Russian Funskool GI Joe

The Russian Funskool GI Joe Story

[Updated 9/16/22]

My Russian Funskool GI Joe articles have been some of the most popular pieces on my website. Today, we’re going to look a little deeper and tell their origin story. Thanks to the hard work of a friend, we now know when these figures came out, how they came about, and who imported them. This is the definitive Russian Funskool GI Joe origin story. Until we learn more, at least.

Before we start this article in earnest, I need to thank my friend Brusleep. He conducted all of the interviews and did all of the research for this piece. This is truly his work and I’m happy to share it with the world. All I did was re-write it, streamline it, and publish it. All credit goes to Brusleep, who you can find on Twitter. He is one of my favorite people in our online toy community, and he’s an absolute joy to interact with. Give him a follow. 

Brusleep interviewed Igor Zhorzhovich, the founder of Two Beetles. If you’ve read any of my reviews and articles about Russian Funskool GI Joe, you’ll know that name. Two Beetles was the company that brought GI Joe into Russia, using Funskool figures and newly-translated packaging. 

All of the information in this article comes from Brusleep’s audio and text interviews with Igor.

All photos in this article come from either Igor’s personal archives or from Brusleep.

I’m excited to finally bring you The Russian Funskool GI Joe story. 

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2022 Super7 GI Joe ReAction Figures

2022 Super7 GI Joe ReAction Snake Eyes, Shipwreck, Cover Girl, BATs, and Cobra Troopers

Well, I did a bad thing. I saw Eric of Toys and Tomfoolery’s Instagram post about the Super7 ReAction BAT and I instantly wanted one. And then I needed a few more to even out shipping costs. And then I saw Sunbow Snake Eyes on sale somewhere else and bought him because I wanted his laser pistol.

So here we are.

If you’ll remember, I wrote a post about these things when Super7 announced the line. My take wasn’t all negative, but I did question why they exist. And I still kind of do. After all, they’re the same size as the classic GI Joe figures we all love, but have greatly reduced articulation and a miniscule amount of accessories. Plus, they’re $20 each. But I did it anyway.

I also bucked the trend by opening these figures, playing with them, and trying to find a spot for them within a larger GI Joe collection.

Here are my thoughts.

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I Found a Bunch of Carded 90s GI Joes at an Estate Sale

I went to an estate sale today in my hometown. A friend let me know that two of her friends were putting the sale on and that there were plenty of toys. Plenty of carded 1990s GI Joes, to be exact. That’s why I drove 3.5 hours, rented a little Vrbo, braved the hot sun, and spent a bunch of money.

Here’s the story behind the estate sale and what I found.

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1998 GI Joe Colonel Brekhov

1998 GI Joe Colonel Brekhov Review

(Editor’s Note: Today’s review comes from my dear friend Corps Commander Cody. As always, please check out Cody’s great photos, customs, and commentary on Instagram and Twitter.)

It’s a certain kind of funny that I am typing my review of the Oktober Guard guy on July 4th. I can literally hear fireworks celebrating America and I was like “yes, it’s time to write about the Russian guys.”

Hi, I’m corpscommandercody, returning guest of Dustin’s site. It’s time for me to talk about one of my favorite figures of all time- Red Star and 1998 GI Joe Colonel Brekhov, who are remarkably similar, you will agree. Hell, even the GI Joe comic (146) makes fun of it. This may even be where the idea to reuse the mold came from.

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1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper (Mega Marines)

1993 GI Joe Cyber-Viper (Mega Marines) Review

Today on The Dragon Fortress, we’re looking at an odd figure I have neither nostalgia for nor childhood attachment to. It’s the 1993 GI Joe Cyber-Viper, who is one of the strangest figures in the ARAH toy line with an outlandish color scheme.

Those qualifications fit my mission statement perfectly, but my opinion on Cyber-Viper may surprise you. Or maybe not. You could just be really good at reading people, or be reading my thoughts through a 5G tower. Usually I only let the government read my mind but ,since you’re doing it for a good cause (a late 30-something’s opinion on an ancient GI Joe toy), we’ll let it slide this time.

This review also includes a cameo from one of my good friends and all-time favorite internet toy enthusiasts. But that’s a surprise for later.

Anyway, let’s talk about monsters and cyborgs. 

