Direct to Consumer Wave 1 - Sgt. Mutt
name: Sgt. Mutt
Assortment: Direct-to-Consumer Wave 1
Price: MSRP $4.99
Availability: July, 2005
Mutt quite honestly never really did much for me...his original figure was nice in a dated sort of way, but just never really seemed... "playable". There were certain figures I could just pick up and immediately felt like they could be played with... Quick Kick, '85 Snake Eyes, Flint...they just kind of moved nice and easy in my hands and felt smooth and fun to play with. Mutt never really did. His joints were stiff and awkward, and the design elements, while nice, were almost a little TOO detailed. He just didn't impress me back then, and still doesn't do a whole lot for me.
One thing distinctive about him, though, was his head. He had that broad, angry looking scowl, thick moustache and just looked...well...mean as hell. This translated somewhat into his future versions, which I actually liked a lot more than the original, but they still didn't knock me off my feet. The trend actually continues here, too, as we get yet another Mutt figure that really doesn't do much for me.
The figure mold here is kind of tough to figure out. I know for the most part we're supposed to be getting pseudo-frankensteins for the new figures, simply for budgetary reasons. For this figure as well as Major Barrage, I'm kind of having a hard time tracking down part sources. With Mutt, though, I haven't tried real hard, simply because the parts don't really look that interesting, to be honest.
We start with his head sculpt, which is fine enough, I guess, except it looks nothing like Mutt whatsoever. I'm not usually really an advocate of the whole facial hair thing...it doesn't make much difference to me, ultimately. But with Mutt, the moustache is so important and such a critical part of making him look surly and angry as he should, that being without it just doesn't work. Not only that, but the face in general just doesn't really have Mutt's broad, thick features, and just doesn't match the part all that well.
His torso is at least somewhat improved with a neat quilted texture, but it seems somewhat plain, and the straps that go across the chest are pretty plain as well. The single pistol in its holster and grenade on the chest are nice little splashes of detail, but when it comes right down to it, the torso is still just somewhat boring, and that blah feeling rolls right down to the arms and legs, unfortunately. The arms are pretty plain and smooth, with no real sculpting or extraneous details...the waist and legs are really the bare minimum they could be, with slim military pants and kneepads and really not much else. The figure is just kind of there, but nothing interesting or special. The lower arms/hands at least have some interesting detail with the arm wrap on the left arm and the massive plating on the right arm...those little details do make this seem more like a Mutt figure...but when it comes right down to it, the rest of the figure is unfortunately pretty dull.
Paint Applications/Color Choices
The dullness is simply carried on with the paint applications. The bland orange/brown torso colors combined with the straight brown straps just make his upper body kind of blend into the background...it doesn't really stand out or look all that distinctive. His green pants and brown boots are also nothing new or interesting and altogether you get a pallet of pretty blah, middle of the road colors that do nothing to make this figure come to life. His forearm guard and arm wrap at least has some bright grays to it, which lightens things up some, and looks nice and different, but for the most the figure is bland and uninteresting.
One somewhat bright spot of this figure would have to be the accessories...Mutt does at least come with a nice selection of those to better equip him. First of all, he comes with the familiar "muzzle" type device, which fits nicely and is a cool homage to the original figure. He also has a nightstick and a very cool machine gun that looks somewhat unrealistic, yet is still very, VERY cool. It's a new sculpt weapon, something new and different, but it looks powerful and dangerous, which is good enough for me.
The odd thing about the aforementioned "muzzle", however, is that it isn't really removable. I mean, it does slide around, and it could be taken off, except that the strap is too tight. I was able to get it off by removing Mutt's head (which is as easy as popping it off the neck joint, thank goodness) but beyond those drastic measures, the muzzle is pretty much attached, like it or not.
Of course the most obvious accessory for Mutt is his old buddy Junkyard, and this Junkyard at least looks worlds better than the previous version. Where the original Junk was a smooth slab of black plastic with little details, this new Junkyard is large, intimidating, and mad as hell. He's got sculpted fur, nice muscle tone, and an angry snarl on his face...but his face may be a little bit too angry. I would have preferred a low growling Junkyard to the howling Junkyard that we ended up with...and still, a poseable animal is something I'm still kind of waiting for. But still, for an unmovable hunk of plastic/rubber, this dog is a vast improvement over the original, at least in the meanness category. Unfortunately, it's about the only real good thing about this set.
Mutt never excited me that much, and frankly still doesn't. No one should expect these new DTC figures to be the "Be all end all" of the G.I. Joe line...they are going to have the same problems, issues, and questions as most of the other new sculpt figures. But Hasbro has definitely shown that they are trying hard. Mutt isn't a bad figure per se, but it is the low man on the totem pole of Wave 1 by far. From what I've seen so far of the next wave, things are only getting better from here.
Ratings (out of 10)
Mold : 4.5
Paint Apps: 5
Overall score (not an average): 5.5
Wave 1 Recap
Back To Direct To Consumer
Wanna Go Home?