The Action Force figures are one of the first forays into International collecting I made, the quality was the same, and they were affordable at the time. The Action Force exclusive Quarrel is also the one that made me rethink my opinions on female figures.
Quarrel is a swivel arm Scarlett repaint. It’s done up in black and green with blonde hair, since she’s got so many changes, she’s capable of being a new character. Plus when there’s like 3 early era female molds, it’s gonna be accepted at face value as a new character. While Quarrel’s blonde hair is unique from Scarlett, it was also used in Argentina for Glenda, which I don’t think anyone would have too many issues viewing as another new character itself.
Where this figure succeeds in a way that other uses of the Scarlett mold can’t, is she looks done-up for combat. The colours chosen work so much better, in comparison to Scarlett’s aerobics get-up. While she’s mainly in realistic green and black, there is still a few flashes of colour, with some red thrown on for highlights. It’s a good look, and also ties her in with the rest of Z-Force.
The way this figure is painted, made me look at the Scarlett mold and appreciate it a lot more. I’d never been a fan of female figures, I assume some of it was gender biases as a kid, and some of it was the fact Scarlett is bland, Cover Girl has the worst head sculpt in the line after Clean Sweep, and The Baroness’ gun is the worst one in the line. I still dislike Cover Girl, but I feel Baroness looks better with an AK or Dragonuv, and the Scarlett mold isn’t that bad, and is at least uniquely coloured. Once you get past the leotard, the mold has a lot of weaponry sculpted on to it, like the throwing stars, and dagger. It also has the “Back-Up Piece” in case of needing a quick exit.
The Quarrel character is interesting, as she’s not really a spy, like most female characters, and is instead both a vicious fighter and motorcycle enthusiast! The martial arts aspect of the character, and the molded on accessories, sure make her seem like someone who liquidates high ranking targets, while the motorcycle specialty gives her something that allows her more traditional combat roles (traditional for G.I. Joe, that is)
To me, she’s like most of the Action Force characters, and therefore not affiliated with the G.I. Joe team in any way. To me the Action Force teams, are specialized units under an international cadre’s command (just like in the Battle: Action Force comix), created because of rising terrorist activities, but also to minimize any one country having a monopoly on anti-terrorism, which could lead to some hot-button issues. This leads to the occasional dust-up between two teams technically on the “Same Side”, but usually the conflicts are done more through information (and disinformation) exchanges through the various organizations. Having this little intrigue is nice, because all of a sudden, a figure like Quarrel can be used in a few more scenarios.
Quarrel to me, has found herself being amongst the most notorious assassins in my silly little universe. She succeeds mainly based on her incredible skills, but also because she manages to be somewhat under the radar, since she’s known only as a Motorcycle Champion doing PR military service. The Z-Force Commando unit she’s actually a member of, realized this would be perfect cover, and has found her to be perfect for the liquidation of terrorist connected politicians and jet-setters, rather than the dyed in the wool terrorists like Scrap Iron or The Black Major.
This is a figure I like having, as it’s definitely different enough from Scarlett to not be stepping on any toes, and the character itself is something that can be worked into a traditional G.I. Joe world, without really making anyone too redundant, especially since most of the female characters in the line had poorly defined “Intelligence” specialties, which for a fairly integral part of warfare was highly misunderstood in G.I. Joe. It had looked like the original Scarlett mold was going to be used in Factory Customs at one point, so it would’ve been nice to get another take on the Quarrel character, or at least a few new color combinations on the Scarlett mold that would allow for an easy custom or what not.