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GIGN (Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale - National Gendarmerie Intervention Group)

"Third time's a charm", you often here this saying but is it always true? You bet! GIGN is Medicom Toy's 3rd release in their successful Medicom Special Forces Series (MSFS). What really impresses me is that the figures just get better, Medicom doesn't spare any expense at producing these figures. For example, a big suprise to me was the gas mask that comes equipped with GIGN. As you know the first release, SAS, also came outfitted with one, must be the same mask right? Well guess again, the masks are completely different and even the actual filter comes from a different mold. This kind of detail and perfection really draws me to the Medicom MSFS line.

To say the least, Medicom pretty much puts the competition to shame, they go beyond detail and precision. This is once again reinforced when looking at GIGN's blue Nomex suit that is not even close in comparison to the SAS and the GSG-9. Furthermore, if you are familar with France's elite crack unit you will notice that GIGN's uniform is like the "real deal", even sporting the tradmark ballistic visors on their headpiece.

I have to say out of the three this is my favorite, the vest just does it for me. In addition to several pouches and pockets, the vest sports three MP5 magazine holders that are sewn carefully into the vest, with backpack clips and all. Even the huge pack that is strapped to his left leg is delicately sewn together and can hold additional equipment.

The Calm Before the Storm

I guess you could say that GSG-9's lack of accessories was the "calm before the storm" because Medicom backed up it's stakes with this figure. GIGN packes more than just his Manurhin MR73 revolver, but sports additonal head gear and other goodies. A very nice touch to this figure was the Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale patch that was placed on the right shoulder of the Nomex suit. IF you look close enough you will notice it is an exact replica of the real deal, compare for yourself.

Submachine Gun Mp-5 (MP5), SF-10 Respirator, Assault Suit, Assault Boots, Diver's Watch, Goggles, Handgun MR73, Hangun P228 (Sig Arms P228) Magazine, Flashlight Foregrip, Telescopic Stock (retractable), Doublre Magazine, Quick Loader, Binding Belt, Tactical Vest, Open Hand Glove, Balacava, Body Armor, Side Porch (pouch), Socks and Trunks, Walkie-Talkie, Receiver, Helmet, Visor, and a Belt.

As for articulation we are talking about the same series, so he is still sporting the Cro-Magnon RAH300 endo-skeleton. The body features 31 points of articulation and allows for the most flexible and life-like endo-skeleton that I have seen. The only downside as I said before is the fragileness of the sockets (arm) and the wrists. This is all well worth it since it is that fragileness that allows for such a superior posing body.

As for accuracy well look for yourself (compare to actual, below.) This figure is very well done, and the head-sculpt looks great!

A Final Note:

This figure was actually due out in Japan in June of 2000, but was not actually released till July 2001, also GIGN was suppose to be the 2nd in the MSFS line, but was released after GSG-9.

· on one knee aiming Manurhin MR73 (front)
· on one knee aiming Manurhin MR73 (top/front)
· on one knee aiming Manurhin MR73 (rear)
· close-up aiming Manurhin MR73
· aiming mp5 (front)
· aiming mp5 (side) *my favorite!
· aiming mp5 (rear)
· vest (front)
· vest (back)
· boot detailing
· close-up of knee pouch and boot detail
· close-up of holster

About the GIGN

French special forces? The GIGN believe it or not are one of the best and most experienced Counter-Terrorist units in the world. They are highly regarded for the great marksmanship, shelling out hundreds of rounds everyday to hone their skills. Not only do they serve as hardened warriors but they are also highly educated and have strong morals and have the willingness to avoid bloodshed. They are highly trained in the art of negotiation but will not hesitate to react with deadly accuracy if left little choice.

The GIGN or Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale are yet another example of Europe's solution to combat terrorism. Likewise with most Western European nations, France has formed non-military units manned by police or in their case the "Gendarmerie" (translation: a group of police officers) to handle these activities. The GIGN number less than 90 operatives never exceeding 100. In the mid 70's to mid 80's GIGN operatives performed an amazing 650+ missions with very few casualties of their own.

GIGN recruits come exclusively from the Gendarmerie and are required to put in 3 years of experience with an outstanding record. Even so, those who meet this curiculum only 7 out of 100 will be gifted enough to become a full fledged GIGN operator.

Noteworthy quotes:

"Our main principle is to postpone the use of firearms until the very last moment" - Commandant (Major) Denis Favier, Commanding Officer of GIGN.

"the GIGN gendarme must be a highly skilled marksman, whose shots neutralize rather than kill..." - Adjutant-Chef (warrant officer) Guillemer, Chief Instructor