G.I. Joe ’83-Cobra Commander (v.1.5)

Inspired by jboypac’s http://revengefromthecosmicark.blogspot.com/  (v.3) Battle Armor C.C.,i’ve decided to do a post about version 1.5.The first version of Cobra Commander was released in ’82 as a mail-away figure,and was of the straight arm variety.This version came out in’83 with the swivel arm feature.While many G.I. Joe figures of that time came with a backpack accessory that fit onto the figures back,the  Cobra Commander figure came with a black laser pistol that could also be  attached to his back.No backpack here,just a laser gun.I guess when you command an army like COBRA,you don’t really need much in the way of fire-arms for protection.

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G.I Joe 1983-Destro 10/08-10/14

I know you guys were probably expecting another TF DOTM post but no,that post will take place on Wednesday 😉 Last night I decided to dig into the ‘ol Bag-o-Joe’s and pull out one of my favorite Cobra villains,Destro,for Monday morning’s post.I never owned this Destro as a kid  but always wanted one because this was the cartoon version of him.I would ultimately pick up the Iron Grenadier version w/ chariot but never got that fulfillment I knew I would have gotten with the ’83 version.Alot of the vintage Joes I have now aren’t of ones I had as a kid but rather of figures that I always wanted as a kid and never owned.I remember being amazed every time someone would show me their Destro,Baroness and Snake Eyes figures because I started collecting Joes in ’86 up until  ’88 and these guys just weren’t being sold in stores anymore.Figures like Dusty,Quick Kick and Barbecue were hard as heck to come by in the late 80’s and could only be acquired via trade with other kids who had them.My go to Barbecue would be the Slaughters Marauders version and I would also have to settle on the Tiger Force versions of  Life-Line,Flint,Duke and Bazooka to round out my collection.Tiger Force Duke’s hair color used to bug the crap out of me,though.I can honestly say that I now have most of the early 80’s  Joe’s that I had wanted as a kid but hardly any of the figures I used to have LOL!From here on out I’ll be focusing on the ’87-’88(Crystal Ball,Raptor,Spearhead And Max) line to see If  I can fill that particular void in my collection.

G.I. Joe 1984 Storm Shadow – 9/17-9/23

When I decided to start collecting Joes again, this was one of the first figures I picked up.I had a heck of a time finding one for a decent price as these can get to as high as 75 bucks on Ebay depending on the condition.I don’t just mean good or bad condition because there is much more to it than that when it comes to this version of Storm Shadow.There are your loose Stormies with no accessories or file cards,the 100 % complete pearly white Stormy with extremely tight joints,the pearly white Stormy with a partially rubbed Cobra insignia and the infamous yellow-stained from head to toe  Storm Shadow which almost never gets bid on or bought on Ebay.I was lucky enough to find one with a subtle combination of  the four aforementioned examples given.I got the “sorta white,partially rubbed Cobra insignia,with tight joints ,yellow crotch piece and no accessories or file card” Storm Shadow and only paid about twenty bucks for it,which isn’t bad IMO for a classic figure like this.So even though it looks like my 1984 Stormy peed his pants ,it is still a 1984 Stormy nonetheless.

G.I. Joe A.R.A.H. 1989-Snake Eyes V.3 5/21-5/26

Here’s a Snake Eyes I picked up a while ago on Ebay,loose  with no file card or accessories.I was always hesitant about picking up this version of  Snake Eyes because it really didn’t have any ties to my child hood.By the time this Snake Eyes released,i was slowly making the transition from action figures  into comic books,baseball cards and video games so G.I. Joe toys weren’t on my radar as much.With that being said i really like this version of Snake Eyes!He almost has a Spider-Man feel or vibe to him,not sure what it is.This version also came with a ton of cool accessories like a blow gun,nun-chuks and a pistol with a silencer.Looking at my collection the other day i realized that i have 5 different Snake Eyes figures and have ultimately decided to start collecting him exclusively.I think there are about 60 versions of him so i’ll have to be in it for the long haul LOL!Wish me luck  😉

G.I. Joe A.R.A.H. 1983 Major Bludd 4/09-4/15

Major Bludd is one of my favorite figures design-wise  and a figure that i always wanted as a kid but was never able to obtain.Just one look at this guys mean mug and you just know he’s a Cobra baddie!Funny thing is he has no Cobra insignia anywhere on his uniform.Funnier thing is that I’m just now noticing that LOL!Ya gotta love the bionic arm and the dog tags hanging over his chest plate.Little details like this is what made these figures so popular back in the day.Sadly this was a loose figure in which i acquired on Ebay  w/ no weapons or file card but just the figure alone is pretty bad a#$ in my book and makes a great display piece.

And The Winner Is…..

G.I. Joe has seen it’s fair share of  renditions and incarnations dating back to the 60’s.I hopped on the Joe wagon in the mid 80’s,right around the time the cartoon was released and have been hooked since.What you are about to read are my personal opinions on G.I. Joe action figures throughout the years and which line of Joes i feel is the best.

The 1980’s  saw the first ever release of a  3 3/4  G.I. Joe action figure and what figures they were!Equipped with removable helmets,weapons and accessories,Hasbro would take the ball and run with this sculpt and design and hit a home run with pretty much every figure released in that decade.

