2002 Firefly

2002 Firefly

When Hasbro debuted the New-Sculpt style figures in 2002, I was still firmly a kid. I think this makes my perspective on them a lot different than most collectors who first saw them as adults, as there’s a few figures from this era that have some sentimental value to me. These days, I don’t think a figure like this Firefly is anything to write home about, but 18 years ago I thought it was a pretty cool looking figure.

My childhood collection of Joes started off with mostly ‘94 clearance figures, so mostly stuff like Armor Tech and Ninja Force figures that were still easy to find. For the most part, I totally missed the glory days of ARAH, but I had a lot of ‘87 through ‘94 figures that I had open access to thanks to my brother’s collection. With that and Sunbow on VHS tapes, I had a pretty good taste for GIJoe even if I came in on the brand late, but the 2002 line was my first chance to experience getting Joes at retail.

As things would turn out though, I only bought 1 set of Joes from the Joe vs. Cobra line, this Firefly and Nunchuck set. I wanted to try and remember a specific reason why I didn’t get more, but thinking about it, there really wasn’t one. I sort of slept on the figures just for a lack of seeing them around much. I’ve long thought that one of Hasbro’s biggest missteps of that era was their lack of a decent media push, as I personally would’ve bought more had I just seen the brand around. Of course, I was also a poor kid and 2002 wasn’t a very good year, so that probably had a lot to do with my lack of purchases too.

To an adult that focuses more on quality aesthetics, these New-sculpt designs simply don’t compare to the ARAH sculpts. However, Hasbro was still producing the premier military toys on the market at that time, as there was nothing that really compared well to GI Joe. Even if you compare Joes from around this point to something like Star Wars, I think it’s safe to say Joe came out on top. Then if you go by today’s standards, these New-sculpt designs are more functional and way better looking than anything Lanard or Jazwares is pumping out. In some ways, I think they don’t get enough credit when you look at them like this.

Moving on to the figure… There’s a certain disparity between what I thought of this figure as a kid versus what I think about it now. As a kid, I liked this toy a lot. He had good articulation, wore reasonable colors, and fit in well enough with the rest of my collection that I had no issues using him with classic sculpts. Amusingly, I really hated bright colors for the most part, so figures like ‘92 Firefly were unappealing to me compared to a drab figure like this.

As an adult however, I can’t find much objective appeal in this figure. Anything I like about it amounts to mere nostalgia. The proportions of the sculpt are pretty wacky, and the design of the figure isn’t overtly appealing. He’s got super bulky biceps that make his arms stick out worse than any of the buff 90‘s sculpts. I also find the excessive silver armor and akimbo pistols on his chest to be a pretty cheesy, dated look now. Overall, he’s an especially mediocre figure but there’s nothing too wrong with him besides that.

There’s two sets of parts that came with this Firefly, one for the original two-pack release, and a different set for the single-carded mission disc release. The two-pack figure came with a sound-attack version of ‘84 Firefly’s gun, then normal versions of ‘86 Beachhead’s gun, and ‘91 Dusty’s pistol. The single pack figure has an arguably better load out, as it removes the sound attack tab from the Firefly gun, and then replaces the other parts with the Neo-Viper’s scorpion pistol, and three grenades from Big Ben.

This figure like most of his contemporaries, is virtually worthless. You can get this Firefly complete from a dealer for around $5, or MOSC for about the same price. Of course, the figure is so cheap because there’s almost no one left who collects New-sculpts. Maybe in 2035, there will be a wave of nostalgia for these old figures and you’ll see collector interest develop in them like there is for 90‘s Joes right now. I personally doubt that though.

2002 Firefly Links:


Firefly at Half the Battle

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4 Responses to 2002 Firefly

  1. Mike T. says:

    While the anniversary figures rendered the JvC era moot, the 2002-2006 figures were far closer to the vintage line than anything since. They were good toys and were not afraid to veer away from vintage only homages. The sheer volume of figures sold in 2002 through 2004 indicate there should be some kids who feel nostalgic for them. But, it’s been 16 years minimum now and we’re not really seeing it. Guys in their mid 20’s seem be either anniversary focused or vintage focused.

    JvC seems to be an era that will be entirely left behind. Except for the vehicles. Those have gotten stupidly expensive even while the figures have become worthless.

  2. A-Man says:

    Despite the added articulation, it’s not a very fun figure. It’s Maclunky…er…clunky in design, all those big pouches. And lots of design aesthetics of that era, for some reason starting with this release all new Firefly figures would have two holstered pistols on his person…until 25th era.

    The 12 inch figure of the same year was wearing shorts, and has little in common with the 3 3/4″ figure besides a balaclava and body armor.

    There was a planned repaint with Nunchuck but never got a retail release, BUT if I recall some did appear loose via Chinese sellers.

  3. R.T.G. says:

    The new sculpt figures are kind of an oddity, in that they’re well done toys. The aesthetics are dated for sure, and the design points consistently used were blatantly obvious that it was to hide joints rather than look good. I think the biggest problem with the figures might be that they were being done in an in-between style. They were tethered to the ARAH line, but were being made in a way that wasn’t. I think if they did these new sculpt designs in the traditional G.I. Joe sculpting style, we’d have had a better line and some classic additions to G.I. Joe collections.

    I think there’s a lot of issues with this Firefly, but I’ll applaud them for doing something sorta different with the design, but maintaining enough of the classic design. I think his filecard made him an extreme sports guy or something, which is pretty stupid.

  4. Jester says:

    I have no idea how he’s supposed to draw those pistols…

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