Cobra Commander was an incompetent buffoon; Destro a vainglorious bastard. The real power behind the Cobra organisation stands before you now in majestic 1/6 scale. All hail the Baroness.
I was never a G.I. Joe fan as a child. Oh I loved the cartoon series, made my parents buy me the action figures and even subscribed to the Marvel comic book, but as far as I was concerned they were all about Cobra, the shadowy terrorist organisation that wanted to control the Earth for some silly reason or another. Who cared? They had troopers that looked like Star Wars characters. They had colour-changing biker bosses. They had robots. They had the Baroness.
G.I. Joe had female members like Lady Jaye and Scarlett, tough soldiers who shared the front lines with a host of male military caricatures, but the Baroness had power, or as much power as a female in an '80s cartoon could muster. She was dark and mysterious and appealing to 12-year-old me in a way I still don't fully comprehend.
I've collected several of the Sixth Scale G.I. Joe figures from Sideshow Collectibles over the past couple of years -- Falcon, Zartan, the Crimson Guard -- but this is the one I've been waiting for. All I need now is a Sergeant Slaughter figure with real hair mustache and my collection shall be complete.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX
Well there's what's on the outside of the box. Clip-and-save bio cards featuring the original text from the 80s toys is always welcome. Inside we find:
- One fully-articulated female figure that looks like the Baroness, decked out in some lovely armour, a fabric body suit and wrapped in convenient holsters
- Those boots, made for walking
- Bull pup assault rifle, which she is not a qualified expert in using
- Sub-machine pistol, which she is more-or-less a qualified expert in using
- A knife
- Six additional gloved hands
- A small bag of grenades and things to strap into her holsters, which I left closed because I was afraid I'd lose them
- An additional pair of glasses
- Display stand
WHAT I LIKED
That Slight Smirk -- It's there, if you look closely enough. That slightly deeper dip of one corner of her mouth. The subtly arched eyebrow.
It's the expression of cat unseen in the crowd as a mouse parade passes by. She holds all of the cards, and she can't help feeling just a little bit smug about it. You might not see it at all from a different angle...
...but it's always there.
The Outfit -- Natasha Romanov, eat your heart out. While other femme fatales stop at a body stocking, the Baroness layers on the protection.
A breastplate with shoulder pads, bracers, leather holsters and those magnificent layered leather boots with shin guards protect the Baroness from the rigors of intrigue. The detailing is magnificent.
As with all clothing in the G.I. Joe Sixth Scale line, those straps are functional. Hell, if you wanted to make a suit like this of your own, you could take this one apart and rebuild it to scale.
Just The Right Amount Of Extras -- Some of the G.I. Joe Sixth Scale figures come with a ridiculous amount of accessories -- more accessories then one could ever actually fit on a figure at once. The Baroness figure keeps it simple. Every piece has its place, save the extra hands. With the assault rifle in her hands, machine pistol in her holster, knife in its sheaf and little tiny bits in their little tiny places, she's pretty much complete.
The only bits leftover, aside from the gloved hands, is the extra pair of glasses. Oh my god they gave her multiple sets of glasses.
She's the Baroness -- She is, indeed, the Baroness.
WHAT I DIDN"T LIKE
The Bit That Broke -- I do not recommend articulating your fully-articulated figure while the knife is in its sheath.
The top half of the sheath popped right of when I tried, and now I've got to find it in the most toy-cluttered office I have ever known. Once I find it I'm sure I can glue it back together, but until then I remain incredibly sad.
MY FINAL WORD
When I was a young boy, the only Baroness figure I got to play with looked like this.
I was probably better off, because had the Baroness figure from 1984 looked anything like Sideshow Collectibles' Sixth Scale Baroness figure, my love for toys might have developed in a completely different direction.
Now that I'm older and better able to process my feelings, I'm still just a little bit in love.
The Baroness Sixth Scale Figure is available now at Sideshow Collectibles for $US179.99.