I’ve been thinking about the convention Iron Anvils a lot lately, and namely how these have a reputation for being well received convention items. Years ago I enjoyed these a good bit as most other GI Joe collectors did, but as times have passed I’ve slowly begun to see faults in the figure that prevent me from enjoying it as much.
The Iron Anvil is made from the 1994 Battle Corps Viper mold, which was due for a repaint so many collectors enjoyed this figure’s appearance in the 2005 Joecon set. Switching from purple and orange to the classic 1988 Iron Grenadier color scheme was a move met with enthusiasm from GI Joe collectors. I must admit, the new colors do bring out a lot of the mold’s potential, and the Iron Grenadier color scheme is a dashing contrast that’s hard to object to. The downside to this is that the colors take away an element of uniqueness from the mold, perhaps a side effect of this palate being widely applied to too many Iron Grenadiers.
The filecard describes them as being paratroopers, which strikes me as being slightly odd since there isn’t much on the sculpt to really make them appear as that. I suppose it’s as okay a specialty as any other, but you’d think they might’ve played off the bulky, ballistic armor they don a bit more. I think they look more well suited to heavy weapons and shock tactics personally, but there’s probably some other specialties that might’ve fit better than the paratrooper angle.
Lastly, the accessories leave much the be desired. Being paratroopers, they of course come equipped with the typical foil parachutes. I don’t value these much, and they have a tendency to quickly become a mess. As such, I usually leave these in storage and completely forget about them. His armaments include a gray version of the Annihilator’s SMG, and the Hydro Viper’s knife. I find neither of these accessories to be greatly exciting, but if nothing else they’re alright.
Looking back on it, the 2005 convention set left a lot to be desired, and the Iron Anvil which is usually regarded as the highlight of said set, is neither perfect. It doesn’t provide an interesting niche, and the colors don’t distinguish the Iron Anvil from the normal Iron Grenadier, leaving him slightly on the bland side. My feelings for this figure would’ve been more positive years ago, but as I’ve grown to better appreciate brightly colored figures such as the Viper this figure is based off of, I no longer can value these based solely on their colors alone, hence the diminishing opinion I have of them.