Sunday, June 6, 2010

1/6 warriors in Iraq, 2003

Here are some 1/6 scale 12-inch USMC military figures released at the time when the war in Iraq just began. Most were released by Dragon Models, some by BBI Elite Force and two by Hot Toys. None of them are in the military market today as other 1/6 manufacturers have taken over the reigns. No one could have seen it coming then when the two big boys then (Dragon and BBI) were going at it tooth and nail.

Right in front is the Hot Toys released USMC sniper from the 23rd Marine Regiment with Dominic Purcell head sculpt.This was one of the last military figures Hot Toys would release before they went "Hollywood" i.e. full throttle into movie licensed merchandise.

This set came with NBC Suit (Woodland), Frog Chest Rig (Coyote), BDU Pants (3C Desert), Personal Body Armor, Gas Mask Bag (OD), Shooters Rifle Stock Pack with Bullets, Tactical Drop Leg Holster, T-Shirt, Pistol Belt, and Real like Gloves. Accessories included F3 Radio with Soldier Intercom Headset, USMC ISR Radio, Binoculars, Goggles with OD Cover, PASGT Helmet with Cover, PVS-14 NVG Mount, Sunglasses, Watch, Elbow Pads, Knee Pads, and Tactical Boots. Weapons: M40A3 with AN/PVS-10 & MST-100 Rifle Scope, Multi-Purpose Bayonet, M4/M203 Grenade Launcher, and M9 Pistol with Tactical Retention Lanyard.

There was USMC Force Recon "Walt" by Dragon, released in 2003. Walt is supposed to have been in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Basra outskirts, around April 2003. Walt came with MICH (Modular Integrated Communications Helmet), headset with boom mic, T-shirt, Full Spectrum Battle Equipment (FSBE) incl. Releasable Assault Vest (RAV), magazine & utility pouches, two Hand Grenades, Hydration System Carrier, Walkie-Talkie w/ pouch, MOLLE mini pouch, Motorola Sabre Radio, mini-MagLite tactical flashlight, carabiner, wristwatch, web belt w/ drop-down holster, MK23 .45 ACP w/ clip, M9 bayonet & scabbard, 2-Quart canteen & pouch, M16A2 w/ Aimpoint, AN/PEQ2 marker, three 30-rd mags, DBDO trousers, and combat boots.

One of the first 12-inch figures released by Dragon when the Iraq war started in 2003 was “Alden” from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Unit in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Southern Iraq, March 2003.

Alden came with PASGT helmet with cloth cover, goggles, scarf, t-shirt, MARPAT desert digital MCCUU, woodlands camo flak vest, angle torchlight, MOLLE II waist pack, MOLLE small & large pouches with two extra M16 magazines, M9 bayonet with scabbard, M16 ammo pouch with two M67 fragmentation grenades, canteens with cover, tactical gas mask, gas mask carrier, M16 assault rifle with M68 Aimpoint CQB Sight & Night Vision Sight, power grip with infra-red pointer & laser marker, AN/PEQ-2 laser designator, and boots. This was one of the first digital camouflaged figures to be released. Unfortunately, in the rush to get the figure out onto the market, Dragon didn't get the colors right for the USMC desert digital camouflage.

Next to Alden is "Leon". Due to the threat of chemical warfare that could have been unleashed by Saddam Hussein, the marines had to don the Woodlands camouflaged BDO (BattleDressOvergarment) with chemical detection strips and protective overboots throughout almost the entire campaign. The Woodlands BDO was worn because the desert camouflaged versions could not be ready in time to be supplied to the thousands of troops at the battlefront.

Here are some more 1/6 scale USMC figures, spotting Woodland digital camouflage and desert digital camouflage. USMC Expeditionary Unit Long Range Recce Patrol "John" by Dragon and BBI USMC Captain ARTHUR FENTON plus a kitbashed USMC "Jarhead".

Last but not least, there were also the 1/6 scale USMC MEU-SOC (Marine Expeditionary Unit - Special Operations Capable) Force Recon units. These included BBI "Cpl Tony Bishop", Hot Toys USMC 26 MEU-SOC 12-inch figure and BBI "Chopper" also from the 26 MEU-SOC. The last two make a great pair even though they are outfitted differently.

Most of these figures are hard to come by these days since their release so many years ago. With the recent showing of the HBO WWII series focusing on the US marines in "The Pacific", Dragon has started releasing 1/6 scale 12-inch military figures based on the series and these are still available although for how long they remain so is up to anybody's guess.


Anonymous said...

A brief review of the 1/6 market. BBI seems ceasing production. Dragon remains in the WWII market with bottom line headsculpts at higher prices. DID excels at a turbo speed and proliferates into a subsidiary line, 3R, with war criminals as the theme. Enterbay confines itself to a family-run, extremely slow-paced business with obsession in Bruce Lee. HT sees the Hollywood as a new paradigm (paradise ?). Other small operatos at the fringe (Loading Toys, ACI, etc.) are thriving to move to the blue ocean.

alex teo said...

Yup :) that pretty much sums it all up - well said. As for we collectors, the more the merrier.