1993 GI Joe Deep Six (Mail Away)

1993 GI Joe Deep Six (Mail Away) Review

Hey look, it’s another review I photographed last summer. That means we’re getting to the end of my backlog and I should probably figure out a way to take more GI Joe photos.

But that’s a problem for Future Dustin.

Today, let’s bask in the glow of the Neon Past and spend some quality time with Deep Six version 4, a Mail Away figure from 1993.

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1993 GI Joe Street Fighter 2 Chun-Li

1993 GI Joe Street Fighter 2 Chun-Li Review

Hey, remember that little backlog of photos I mentioned? I decided to finally do a review with some of those photos. Now, please remain calm and don’t rush to congratulate me all at once.

Today we’re looking at one of the most unpopular figures in the entire vintage GI Joe toy line, who also represents one of the most popular fictional characters in the entire world. That’s right! We’re looking at 1993 GI Joe Street Fighter 2 Chun-Li.

That’s a bit of a mouthful, but it is her official title. Well, actually ‘The Strongest Woman in the World’ is her official title, but ‘1993 GI Joe Street Fighter 2 Chun-Li’ is her official Hasbro title.

And boy oh boy, does this toy have ‘1993 Hasbro’ written all over it in shocking blue and yellow.

Let us proceed.

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1993 GI Joe Ice Snake

1993 GI Joe Ice Snake Gallery and Quick Review

1993 GI Joe Ice Snake

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.

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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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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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1993 GI Joe Long Arm

1993 GI Joe Long Arm Review

1993 GI Joe Long Arm

There’s no guest review today. Instead, it’s a half-guest review. Today, I’m joined by my friend Eric aka Alexx aka Toys and Tomfoolery. You probably know him already. You can visit his website (which he’ll update any day now), or check out his very active Instagram, which features so much good stuff I couldn’t even possibly describe it. He photographs every good toy line you can think, gives exhaustive rundowns of entire toy series, creates funny comics, and just shares his stunning art with the world. I am a big fan.

Eric acquired 1993 GI Joe Long Arm recently, so I asked him if he wanted to do a collaborative review. I’m not sure if he regrets it now, but he said yes. I took about 8 photos or so, but the rest are all Eric. You can tell which are which, I’m sure.

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1993 Gundam MS in Pocket

1993 Gundam MS in Pocket Review (Zolo, Zoloat, Contio)

(Editor’s Note: Today’s review comes from Nekoman, proprietor of The Viper Pit. You might have noticed the link in my sidebar before now. Nekoman is a person whose writing and photography I respect immensely. He’s one of the rare GI Joe enthusiasts who’s younger than I am, and I enjoy reading his perspectives on the toy line and how it influenced him growing up. If you haven’t read the Viper Pit and you’re hungry for more GI Joe content, then get started immediately. Today’s post, though, isn’t GI Joe related at all. It’s even better!)

Review and Photos by Nekoman

Japanese 90‘s toys are an interesting thing in the ways that both eastern and western cultures overlap and diverge. In some ways I feel like Victory Gundam represents a similar take on the edgy and extreme stuff from the 90‘s, like Unlimited Carnage, just by way of Gundam. Of course, I would also tell you that Victory Gundam has aged about a thousand times better than anything from Marvel in the 90‘s, but that’s probably because I’m less keen on comics, and very much more of a weaboo, so… yeah bias and stuff.

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1993 Transformers Generation 2 Axelerators and Skyscorchers

1993 Transformers Generation 2 Axelerators and Skyscorchers Review

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from my good friend Video Dracula, whose work you can find on Instagram and Twitter. His writing about Transformers from many eras, and the accompany photographs, are quite stunning and brilliantly formatted. Give him a follow on Instagram if you like this review!)

Review and Photos by Video Dracula

Hi, I’m Dracula! You may remember me from such films as The Monster Squad and Santo and Blue Demon vs. Dracula and the Wolf Man. These days I mostly post on Instagram about Transformers. 

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1993 Transformers Generation 2 Minibots

1993 Transformers Generation 2 Minibots Review

1993 Transformers Generation 2 Minibots

Thanks to my friend Battle Armor Dad for contributing to this review!

You asked your mom for an Optimus Prime, but you got a Bumblebee instead. This happened for 2 reasons:

  1. You’re a little shit
  2. Despite working two jobs, it’s much easier for your mom to afford a Bumblebee than an Optimus Prime 

The year was 1984. Or was it 1993? 

The phenomenon of getting “the little ones” (or Minibots, or Mini-Vehicles) as gifts is something that unites both 80s kids and 90s kids. Even if the older generation is still mad about smokestack sizes and newer Megatron toys being allowed inside of airports, it’s hard for them to not empathize with our shared plight. 

If you were into Transformers in the 80s and 90s, chances are you had the Minibots. They were cool, charming, and affordable, which made them appeal to our overworked, underpaid parents. 

Unless you were a rich kid. If so, this post is not for you. Go invest in a failing brick and mortar video game store, waste your money on some poser-ass Kings of Leon adult contemporary crypto MP3s, enjoy your inherited success, and come back for the next review. 

This Transformers Generation 2 Minibots review is for the real ones. 

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GI Joe Weapons Trees

GI Joe Weapons Trees Were Good, Actually

GI Joe Weapons Trees

Thank you for attending my TED Talk.

In 1993 and 1994, many GI Joe figures came with “weapons trees,” which were multiple, reused weapons from earlier figures attached to a plastic sprue. They were all molded in one color, and very often made no sense for the character they were packed with. This often meant your brand new figure would be brandishing Rock Viper’s oversized sniper rifle in dark purple or neon green– hardly the “realistic” weaponry GI Joe fans of the 1980s (and early 90s!) expected to come with their military action figures. 

But I’m here to tell you that these weapons trees were just as much of a blessing as they were a curse. Even if you’re currently balling up your fists and loading up photos of 1985 Snake Eyes to remind yourself of the “Good Ol’ Days” right now because the very thought that weapons trees might be somehow positive makes your brain vomit a little bit, just bear with me. 

Because, once upon a time, I hated them, too. That’s right– as an unabashed fan of 1990s GI Joe, even I wasn’t always on board with weapons trees. As I became an adult and began collecting ARAH-style Joes again, though, I realized how much I actually used those weapons as a kid, and how valuable they really were to me. 

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