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1997 Transformers Beast Wars Cybershark

1997 Transformers Beast Wars Cybershark Review

Today I’m joined by my friend Video Dracula for another teamup review! Drac recently bought the new reissue of the 1997 Cybershark toy, which you can find at Walmart stores and on their website. Cybershark is easily a top 5 Beast Wars toy for me, so I thought this would be a great opportunity for us to join forces and review the figure.

Video Dracula has a fantastic website, where he reviews Transformers and other toys from the 80s to the present. You can also find him on Instagram and Twitter.

We’ve got a ton of pics, observations, and deeply nerdy fan theories to get through today, so let’s jump right into it.

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1993 GI Joe Spirit (Mail Away)

1993 GI Joe Spirit (Mail Away) Review

Well, I finally finished photographing the review I was talking about in my previous post. And wouldn’t you know it– it’s another GI Joe mail away from 1993. I have very few of those (but want basically all of them), so don’t expect it to be a big trend. I just felt like reviewing this figure.

Today we’re talking about the GI Joe Spirit mail away from 1993, who was part of the International Action Force four-pack figure offer. He was sold in a set with Big Bear, Big Ben, and Budo. Let’s hope Hawk doesn’t do roll call in alphabetical order every time he assembles the IAF. Oh, to be an S in a world of Bs.

Let’s take a look at the figure.

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Site Updates: Russian Funskool Mainframe and Even More MOTU Origins

Hi there!

I promise I’m working on a full review, but I didn’t finish the photography before I had to leave town for family-related issues again.

But I do have some fun stuff for you anyway. These are a couple things I’ve been saving for a rainy day, and I believe this qualifies. Well, it’s more of a windy day, really– as I’m writing this, we’re having 65mph gusts. Fun stuff.

Today I’ve got an in-depth look at a Russian Funskool figure for you, along with even more modern day barbarians and wrestlemen.

Continue reading “Site Updates: Russian Funskool Mainframe and Even More MOTU Origins”

Transformers Generation 2 Go-Bots and RID Spychangers

Robot Hot Wheels: Transformers Go-Bots, Spychangers, and Beyond

Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars always seem to do good business. Those tiny, free-rolling little 1:64 scale cars are everywhere and I assume they always have been. Hot Wheels and other assorted cars are some of the first toys I remember having as a kid. They’re cheap and they’re sold at grocery stores, drug stores, toy stores, and basically any retail location you can think of. They’re a perfect impulse buy toy for just about any kid.

They’re popular with adults, though, too. If you know anyone who’s worked as a retail cashier, they will tell you that they absolutely dread having a “Hot Wheels guy” come through their checkout line. These dudes sometimes yell at cashiers for even touching their toy car’s packaging or putting them in a bag too roughly. They’re dead serious about tiny toy cars.

Transformers Generation 2 Go-Bots and RID Spychangers

I’m not sure how well Hot Wheels were selling in 1995, but Hasbro obviously wanted to eat at least some of Mattel’s lunch. Hot Wheels appeal to kids, serious adult collectors, and basically everyone else. So Hasbro wanted a piece of the pie.

In 1995, Hasbro released the Transformers Generation 2 Go-Bots sub-line– an assortment of 1:64 cars, done in the Hot Wheels and Matchbox style, with through-axle construction that made them compatible with most Hot Wheels race tracks and accessories. They also transformed into cute little robots.

They were a pretty obscure and forgotten part of Transformers G2 until the Japanese Car Robots toy line came along, which was imported to the West as Robots in Disguise in 2001.

The original Go-Bots molds became the Spychangers for RID, which is how most people remember these fun little toys.

Today we’re going to take a look at every single Go-Bots and Spychangers mold and explore exactly what makes these cheap, simple toys so much fun. That’s right– this is another big post. So fasten your seatbelt (or don’t, I’m not a cop), pour some wine into a Diet Coke can, and get ready for a long, twisty ride.

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1993 GI Joe Deep Six (Mail Away)

1993 GI Joe Deep Six (Mail Away) Review

Hey look, it’s another review I photographed last summer. That means we’re getting to the end of my backlog and I should probably figure out a way to take more GI Joe photos.

But that’s a problem for Future Dustin.

Today, let’s bask in the glow of the Neon Past and spend some quality time with Deep Six version 4, a Mail Away figure from 1993.

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