In the 1990’s Funskool, an Indian company, licensed GI Joe from Hasbro. Using official molds, Funskool released their own ‘’GI Joe International Heroes’’ over the course of a decade and a half.
I first became aware of this line around 2005 when Smalljoes.com offered up several Funskool Joes at crazy terrific prices. I quickly bought some up. When I got them in hand, I realized why they were inexpensive. The card stock was thin causing the cards to bend, the blisters did not stay attached and the figures themselves were made from cheap plastic and had pretty awful paints apps.
Despite these flaws, the line grew on me as it was an opportunity to get some of my favorite characters at a fraction of the cost of the vintage ones. The line also offered up new looks for certain figures. Who doesn’t want Wild Bill in an orange flight suit? Funskool also afforded collectors a chance to troop build harder-to-find figures like Crimson Guard Immortal and Night Viper for a very reasonable cost. To top it all off, they also created new characters to collect like Skydiver and Supercop.
For all these reasons, I have grown to appreciate this line very much. When the 25th line rolled around, I purged my Funskool figures along with the rest of my o-ring Joes in favor of the new constructions figures.
I tackled this project for several reasons. First, I found myself wanting to add some of these characters and wacky colored figures to my collection. It started with just a few figures but, after doing some online research, I realized that there were several more interesting figures in the line. As the project grew, I was rummaging through my fodder bins and I decided to use up as much of my older 25th parts as I could.
In the last few years the RoC/PoC/30th/50th lines have raised the bar as far as sculpting and articulation. As such, I have been moving away from using older 25th anniversary fodder in favor of more modern parts for my customs. However, as I started bagging older parts to set them aside, I realized that I still have a lot. The modern parts banks is definitely superior, but the older 25th stuff, though dated, still holds a certain retro charm for me, so I started thinking about what I could do with it all. So, this project became a big ‘’Spare Parts Brigade’’.
Lastly, my life in the last year has been pretty hectic (in a good way thankfully) so this project was something I could come back to easily due to its simplicity.
So, tune in every Friday during October for new Funskool themed customs.