G.I. Joe Convention 2013 - Nocturnal Fire Night Force FLAK w/ Steeler

Glorified accessories like the FLAK and HAL were items that never particularly interested me as a kid, but have grown on me in recent years, especially when re-released in the 25th Anniversary line. Even though some of this hardware looks a bit dated in this day and age, I really didn't appreciate the look and feel of the FLAK until I got older and started to enjoy the display aspects of these items. I love the design of the seat, I love the dual handles, and the overall design of the FLAK is extremely cool.

Intricate sculpting and detail work throughout the base of this weapon is eye-opening, especially considering the original was made over 30 years ago. The folding legs on the base work well, and this high powered weapon rotates and elevates with ease.

The colors aren't bad. They're not terrific, but they work okay. Black and tan always balance off each other fairly well, though I maintain that a hint of bright orange would be a great throwback to the old school Night Force stuff. If anyone had asked me, I can't guarantee that I would be clamoring to see an updated FLAK, but the quality is excellent now that I have this one in hand. $67 excellent? Yeah, not so sure about that.

But let's face it...the FLAK is just the accessory in this pack, as far as I'm concerned. The main feature is the figure.


I think everyone joins me in our collective "bwa-HUH?!" when thinking about Steeler being a figure in this set and being included in the Night Force theme. This guy really hit us all from left field, I think, which isn't a bad thing. Steeler is one of those characters who never really caught on to me, and his 25th Anniversary version did little to change that opinion.

Interestingly, there are only a couple of characters that the Club has done multiple times, and now this relatively obscure tank driver is one of those elite few. When the figure is this quality, though, it's tough to get upset.

Straight up, this Steeler is magnificent. The figure, from the neck down, is essentially just a repainted 3-Pack Firefly, but I don't care. I cannot think of a better base figure. Spectacular sculpting and detail work throughout, impressive articulation, and a really great base figure choice. The colors are equally inspired choices, but they only go to prove that the Club could have used more traditional Hit & Run colors without sacrificing unification with the rest of the Night Force set.

In fact, if I had any complaints it would be that Steeler seems to get the treatment that I feel Hit & Run really deserved. A great green and black paint scheme... use of the Firefly 3-Pack parts. Why couldn't we have gotten Steeler in the set with some tweaked colors, and gotten Hit & Run in a color scheme and parts combination closer to this? I don't know, but it would be unfair to detract from Steeler's excellence by complaining about Hit & Run. Suffice it to say, the tooling and the color scheme are fantastic, and a great foundation to build upon.


Steeler comes with the perfect compliment of accessories, I think. He's got a great helmet and visor, a fantastic shoulder holster, and the same Uzi that the original came with lo those 30 years ago. He also has a pistol and knife for the sheath and holster. He's not over-burdened with accessories, but has just enough to work.

Now, I'm not entirely sure how a tank driver got promoted to Artillary Commander...perhaps those levels of expertise are close to each other in the real world military. That being said, I would have loved to perhaps have gotten an updated Grand Slam, or even another character choice.

That being said, Steeler is a fantastic figure and this update is excellent. I love that he fits in pretty well with many of the 2007 "Tanks for the Memories" figures as well. Mostly fringe complaints here about certain decisions. The figure itself has no flaws.