2003 Dial Tone (Tiger Force)

2003 Dial-Tone (Tiger Force)

Hasbro was prone to some curious choices in the 2000‘s, and one clear example of that was the 2003 Tiger Force 5-pack. In general, I think you could easily regard this as a botched set that failed fans in several regards, such as the inclusion of the maligned Big Brawler, the usage of UK Tiger Force colors, or other tired mold choices like Dial-Tone, who saw a glut of repaints at that time. A little more foresight could have made for a superior set that might be more well regarded, but personally what we did get has aged pretty well.

As I mentioned, Hasbro deviated from the original Tiger Force color palette and went for something closer to the UK Tiger Force colors, seen on figures like Hit&Run and Psyche Out. It’s kind of neat, in that it homages rare and costly foreign figures that most of us will probably never own. However, a large part of the novelty with sub-groups like Tiger Force and Python Patrol, is that the figures feature uniform team colors. Dial-Tone does nicely match up with the UK figures and some from the ’04 convention set, but sadly not with the vintage US figures.

There’s a lot of Dial-Tone repaints, and most of them are figures I don’t think are worth having. This figure is on the nicer end of Dial-Tone repaints, as it’s unique and visually interesting. The black and blue make for a nicely dark colored figure offset by the bright orange tiger patterns that make him stand out. There’s quite a few separate colors painted on him, and I’m even tempted to say this might be the most detailed Dial-Tone repaint. I think this figure would be a lot more memorable had they colored him more like the 2015 convention figure, but the colors and paint are still pretty nice here despite that.

The parts are basically the typical 2000‘s junk you’d expect, with a ’91 Red Star rifle and a ‘92 Gung-Ho backpack. While his original gun is somewhat common, I’d have really loved to have gotten ‘86 Dial-Tone’s backpack in black at some point. As he is, this gear is serviceable, but certainly generic.

For whatever it’s worth, there’s a light-skinned variant of this Dial-Tone out there. I don’t find it particularly interesting, as the skin-tone is more on the pasty side, similar to many of the ARAHC figures. I believe it’s the somewhat rarer variant, as I certainly see it floating around much less than the peachy colored one you see photographed here, but I could be wrong on that.

You don’t see these figures as much any more, which makes them a little hard to price. The sealed set he’s featured in only goes for about $100 MISB, and given that at least Wreckage and maybe a few more of his packmates are more popular than him, I’d find it hard to say these are worth more than $20, and an auction might even go as low as $15.

2003 Dial Tone (Tiger Force) Links:



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3 Responses to 2003 Dial Tone (Tiger Force)

  1. Mike T. says:

    IIRC, the light skinned/red Brawler variant was only available through Toys R Us online and the brick and mortar stores got the darker skin variants. Amazon (who fulfilled TRU’s online arm at that time) had TF in stock for a long time. So, collectors of the day could get them easily. But, if you were a kid and your parents weren’t online (more common in 2003) you’d have no idea of the variant set.

    It’s dumb how much this set goes for. I used to buy TF Dial Tones for $2 each since no one wanted this set. Seeing figs for $20 seems crazy. And, Jinx breaking $40 and even $50 is insane.

  2. A-Man says:

    Worst Dial-Tone. But not terrible.
    I guess

    $100 for the set? It was barely worth $20 in 2003 to be honest.

    I never got the light skinned versions. Probably won’t now that’s for sure.

  3. R.T.G. says:

    The Tiger Force set was the only sub-team set in the repaint era that followed the original 80s sub-team formula, where the figures were unique but had some overall common threads amongst them. However it wound up being pretty bogus since they took the worst aspects of the Euro Tiger Force figures.

    The prices on a lot of stuff are absolutely absurd at the moment, it’s almost gotten stupider than it was a couple years ago. I’ve noticed a lot of things are overpriced, but the issue is that they’re selling.

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