Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Action Figure Review: Metal-Head from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro

   Oh my gosh! I hadn't realized it's been over a month since I last reviewed a G.I. Joe: Classified Series figure! Today I'm checking out Metal-Head, who I believe is the the most recent deluxe release in the line. From what I've picked up online, Metal-Head isn't the most popular release. I think some of that is because there does seem to be some ill will among collectors when it comes to deluxe releases; they just feel they're often overpriced for what you get. Another reason that Metal-Head seems unpopular is that there is a weird design decision when it comes to the missiles: They can't just go into the launchers without using the firing effects. That is a weird decision and I believe it's the first time that a missile has been designed that way in the Classified Series. Thirdly, Metal-Head was originally released in 1990, so there are a lot of collectors who were out of the line by that time and who just don't want anything but straight up vintage versions of the earliest characters in the line. I got into G.I. Joe a bit later as a kid so I absolutely was still collecting in 1990. In fact, I think it's one of the strongest years of the line. I had Metal-Head as a kid (in fact, I still own him) and I've always liked him as a upper level named Cobra characters, though he really is a member of the Iron Grenadiers. This is the first Iron Grenadiers release we've had in the line to date, right? Let's take a look and see how Metal-Head turned out, after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 6 1/4ths 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 hair pieces, helmet, knife, rifle, submachine gun, 2 magazines, backpack, 2 thigh launchers, 2 cords, 2 thigh pads, 6 missiles, and 6 missile launch effects.

Non-Scalper Price: $35 dollars
The Positives:

* I really like when Hasbro updates character designs in the Classified Series, giving us something that still has elements of the vintage design but that also moves the brand forward. Metal-Head feels like a nice update to me. He still has elements of the vintage design but he's not beholden to it. The colors are similar, but better with darker greys and yellow reserved only for his lenses and the missiles. His body is shared with the second version of Firefly, but since the colors are so different you'd never even know. He's also wearing brand new chest gear and new hip pads, so you might not even recognize the reused body.

* I'm not sure why but for some reason Metal-Head reminds me of a younger Richard Branson with dark hair. I don't really know why. It's a good sculpt, though, as Metal-Head definitely looks like a thrill seeker. He seems a bit off kilter, though, which works for a guy who walks into battle wearing multiple rocket launchers. Rather than have multiple portraits, Metal-Head has different hairpieces that change up his look. This is the basic one and shows his hair being swept back and quite disheveled. He's also sporting a teardrop tattoo. I know there are so many things that a teardrop tattoo can stand for, so who knows why he has one?

* Metal-Head's second hairpiece has his cool googles attached. They're bright yellow and have lots of red details on them, almost as if they're showing some sort of head's up display or providing an augmented reality view for him. The original file card for Metal-Head talked about him being able to aim by sight using and fire the missiles by voice command ("bang!"), so think about how the technology would have advanced since 1990. 
* The vintage figure had a weird sloped helmet that fit on the figure well, but it looked kind of antiquated. Metal-Head now has an absolutely crazy helmet that probably integrates the features of his goggles while giving him more protection. it looks like some sort of crazy gladiator helmet, only modernized. I love the serrated Mohawk on top. 

*It kind of reminds me of something the Dreadnoks would wear. I'm wondering if Metal-Head is kind of a fan of the Dreadnoks as he has the Cold Slither logo on his armored neckplate, along with some tallied kill marks. 

* The back of Metal-Head's armor has the standard peg hole for a backpack as well as two nodes which fit into the missile launching pack. There's also lots of gadgetry and such for connecting the sophisticated system to his backpack. Oh, and you can also see that he has the Iron Grenadiers logo on his left shoulder.

* The missile firing backpack has two launchers attached via articulated arms. I'm getting War Machine vibes here! The arms are quite nicely articulated and give Metal-Head a great range of fire.

* There are two missiles included which are intended for his backpack mounted launchers. The missiles are separate pieces and can attach to the firing effects which fit into the barrels of the launchers. The missiles are yellow, like the missiles included with the vintage figure, and the firing effects have a nice mixture of red and white to create the illusion of smoke and fire. 

* There are also two leg mounted missile launchers. They plug onto the balljoints on Metal-Head's hip pads and connect to the backpack via some plastic cords. The missile launchers on Metal-Head's hips are smaller than the ones on his backpack, but each launcher has two barrels. 

* There are two smaller missiles with removable firing effects for each hip launcher. Two of the missiles have shorter firing effects.

* And two of the missiles have longer firing effects. You can mix up the thigh missiles a bit for different looks. 
* Besides having a bunch of missiles, Metal-Head also comes with some traditional firearms, both in a nice red and black color scheme that matches the Iron Grenadiers motif.  First is the previously seen SMGs that look to be based on the M3A1 SMG with an added scope and flash suppressor on the barrel. These were the default weapon for Cobra Troopers in the Sunbow animated series (where they fired lasers) and a few Cobra troops have included them. I presume they're supplied by M.A.R.S.  

