Firefly is Cobra’s saboteur, introduced in the 1984 G.I. Joe A Real American Hero toyline. He only gets paid in his Swiss account and no one knows who he is. His first appearance in the comics was in G.I Joe #24 in 1984 where he was described by the Baroness as being the best in the business.
There has been several Firefly action figures over the years. He is a popular character, as a secondary Cobra agent with a unique design. He wears grey camos and a balaclava. Recently, Fortnight introduced a character called Havoc that resembles Firefly and was used by many G.I. Joe Classified collectors as a stand-in, until Hasbro released its own version which I am reviewing today. The G.I. Joe Classified action figure is an update in current times.
Hasbro’s designers made a significant change to Firefly’s likeness by giving him a bomb-proof jacket which is in line with his sabotage activities. The original did not have one. Instead, he wore straps with crisscrossed grenades and pockets. Here Hasbro’s designers chose to put extra grenades on Firefly’s left shoulder and pack his pockets in the front of his jacket. The jacket also adds protection for the neck and a type of jack strap at the front.
New addition to the Firefly look are protective goggles and a huge right shoulder guard. While a saboteur, Firefly does not sport a full bomb-proof suit. The jacket provides him with the flexibility and agility that he needs to perform his tasks. His backpack has changed significantly too, having a more tradition look in stead of the boxy look of the original. Moreover, he sports a new drone that can survey sites he is trying to infiltrate and carry dynamite, tools and weapons.
The essential part of Firefly is represented in his Classified look with his grey camouflage army garbs, his balaclava, and long sleeves. In the cartoon, Firefly did not wear gloves which was odd for a saboteur concerned with not leaving tracks and protecting his identity. However, the action figure had dark grey gloves. Fortunately, the G.I. Joe Classified Firefly has gloves on.
This Firefly action figure is bulky and many collectors dislike this. Yet his face is shrewd and cool with the look or crazed saboteur who has suffered damaged several times. With the goggles on, he does not look like himself but a new character. The huge shoulder pad, while inspired by the original one is heavy looking and creates much asymmetry with the character’s design.
There are fine details on the figure like the fabric patterns on his sleeves and seams on his balaclava. Firefly is not completely original and reuses parts from Beach Head (arms and torso), Destro’s feet and boots, and Snake Eyes’s crotch, thighs, knees and upper calves. The mix of new parts may annoy some collectors, but Hasbro’s designers integrate and reuse them so well that Firefly does feel unique.
The collar on his jacket is meant to prevent shrapnel from accidental blasts to hurt him. However, it does add to the bulk and gives him a different look from the original 1984 design. However, there is a lot of asymmetries in Firefly’s design, including his balaclava, and scratches on his bomb jacket, and intricate gear and straps all over his body. He looks realistic and as some have argued, this is in line with the Classified look developed for this action figure line. There isn’t anything similar or as cool as G.I. Joe Classified design aesthetics currently.
Hasbro has been using base plastics for most parts of their action figures and has avoided shading characters’ bodies. Usually only their faces have extensive shading. First, although I like the lunatic look on Firefly’s face, The 3D face painting is not as nice. You can see the pixels on the character’s face.
His body has two shades of greys creating the camo effect. There is a light grey and a darker one painted on the medium grey base plastic. The vest is shinny but without shading. Blast effects and burns would have improved the look.
Firefly is on the shorter side of G.I. Joe Classified. He is taller than the female action figures but shorter than Duke and Flint, which are the baselines of this toyline. Still, he looks great next to each of them. All bad guys do not need to be six feet and above.
Firefly appears very stable so far and with tight hips so far. Even with his gear and backpack which makes him top heavy, he does not fall easily. That’s great.
Firefly’s articulations are limited because of his bomb vest which limits more than his abdominal crunch. It also limits his waist swivel and curl. Be careful when trying to twist his waist as there has been many reports of stress and breakage in the waist and hip area of the figure, caused by the overbearing bomb jacket.
Firefly has articulations in the neck which is not moulded with the torso. It has a ball joint which increase the range of flexibility of his head which also rests on a ball joint. He has butterfly joints that are hindered by the vest. His arms rotate and bend at the shoulders. He has bicep curls and double joint articulations. His left wrist has a trigger curl, perfect for handling weapons. His right wrist bends at the palm. Both wrists can curl.
Firefly also has the classic dropdown hip hinge, thigh curls, double knew articulations, shin curls, and rocking ankles.
The core plastic seems to be PVC and the vest/jacket is a rubber-like material.
Firefly has spunky props that go beyond what he had in 1984. Of course, he sports the drone which reminds me of Laserbeak and Buzzaw from the Transformers. He also has a tablet that packs inside of his backpack that he can use to remote control the drone. The tablet is a bit too thick to fit naturally in his hands. He has the blast-proof goggles and a weird submachine gun that pegs into his backpack. Finally, Firefly has a piece of old-style dynamite that fits on a peg in the lower part of his backpack.
I wish he had a handgun and a knife, like most other G.I. Joe Classified action figures.
Being from the Cobra Island series, Firefly has a card background insert featuring the Cobra Island logo. The back of the package has the composite poster featuring many G.I. Joe Classified characters. The side art is by artist Jeremy Wilson. There is no biographical card. Stats about the character have to be decoded from the symbols on the side of the box, using a reference key from the GIJOE.com website.
Technically, Firefly is supposed to retail for $19-22.99. However, he is not easy to find as a Cobra Island exclusive. I will not mention how much I paid for this figure. I had to buy it from an auction site and pay a lot of money for shipping.
Even though distribution of this action figure has improved, it is still very difficult to obtain. The exclusive distribution with Target in the United States, and Toys R US in Canada is not optimal for collectors. I waited months before buying the cheapest Firefly I could find from an auction site. I dislike the limited distribution of Firefly and other Cobra Island exclusives. It is problematic for collectors trying to get the figures while scalpers chase them too. It was difficult to get Firefly from day one. I hope that he is mass-released one day. It will surely happen with a new jacket/vest in the future. Hasbro like to rerelease its action figures.