1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade) Review

October of 2022 is a very special month here at The Dragon Fortress, because it’s all dedicated to The Most Important Member of GI Joe (some say The Only Important Member of GI Joe)– Specialist David F. Kunitz aka OZONE.

GI Joe Ozone

All month long, we’ll be looking at each ARAH version of GI Joe’s environmental safety trooper. Today, we’re starting with both versions of Ozone released in 1993 for the Star Brigade sub-line.

So how does an ozone replenishment specialist work as a combat astronaut? That’s what we’re here to find out.


1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)– My First Repaint

1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)

In 1993, Hasbro offered a huge variety of figures with their GI Joe toy line. You had the normal, primary figures (Battle Corps), martial artists (Ninja Force), Aliens-inspired sci-fi troopers and monsters (Mega Marines), more martial artists with an international flair (Street Fighter 2), and combat astronauts (Star Brigade).

Within the Star Brigade subset, kids could choose from normal GI Joe figures, or bulked-up figures with reduced articulation and a higher price point (Armor Tech). So, there was a lot to choose from in 1993, and you weren’t getting all of it unless your parents were well-to-do.

I was very interested in Star Brigade in 1993. After all, it combined two of my favorite things– GI Joe and outer space. I only ever got a few figures from the sub-line as a kid, though, mostly because I found the execution disappointing. While I was expecting cool new astronauts with awesome laser weapons and backpacks, I saw mostly repaints of figures I already knew, which was a first for me.

1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)

When my Mom gave me 1993 GI Joe Star Brigade Ozone, it was the first time I ever received and recognized a repaint. I already had the 1991 Eco Warriors Ozone, after all. But I absolutely loved that figure, and by 1993 he was missing his helmet and the rest of his gear. So I was honestly pretty happy to get a new version of Ozone, complete with his cool helmet.

Shortly thereafter, I got Star Brigade Countdown. I’d already owned the original Countdown, but he was also missing his helmet and backpack. While I did mourn the loss of the awesome backpack the original came with, I was more than happy to get another chance at a beloved character who actually had his space helmet.

Then after that, my friend got the 1993 Payload figure, who I immediately recognized as a repaint of my 1992 Barbecue. And I’d also owned the Crusader (which my Mom got on deep discount in either 90 or 91), so I knew that figure was not actually Payload.

1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)

Oddly, I never recognized that Roadblock (who my friend had) was mostly a repaint of the 1991 Hawk figure, another toy I adored as a kid. I guess it was because the color changes were so drastic and I didn’t have the 91 Hawk around to look at by 1993.

Even though he was a repaint, I got a ton of use out of 1993 Ozone. I had the tan version and don’t think I ever saw the grey version on shelves. Ozone was usually teamed up with Countdown for space adventures, where they fought monsters and robots from other toy lines.

Sometimes Ozone would also fight alongside the regular GI Joe team on Earth, and he usually found a way to outsmart Cobra with his scientific skills rather than beating them in a firefight.

1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)

There aren’t too many scientist heroes on the GI Joe team, so my child brain imagined Ozone as a mix between Dr. Benton Quest and Race Bannon– brains and brawn all in one package.

I also really liked Ozone’s head sculpt, which made him seem like a surly Yellowstone National Park ranger who would tell you not to play too close to the geysers, but could also fight off a bear who was digging through the dumpster by the lodge.

So while Ozone was a major player for me as a kid, he never quite joined the ranks of Flint, Storm Shadow, Heavy Duty, or Tunnel Rat. It was only as a young adult that I began appreciating the character more and more. I went from liking Ozone to absolutely loving Ozone. Hence this themed month.

So now we’ll take a look at the figure itself and examine how Ozone works (or does not work) as an astro-infantry trooper for Star Brigade.

1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade) Review

Both versions of Star Brigade Ozone were released in 1993, and I believe the grey version was a running change for the tan version. The tan version seems to be more common, but neither one is hard to find. Regardless, both figures come with the exact same accessories and were packed on the same card. The only difference is that the later figures changed tan to light grey.

1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)

The tan figure on the left is my childhood figure, which survived a house fire. The grey one on the right is a figure I opened from the card about three years ago.

The figure’s mold is exactly the same as the one used for the 1991 Eco Warriors Ozone. The color-change battle damage was removed and the plastic colors were changed, but it’s the same exact figure mold.

1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)

I’m not sure why Hasbro changed Ozone from tan to grey in 1993, but it’s something they did a fair amount of in the last two years of the toy line. It’s doubtful that any kid (or even adult collector) felt the need to own both versions in 1993, so they probably just grabbed whichever figure they found on the pegs at the time.

I’m going to go over the figure’s sculpt and details more thoroughly when we get to the Eco Warriors figure review, but I did want to touch on a couple of things here.

1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)

The armored chest plate looks very cool in silver, and the red grenades and blue straps make for a nice color palette on both figures. The colors aren’t exactly “realistic,” but they are both subtle and aesthetically pleasing. I also like the armored boots and the “air tight” look of the jumpsuit– it looks like it could be a thinner spacesuit that allows for greater mobility.

