GI JOE 25th Anniversary Collection: Mercenary Wraith by Hasbro

Last time, I looked at Mindwipe, a Transformer that was really tough for me to bag at retail. This time, it’s the same story only in the GI JOE lineup. Back when I was hunting the 25th Anni. figures, I never once saw Wraith hanging on the pegs and I came pretty close a couple of times to paying a premium for him online just to get him into my collection. I never did pull the trigger and now, after a few years, I stumble upon a dozen of them on clearance at Marshall’s. Interestingly enough, in my mad excitement over finally finding him, I overlooked one important fact: He sucks. I’ll elaborate a little, but this is still going to be a quickie.

Here we have one of the only figures that can make the 25th Anni. vintage style cards look blah. The artwork is just bland and really not worthy of the packaging style let alone the original comic art for the character. Wraith seems like he should be a slam dunk. He’s a shifty mercenary wearing a high-tech cloaking suit. He’s just the kind of thing that would have been right at home in Metal Gear Solid. I was never a huge fan of him in the comics, but I always thought he would make excellent figure fodder. I still think I was right, but Hasbro just completely choked the chicken on this one.

Aesthetically, the sculpt isn’t bad. The armor is well executed, particularly the way the upper torso armor is layered as a separate piece over the black textured stomach. The helmet is cool enough and the face plate is hinged so that it can lift up to reveal… um, Tony Stark. Yeah. Aesthetics aside, though, this sculpt has all sorts of practical problems that interfere with the articulation, so let’s just talk about that now.

Wraith uses the same basic articulation as all the 25th Anni. Joe bodies, but Hasbro took every opportunity in the sculpt to muck it up. Perhaps the dumbest thing here are the angel hair wires that connect his arm guns to his biceps. If you want to move Wraith’s arms at all, you might as well just snip all of these off because they will not survive. You’ll also have to cut them if you want to remove the cumbersome arm weapons. The shoulder armor and the collar also do their part to inhibit Wraith’s articulation. At least from the waist down things are ok.

Wraith comes with a backpack, a ridiculous assault rifle that he can’t really hold unless you take off his arm guns, and even then he can’t hold it very well. I’ll give Hasbro a pass on the gun, since he didn’t really need to come with one at all, but it’s worth mentioning that it’s one of the worst guns I ever got with a modern Joe figure. Oh yeah, he also comes with a figure stand. This stand would be the only really valuable thing in the package, if only it didn’t have his name on it.

Unless you are absolutely in love with Wraith from his comic appearances, this figure should have been an easy pass. He’s awful in just about every way. I currently keep my Joes baggied and in storage totes, but I don’t think I’m going to even waist a baggie on this piece of crap. But hey, the odds were that at least one figure in the line would be crap, and honestly, I can’t think of any others that were even close to this disappointing.

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