1992 GI Joe Headquarters

1992 GI Joe Headquarters Review

1992 GI Joe Headquarters Review

Today I’m joined by my friend Nekoman, purveyor of the Viper Pit. If you’re not following his work, you should be. He takes some of the best GI Joe photos (and toy photos in general) around, and his reviews are perfect blasts of fun, nostalgia, and insight. He’s one of my favorite people in the online action figure community. You can also find him on Instagram and Twitter.

He suggested today’s collaborative review, which I’m very excited about. Today we’re taking a look at the 1992 GI Joe Headquarters, which has an exalted place in both of our hearts.

Nekoman also took every single photo featured in today’s review, which should earn him a hero’s wage. But this is the internet, so that really just means this review will be stolen by some aggregator site like ToyFarts.ru so they can make money off of Cialis ads.

But really, every single one of you owes Nekoman a Shasta Cola. And I owe him upwards of three Shasta Colas, which I will never financially recover from.

On with the review!

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LEGO 1999

The State of LEGO in 1999 (And Russian Funskool Budo)

LEGO is probably my favorite toy line of all time. It’s definitely the one I’ve spent the most time with, too. I haven’t written about it much on this website yet, though. In time and when/if things get back to normal for me, I actually have a few sets to review. Until then, I wanted to talk about a weird, dreary year for LEGO that had a pretty profound affect on me.

But since most of you are here for GI Joe, we’ll do some of that, too. So today we’ll take an in-depth look at Russian Funskool Budo and talk about the state of LEGO in 1999.

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1998 Transformers Beast Wars Transmetals McDonald's Happy Meal Toys

1998 Transformers Beast Wars Transmetals McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys

That’s a hell of a title, wouldn’t you agree? But sometimes when multiple brands get involved with a cheap piece of plastic, there are layers upon layers. These are McDonald’s toys, which are Happy Meal toys. These are Beast Wars toys, which are Transformers toys. These are Transmetals, which are Beast Wars toys. It’s like an onion before it gets chopped and dehydrated into McDonald’s flavor crystals. 

Surprisingly, my Beast Machines Happy Meal Toy review is one of the most enduring and popular posts on this entire website. That means y’all like transforming fast food toys. So I’m happy to give you more. Today, we’ll be taking a look at McDonald’s second try at the Transformers Beast Era. 

So, say it with me– it’s time for 1998 Transformers Beast Wars Transmetals McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys. 

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1993 GI Joe Star Brigade Destro

1993 GI Joe Star Brigade Destro Review

1993 GI Joe Star Brigade Destro

The 1992 Destro is iconic for people of a certain age. The 1992 series of GI Joe was great like that. For kids of the time, the toy line served up great versions of Destro, Cobra Commander, Duke, Storm Shadow, Roadblock, Hawk, Stalker, Wet-Suit, Spirit, and Gung Ho. They were recognizable, cool, and forward-thinking. That 1992 Destro looked like he stepped right out of a Sunbow cartoon rerun. Every kid who was into GI Joe at the time wanted one. 

The 1993 GI Joe Star Brigade Destro figure, on the other hand, is not iconic. In 1993, Hasbro branched out in many different directions with GI Joe and blazed some new trails. It wasn’t always successful, and sometimes the iconography got lost in the shuffle. In an attempt to keep up with other toy lines and pop culture trends, some strange choices were made. 

I was a kid in 1993, though, and was not burdened by the jaded Joe collector mindset. I experienced Armor Tech Destro at a prime toy-loving age, but I still had some opinions on the figure. Obviously I’m going to share my past and present opinions in this review, but I’m going to dig a little deeper than “THIS BIG SPACEMAN ISN’T A REAL GI JOE.” 

Just a little. 

Armor Tech figures are widely hated by older fans because of their reduced articulation. But what did 7-12 year olds think of these toys at the time? I can answer that question. 

There’s a full review here, too, of course. And a special little surprise you’ll just have to click through to see. 

Let’s get to it. 

