RED SHADOWS COMMANDER  
  Code Name: BARON IRONBLOOD  
 

Without a shadow (fnar fnar) of a doubt the biggest bastard to feature in any kids’ toyline, Baron Ironblood was a genuinely nasty piece of work. He had the usual 1980s bad guy ambition of taking over the world, but spent a lot less time mucking around with super-weapons, time travel and implausible media scams, preferring instead to simply take his army of fanatical Red Shadow troopers into some unfortunate country and just shoot anyone who got in his way. Sometimes Action Force stopped him, other times they didn’t. Of course, the Baron then got bored with all that and decided, for no readily apparent reason, to betray the Shadows and set up Cobra (with himself as Cobra Commander).

The original (and, to date, only – amazingly, he wasn’t included in the Vacation in the Shadows convention set) Baron Ironblood figure is a standard Palitoy ‘straight arm’ figure, using – I think – was a unique torso and head, while the legs were shared with the Space Force Commander. The helmet is basically a thin roll of foam with detail marked on it, a similar sort of stuff to the lifejackets packed with figures like Chopper and Beaver. The figure was originally packed with the same Uzi included with the original Snake Eyes, though he’s got something more modern and nasty-looking in the pictures.

The helmet is a bit if a disappointment – not only is it foamy rather than solid, but it’s open on top (meaning unless you’re level with the figure the Baron’s white hair can be easily spotted), but there’s also a whacking great big tab on the back to boot. It’s a shame, because he rest of him is done nicely, the famous uniform crisply picked out (though be prepared for something of a struggle to find a white one; Palitoy figures mark much more easily than their Hasbro counterparts) with clear lines, and the moulding giving a nice impression of fabric.

There are two variants out there – one with white gloves, one with black. The black ones are not only more accurate to the comic, but look better to boot. Neither version seems particularly rare. Indeed, Baron Ironblood loose can be quite easy to find. It’s getting one with the helmet and without a lot of paint wear (especially to the boots) that’s the problem. He’s worth it, though – the Baron looks great at the head of a squad of Red Shadows fully kitted-out. It's just a shame he doesn't have a clenched fist raised in front of him.

Action Force Baron Ironblood
Action Force Baron Ironblood
Action Force Baron Ironblood
Action Force Baron Ironblood