Zartan (Retaliation)

May 8, 2013 | By More

Zartan Retaliation (8)

I have come to realize that the G.I. Joe: Retaliation movie was, at its heart, a project meant to boost toy sales instead of the opposite, where the toys are meant to promote theater attendance.


Zartan Retaliation (12)And I must say that the ruse worked. On me at least. Otherwise, Why would I pick up the subject of today’s review, the infamous Zartan?


This version of Zartan comes in the first wave of action figures produced by Hasbro, which means that his design has nothing to do with the way he actually looks on the movie screen. This time Zartan is attired with a skintight bodysuit with a slim combat harness and a separate hood. The sculpture is decent, but unremarkable.


The saving grace in this figure is that in addition to his reagular head, Zartan comes with three extra heads to simulate his ability. His “regular”  head and two of the additional ones have light-pipes built in so the eyes shine when the light hit the piece from above. The Zartan head has green eyes while the Storm Shadow and the generic dude have red eyes.


The fourth head is simply a Snake Eyes mask, so it would had made no sense to implement the light-pipe gimmick there. Both the Snake Eyes and the Storm Shadow heads seem to be molds used for some of the pack-in rider figures that came with some of the Rise of Cobra vehicles, but I am not entirely sure.


Zartan RetaliationSince apparently a good portion of the budget for this character went into the extra heads, Zartan got stuck with a reduced articulation model, consisting of:


• Ball jointed neck.

• Pegged hinge shoulders.

• Pegged hinge elbows.

• Floating torso.

• Ball jointed hips.

• Hinged kness.


In broad terms, this Zartan has articulation that is functionally the same as in his 1984 version. However, the rubber hood accessory pretty much kills the neck joint, so in reality this Zartan is even less articulated than it was back then.


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Other than the head and the removable rubber gear, Zartan comes armed with a large pistol, a pair of swords and a crossbow, all molded in dark blue plastic. There is also a small quiver with quarrels sculpted in and a double sheath for his swords, all painted in gray.

The paintjob on Zartan is just OK. The uniform has very little in terms of color or textures, and the extra heads are painted in odd variations of gray, making them look like zombie heads except for the Snake Eyes one, which is entirely black.


While there are no paint mishaps on my figure, the least they could do was to paint the characteristic Zartan pattern over his eyes. In the end, there is very little in this figure that helps to identify it as Zartan, but I have to admit that even with limited articulation and the weirdly colored accessories, it still is a reasonably decent plaything,

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Errex Score: 67/100

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Category: Featured, GI Joe, Toy Reviews

About the Author ()

I've been collecting action figures since the original Kenner Star Wars days. Nowadays, I still collect pretty much anything that catches my eye.