In 1990 Hasbro stayed with the same formula that made the 80’s line so popular by creating unique characters and figure sculpts.Characters like Ambush,Bullhorn and Salvo all had that military vibe to them sporting camouflage fatigues  and packing some serious heat!Similar to the ROC and POC line of Joes,the 1990 product came laden with accessories!

1991-94 marked the beginning of  color splashed characters and neon weapons.Cobra Commander receives a not so appealing make over and Snake Eyes dons the infamous purple and black commando suit and is packaged with a bright red sub machine gun and two  red swords along with other brightly colored weaponry..ugh!

1995 to 2006 was somewhat of a blur  for me probably because i wasn’t collecting at those points in time ,although i always found time to stroll down my local department stores toy aisle to check on the progression of my long time favorite action figures.What i found were basically  team packs of rehashed old time favorites like The Baroness and Navy seal packs that included Wet Suit,Torpedo and Shipwreck but nothing that  made me say “WOW these Joes have come a long way” or impressed me in any way shape or form.Valor vs. Venom,Sigma Six and G.I. Joe Extreme was also out around those times but never sparked my interest.Well..Sigma Six a little but none of the others did anything for me.

From 2007 -’08  Hasbro seems to get back on track with the release of their 25th Ann. line  by going back to the character designs that made Joe action figures so popular in the first place,only this time with added articulation and a slightly taller sculpt than the ’80’s version it payed homage to.These figures also came with a slew of accessories as well as personalized figure stands.I believe the 25th Ann. line was the first time Joe’s were released with stands although i could be wrong.Any ways it was a great addition nonetheless that stood the test of time and are now  the norm with all G.I. Joe figures that have been released since then.

In 2009 the animated film/mini-series G.I.Joe Resolute hits the airwaves and i don’t now about you but i absolutely loved it.Hasbro then releases figures based on the film and boy did they hit a home run with these guys!The art on the single carded figures packaging was slightly different than the 25th ann. art and more true to the way the characters looked on the Resolute mini-series.Then came G.I. Joe The ROC live action film and with it a line of movie based action figures.I can’t say much about the base figures  because most were bland but at
the same time very high quality.These too came with there own figure stands and an enormous amount of accessories.Hasbro then took it one step further by releasing ROC figures that never made a movie appearance.Characters like Barbecue and fan favorites like Shipwreck and Doc could be found exclusively at Toys R Us,Wal Mart and Target . These waves of ROC figures ,my friends would ultimately pave the way for the release of my personal favorite line and IMO the best line of G.I. Joe figures in terms of originiality,quality and quantity…2010 G.I. Joe The Pursuit of Cobra!These figures stayed true to the characters they portrayed while giving them just enough of a make over to breathe new life back into characters like Snake Eyes,Dusty,Zartan and the list goes on.Figures like Low-Light,v.54 Snake Eyes w/ extra head along with the Cobra Shock Trooper were popular among collectors and(Low-Light & v.54
Snake Eyes)  are still regarded as the best versions of their respective characters.

2011-12 would see the release of G.I. Joe 30th Ann. along with the cartoon based Renegade figures which except for the Storm Shadow I’m really not too thrilled about.This summer,along with the blockbuster film, we should expect to see the pegs filled with G.I. Joe Retaliation figures and from what I’ve seen it seems like Hasbro may be taking a step backwards from ROC and POC  with these,almost like they did in the mid 90’s.The figures seem to be more “kid-oriented” with  bright colored weapons and although I’m not absolutely sure of it,there doesn’t seem to be any figure stands included.I’m digging the new look Cobra Commander and the ROCK as Roadblock will be a must buy but I’m not too crazy about the other figures in this line.

All in all the 30th Ann. line is solid and the jury is still out on the Retaliation figures but in my book G.I. Joe POC still holds the title in terms of  character selection,design,sculpt quality and awesome accessories 😉

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G.I. Joe 25th Ann. Roadblock 2/06-2/12

These next couple of days will see more than it’s fair share of Joes as i  have relapsed and ultimately found myself relentlessly hunting down any and everything G.I. Joe related. On Saturday i totally came up short in my quest to find  Stormie’s Renegade figure and while i did see other Renegade figures on the pegs none struck my fancy.A bunch of Firefly’s, Dukes and way too many Cobra Commander’s to mention.Not a 30th Ann. or left over POC in sight and it seems as though every last ROC figure has finally disappeared from clearance shelves.Hence the Plasma Dragons impulse purchase.I did see,however, on a lower shelve at Toys R Us a couple of ROC  Rip Attack Jet Storm Cycles with Snake Eyes and a Cobra Rip Attack vehicle as well going for 4 bucks a piece and i may swing by there later on today to pick those up( if someone hasn’t already).Dealing with the Joe shortage in my area has led me to check eBay for loose Joes to fill my collection and today we have none other than G.I. Joe 25th Ann. Roadblock.I picked this guy up loose for about 4 bucks  and free shipping so even though he came without a file card and one accessory(knife) i still got a good deal on him.I actually had some extra accessories laying around and decided to gear R.B. up for these pics.

G.I. Joe 25th Ann. Roadblock