1992 GI Joe Shockwave (DEF)

1992 GI Joe Shockwave (DEF) Review

I am a total dummy and forgot yesterday was a “holiday.” So I spent my Thanksgiving cat-sitting, watching Roxette music videos, and heading over to a friend’s house to eat the cooking he spent all day on. He made this really good vegan puff-pastry thing with lentils and veggies in it, along with some killer mashed potatoes. I also tried Cheetos mac and cheese, which was slightly disappointing. So I took the day off.

That means we’re concluding Childhood Favorites Month on a Friday instead of my usual Thursday. Let’s blame the overeating holiday instead of me just totally spacing that there was a holiday at all.

Today, we’re taking a look at 1992 GI Joe Shockwave from the DEF sub-line, who is my final choice for this year’s Childhood Favorites. It was kind of a tough call, since so many figures fit that definition. But Shockwave won out. 

ON the surface, Shockwave v3 is a simple figure from a complicated sub-line. GI Joe’s War On Drugs was waged with more expensive carded figures, all of which included light-up spring-loaded missile launchers. The enemy figures in the sub-line were also actual drug dealers, which was kind of a unique thing for a sci-fi military toy line. I have mixed feelings on the whole thing.

I do not, however, have mixed feelings on the figure itself. Let’s kick open the doors (after we’ve obtained a proper warrant) and take a look at DEF Shockwave!

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1992 GI Joe Cobra Commander (Talking Battle Commanders)

1992 GI Joe Cobra Commander (Talking Battle Commanders) Review

1992 GI Joe Cobra Commander (Talking Battle Commanders)

As it turns out, your first time reviewing a Cobra Commander figure is kind of intimidating. The character is such a large presence in the world of GI Joe, and the franchise as we know it literally could not exist without him. There are also a ton of Cobra Commander action figures, each of which has large swaths of fans and detractors. People are passionate about used car salesman/terrorist John Lennon.

And so am I. That’s why it’s taken me so long to review a Cobra Commander figure. I want to get it right. 

Since this is Childhood Favorites Month, today we’re looking at the Cobra Commander from my childhood– the 1992 Talking Battle Commanders Cobra Commander. This figure was a huge part of my GI Joe world growing up, as it gave me a credible version of the terrorist leader I knew from the cartoons, commercials, and comic books. 

You can point out many flaws in this figure and I will objectively agree with you. But the figure is also iconic. And, for people of a certain age, nothing represents Cobra Commander better than the TBC figure. Plus, the colors are nice. 

Let’s hope I do this figure some justice. 

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1993 GI Joe Sonic Boom Tank

1993 GI Joe Sonic Boom Tank Gallery and Quick Review

Hi there. Today we’re doing another gallery post, but I’ll also provide some thoughts on the toy. We’re doing “childhood favorites” this month, which is mostly a thing I’m reserving for my main reviews on Thursdays. But we’ll make an exception for today’s Tuesday post. 

dragon-fortress-childhood-favorites-month

The Sonic Boom Tank, released in 1993 as part of GI Joe’s Street Fighter 2 sub-line, definitely counts as a childhood favorite. I didn’t own a ton of GI Joe vehicles as a kid. I did have some bigger pieces like the Crusader and Fort America, but only had a few small or medium sized vehicles. I got the Sonic Boom Tank in 1993 during a bout of chicken pox, and it became one of my most-used vehicles after that. It was really the most “traditional military” vehicle I had for GI Joe, so it kind of became the go-to vehicle for every mission. 

Before the SBT, I basically just had the Attack Cruiser, which I didn’t love even as a kid. The Crusader was obviously an amazing piece, but it wasn’t practical for ground missions. And, even though it saw a good amount of use, I couldn’t really wrap my head around Fort America as a kid. I was used to Transformers, which had convincing secondary/disguise modes, so a weird tank transforming into a nebulous Pile of Brown was a bit odd to me. That left the Sonic Boom Tank and, a little later on, the Mudbuster as my primary Joe vehicles for the last few years of the ARAH line. 

Let’s dive in and look at some pretty pictures.

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1991 GI Joe BAT

1991 GI Joe BAT Review

Today we’re continuing Childhood Favorites Month with a look at the single figure who made up the backbone of my Cobra army as a kid– the 1991 BAT v2. 

As with the other three figures I’m featuring this month, this one means a lot to me. I’ll try to be objective, but nostalgia has a strong hold over me when it comes to this black and neon android. 

Also note that I’ve included some fairly old photos in this review. Any time you see a BAT without a chest sticker, that’s an old photo. I wanted to include them both because they are amusing and because I want you to see what a 1991 BAT normally looks like– their lenticular chest stickers have almost all fallen off by now. 

Let’s run through the usual childhood stories, the review, and the comparisons. Join me after the break. 

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1992 GI Joe Ninja Force Storm Shadow

1992 GI Joe Ninja Force Storm Shadow Review

Every Thursday this month, I’ll be reviewing a favorite GI Joe figure from my childhood. One of the figures I played with the most. The figures who were a part of nearly every childhood adventure. The ones who got dragged through the dirt, flung off the jungle gym at the local park, left at Grandma’s house over the weekend, brought to school hidden in a backpack, and treated carelessly by a child’s unabashed adoration. 

Narrowing it down to only four figures is a daunting task, but I think I’ve figured it out. 

I’m starting with 1992 GI Joe Ninja Force Storm Shadow, who is the pinnacle of “childhood favorites.” This is not a popular figure, but it’s a figure that means the world to me. It was a total game changer that affected every single aspect of GI Joe for me. This figure was my first ninja hero in the GI Joe line. A legendary character. A former bad guy now fighting on the side of the angels. A hooded avenger in white, righting wrongs with an alabaster sickle and sword. 

