hunting down Cobra.

* He looks like a tough guy, too. David has a lantern jaw, kind of a tough guy lip thing going on, and he looks like he'd just as soon kill you as look at you. If you're a bad guy, at least. His cold weather cap is nicely detailed and he's sporting camouflage stripes on his face. Look closely and you can see the earpiece in his right ear, something that the vintage figure had, too. 

* On his left shoulder he's wearing a Union Jack. it's really nice and bright; it's a very clean print. 

* There are lots of military patches with griffins on them but I couldn't find this one. It's cool looking, though. Big Ben is also sporting a Joe-Pro on his right shoulder strap. 

* Big Ben comes with a second portrait, although to put it on you have to remove his entire neck, too. It's a gas mask wearing head with a hood attached and it just looks cool. The gas masks are definitely a part of the signature look of the SAS and definitely adds to their intimidation factor. Since the Night Force storyline for these figures also involves Dark Energon and Cobra Mole Rats turning into zombies, the extra protection is definitely understandable. 

* Hasbro is very consistent on the articulation for the Classified Series figures, so Big Ben moves pretty much like everyone else. His shoulder movement is restricted just a bit by his jacket but it's not terrible or anything as he can still take firing poses just fine. He's definitely one of my favorite figures to pick up and mess around with in recent memory. 

* Big Ben's light machine gun looks kind of like a FN Minimi (known in the US as the M249 and the UK as the L108A1). It's a nice looking machine gun with lots of detail on the body and stock, a carrying handle, and the visible ammo belt coming out of the box magazine. There's also a functioning bipod that folds up and down. 

* Here's the bipod folded up and the box magazine removed from the weapon. The barrel is hollow so you can place a firing effect inside. 

* I am nuts about Big Ben's rifle. It's a double barreled rifle and it's based on the Gilboa DBR Snake. This is a really neat looking piece of equipment with two barrels and a functioning forward grip. It folds down!

* The magazine is removable (it's one piece but a double magazine) and the forward grip can fold back up into position. This is definitely one of my favorite Classified Series weapons yet. 

* Big Ben's sidearm is an automatic pistol that I can't cannot identify. It looks kind of like an Uzi or a MAC, but the handle is slanted back. I just can't place it! I love it, though.

* There's also a suppressor for the barrel that fits on perfectly. 

* The pistol fits snugly into the holster on Big Ben's right hip and is ready for action when he needs to cap some Cobra wankers. 

* On the backpack there are two sports for storage. The pouch on the left holds the double magazine from the rifle and the loop on the right holds the suppressor for the automatic pistol. 

   Big Ben is one of my favorites from the line this year and he's just so darn cool. His weapons are fantastic, too. Really some of the best of the year, especially that Gilboa Snake. The alternate heads are a really nice touch and with the gas mask on Big Ben is a really frightening figure. It is a bit that he doesn't have a backpack or a way to stow his rifle or LMG, but I'd rather have more weapons than have accessories left off a figure because there wasn't a way to attach them. Big Ben in his Night Force look is exclusive to Wal-Mart, but it does beg the question if we'll see a standard Big Ben at any point. Considering how close the colors are to the original figure, do we really need a standard release? Big Ben's an Epic figure and one I highly, highly recommend. 

This is the first figure of David "Big Ben" Bennett I've reviewed. For more G.I. Joe: Classified Series reviews check out the following:


  1. This is definitely on my want list. Haven't seen him at Walmart. Waiting for secondary prices to drop a bit. Looks great.

    1. He's top tier for sure. Is anyone even finding these in stores yet? I've seen images of Mole Rats in stores but that's it.


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