G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 Logo
The Sigma 6 toy line served several purposes for Hasbro. First, it allowed them to depart from the classic 3 ¾-inch format of the A Real American Hero series of the 1980s; most Sigma 6 action figures stand at approximately 8 inches (200 mm) and have more articulation. Second, the new series offered them the chance to streamline the story and characters, stripping away old continuity and "rebooting" the franchise with younger versions of the cast - similar to but different from their 1980s namesakes - rendered in the popular anime style.
The line proved to be polarizing with G.I. Joe fans and ultimately unsuccessful at retail. Sigma 6 was cancelled after two years leaving many showcased sets and characters unproduced. In 2007 Hasbro would later go back to the classic 3¾"- 4" scale for the 25th anniversary line and beyond.
In 2005, G.I. Joe returned to television with "Sigma 6", the code name for a new group of G.I. Joe heroes with highly specialized capabilities, which they use to protect the world from the Cobra Commander and his evil forces. Sigma 6 featured many of the most popular and well-known G.I. Joe characters, such as Duke, Snake Eyes, Heavy Duty, Scarlett and Tunnel Rat, as well as a new hero, Long Range. The action figures made the jump to a larger scale (approximately 8 inch), replacing both 3 ¾ inch action figures and 12-inch (300 mm) action figures in retail stores.
The premise is that it is now the 21st century, and G.I. Joe is still fighting to prevent Cobra taking over the world. An ambush in the Arctic and the subsequent escape of Cobra Commander from prison, lead the Joes to believe something bigger is going on. After a major attack by Cobra on the G.I. Joe Team's headquarters, the Joes are forced to retaliate. This time, they are equipped with Sigma suits. Designed by Hi-Tech, these special body suits protect the Joes from Cobra's laser blasts and, in addition, enhance their abilities. The Joes are now code named Sigma 6.
In 2005, Hasbro released a line of related toys. Although similar in concept to the earlier G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline, the Sigma 6 action figures were 8" in height rather than the smaller 3¾" scale figures of the A Real American Hero line.
The first wave consisted of Duke, Heavy Duty, Kamakura, Snake Eyes, Spirit Iron-Knife, and Tunnel Rat. A "Sea Ops" version of Duke was also released in 2005. Cobra figures included a Ninja B.A.T. and a Storm Shadow figure. A "Ninja Showdown" battle pack contained alternate versions of Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow.
In 2006, new figures for G.I. Joe were Firefly, Hi-Tech, Long Range and Lt. Stone. Cobra figures included versions of Cobra Commander, Destro, a Sky B.A.T., and Zartan. All of the 2005 figures were re-released with new molds and accessories, including four different versions of Snake Eyes, and two different versions of Storm Shadow. In addition, a "Battlefield General" version of Cobra Commander, and a "Desert Gear" version of Long Range were released in 2006.
2007 saw the largest release of Sigma 6 figures, before the line was discontinued. For G.I. Joe, new figures of Flint, Grand Slam, Gung-Ho, Leatherneck, Recondo, Shipwreck, Shockwave, Lt. Torpedo, and Wet Suit were produced. New characters for the G.I. Joe Team included "Desert Wolf" (Ranger), "Inferno" (Firefighting Specialist), "Lockdown" (S.W.A.T.), and "Sgt. Boulder" (Mountain Scout).
In addition, new versions of Duke, Hi-Tech, Kamakura, Long Range and Snake Eyes were released in 2007, along with a Toys "R" Us exclusive "Land Sea Air" box set, which included Sigma 6 versions of Backblast, Barrel Roll and Deep Six. Cobra figures in 2007, included new versions of Cobra Commander, Destro, Storm Shadow and Zartan, as well as figures of Firefly, Iron Grenadiers, Cobra Red Ninja, Dark Ninja Master, and Red Banshee.
The new figures also saw a significant change of the file cards. The names, the security number, and the birthplace information have been removed. The new format consisted of:
To complement the 8-inch (200 mm) line of G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 action figures and vehicles, Hasbro introduced a line of 2 ½ inch scale Mission Sets action figures. Each set of action figures is packaged as a "mission in a box", and includes a Mission Manual.