I mentioned before that I love Ozone’s head sculpt, but the figure really comes alive when you add the helmet.

1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)

Ozone’s helmet is one of the coolest accessories in all of GI Joe. It has a unique and menacing look that gives the figure just as much personality when his entire face is covered as he has with it removed, and that’s pretty rare. The helmet is stylized and futuristic, and almost has a bit of a Darth Vader look to it. The blue and silver paint on the helmet are also very nice, and a step above what Hasbro usually did for removeable helmets in the GI Joe line.

With this helmet, which looks perfect on the figure, it’s believable that Ozone is wearing either an air tight hazmat suit or full-on spacesuit. I have to give it to the Hasbro designers– this is a versatile figure!

1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)

Just for good measure, here are both 93 versions alongside their Eco Warriors ancestor. The only paint app I really miss from the original Ozone is the gizmo on his right thigh– the Star Brigade Ozones would have looked even better if that detail was picked out in silver.

Now, we come to accessories. 1993 Star Brigade Ozone comes with one of the most common weapons trees in the entire GI Joe toy line but, luckily, it’s a pretty good one.

1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)

Both versions of 1993 Ozone come with an orange missile launcher, two black missiles, a black submachine gun, a black futuristic assault rifle, a black shotgun, a black machete, a black figure stand, and a red helmet.

The package describes these items as “pressure resistant helmet with face shield, special issue Star Brigade short rifle, Rapid-fire laser rifle with atmospheric sight, shotgun, Star Brigade battle knife, missile launching solar shooter gun, missile (2), figure stand.”

I don’t find these weapons particularly compelling for a combat astronaut, but they’re not bad. They’re all pretty useful weapons cast in a pretty useful color. I find that the shotgun and SMG are always good to have around for arming later-era Joes, and the machete works with just about any figure in the line. They’re nothing special, but they get the job done.

1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)

I would have preferred some laser weapons, but that’s just me. I’m sure some other kids in 1993 agreed with me, though.

I do like using this slightly-reworked version of 91 Grunt’s huge assault rifle with Star Brigade and Mega Marines figures– it’s just a natural weapon for GI Joe’s extreme 90s vision of science fiction military action.

Now that we’re done with the basics, let’s figure out how well a former Eco Warrior translates into an “Astro-Infantry Trooper.”

1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)

First off, he just doesn’t. Ozone is not an infantry guy, whether it’s in space or on the Earth. That specialty just does not make sense for him. If you look at this 93 Star Brigade version’s file card, you’ll note that his military specialties are the same as the Eco Warrior’s versions. He’s an environmental health specialist and a chemist. The Star Brigade file card pretty much sums him up like his Eco Warriors file card did, but focuses a little bit more on how he likes brutalizing assorted Cobranauts. Fair enough.

It makes sense for Countdown to be in Star Brigade. It makes sense for Payload to be in Star Brigade, and the Eco Warriors Barbecue mold makes a pretty convincing spacesuit. The 91 Hawk mold works as an astronaut too, so slapping a Roadblock head on that body is just fine– Roadblock is a dude you want on your team no matter what environment you’re fighting in. If you’re going to throw a random guy into Star Brigade, you could do worse than Sci-Fi, as well. Though I’ll still say that using Sci-Fi as a pilot makes no god damn sense whatsoever.

1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)

With Ozone, the connection to space is a bit less clear. But I actually think he works well as an astronaut, and not just in the sense that the figure looks like he’s wearing a spacesuit.

Ozone is a scientist. Many real world astronauts are scientists. Ozone understands atmospheric and chemical science, which would make him an asset to any team operating in space. Contrast that with Duke, who knows how to fire a rifle and call people “lazy maggots” in 12 different languages, and you can see which guy is more qualified for Star Brigade.

And, honestly, I’m glad Star Brigade got at least one scientist hero. Countdown and Payload are both space pilots and experienced astronauts, so they need to be there. Roadblock and Heavy Duty supply the heavy firepower. Robo-JOE is a cyborg so sure he can be in space, why not. Sci-Fi has a name that sounds like he should be in space, and he was probably chosen for his codename alone. He can also shoot a laser gun, which is probably an asset.

1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)

But, if you’re operating in space, you need someone who understands the science behind how your spacesuit works and how you’re getting oxygen. You need someone who understands gravity perfectly. You need a guy who can tell you why your plan won’t work because Earth and space are not the same thing.

So, in that regard, I think Ozone works very nicely as a member of Star Brigade.

As an added bonus, Ozone’s color scheme looks quite good alongside 1993 Countdown, 1993 Roadblock, Armor Tech Duke, Armor Tech Rock n Roll, and a variety of other more science fiction-themed GI Joe toys.

1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)

And, of course, you can still use this Ozone figure as an Eco Warrior. He brings a more muted, military color scheme to the figure which works in a variety of earthbound environments. The tan version in particular makes for a pretty good desert operative.

Even if you don’t see Ozone as an astronaut, these are still very useful GI Joe toys.

Also, this figure is hella cool and I’m glad Hasbro released it in these colors. The end.

Overall: 1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade) is a very nice figure. The colors on both versions are good, the head sculpt is fantastic, and the helmet is world-class. The accessories are nothing to write home about, but they’re pretty good and work with a wide variety of other Joes. This is also a common and affordable figure. Both versions of 1993 Ozone are Recommended.

Additional Resources:

Closing Thoughts on 1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)

1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)

Thanks for joining me! Next week a special guest will be taking a look at a very special Ozone. I can’t wait.

And yes, I know Ozone’s name and head sculpt were based on a Hasbro employee that shares the character’s file name. Fun stuff.

Anyway, what do you think of Star Brigade Ozone? Does he work as an astronaut? Do you even like the character in the first place? Let me know in the comments!

5 thoughts on “1993 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade) Review

  1. Sam

    Doesn’t the gray/blue/red version look like a Cobra trooper, at least with his helmet on? The Cylon-Viper? The V.E.N.O.M. Viper? I may consider buying/army building this guy now. Good review. My imagination is exploding with ideas now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome action photos on this one, the close up of him with the shotgun in particular is really striking. I love the dark center mass on that one, with the strong key and just a sliver of rim light on the left side, it really shows off the forms of his helmet, which tends to photograph a little flatly in even light. Great stuff! I also love the green gun you paired with that one Astro Viper, the way it matches his helmet glass is so spot on, inspired choice.

    He’s such a great figure – I love how his sleeve chevrons pair up with the segmentation of his armor bikini, and how the grenades keep that rhythm going right down the torso, just awesome stuff. It gives him such a unique look too, it was so rare for a figure to really pull off that continuous uniform jump suit look without breaking up the waist with a belt or something. With Ozone, the break really doesn’t bother me and he looks great. That red, blue and silver combo for his helmet is luscious, I find myself constantly dipping into that color scheme for full face helmets or robot heads when I’m designing things for work and I know damn well it’s because of this figure.

    I’m excited to talk Ozone! hopefully i don’t spend everything I have to say on this first comment, but since this is the one I have, it’s the one that’s going to conjure the most to share.

    I kinda “got lucky” in so far as, the only Eco-Warriors I had were Flint and Clean-Sweep, who didn’t make it into Star Brigade, but I wanted the whole team so I was excited to get this second chance to get Ozone. He’s probably the best example I have of a character that was nearly *always* involved in some kinda plot I was playing, but rarely ever the star. So, I was initially more excited to use him as an extra Eco-Warrior because for a good while I didn’t have any space themed Cobras for him to fight. Because I had the grey suited figure and he has that excellent beard, he reminded me of both Breaker and Mainframe, which netted him a comfortable job as “computer room guy” finally keeping SSF Psyche-Out and TBC Hawk company. Sometimes, he and Clean-Sweep would do science together and come up with antidote, or new toxic clean-up spray, whatever was necessary just in time as it was needed. But even if he wasn’t cleaning up doing big science, he was often still the guy there to answer calls for help, and man a defense if the Headquarters was attacked and everyone else was away.

    Even when I did get more Star Brigade stuff and Kenner Aliens, I still tended to use him more in this role I had come up with. But, now as a smarter adult, I think his inclusion in Star Brigade was pretty smart. Like you said, it’s good to have a real science specialist on the team, and I think he makes a lot of sense as kind of a health monitor, checking everyone’s oxygen levels, analyzing atmospheric conditions and all that jazz. Still, I really value him as a science hero. I’m glad a sub-team specific character was able to make the jump into another sub-team, which is a pretty rare accomplishment. I’d love to see a take on him as a “regular” character unburdened by branding, just to increase the odds of him swinging by on his own.

    Thanks for this one! I’m really looking forward to getting a good luck at the decos of this figure I’m less intimate with in the coming weeks, especially next week if I guessed the guest correctly!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So, Ozone was my first Star Brigade figure. Found him at a KB Toy Works for $2.00 in 1995 or 1996. (Probably 1995.) His helmet made him the pilot I had always wanted. And, once I had the Razorblade, Ozone died a thousand “Star Wars” deaths as his chopper was blown to bits by various AGPs and drones.

    Not sure why I’ve never looked at him, though. Need to do that one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. love this figure a lot still have yet to pick one up. I agree that the helmet is fantastic and reminds a lot of master chief from the halo series but I must say its always a constant battle in my mind between his helmet and wetsuit v4 and blast offs helmet. if only they made ozones helmet in orange too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah man Ozone was my TOP FAVORITE, back in the day! It began with his Eco version, but his o-ring snapped and we didn’t know how to fix it back then, so we buried him in my friend’s front garden (might still be there, for all I know).

    After that, my friend got the Star Brigade one (gray) and I used him every time I came over. We had an ongoing space story, so I used Ozone and my friend used Star Brigade Countdown. We did a lot of heavy Alien vibes with our stories, and often times they ended just because we freaked each other out (we did most of the stories in the basement, so it wasn’t tough to do). Funny thing is that our “Alien” was most often a purple koosh ball. I had planned a joke around that, but I didn’t take any pictures and here we are. I AM ASHAMED.

    Liked by 1 person

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