Transformers Generation 2 Go-Bots and RID Spychangers

Robot Hot Wheels: Transformers Go-Bots, Spychangers, and Beyond

Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars always seem to do good business. Those tiny, free-rolling little 1:64 scale cars are everywhere and I assume they always have been. Hot Wheels and other assorted cars are some of the first toys I remember having as a kid. They’re cheap and they’re sold at grocery stores, drug stores, toy stores, and basically any retail location you can think of. They’re a perfect impulse buy toy for just about any kid.

They’re popular with adults, though, too. If you know anyone who’s worked as a retail cashier, they will tell you that they absolutely dread having a “Hot Wheels guy” come through their checkout line. These dudes sometimes yell at cashiers for even touching their toy car’s packaging or putting them in a bag too roughly. They’re dead serious about tiny toy cars.

Transformers Generation 2 Go-Bots and RID Spychangers

I’m not sure how well Hot Wheels were selling in 1995, but Hasbro obviously wanted to eat at least some of Mattel’s lunch. Hot Wheels appeal to kids, serious adult collectors, and basically everyone else. So Hasbro wanted a piece of the pie.

In 1995, Hasbro released the Transformers Generation 2 Go-Bots sub-line– an assortment of 1:64 cars, done in the Hot Wheels and Matchbox style, with through-axle construction that made them compatible with most Hot Wheels race tracks and accessories. They also transformed into cute little robots.

They were a pretty obscure and forgotten part of Transformers G2 until the Japanese Car Robots toy line came along, which was imported to the West as Robots in Disguise in 2001.

The original Go-Bots molds became the Spychangers for RID, which is how most people remember these fun little toys.

Today we’re going to take a look at every single Go-Bots and Spychangers mold and explore exactly what makes these cheap, simple toys so much fun. That’s right– this is another big post. So fasten your seatbelt (or don’t, I’m not a cop), pour some wine into a Diet Coke can, and get ready for a long, twisty ride.

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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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1987 GI Joe Steel Brigade

1987 (or 88?) GI Joe Steel Brigade Review

(Editor’s Note: Today I have the pleasure of bringing you another post from Ross Sewage. You may know Ross from his toy photos on Instagram and Twitter.

You may also know him from his blogwhere he shares in-depth guides on repairing and customizing electronics and music gear. Or, it’s possible that you know him as a member of Exhumed and Impaled

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

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1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes Review

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.

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

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.

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1998 The Corps! Bio-Wing Battle Squadron Kash Kobra

1998 The Corps! Bio-Wing Battle Squadron Kash Kobra

Today we’re going to keep it simple and look at a fun, brightly colored toy. I’ll go over all of the basics about the figure and its accessories and provide plenty of photos. We’ll do it in that same gallery/quick review style I use for most small GI Joe vehicles.

So while you’ll probably learn everything you want to know about the toy, this won’t be a full review. I just don’t have it in me right now. But we can still have fun anyway.

Let’s take a look at the 1998 The Corps! Bio-Wing Battle Squadron Kash Kobra. He’s green and yellow and fun all over.

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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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