Note: This is not a full review. This simply a more in-depth look at the figures I profiled in my Russian Funskool GI Joe Jamboree post, and is intended as a resource for fans and collectors.
Updated 5/6/21: According to a source in a former Soviet country (who has also translated the card backs), the entire Russian run of Funskool GI Joe figures was released in 1998. The company who assisted in this release, Two Beetles (see their logo on the card back below), likely had a connection at Funskool. Aside from Chuckles, all Russian Funskool figures are nearly identical to their Indian counterparts– only the card backs were changed. Though these were reportedly only produced for a year, they can still be found in former USSR territories. As a fun side note, “beetle” is Russian slang for “swindler.”
Russian Funskool GI Joe Chuckles Figure and Accessories
The Russian Funskool GI Joe Chuckles was released sometime around in 1998. Interestingly, this figure was only released in the Russian market. No Indian Funskool Chuckles figures are known to exist.
From Mike T of Forgotten Figures:
“The two oddballs are Ripper and Chuckles. A store in India ordered an exclusive run of Ripper figures. (You could do that if you bought enough. I think the number was like 3,000 figures.) So, that got the Ripper mold into production for a short time. Only one American dealer got any, but they also appeared in this Russian set.
Chuckles never showed back up again on Indian cards in the 2000’s. It’s very weird that he ended up in the Russian set, but never on an Indian card. I’m guess that no store in India wanted to take a chance on a large lot of Chuckles figures. But, it shows that Funskool had the mold in the 2000’s and may have even kept it.“
Russian Funskool GI Joe Chuckles is based on Hasbro’s 1987 Chuckles figure. Only the plastic color, paint color, and plastic quality are different. Though the plastic quality is slightly lower, this is still a well-made figure.
The carded figure:
Note that the card back features all Russian text, including for the character names on the cress sell– this makes it very different than Indian Funskool cards.
The figure is similar to Hasbro’s 1987 Chuckles, but there are some key color differences. We will cover those more in-depth when we get to that comparison a little later. At a glance, though, you can tell this Russian Funskool GI Joe Chuckles uses a different blue than his Hasbro counterpart.
From the side:
Russian Funskool GI Joe Chuckles comes with a brown holster and a black pistol. The shoulder holster is made of a softer plastic, and fastens around the figure’s body with a tab and slot system. Russian Chuckles’ accessory loadout is the same as the Hasbro version’s.
I’ll note that is’s a huge pain in the ass to both equip and remove the holster.
Russian Chuckles All Geared Up:
Russian Funskool Chuckles retains all the same articulation and features that the original Hasbro figure had. The paint applications are also particularly crisp for a Funskool toy. As far as I can tell, Funskool Chuckles is not missing any paint applications present on the Hasbro version.
The figure holds its pistol nicely and the holster fits well. Though the plastic quality isn’t quite as good as what Hasbro used in 1987, this is a solid, high-quality GI Joe figure. I have absolutely no complaints about aesthetics or function.
Russian Funskool GI Joe Chuckles has a Hasbro brand stamp on his rear end, and no other date markings that I can find. It is slightly different than the country of origin stamp on the Hasbro version.
Russian Funskool GI Joe Chuckles Compared to 1987 Hasbro Chuckles
There are numerous color differences between the Russian Funskool GI Joe Chuckles and the 1987 Hasbro Chuckles, both obvious and subtle.
The figures from the front (L – Russian Funskool, R – Hasbro):
Russian Funskool Chuckles’ shirt is a deeper, richer blue than the Hasbro version’s, and his pants are also a darker green. His belt is slightly darker, as well, and his arm rivets are a much darker cobalt blue. The paint for his knife straps are lighter and his hair has a redder hue.
On the upper body, where the shirt is “unbuttoned,” Russian Chuckles features yellow instead of flesh tone. Although this was probably intended to be flesh tone to match the figure’s head and neck, it ends up looking like Chuckles is wearing a yellow undershirt beneath his festive tropical button-up. That probably was not what the designers and factory intended, but it still looks good.
From the side:
From the back:
Note the country of origin stamp– it’s different on each figure. Luckily, though, you can tell which figure is which at a glance without the need to look at any factory stamping.
I don’t have the Hasbro Chuckles’ accessories to compare them to the Russian Funskool version. From photos, it looks like the 1987 Chuckles’ holster might be a slightly lighter brown. The pistols are identical, as far as I can tell.
All ARAH-style versions of Chuckles:
Note that the 2007 Flaming MOTH Chuckles (right) has an entirely different head sculpt than the other two. This could be because Hasbro never got the original Chuckles mold back from Funskool after the Russian figure was released.
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