2017 RLA Odin

2017 RLA Odin

In the late 2010‘s, we really had it good with factory customs (AKA: bootlegs), so much so that the endless repaints of similar sculpts began to be something collectors took for granted, at least a little bit. In hindsight, it would seem things are winding down, at least for the moment, as RLA no longer operates, Letal Customs ended after a single run, and now even the Black Major is transitioning his business to other avenues.

I really respected RLA’s efforts to make figures that were more akin to a continued GI Joe line, as to an endless barrage of army-builders. Odin’s a great example of that, where he’s a unique character that gives me something new to invent a story around. Of course, I don’t think it sold all that well, which probably has to do with the fact that people weren’t buying them by the dozens.

So far, my character for this guy is essentially Col. Courage redux, and I also use him as a bit of an expy for Hawk, since I prefer the ‘86 figure to represent him. So he’s taken on the role of a field commander for some early Joes. I could probably do something more interesting with him, like have him be the leader of a prototype GI Joe team or something like that, but my GI Joe-verse is usually in a state of flux, so the idea can change based on my needs.

Obsidian is a nice looking figure. For the most part, it’s a repaint of ‘82 Hawk, but with the legs from ‘83 Airborne. This is a decent little parts mix that helps break up the monotonous look of the early Joes. Plus, rendering the sculpt in all gray colors with an African-American skin tone, goes further to make him not look like Hawk.

The quality was okay on these. On my figure, the joints aren’t particularly tight, but they’re also not loose either, kinda like the condition you’ll usually find a decent vintage figure in. The paint applications are somewhat janky, as there’s a lot of brown overspray on one of his forearms. Comparing him to my V1 Short-Fuze, I’m also tempted to say his head isn’t a perfect copy of the sculpt , either. Overall, it feels like a reasonably decent toy in hand, but there’s examples of where the quality could be better.

The parts are pretty lackluster. As I recall you get a generic knife and pistol similar to many of the ones included with the Steel Brigades of the same era. I say “as I recall” since I squirreled away my parts somewhere in a bag with a bunch of other bootleg guns. Worse yet, finding online documentation on these is actually pretty hard to do, so that was a pretty clumsy mistake on my part. Back to the point, he certainly didn’t come with any nice ‘82 guns he can hold, or a helmet, which was a bummer. This guy looks okay without one, and a lot of the old Accessory Pack helmets work nicely for him too, so there’s that.

Years later, Odins are hard to find, and a little hard to price. One sold a while back for $40, which actually seems fair given the difficulty in locating one. Other RLA customs don’t sell for so much though, and many of the contemporaries of this figure barely fetch $20. Truthfully, I don’t think Odins are worth much more than that, but at this point, you might be hunting for a while before you can find one at a fair price.

gi joe custom rla tbm black major odin hawk

gi joe custom rla tbm black major odin hawk

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 2017 RLA Odin

  1. Mike T. says:

    The initial RLA set had some good ideas. But, the lack of accessories really hurt figures like Odin. We know he had a helmet and visor mold as Sightline included them. The fact he didn’t give Odin and The General uniquely colored helmets and visors was a pretty big miss, especially as the stock sat around unsold for so long.

    I snagged this guy since he had a different look. But, in hand, I rarely use him. He’s just too plain to really stand out. He’s not bad. He’s just kind of there. I’ve tried some AP gear on him with limited success. But, I think I’ll look at the ’85 grey helmets as an option after your photo. He looks a lot better with that Mutt helmet!

  2. DJV says:

    I quite like this figure, and I kind of see him the same way you do… he works well as an important guy in “flashback” type scenes. As you and Mike both mentioned, the lack of a helmet or good weapons is kind of a bummer, but also kind of a Red Laser standard.

    I really appreciate that RLA gave us so many actual characters. If you got the full set, it was like having a whole year’s worth of new GI Joe toys and characters. But they were lacking in gear, too, which is probably why I went so crazy on buying old Accessory Pack gear for a long time.

  3. R.T.G. says:

    Odin is one strange figure. The overall appearance and design is pretty solid and I like it a lot, but the physical figure is something I seldom do anything with.

    He’s nice in the fact he’s a fairly unique looking figure, which can be in turn used on his character. The grey hair makes him older, and therefore maybe important.

    It’s funny, I thought about using him as the proto-Joe team leader, but instead just made him someone who was thought of as potentially being the leader of the actual Joe team, but was passed over due to Hawk having a more polished resumé. I kind of toy with the idea of having multiple hyper-competitive Special Forces teams, so there might be an Odin led one, that could wind up dead at the hands of COBRA, because they were cowboys who wanted to prove they were better than the Hawk led G.I. Joe team. It’s a little too involved, for me to ever delve too deep on, though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *