Thanks to @RiderXero, I was able to get my hands on the elusive Dollar General Exclusive GI Joe wave. I got them a few months ago and have finally gotten around to pulling them out of the backlog bin. Duke, Snake Eyes, Shipwreck, Cobra Commander, a Cobra Trooper, and Storm Shadow fill the wave roster, mixing and matching parts from various modern era figures. Here are the reviews.
Dollar General Exclusive Wave 1
Duke: Before you write this figure off for being another Duke, I want to say that this is this wave’s underdog figure. I originally thought that this would easily be the worst figure of the set, but it’s surprisingly good. Duke uses the 25th Zap’s body, causing it to fit the Original 13 motif. Duke is no Hawk, but this figure fits right in. I normally dislike the 25th Anniversary bodies, but this one is an exception. The figure has heroic proportions and has a nice amount of articulation. If I could, I’d probably try to find more of these guys to fix up some of the other Original characters; ie Short Fuze. Since this is a budget release, there isn’t much in the paint deco and accessory department. We get a blank figure stand, a rifle, and a pistol leaving the ankle holster is empty. This figure can pull off a few things, so I can definitely recommend this to anyone who can find a use for it. Come on GI Joe Club, I’m now looking forward to the Figure Subscription Service’s Grunt.
Shipwreck: If Duke is the wave’s underdog figure, Shipwreck is the MVP. Hasbro has taken various parts to give us Devil’s Due interpretation of Shipwreck. At the end of the day, this is awesome upgrade will make us want to throw the older figures in the trash. Though there isn’t much paint on this figure, there is enough plastic color differentiation to make it stand out. For accessories, Shipwreck comes with a scuba-mask, oxygen tank, and a Renegades Duke pistol… sadly Polly isn’t included. If you’re only going to try to get one figure, this is the one to get.
Snake Eyes: Though Snake Eyes had many looks over the last few decades, one of the cooler ones was the one used in 1991. I don’t know what it is, but I wish that Hasbro would have used different parts here; Snake Eyes feels too stumpy. Even though I love this design, the articulation takes a huge hit. It doesn’t help that the figure isn’t packed with a ton of accessories; Snake Eyes simply comes with a single sword. While I find these flaws disappointing, the figure is still pretty cool. Don’t you want to pair this up with Ninja Force Storm Shadow anyway?
Cobra Commando: There was a part of me that was really looking forward to owning a hooded Cobra Commander. Now that I have one, I can’t say that I’m pleased. There’s something about this figure that feels like a cheap Chinese knock-off. The hodgepodge body isn’t as ugly as I originally thought, it’s just the lack of paint details that bothers me. The gear is also completely ridiculous; that sword sheath in obscene. This is honestly the worst figure of the set, and I’ll probably have to swap some accessories around to fix the figure.
Cobra Trooper: I love the Pursuit of Cobra City Strike Snake Eyes body; I love that Hasbro reused that body for the 30th Anniversary Cobra Trooper. This is practically the same figure, except cast in a glossy black plastic. It’s not bad, but like Cobra Commander, the lack of paint makes it feel like a knock off. It’s also unfortunate that the figure feels loose with degraded plastic tolerances… but that could be isolated to my individual figure. This all-black Cobra Trooper only comes with a rifle, so it’s odd when you look at the empty spots for various gear. If you can find these, I’d definitely say that they’re a cool addition to the army… I just wouldn’t go out of my way to collect these.
Storm Shadow: Fans of the 30th Anniversary Renegades Storm Shadow rejoice, this figure primarily uses that body. I consider it a welcome addition to the collection since it pays homage to the classic Ninja Force iteration. Sure, it lacks details and skips out on the golden shoulder-pads, but this doesn’t look so bad from afar. Again, like Snake Eyes, this Dollar General figure doesn’t come with anything besides a sword and crossbow. Maybe earlier iterations of the character have spoiled me, but Hasbro could have at least given us some arrows. Ninja Force Storm Shadow… very solid figure; definitely recommended.