Scrap Iron was one of the early COBRA Operatives, that didn’t get revisited at any point for 20 years, so because of that in the early 2000s people began clamouring for the character. When Hasbro did a mold swap with Funskool, Scrap Iron might have been amongst them, but maybe not, as this figure is actually an entirely different mold. Hasbro wound up recreating a few molds for the 2004 releases, as Mutt and Storm Shadow (and later on Lady Jaye) were all re-creations. Since they had gone to trouble of recreating some of his body parts, they needed arms and legs, so the Thunder arms and COBRA Infantry Forces would obviously fit the bill, and that’s why figures like the Night Watch and Comic Pack COBRA Soldiers and Officers were given Roadblock v1 parts. Either way, despite being a pretty under the radar character, it was nice to see him reappear.
Scrap Iron is an interesting character, to an extent. I think the “Product Designer” aspect is something that makes him seem more important than he actually is. The figure is obviously designed to be a combat soldier. The line in his filecard about wanting to blow up the world, has always been the most interesting aspect of the character, to me. It makes him seem a lot more dangerous than he otherwise would be.
The overall colouring of this figure isn’t all that fresh, as it really harkens back to the original, which isn’t the worst thing that could be done, but it also leaves the mold with three different colour schemes that are all based around red body armour. While it would’ve been cool to see the Scrap Iron mold in a new light, the Urban Division Six Pack had little to no cohesion, so it’s not like some of the other choices used in that set would’ve been head and shoulders better than what we got. While the black and red isn’t all that different from blue and red, the detailing does give this figure a little extra presence. The brown leather boots and gloves are eye catching, and break up the fairly basic figure. The blue collar is a strange portion of colouring, but at least it’s a paint app.
One thing that this figure had going for it, was there was a fairly obvious nod to the Cartoon, with the use of grey on the figure’s helmet. I think that when doing repaints of figures, nods like this to past media is actually a positive. Honestly the fact it’s a cartoon reference was kind of surprising. Around 2002 there’d been plenty of talk by Hasbro of using the comics as the go to continuity. Thus we got Nunchuck losing his decent design to become a horrid Quick Kick rip-off, since there was a “No Dead Character” rule put in place.
The comic vs. cartoon divide in the fanbase, was interesting, because it always seemed like it was an all or nothing, argument. While I don’t think there was as much charm as Transformers, it was still nice to see the classic G.I. Joe designs brought to motion via Sunbow’s animation. It just seemed neither side could see the other as a novel example of G.I. Joe, which is pretty much the coolest thing ever.
Perhaps the biggest failing with this figure is the included accessories. After the first few Toys R Us Six Packs, the accessory compliments stopped being relatively close to the original figures (or at least decent accessories), and became more and more “What did we overproduce?”. No figure was hit harder by that, than Scrap Iron who was given the 2002 Heavy Duty’s green Range Viper pack, and 2001’s Major Bludd gun and the Range Viper’s grenade launcher, without the chamber. So basically Scrap Iron didn’t get any accessories. Scrap Iron’s original accessories have never been particularly difficult to obtain, so luckily the figure could be outfitted with those, and look good, as the black and red matched the figure perfectly.
This figure isn’t perfect, and it’s not really superior to the vintage version in any way, but with how basic the colouring is, it’s easier to blend in with the vintage Joe figures, than a lot of repaint era figures wound up being. Actually taking the time to look at this figure, made me realize part of the reason a lot of the repaint era has trouble doing that, is there’s a large amount of them being done up in colours that don’t exist in the vintage line, so there’s such a visual shock that draws more attention to the differences rather than the similarities, between figures that’s molds were originally released in the same timeframe.