AMERICA’S ARMY STAFF SERGEANT MATTHEW ZEDWICK
|When I saw this series of figures, I have to say I was interested from the get go. Now, I’m not a big military figure collector. But it’s the concept of this line that I was intrigued by. This series America’s Army Real Heroes was created for Jazwares based on the America’s Army video game.
The cool thing about these figures is that they are based on real people. Now, I know there have been figures based on military heroes, but most of those have been presidents, actors, or presidential medal of honor winners. And most have been from older conflicts.
This line however, is from the current war on terrorism. I’m not going to go into how I feel about the war pro or con. Hey, it’s a toy site not a political blog. I will tell you one thing though, I’m extremely proud to be an American. As such I have a great deal of respect for the average Joe Americans out there in our Armed Forces.
See, I’m an Air Force brat. My dad served 20 years in the Air Force. No, he wasn’t a pilot. But that’s the thing about our armed forces. Not every job is glamorous, but every job is important. Not everyone can be a general or a pilot or a diver. But the heroes are the ones that make the small individual differences.
Which brings us to Staff Sergeant Matthew Zedwick. He distinguished himself in combat in 2004 by pulling a comrade from a burning Humvee. You can read his story here: America’s Army That’s the site for the game, where he’s a character as well.
No doubt about Ssgt Zedwick is based on a true soldier. He’s got the standard desert camo on. He’s got all the straps and pouches that you’d find on a real set of gear. He’s not a stylized Hollywood soldier, he’s a solidly armed and gear solider from a modern conflict. This is evident when you see the card picture of the real Ssgt Zedwick. I remember seeing prototype pictures of this line somewhere, and I thought the detail and textures looked better. All of the texture on the figure looks a bit soft to me.
There is a fair amount of detail on this figure. The shot gun shells on his right hip are painted red and match the reference shot. Boots, pouches and his shot gun look decent.
His face could be Zedwick, but the detail isn’t as good as it should be. The thing that bugs be about this figure the most is the fact that everything seems a bit pale.
His camo looks like pastels, and his face is painted a color normally reserved for vampires. Some of the black has a bit of slop as well.
Toy soldiers are always fun. This guy could have been a lot more fun, however. For starters there is a limited amount of articulation. There are four joints that I could find. Both legs rotate just below the lowest black strap on each. His waist right below the vest turns as well as his head. There is no practical articulation in the arms.
This combined with the fact that his shotgun is not removable from either hand, makes the shotgun appear bent slightly.
I love the fact that this figure comes with a base. However, if you are going to include a base, it could use a peg. The base has no peg and his feet have no holes (or tread pattern for that matter). This is extremely problematic, since one of is his legs is bent. I had the hardest time standing this figure to take the pictures that I’ve ever had.
Scale is a bit of an issue as well. SSgt Zedwick here is taller that a standard GI Joe RAH figure (See Below) , but shorter than the McF Military figures. The one other accessory that Zedwick comes with is a trading card. This card has a picture of the real Mathew Zedwick, a short synopsis of his act of heroism. To me this is the coolest thing about this figure. It almost makes me wish they would do a whole trading card series featuring real heroes like Ssgt Zedwick.
I almost feel like I should give this figure two scores. One for concept and one for execution. The concept is incredible. I wish McFarlane had done this with their military line. Any chance we get to salute or thank the brave men and women who defend our nation we should. Remember, they don’t chose where or when to fight, they carry out orders.
The execution of the concept, however, is a little less than perfect. I was really energized by the idea, but let down when final item.
Still to put a real person in the middle of all of my fictionalized heroes is a real honor. Thanks again, SSgt Zedwick.
Engineernerd Score: 80/100