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1994 Exosquad Livanus with Troop Transport E-Frame

1994 Exosquad Livanus with Troop Transport E-Frame Review

1994 Exosquad Livanus with Troop Transport E-Frame

This review has been at least three years in the making. Maybe more. I’ve been working on it on and off since my Rita Torres review, but made only a little progress here and there until a couple weeks ago. Mostly, this toy is big and slightly hard to photograph. Or so I thought. I kind of psyched myself out– it’s actually not hard to photograph at all. I think I was just making excuses for myself.

Some of the photos in this review are old and probably not up to the “quality” of images I produce now, but I’m going to leave them in here to show how long I’ve been working on this thing. 

I also want to dedicate this review to my friend Barry B., who’s been politely asking for it ever since that Rita Torres review. Thanks for your near-infinite patience, Barry!

Without further chatter, let’s take a look at the 1994 Exosquad Livanus with Troop Transport E-Frame. 

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Russian Funskool Airtight and King’s Quest VI

Hi there! Today I’ve prepared a special Funskool GI Joe treat for you. I’m also going to wax nostalgic about a video game. I’ve never written about video games before, so we’ll see how that goes.

I have a full review coming up for you on Thursday. It’s a huge one, too, and is over three years in the making. It’s not GI Joe related, but I think most of you will be into it.

So let’s get to the reason why you’re here (Airtight) before the part you’ll skip over (King’s Quest).

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1990 GI Joe Freefall

1990 GI Joe Freefall Review

(Editor’s Note: Today’s review comes from my friend Scott, who has some great insights on GI Joe. Beyond being knowledgeable about toys, Scott is an artist, animator, game developer, and pixel art enthusiast. He’s profiling a figure that was a childhood favorite of both mine and his own. I always enjoy talking to Scott about toys, and I think he dives deeper into some aspects of GI Joe than I ever could. You can find Scott on Twitter as AnimatedTako to read more of his toy musings, see more of his art and photos, and read his thoughts on fighting games.)

Review and Photos by Scott

Freefall felt like a good place for me to start thinking about action figures critically not just because of the obvious leap of faith association I could draw to reviewing a paratrooper, but because I literally cannot remember a time where I was aware of G.I.Joe before Freefall. He and Topside were my first two figures, and most of my strongest early memories of the first house I lived in are framed around the adventures those figures had. Topside was my first figure, selected by my Dad because his first G.I.Joe was also nautically themed, a 60’s Action Sailor. 

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Black Major Tiger Force Snake Eyes

Black Major Tiger Force Snake Eyes

Today we’re taking a look at the Black Major Tiger Force Snake Eyes figure, which is probably more accurately a Tiger Force Invasor figure. There’s a lot to unpack with that.

But, I’ll be honest with you– this article is mostly just an excuse for me to voice my opinions about the 1985 Snake Eyes mold. And, to a lesser extent, my opinions of the wild world of Black Major Snake Eyes repaints. 

This isn’t a full review or anything, and I’m also not going to give this figure a rating. I just wanted to get some thoughts out onto the digital page.

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1991 Trash Bag Bunch

1991 Trash Bag Bunch: The Sickest Six

(Editor’s Note: Today’s review comes courtesy of my friend Mild Weasel, who you can find on Instagram. Mild Weasel is a long time friend– we’ve bonded over weird toys, weird comics, and weird music. I have absolutely no familiarity with the subject of his article, Galoob’s Trash Bag Bunch, which is why I’m extra excited to host it! Just look at these malevolent screwballs! And by the way, Mild Weasel is the toy collecting alias of Ben Jeddrie, who Instagrams and Twitters as @zyblonius about many other things also.)

Article and Photos by Mild Weasel

For those of you less familiar, the Trash Bag Bunch are a pretty spectacular line of toys. Sold on blister cards, you would open the pack to take out a sealed amd branded plasticky foil bag. Within that was a papery pouch, resembling the titular “Trash Bag”. This would then be submerged in water, wherein it would dissolve while a hidden seltzer tab would bubble and foam. Reaching into this toxic sludge, you would find a surprise toy! And it was most often pretty dope. Here are a few of my very favourites:

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