(Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from my good friend Cody, who has reviewed a few Corps! figures for this website in the past. Today Cody is gifting us a GI Joe review, which is extra exciting. Please check Cody out on Instagram to find some frankly amazing custom figures. I appreciate the hell out of you, Cody!)
Today we’re looking at another vehicle. I’ve wanted to write about the 1993 GI Joe Ice Snake for quite a while, since it was an important childhood vehicle for me. It’s also a really nice piece, especially for a late-line vehicle. The design is good, the colors are appropriate, the features are fun, and it’s a really nice addition to the Cobra snow fleet. I think most GI Joe fans would be pretty on board with this one.
We’ll take a look at the vehicle from every possible angle, see how it works with various figures, and go over all of its features and gimmicks.
This particular Ice Snake was given to me by my friend Barry. I’m still very grateful he sent it my way, as I find it’s one of my most-used Cobra vehicles. I love taking photos of it, posing different figures on and around it, and even playing with it. Thanks, Barry!
Let’s start with the basics and a couple little photo galleries.
I’m very excited about this post because Ross is sharing his childhood Steel Brigade figure with us, including the original paperwork. We’re guessing he mailed away for it in 1987, but it’s hard to say. Please limit yourself to an acceptable level of pedantry.)
Review and Photos by Ross Sewage
During the early months of the pandemic lockdown in 2020, I ventured to an army/navy store out in the suburbs. They were open by appointment only and everyone wore a mask, which was nice. I wish people were still wearing masks more often.
This wasn’t an army surplus store, really. They did have some surplus gear and clothing, but they were more specialized in memorabilia and other military ephemera. Among their offerings were some 12” GI Joe figures they were trying to get rid of. Their customers really weren’t interested in dolls, which came as a surprise to the owner, who was an avid collector of 60s and 70s GI Joe toys. The owner had an entire shelf full of 90s Hall of Fame GI Joe toys in the attic, along with some 90s Action Man toys. I bought all of them for a nice price and he was very happy to let them go.
I was interested in the lot both because I really liked the Hall of Fame line as a kid and because these toys aren’t very well documented on the internet. I wanted to be the person to document them. So here’s my first go at it.
This review won’t contain any “action photos” like my normal reviews do. I’m not Mark Hogancamp from Marwencol and I haven’t really figured out how to make convincing action photos of 12” army dolls just yet.
Hopefully this will be useful and entertaining anyway, though. And hopefully we’ll slowly make it through the rest of these unloved figures, as well.
Hi everyone. It’s been a bit since I’ve written something, so I thought I’d do something easy. Of course whenever I set out to do something easy, it always ends up being a ton of work and taking way longer than I anticipated.
I’m kind of in the process of selling my Modern Era GI Joe collection, so I thought I’d spend some more time with them before they go. That’s where I got the idea for this post. I also thought that maybe if I spent some more time with them then I’d want to keep them. That didn’t end up being the case. I did not have fun taking photos and posing figures for this post.
Still, I have to give Modern Era GI Joe figures some credit. Despite being fussy and fiddly, they are important to me. When the 25th Anniversary line hit in 2007, those figures ended up getting me back into GI Joe in a big way. I still loved my o-ring-style figures and never sold them off or got rid of them, but the 25th Anniversary line made me feel like a kid again. Over the years of collecting Modern Era Joe stuff, though, I realized the modern style’s limitations and turned back to o-ring figures.
As my friend RTG of Attica Gazette once said, “they’re generally good action figures, but they’re not generally good GI Joes.” And I agree. Despite the enhanced articulation, the range of motion is often bad. Accessories fall off and fall out of hands easily. You can’t just plunk them down on the table and expect them to stand up.
But still, they have their good points. And in this post I’m going to talk about 5 figures I’ll probably keep even when the rest make their way into someone else’s collection.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.