If there is one them that has had no lack of action figures, it's the military. There
were military themed figures before there were even action figures in the form of the little
green army men. The first "action figure" was a military figure, GI Joe. These days there
are a multitude of companies producing military figures in just about every form imaginible.
But for all of the products out there, there seems to have been no one tapping the 6 inch
market. Well almost nobody. Several years ago, a company by the name of ReSaurus launched
the Special Forces line: 6.5" realistic military figures with an emphesis on the accessories.
ReSaurus is gone now, but the line lives on under a new company, Plan B. The newest wave
marks their first attempt at WWII figures.
Packaging - 6/10The Special Forces figures come on a rather normal blister card. The figure is displayed on the left side of the card and all of the accessories are spread out along the right side. Each blister also has three inserts: the Special Forces logo banner at (which is actually a sticker) the top, unit logo on the right above the weapons and a brief blurb about the soldier the figure is based on under the figure. The card itself has an image of a GI and an image of a German officer. Though, to be quite honest, they are almost impossible to see until the bubble is removed. The packaging looks nice enough, but it doesn't do a very good job of showing off the product. Previous waves of Special Forces figures have had a listing of the accessories that were included instead of unit symbol which probably would have been better since that information wasin't included anywhere else. The back of the card has pictures of all six figures in the series as well as pictures demonstrating the interchangable heads and equipment. As I said, the packaging certainly isn't unattractive, but it doesn't show off the detail of the figures or accessories verywell. The one thing it does show is the effectivness of military camoflage.
Sculpting - 7/10There are really only two sculpts between the six figures. The three Allied troops share a single sculpt with three different heads while the three German figures do the same. Given the subject matter, that isn't terribly surprising and both sculpts are pretty good. But it is the head sculpts that really set these figures apart. The detail here is almost unreal. Every head looks like a real person right down to minor wrinkles and skin imperfections. I'm not sure if they are based on real people or not, but these are some of the best head sculpts I've seen yet.
Paint - 8/10The paint detail on these figures is really impressive. It's the paint that allowed Plan B to reuse the same sculpt three times in the same wave without the figures looking identical. Each figure has a different camoflage pattern for their uniform. The faces also have various amounts of camoflage or dirt/grime on them. I would have scored them a point higher, but something about the heads doesn't seem quite right, though I can't quite put my finger on what it is. I think it may be that the sculpt is so realisticly done that the skin tone just doesn't quite match up. The finish is just too similar to that of the rest of the figure. Still, an impressive job none the less.
Articulation - 7/10All of the figures feature the same 20 points of articulation:
Accessories - 7/10Somehow Plan B managed to make this the strongest and weakest part of the WWII line. Every figure comes with a large selection of accessories and both a rifle and a pistol. And five of the six figures have removable helmets; the Das Reich soldier's hat is part of his head sculpt. All of the accessories look great both in the sculpts and paint details. Unfortunately the accessories aren't quite up to the same standards as those that were included with past Special Forces figures. Most of the accessories are simply for show and for displaying on the figures' belts. After the amazing canteens that actually opened and other accessories that this line has produced in the past, I was expecting more. To start with, this is the first series that doesn't include extra heads which makes the interchangable head feature rather unecessary. The 82nd airborne and German Machine Gunner also take a hit since neither can properly hold their rifles. The machine gun is to big to be held and the neck articulation makes sniper poses impossible. The 82 Airborne soldier's rifle has a folded stock that doesn't seem to unfold, making holding the weapon very difficult unles the stock is removed, or breaks off as was the case with mine.
Value - 7/10The Special forces line hasn't found a very large audience and as a result they can be hard to find, and that means a higher price. I picked them up for $8.99 each which isn't too bad considering how well executed they are. The lack of spare heads also hurts since you won't be able to build up an army, unless you count a clone army.
Happy Hunting:As I stated earlier, the Special Forces line hasn't exactly taken the action figure aisle by storm. As a result, you options for finding them is going to be rather limited. I picked up a set from Software Etc on the west side of Madison, WI for $8.99 each. You may be able to find them in similar mall based software stores. You can also find them online at Plan B's web site or KB Kids.com for $10 per figure.