* Next up is some sort of HK inspired rifle. This is another sculpt we've seen, so presumably another M.A.R.S. special. The barrels on both the rifles and the grenade launchers are hollow, allowing you to use the included firing effects on them. 

* Both weapons have removable magazines as well, so you can have Metal-Head reload right in the heat of battle. 

* What does a guy with multiple rocket launchers strapped to his back and legs and an automatic weapon in each hand truly need? A tiny knife of course! When the going gets tough, or when he needs to open a freeze pop, Metal-Head can rely on this trusty little blade.

* He can store it in this really cool sheathe on his chest. It's right above all of his pouches of gear and right below his armored neck plate.
* The body here is reused from Firefly so there's not a whole lot new to say:  The articulation is fantastic and incredibly useful for getting excellent poses out of the figure. There are plenty of joints and they all move quite well. Hasbro has been on a roll for quite a few year now, making some of the sturdiest and most well designed 6 inch scaled action figures on the market and the Classified Series has been their best line to date. Other than inhibiting his pec hinges a bit, Metal-Head's missile launchers further add to how dynamic his poses can be, though. Who doesn't look great wielding some massive rocket launchers?

The Negatives:

* Metal-Head is a somewhat complex figure and while there's a lot of cool ideas present in his design, there are also some flaws present. First up, the cables that connect from his backpack to his hip mounted launchers come disconnected at the drop of a hat. They're really finicky. 

* The design decisions that seems to be receiving the most flak from collectors are the ways that the missiles fit (or don't fit) into the launchers. The missiles for the backpack launchers are removable from their firing effects, but they are too large to fit inside. You can either display Metal-Head with no missiles or in the middle of launching them with no in-between. I think this is the first Classified Series figure where a projectile like this can't be simply placed inside, so that's a bit baffling. 

* The missiles for the thigh launchers can fit inside the barrels but they're loose and just jiggle around. There's no way they can attach or fit snugly. Usually the Classified Series team nails stuff like this, so it's a bit odd when the ability to simply have the missiles resting in the launchers is missing.  

   I do find the inability to place the rockets in the launchers without the firing effects to be an odd decision and one that does bug me a bit. If Metal-Head were a basic figure it would bother me less, but as a deluxe figure it seems like a real miss. Now, everything else? I like. I liked Metal-Head a lot as a kid and I think Hasbro did a great job updating him. I like how he differs from the original figure and how dynamic he looks firing all of his missiles. He's an excellent addition and he makes me really excited to get some Iron Grenadiers. Personally, I think he's a Great figure and a real hit.

This is the first figure of Metal-Head I've reviewed on the site. For more G.I. Joe: Classified Series reviews check out the following:
G.I. Joe Classified Series by Hasbro (2020) 
Action Sailor (Recon Diver)
Action Soldier (Infantry)
Agent Helix



  1. Interesting figure, but yeah, I passed on him for the deluxe mark up. May get him if he goes on sale.

    1. I've heard he's on sale at Target this week. I think both him and Mutt were/ are on sale.

    2. Can confirm both he and Mutt were on sale near $25-30 online, and if you can find a store with in-store pickup to save shipping costs it's a steal for both.

  2. If I pick him up, I'll definitely display him with the helmet.

    1. The helmet is neat. I've been back and forth but I just love the yellow goggles with the crosshairs. I've got the helmet setting next to him.

  3. He reminded me more of special effects wizard Tom Savini in his bit role as "Sex Machine" in the horror film From Dusk Til Dawn back in the day.

    The lack of neutral position for his backpack is a disappointment. If he's not firing the large missiles it just looks off-putting and makes him unusable for most scenes and dioramas that aren't combat centered. No standing at attention with the other Iron Grenadiers during a briefing, for example, or being captured before he gets any missiles off. Which is a pity, because the articulation is outstanding, and the variety of head options and overall expressiveness of his features make this an otherwise GREAT, weird add to a collection. Especially at $25 if you can find him on a good sale

    1. Oh, I do see the Tom Savini likeness, too. That's a good call. I wish someone would make some From Dusk til Dawn toys. NECA, hop on that!

      Yeah, the ability to just have the missiles in the weapon but not firing is just a weird oversight. It's so unexpected, too, because I think Hasbro has been really good about stuff like that in this line. Bazooka, Scrap Iron, the Snow Serpent, and the 788 Fire Team trooper can all have their missiles power in the launchers, posed firing, or empty.


What'chu talkin' 'bout?