Although Big Ben was originally a great figure, collectors tend to see his GI Joe vs Cobra iteration to be a junk figure. While I can’t say I think it’s the best figure, nor is it better than the original Big Ben, it’s still certainly an underrated figure.
The early 2000‘s were a hectic time for GI Joe collectors, for the typical reasons you could imagine. One frustration of the time was poorly picked two-packs, such as the set this Big Ben was sold in. Like today, the Alley Viper is an ever popular army builder and collector’s hadn’t had as many chances to get them then as they have had now. As such, it’s easy to imagine the demand for the Alley Viper, and the apathy carried towards Big Ben.
This Big Ben really isn’t a bad figure though, and does nothing glaringly wrong. While the Original had excellent colors, I find this one has a decent pallete as well, using more rusty browns with a little ivory green. It’s an alternative, and as such it works pretty well. It is worth mentioning that Hasbro placed a GI Joe tampograph on the figures thigh, which doesn’t look particularly well, but I don’t think it ruins the figure either way.
For accessories, Big Ben includes the entirety of his original loadout, with one exception. He has the same pouch with grenades, the same backpack, and the same LMG, only this time without the bipod. It’s a shame for the gun to be missing the piece, but in it’s place he has an extra Snow Job riffle. It’s a nice inclusion that probably made some cartoon fans happy for the extra gun.
If this Big Ben had a problem, it’s simply that he’s outshone by other figures. All around it’s a solid toy, but it’s perhaps not as nice as the original. With as many of these that still float around eBay and such at cheap prices, I think he’s worth considering for ARAH collectors who still don’t have him.