2005 Crimson Shadow Guard

2005 Crimson Shadow Guard

I’ve mentioned before on this blog, but I missed out on all of the TRU exclusive 6-packs from 2004 and 2005. At the time, I only casually paid attention to GI Joe items that were coming out, and the only 6-packs I ever saw were the Green Shirts and Imperial Procession set. At the time I thought those looked pretty decent, but they didn’t entice me enough to collect them. Had I known about sets like the Cobra Infantry Forces and the Shadow Guard set, I’d have likely started collecting seriously much sooner.

The Shadow Guard was one of the cooler ideas Hasbro came out with in the mid-2000‘s. It was cool enough they even revisited it for the 50th Anniversary line, which is not something you can say for the other 90% of 2000‘s GI Joe ideas that were tossed to the wayside. The filecards are a little vague as to what exactly they do, but essentially they are the Night Force of the Crimson Guards, and a good excuse to do a black repaint of the iconic army builder.

Since I acquired these, they’ve become somewhat replaced in usefulness by the various Black Major Customs Crimson Guards in black, but these still have their value. Cutting to the chase, these lack proper parts and have inferior arms cobbled together from 1992 Duke and 1992 Shockwave. The arms are the real killer, as the bulbous shoulders from Duke limit some movement, and look strange on them.

Other than that though, they feature the newly sculpted masked head from the 2004 Crimson Guard, and the same removable helmet. Personally, think the vintage head/helmet looks better, but these have something unique going for them with that gimmick. The only thing against them is simply that a removable helmet never has the tightness of a sculpted helmet. However, all these years later and now that we have the alternative TBM customs, I like that these provide something unique apart from the vintage mold. Neither one is explicitly better, they’re just different.

Nothing too crazy is going on with their deco. Essentially the figure is solid black with a few silver details such as those on their wrists, as well as some gold for their shoulder tassel and Cobra sigil. They kept it simple and the figures look good for it, something that can’t be said for the Night Force set from the same time.

This set used to really get put down for the parts, and I have to say they weren’t the most well executed. The idea of course being that the Shadow Guard uses mostly silent, stealth weapons for their various activities, a fun sounding premise. But instead of say, a few silenced Uzis from a Snake Eyes figure, or maybe one of the Low-Light V1 or V3 guns, they just gave us a generic assortment of Ninja Force era weapons. That includes a three-sectioned staff, claw, two different swords, crossbow, and a bow and arrow.

Now, you know if they had included ordinary guns, odds are I’d still be here complaining about the parts just based on the other releases from that era. And, a few of these aren’t that bad, in fact I do quite like using the V1 Scarlet crossbow they included. I think an extra one of these and maybe some of the suppressed guns I had mentioned would’ve gone a long way to improving this area of the set.

Lose Crimson Shadow Guards float around $8, while sealed sets seem to go between $30 and $40. Compared to the other TRU exclusives from the time, these aren’t nearly as hard to find, or as costly. For the quality they provide and given the relative rarity of the similar custom figures, that’s not a bad price at all. These are still something that’s worth looking out for if you haven’t acquired them by now.

crimson guard shadow guard tru exclusive gi joe valor vs venom 2005 arah hasbro a real American hero
crimson guard shadow guard tru exclusive gi joe valor vs venom 2005 arah hasbro a real American hero

2005 Crimson Shadow Guard Links:

Forgotten Figures

Yo Joe

Half the Battle

Generals Joes

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2 Responses to 2005 Crimson Shadow Guard

  1. A-Man says:

    Yes, the arms and the big heads. Also, their heads cannot turn, because some people can’t be bothered to make things right.

    The accessories were taken wholly from the Cobra Ninja Clan set, I think.

    I think all the did was change the body color from the CG 6 packs from red to black. They actually saved money by no longer having the black paint ops, too. And all the figures are the same. The pack was a lazy final entry for TRU’s exclusive 6 packs, along with the Joe Heavy Weapons Team.

    That said, I don’t hate them. I want to like them more than I do. It’s those shoulders and the big helmets. If this pack were the entire 1985 CG mold, the set would be at least twice as popular.

    Also, I feel this and Night Watch could’ve been combined into one six pack. Just replace one trooper with a Shadow Guard. Why just one? Because both Night Watch officers were great and having a set with more troopers than officers would be odd. Sure, the shadow CG would be rarer then, but it seemed like many fans had to invent a reason for the Shadow Guard to exist anyway. Cobra didn’t need two night themed sets, when arctic, desert, jungle, navy, IG and other concepts went unmade.

  2. Mike T. says:

    I ended up buying a ton of them on clearance for like $6 or $8 bucks each. Despite that, I don’t use them. However, giving on a Faces head and another a Fred head goes a long way towards making them appear as real officers.

    If they had released this figure in the CG pack instead of the Firefly, both sets would have been improved.

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