The Rolling Operations Command Center first appeared as an online exclusive from Hasbro in 2005, and came packaged with the Long Range action figure. Although it is technically part of the G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 animated series, the toy's packaging is heavily reminiscent of the A Real American Hero toyline.
Unlike previous command center-type vehicles (the MCC and the General, being the other two), the R.O.C.C. is smaller but is far more mobile and maneuverable and, while not as heavily armed, packs more features. The ROCC resembles more of an extra-large freighter truck with trailer in tow. According to the ROCC's profile, it features cutting edge holographic technology, which can disguise the ROCC as a trailer truck or even a large camper, thus allowing for surprise attacks. The ROCC has a hidden launcher for eight missiles on the cab. The cab section can separate from the trailer for reconnaissance or assault purposes. The cab can fit six Joe figures in seated positions, with a seventh standing on a platform near the missile launcher. The trailer features a radar antenna and a gunner's station that can be moved to the front or back. The trailer opens to form a command center. The top lifts to reveal an elevator and mini-jet as well as an "escape tube". In the center is a command station with four chairs (only one can rotate) and computer consoles. The repair bay features two ramps and a movable claw.
Featured heavily in the G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 cartoon, the ROCC served as the Joe team's base during most of the show's first season. The size of the animated ROCC seemed to fluctuate throughout the season. It was able to drive down a one lane road and fit through openings fit for a truck. However, the animated ROCC was capable of housing the entire Sigma Six team, gear and vehicles such as Snake Eyes' Ninja Bike and the R.H.I.N.O. (Rapid Heli-Integrated Neutralizing Offense), which itself is a large vehicle.
The Dragonhawk is a fictional attack copter vehicle used by the G.I. Joe forces in the series G.I. Joe: Sigma 6. This vehicle arrived just in time to provide Scarlett, Duke and Snake Eyes when they were having some difficulty with Cobra troops (Zartan and the Dreadnoks). It was revealed to belong to Lt. Stone, a friend of Duke's. Along with the copter, he provided the team with a seafaring base of operations.
The Dragonhawk has twin turbines which provide VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing), forward thrust, and in a quick pinch, reverse thrust. In addition to combat support, it also functions as a drop ship, which provides transportation for some of the smaller vehicles in the Sigma 6 fictional world, like the V.A.M.P., the Night Ranger Quad, the Ninja Hovercycle, the Barracuda Jet Boat, and the Dune Runner. It also has a troop transport for the team.
The Dragonhawk's offensive capabilities include three missile launchers above each landing skid, twin 60 mm cannons, and a Gatling gun located just below and in front of the cockpit. Defensive capabilities include rotating each turbine to face opposite directions to activate an energy shield that repels both lasers and missiles..
|G.I. Joe: Sigma 6|
The heroic military members of G. I. Joe: Sigma 6 (counterclockwise from top to bottom: Heavy Duty, Long Range, Snake Eyes, Duke, Tunnel Rat and Scarlett)
|Genre||Action, Military, Science fiction|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Kobun Shizuno|
|Produced by||Norman J. Grossfeld|
4Kids Productions (production)
|Original network||TV Tokyo, Animax|
The toyline was accompanied by a 26-episode animated series produced by the American company 4Kids Productions and animated by the Japanese studio Gonzo, which aired on Fox, G4, and YTV, and a 6-issue comic series published by Devil's Due Productions.
The series did not particularly succeed in this regard: the series did not finish airing its twenty-six episodes in the United States (although it did complete its run on YTV in Canada as late as June 2007), and the next re-invention of the G.I. Joe property returned to the 3 ¾-inch size, concentrating solely on a 25th anniversary revisitation of the Real American Hero line that was targeted almost entirely at adult collectors.
