It's now officially time to start wrapping up my action figure reviews of stuff from 2021 and since November and December were filled with releases I'll be working overtime in January to catch up. I'm currently in a bit of a G.I. Joe Classified Series mini marathon and today I'm checking out Master of Disguise Zartan, the deluxe Hasbro Pulse Convention exclusive version of Zartan who went up for sale in late October. I received mine in mid December so I'm not too behind, I guess. Hasbro has been getting a lot of flack about their "deluxe" offerings of late, especially in Star Wars: The Black Series, but Zartan is absolutely what a deluxe offering should be. This guy has so many alternate heads and incredibly cool accessories that you'll definitely be quite pleased even with the higher than usual price. The standard Zartan figure released in early 2021 was pretty good but this version, while mostly a repaint, still manages to top it. Let's take a look at Master of Disguise Zartan after the break...
* The G.I. Joe: Classified Series has some incredible articulation and Zartan is a great figure to show it off with. he's got all of the joints you expect and almost nothing that gets in the way of him using them. His shoulder pads are attached to his armor and are a bit flexible so they can move around as needed.
* When Zartan wants to infiltrate G.I. Joe he can use this Snake Eyes disguise. It's the standard Snake Eyes headsculpt included with the basic or deluxe Snake Eyes. This version is molded in black with a gray visor. The color scheme here is very reminiscent of the vintage Snake Eyes v2.
* Zartan is also aping Storm Shadow! This is the same portrait from Arctic Mission Storm Shadow but with a white balaclava instead of black. It's quite cool and some folks might prefer it on the previous Storm Shadow figure. Zartan definitely was disguised as Storm Shadow when he killed the Hard Master so this is a worthwhile inclusion.
* My favorite mask to come with Zartan is this crazy skull mask. What's the deal with this thing? It's terrifying and has some fantastic mechanical eyes with red pupils. Maybe thermal vision? This is just amazing and it fits him really well.
* When Zartan killed the Hard Master in the comics he used one of Tommy Arashikage's arrows so that he would take the blame. To pay tribute to this Hasbro included the quiver backpack from Arctic Mission Stormshadow. It's the same mold but now with red details instead of gold. You can even plug Zartan's bulky backpack into the hole and have him wear both packs.
* Zartan's knife fits nicely in this croc skin covered holster on his back where it is ever ready.
* Lastly, Zartan actually changes color. Yes, indeed! That was an unusual feature the vintage figure had and Hasbro has recreated it here. This time, though, place Zartan in the freezer or out in the cold and his skin turns purple. It looks fantastic and very creepy. A little heat (just a touch of your finger) and he begins to turn back to normal. I love how this figure seems to meld together Zartan's technological gear with his mystical/ mutant abilities to showcase how he truly can become whoever he wants to be when going undercover.
* The Snake Eyes head has a really messy visor and it just seems really undersized on Zartan. Kind of odd looking, right?
* I do like that Zartan has a place to store his pistol but it still seems really weird to have it attach to the peg on his backpack via the trigger. That's just so awkward.
*Like I said on my review of Arctic Mission Storm Shadow, this bow looks really cool but where is the bow string?
There's not even really a place to add one on nor is there even an arrow included here. Honestly, the advanced compound bow he used to kill the Hard Master would have been a better choice though Hasbro didn't have that mold just setting around I imagine.
Yeah, some of the deluxe releases Hasbro is trying to justify in Star Wars: The Black Series and a couple other lines seem really silly but Master of Disguise Zartan really seems to live up to the ideals of a deluxe release. If you're happy with the standard release that's great. It's an amazing figure and a worthy Zartan. This guy, though, has the two alternate portraits of Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, an incredible sniper rifle with lots of features, the archery gear, and four masks, including that crazy and creepy skull mask. Zartan is loaded with incredible accessories and gear that give him lots of options for display and play. He was an Epic figure as a basic release and this guy, with a bunch of cool gear, is Epic as well. He's one of the best of the year for the Classified Series and it's a darn shame he was so limited.
For more of Zartan check out the standard Classified Series Zartan figure.