GI JOE: Zartan (Master of Disguise) Sixth-Scale Figure by Sideshow Toys, Part 2

And I’m back with the second half of my look at Sideshow’s spectacular Zartan figure. Yesterday I covered the figure and costume, today we’ll look at all the goodies that comes with him. Before getting into the exciting stuff, it’s worth mentioning that Zartan comes with no less than six pairs of hands. Holy shit! I’m not going to run down them all, because I think it’s boring. Suffice it to say, in addition to the accessory specific hands you get a thumbs up right hand, a pointing right hand, and a pair of fists. You also get a pair of action feet, which come in handy with dynamic poses in the absence of mid foot articulation. The hands and feet are very easy to swap out and stay in tight. You also get the standard Cobra style stand that have been included with all these figures. Ok, with that behind us… let’s go right for the jugular and check out the showpiece of Zartan’s ensemble… the ridiculously gorgeous compound bow.

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I’m not sure exactly when Zartan began using a bow. The first Zartan figure that I remember getting with a bow was sometime in the late 90’s and that bow was neon orange. Either way, the weapon has gradually become associated with the character and I think it’s a great fit. The folks at Sideshow went crazy with this accessory. It’s a very complex sculpt, from the cams and cables to the site, stabilizer, and mounted quiver. You get five arrows, four of which can clip into the quiver and you get a hand designed so that you can pose the figure knocking the extra arrow on the bow. This is an insanely great looking accessory and it is certainly the showpiece of his arsenal. It’s just amazing.

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Next up, you get the VSS Sniper Rifle and this is also a very impressive piece of sixth-scale hardware. It’s every bit the great sculpt that I’ve come to expect from Sideshow’s firearms. The magazine is, of course, removable and the tiny cartridge in the chamber is painted. Oh yeah, you also get an additional four magazines to stow in the ammo pouches on his belt. The rifle comes with a long range scope on it and there’s even a removable lens cap on the scope. God, I love that attention to detail! Also included is a laser site assembly to swap out with the scope if you want to go a little more high-tech. There’s also a flip up site on the rifle itself just in case Zartan wants to give his quarry a bit more of a sporting chance. I’m reminded of a line from Romero’s classic film, Dawn of the Dead, “The only person who could miss with this gun is the sucker with the bread to buy it!”

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Moving on to what is easily the most iconic weapon in this set, we have Zartan’s laser pistol. This piece is easily the simplest of all three of his firearms, but that doesn’t make it any less welcome. If you read my feature on Sideshow’s Cobra Commander then you may remember my lamenting the fact that his iconic hair-dryer pistol wasn’t included. I would have been just as unhappy if Zartan didn’t get his laser pistol. Despite being a sci-fi weapon, and a completely static piece, this little gun still looks realistic and is packed with detail. It also fits comfortably into the belt holster making it a nice hold out weapon for when Zartan is all out of bullets and arrows.

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Ah, but we’re still not done yet. Zartan also comes with a pair of mines very similar to the ones included with the Crimson Guard figure. These are green and can easily be stowed into the satchel included with the figure. Lastly, you get a skinning knife and sheath. I was little baffled as to where to stow this on the figure, but I found that it clips nicely onto the back of his belt. The blade looks like it’s intended to be one of those ceramic bladed knives. This piece reminds me of Major Bludd’s boot knife in that it’s an amazing little accessory and totally unnecessary. It was just thrown in there because Sideshow loves you.

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Zartan lasted quite a while at most retailers, but availability is really starting to thin out, and when Sideshow sold out, that’s what finally motivated me to get mine. With a $159 MSRP, this guy feels like an absolute steal next to the hundred and eighty dollar price points of Cobra Commander and Baroness. The complexity of Zartan’s outfit alone makes him feel like a higher valued figure, but when you start throwing in all those amazing accessories, he really feels like a great value. While all of these Sideshow Cobra figures have been excellent, right now Zartan is the favorite on my shelf.

5 comments on “GI JOE: Zartan (Master of Disguise) Sixth-Scale Figure by Sideshow Toys, Part 2

  1. Technically Zartan has been using a bow since he killed the Hard Master with one way back in Joe pre-history. The first time I remember him being depicted using a bow was using one to hunt Ripcord who had infiltrated Cobra Island in issue 45. In fact Zartan’s got a bow (not a compound though) on the cover. But he was clearly depicted with a compound bow while killing the Hard Master.

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