Essentially, G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 is a continuation of the two direct-to-video G.I. Joe CGI movies, G.I. Joe: Spy Troops and G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom, both films produced by Reel FX Studios. Several references are made to events from Valor vs. Venom, such as Cobra Commander being captured and in prison, Overkill recovering from his injuries, and General Hawk suffering a change in his DNA. Snake Eyes continues to have Kamakura and Jinx as his apprentices. Despite these connections, there are changes that bring to question how much of a continuation Sigma 6 is from A Real American Hero.
Just as he was in the first season of the Sunbow G.I. Joe series, Duke is clearly designated as the G.I. Joe commander. He is also recast as a much younger man, someone who appears to have just come to his 30s than a man going to his 40s. Scarlett, who has always been a major character, had her position in the team upgraded to second in command after Duke. Like Duke, she has been aged younger for the series though their youth may be attributed to the fact that the artwork is done in an anime style. She is however still the team's counterintelligence specialist. Tunnel Rat's appearance and personality varied greatly from his appearance in A Real American Hero series. Here, he is a bug-eating, unorthodox infiltration and demolitions expert. Heavy Duty seems to have retained his personality from Spy Troops and Valor vs. Venom, serving as the team's weapons expert. Added to the team is a tracker, Spirit Iron-Knife, and his falcon Billy, who retains his strong and shamanist personality, as well as the team sniper and transportation specialist Long Range. Hi-Tech serves as the team's technician, mechanic, etc. Jinx, Kamakura and Snake Eyes function as the team's ninja unit. Snake Eyes has remained the silent deadly ninja commando with Jinx and Kamakura as his students. Hawk was last seen in a healthy state at the end of Valor vs. Venom but his appearance in Sigma 6 indicates otherwise. He is seen in a hospital where Duke visited him.
At the start of Season 2, Lt. Stone (an apparent old friend of Duke's) arrives and joins the team under orders of Hawk and provides them with a new seafaring base, the Sea Titan, as well as his personal attack copter, the Dragonhawk, which will also be used as a drop ship for the team's vehicles that can be carried by the Dragonhawk, like the Ninja Hovercycle, the Night Ranger Quad and the V.A.M.P.. Along with Stone is the soldier Firefly (who betrays the team and captures all but Duke and Hi-Tech in season 2 episode 7 "Revelations").
The changes are not limited to the Joe Team. Cobra Commander had his appearance greatly overhauled and, likewise, his personality. No longer comical, he is now a more deadly adversary, closer to his standard portrayal in the comics, however he has retained his cartoon counterpart's love of grandiose schemes. Destro is now more clearly aligned with Cobra and together with the Commander and the Baroness, they truly form the Cobra Triumvirate. Meanwhile, Overkill is upgraded from a lowly lab assistant to a scheming cybernetic chief scientist who is stuck inside a giant glass tube. Zartan remains Cobra's master of disguise, however his shape shifting and stealth abilities are due to his suit rather than skill and genetic enhancements as in A Real American Hero. The Dreadnoks are now Torch, Buzzer and a new character called Machete (who is loosely based on Ripper). Storm Shadow serves as Cobra's ninja, however seems more inclined to work with Cobra B.A.T.s, leading the Ninja B.A.T.s into battle. This differs from his original portrayal in A Real American Hero as he has always had more faith in a well trained human as opposed to machines. Though the series is supposed to continue from Valor vs. Venom, in episode 2 "Escape", Cobra Commander says to Overkill that all his troops should be welcoming him, implying that Overkill was the only absent Cobra member. That claim ignores the presence of characters such as Doctor Mindbender or Slice in Valor vs. Venom.
Sigma 6 also has a recurring man vs. machine theme. Cobra's forces are often seen to be primarily composed of the Battle Android Troopers or B.A.T.s, while the members of the Cobra Triumvirate all possess some form of cybernetic enhancement or enhanced armored suits, with normal troopers wearing full armored uniforms.
G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 was a six-issue mini-series written for a younger audience, based on the toyline and animated TV series of the same name. While the series was out of continuity with the main comic universe, the characters are largely the same: Hawk is the commanding officer, Duke is the field leader, and there is a connection between the ninjas Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow.