(Editor’s Note: It’s the final installment of Ozone October, and I am once again joined by my main dude Cody. Cody is also known as CorpsCommanderCody on the toy-related social medias. This is an extra special review of an elusive figure, all tied together with a heartfelt personal story. So please follow Cody on Instagram and Twitter and then bask in the glory of The Final Ozone.)
Article and Photos by CorpsCommanderCody
Prelude to 1994 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)
1994 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade) Review
Where do I begin with this review of Ozone? If you’ve been following us this far, I’m sure you’re well aware of his specialties, equipment, general sculpt details, use in universe, all of that jazz.
I think I’ll just use this article to espouse how much I love this figure. It’s the really great figure Ozone in a very good color- RED! Or crimson, as he’s most commonly known in the fanbase. I once read about the science of colors and the emotions they can evoke in us. It said that red was scientifically the sexiest color, and I’ve come to accept this as fact. I mean, just look at this guy. His figure is striking, and the gold, yellow and black highlights are fun to see as well. They complement the figure and give him an “elite” sort of feel to him, at least in my eyes. Ozone in blue was the initial recruit, Ozone got a more neutral regulation uniform for his induction into Star Brigade, and now he finally has custom duds that reflect his place high on the alien (and Cobra) blastin’ leaderboards.
His face is still the same familiar scowl we all love and his accessories are the same as well- but in a nice silver plastic! The silver isn’t just a color change- it’s also sparkly! You can tell in the photos where I got him in the sun- these have an additional swirly sort of mix inside (It’s especially prominent on the shotgun stock). It reminds me of the camouflage style that Hasbro would try on the early 2000s GI Joe vs Cobra figures. Maybe they were just beginning to experiment with paint mixes when the line ended that year and then picked it up when they returned.
Anyways, enough about those divisive figures! I’m talking about the bad boy Ozone! The real deal, the fearless scientist soldier who isn’t afraid to shove a laser cannon in the maw of a rampaging alien! I can’t begin to express how much I love this guy. This is the one figure that brings me the most joy whenever I look at or do something with it.
I think part of that has to do with this being the hardest figure to find I’ve acquired so far. In my collecting speed run from like 2019-present, I’ve been able to pretty much search and find whatever I was interested in- Night Force, Tiger Force both US and UK exclusives , Steel Brigade, Payload, Funskool figures, post 1994 figures, even some convention figures! Anyone at any time was usually selling one of these types of guys. But the one figure I couldn’t find for sale ANYWHERE I looked was the damn crimson Ozone. My eBay alerts were set like a hunter placing his traps for his expensive plastic quarry.
This figure eluded me, and it made me want him all the more. I went to so many obscure figure selling sites for the hopes I found some dreg of the internet where he was actually listed for sale. He would commonly be seen in his packaging, scowling at me from the bubble, and those red words saying SOLD OUT. I even went on Etsy for Christ’s sakes, where figures are listed for exorbitant prices in fairly bad condition by people who just think “ah! It’s 80’s and therefore rare and worth a lot.”
I asked around on the main ARAH Facebook group for help, and one guy said there was a toy store in Denver (I think) that had it and, he posted a photo of their display case. Of course, this store doesn’t sell online and refused to ship. Wonderful! Then another guy messaged me, saying he would be willing to help me purchase it as he would be visiting the same store. I forget exactly what happened next but I think I didn’t get my response to him in time before he left the store and I wasn’t able to get them. It would have also been rather expensive and leaving my fate in a stranger’s hands so I was rather reluctant to do so.
Then, I got a lead from a guy that someone named Tracy had a toy store and had one for sale, so I messaged him. Turns out, Tracy’s store is only an hour and a half from my house (though not being able to drive still makes this fairly far).
He was genial and understanding and offered the figure, mint on card, for an excellent price. I jumped on it. He shipped it! I waited in anticipation- for like 5 days. No fault of his, I know, but those 5 days were agonizing. I figured I could have walked there by that time. I think certainly would have if I could get time off work.
But then one day, he was here. I finally had him! I carefully opened him (because I’m the guy keeping MOC prices high, I guess) and I was ecstatic. I was messing him with on my work break and when I went to bend one of his knees, POP! One of his thighs broke off a little piece just above the knee swivel joint, and I carefully glued it back into place. It allows for a lot of movement but it can’t bend 90 degrees (hell, it does better than the recent Hasbro Pulse Cobra Officer), which is a shame. Then, I noticed that the figure developed a crack in one of his arms shortly after opening. I had heard from several sources that the plastic on these figures can be brittle, but jeez! I don’t know if I was especially cursed or if this is all Crimson Ozones, but be careful with them.
I think the reason this figure still holds me in such feelings of awe and wonder is the elusiveness of finding him and the trials I’ve had owning him. I can’t deny it’s been tense pretty much every step of the way, but that’s part of the excitement. It’s kind of twisted to think, but imagine that you get a figure that comes in perfect condition and you never worry about it ever. From a certain perspective, that’s kind of boring! Ozone is definitely the sort of character who won’t be “boring”- this man is on to another project, another battle, another mission, every chance he can get.
Honestly, I would buy 10 more of this figure if I could- or hell, at least one more so I didn’t worry so much about the one I do have. I list him as Highly Recommended. Your mileage may vary because of the cost and everything, but this is the one Joe figure that makes me feel magic every time I look at it. All of the Tiger Force, Night Force and all the other FORCES I own don’t do that. Maybe you just have to find your one figure that does that for you, and I think this one is mine.
The lesson you should take away from this October is that every Ozone is great. Blue, beige, gray and crimson- they are all a great figure in a variety of different flavors for people of all different tastes. I mean, if you hate the 90’s you’re probably out of luck with that, but in that case, why are you here on this site of all places?? Regardless, Ozone is an awesome figure from the later part of the series that should be appreciated more. Don’t believe us? Find one and try him out for yourself!
Closing Thoughts on 1994 GI Joe Ozone (Star Brigade)
Much like the Funskool version, this is a bucket list figure for me. I love seeing this toy in action in so many great photos and my need has increased even more.
Thanks for joining Cody and I for Ozone October, too. We had a blast and we hope you did as well.
Did you ever find 1994 GI Joe Ozone in stores? Have you ever owned one? Have you ever had a coveted figure break on you within the first day of owning it? What’s your “holy grail” GI Joe figure? Let us know in the comments!