I’ll do my best to acknowledge the figure’s shortcomings (and there are many) while also singing its praises and describing what it means to me. 

We’ll also discuss its ephemeral nature– nothing lasts forever, not even an iconic ninja warrior. 

Here is the mythical Ninja Force Storm Shadow in all of his flawed glory. 

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Every GI Joe Toy Line, Correctly Ranked

Every GI Joe Toy Line, Correctly Ranked

Today I’m ranking every GI Joe toy line. Well, within reason. There are some criteria or I’d go absolutely insane. 

Here are my (admittedly very loose and arbitrary criteria):

  1. The toy line was made by Hasbro itself (so no Hot Toys, Sideshow, Super7, or my beloved KRE-O)
  2. The toy line is related to the ARAH iteration of GI Joe (so no OG 12” Joes, Adventure Team, etc)
  3. No Fast Action Battlers, Micro Force, Combat Heroes, etc– I’d go crazy trying to catalog all of those weird side lines from the Modern Era 
  4. I’m not listing 3.75” and 12” figures from these lines separately, with one exception 

That’s it! I’m sure I’m still missing something and I probably screwed up some of the dates. But I promise I did a good bit of research and tried my best. 

Also, I have Very Good Taste in everything, but this is just my list. I’m sure yours would be different. But probably not that different! 

This is already going to be too wordy, so let’s just get to it, shall we?

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1995 GI Joe Sgt. Savage Battle Bunker

1995 GI Joe Sgt. Savage Battle Bunker Review

This is a review of the 1995 GI Joe Sgt. Savage Battle Bunker with Battle Command Sgt. Savage set. It’s properly billed as just ‘Battle Bunker,’ but I thought I’d mention the figure’s name at least once. I’m probably never typing that full thing again. 

This toy was given to me a couple years ago by my friend Pat, who has been featured and mentioned on this website many times. Thanks, Pat!

I finally got around to opening it this week, as I thought reviewing something completely new and different might help to stave off some amount of burnout. I’d never handled any Sgt. Savage toy before this one, so it seemed like it would at least be interesting. 

And what I found surprised me, at least a little bit. The “battle command” Sgt. Savage figure itself was pretty much what I expected, but the Battle Bunker itself is actually kind of exciting. 

This is a toy you don’t see around very often. You sometimes see the Sgt. Savage Grizzly SS-1, P-40 Warhawk, and IRON Panther around in photos. But this little bunker remains obscure, even though (as I found out) it’s perfectly compatible with ARAH-era GI Joe figures. 

If that doesn’t get you to click the ‘read more’ button below, then nothing will. 

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1991 GI Joe Septic Tank

1991 GI Joe Septic Tank Gallery and Quick Review

Hello there. Today I’ve prepared something small for you. It’s mostly a photo gallery, but I’ll also be sharing some brief thoughts on the toy with you.

The toy in question is the 1991 GI Joe Septic Tank, part of the Eco Warriors sub line. It’s not a toy I owned as a kid (though I did own the Eco Striker), but it is a toy I have an affinity for. It’s certainly not a popular toy– it’s probably one of the most hated items in the vintage ARAH GI Joe run. Most hated by people I generally don’t care to associate with, anyway.

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1994-1995 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Ninjas

1994-1995 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Ninjas Review

Today we’re looking at Hasbro’s Mortal Kombat Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Reptile, and Smoke from 1994. We’re also looking at the Mortal Kombat Movie Editions of Scorpion and Sub-Zero from 1995. They all use the exact same mold (with some cloth embellishments), so I figured I’d do them all in one go. Even if I spread them out over the course of a couple years, I feel like the reviews would get redundant. 

This post is meant as a resource as much as it’s meant as a review. There’s not a ton of good info out there on these, other than some grainy archival photos and eBay listings.

Plus, once you look at the mold, you probably know which figures you do or do not want. The colors are the main difference between the figures, and the accessories are pretty much generic. 

After you finish reading this, hopefully you’ll be able to choose your favorite flavor (it’s lime, right?) and frown really hard at eBay prices. 

Get over here!

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1990 GI Joe Sonic Fighters Viper

1990 GI Joe Sonic Fighters Viper Review

1990 GI Joe Sonic Fighters Viper

Last Sunday, my friend Mike T. (and a few other people) posted photos of various Vipers for the #CobraSunday hashtag on Instagram. These photos inspired me to take a Viper photo, and for some reason I decided on the 1990 Sonic Fighters version of the figure. The photo turned out okay and is embedded somewhere in this review.

But taking the photo made me remember how much this figure means to me and how it was a big part of my childhood. The years of 1990, 1991, and 1992 were my most formative GI Joe years. While I had several figures from before and after that time period, those years marked the time when I felt most aligned with the toy line and felt like it was being made specifically with my tastes in mind. 

There’s no shortage of content on this figure available on the web, but I wanted to throw my hat into the ring. Both because I have some history with the figure and because I think Sonic Fighters have an unearned bad reputation. People make fun of the “oversized backpacks” all the time, but those people likely weren’t kids when these toys came out. They’ve always looked at Sonic Fighters through adult eyes. 

Sonic Fighters and Super Sonic Fighters were a big part of my childhood GI Joe experience, though. They were sometimes the best way to get figures of older, legacy characters and they almost always had interesting colors and accessories. The Viper is no exception. 

No one says the Sonic Fighters Viper is a bad figure, but I do think they unfairly deride the figure’s gimmick and the SF sub-line as a whole. 

Here’s my opinion, based on both my childhood and the present day. 

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