Sunday, 29 April 2018

#1015 Falcon





In 1987, I was getting out of Joes. From that year on, the only new figures that I got were Crazy Legs and Iron Grenadier a year later. I still played with my Joes from time to time however and still watched the cartoon when it was on. When I saw a commercial for the GI Joe Movie, I was thrilled. I eagerly sat down in front of my television set at the scheduled time and tuned in. When it was all done, I remember liking some parts, but not being impressed by others. The new character of Falcon fell into the latter category.

Since then, I have learned to appreciate the original figure for its realistic color scheme and fun accessories. Unfortunately, despite getting a few versions of the character in the last few years, I don’t consider any of them definitive. This is my attempt to fix that.

Head, beret, torso: 50th Falcon
Web gear, scarf: 25th Falcon
Arms: Retaliation Kwinn
Upper legs: Retaliation GI Joe Trooper
Lower legs: Retaliation Firefly

Friday, 27 April 2018

#1014 Alpine





I acquired Alpine in 1986. I was 9 at the time. My parents brought my sister and I on a day-trip to do some shopping across the border in the US. This did not happen often, so when it did, it was a treat. Short-Fuse, my first ever GI Joe was acquired during such a trip, and now it happened again. This time, the bounty was Alpine, Footloose, Snake Eyes v2, Snow Serpent and the Snow Cat with Frostbite. I was thrilled with my new additions to my team. I retrospect, these were among the last Joes I would get as a kid. I would get a few more figures, but the Snow Cat was my last vehicle. I was slowly growing out of them.

I loved Alpine. Everything from uniform colors and his accessories. He often scaled my bedroom dressers to attack secret Cobra bases on my shelves. He always found ways of bypassing enemy defenses thanks to his climbing gear.

The 25th figure is a very respectable effort for the time. However, it does have some aspects that could be improved on, so I started there.

Head, torso, upper arms, vest, gauntlets, backpack: 50th Alpine
Legs: PoC Cobra Trooper
Gun, grappling gun, grappling hooks: 1985 Alpine
Lower arms, hands: 30th Stalker

Monday, 23 April 2018

#1013 Hardball





By 1989, I was out of Joes and moving out of toys in general. However, I had not outgrown Halloween yet. That year, I dressed up as a Ghostbuster and made the rounds. One of our neighbors at the end of the street was a newspaper and magazine distributor. Rather than candy, they gave out comic books. I still remember getting 2 copies of GI Joe Special Missions 17 in my trick-or-treat bag that night. When I read it the first time, I remember thinking that I did not know any of these new Joes. Who were Muskrat, Hardball, Sneak Peek and Shockwave? Over the years, I have read and re-read that issue several dozen times and it remains a favorite of mine to this day.

Hardball was one of the new (to me) Joes in that issue and my attachment to this character comes solely from the comic since I never had his original figure. For my custom, I started with an older custom that I made several years ago during the early stages of the 25th line. I kept the torso and arms since they make a convincing baseball jersey. I updated the head and legs to modern standards and also splurged on the vintage accessories to tie my custom back to the original.

Head, hat: Marauder MTF
Torso: 25th Tomax/Xamot
Arms: Resolute Duke
Upper right leg: PoC Cobra Trooper
Upper left leg: Retaliation GI Joe Trooper
Lower legs: 50th Outback
Belt: 25th Rock & Roll
Weapon and backpack: vintage Hardball

Thursday, 19 April 2018

#1012 Snake Eyes V1






I don’t remember ever seeing Snake Eyes on store pegs and I never had the original figure as a kid. My memories of the character are mostly from the cartoon, especially the scene when he locks himself in the radioactive cave to save the other Joes. I also remember when he faces off against Kwinn in issue 12 of the original Marvel comic. That issue was one of only a few that I had as a kid.

Snake Eyes was not on the top of my list to update as we got the ultimate version of him during the Pursuit of Cobra line. However, that version differs quite a bit from his original 1982 look and I wanted my OG13 shelf to be consistent. The original figure had different legs from the rest of the Joes, so that was the only real difference in the custom recipe.

Head: POC Snake Eyes
Torso: Paris Pursuit Snake Eyes
Arms: DG Duke
Upper legs: DG Snake Eyes
Lower legs: 25th Flash
Web gear, satchel: 25th Snake Eyes
Weapon: POC Snake Eyes
Collar: POC Steel Brigade


... and my complete OG13...

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

#1010 Clutch and #1011 Scarlett

#1010 - Clutch









As a kid, I remember a friend on my street that had the VAMP and Clutch. We played GI Joes together often, so I got to play with his toys. Because of this, I never really wanted one of my own and my birthday and Christmas lists included other toys that I did not have. Clutch was a pretty important character in both the Sunbow series as well as the comic run and I remember him from both.

The 25th version was not bad at the time, but is dated now. He has a decent sized head; his boots are perfect for all OG13 characters and his vest is spot on for the vintage one. However, he suffers from Duke wrists and has a drab color. For my custom, I re-used the vest and changed out all the other parts to better match his vintage look. Marauder’s bearded head makes for the perfect Clutch and the vintage helmet fits perfectly on it as well.

Head, hands: Marauder MTF
Torso, legs: DG Duke
Arms: Retaliation Ultimate Flint
Vest: 25th Clutch
Helmet: Vintage Battle Gear



#1011 - Scarlett




I never had a Scarlett figure when I was a kid and I don’t remember seeing her in stores either. My attention was focused on the army men type figures like Grunt, Zap and Short-Fuze and figures with cool accessories like Tripwire and Snow Job. My memories of Scarlett were from the Sunbow cartoon where she played a prominent role.

Scarlett is one of the figures that are the most in need of a good update. Each version of her since the 25th has had flaws in my opinion. The 25th is hunched, Resolute had an awful head, Rise of Cobra has the wrong uniform, etc. For my custom, I tried to take the best pieces from each version to make a best version. I like what I came up with for now, but I believe that there will still be room for improvement in the future.

Head: Marvel Black Widow
Torso: Resolute Scarlett
Upper arms: RoC Baroness
Legs, lower arms: 25th Scarlett

Sunday, 15 April 2018

#1008 Tan Grunt and #1009 Grunt



I vaguely remember Tan Grunt as a kid. Since I spent hours staring at and memorizing the catalogs, I knew of the Falcon Glider even if I don’t remember seeing them in stores or being interested in them. By that time though, there were more interesting characters coming out like Tripwire, Snow Job and Airborne. So, Grunt and his tan version became less desired.

That said, as an adult, looking at GI Joe through nostalgia colored glasses, Grunt has reclaimed his spot in my collection and so the tan version is a must. For my custom, once the regular green version of Grunt was built, I made sure to set aside enough parts to make his tan version. I never had it as a kid, but since it’s Grunt, I had to make it.

Head, hands: Marauder MTF
Torso: Paris Pursuit Snake Eyes
Arms, legs: DG Duke
Web gear: 25th Snake Eyes
Weapon: 25th Duke (Comic Pack)
Helmet: Vintage Battle Gear
Backpack: ROC Monkey Wrench
Collar: POC Steel Brigade



#1009 - Grunt






I’ve written this statement a million times over the years, but Grunt is my favorite GI Joe. He was the face of GI Joe in those early years. He was my second Joe figure that I got after Short-Fuze, but I liked him better. He had a cool weapon and he was basically an articulated green army man. I remember playing with the figure quite a bit. I was always disappointed that he did not have a larger role on the cartoon. I did not have any comics where he played a prominent role.

He was the first of my revamped OG13 figure that I pieced together to see how the parts fit. He is the one I experimented on to create all the others. Since most of the Joes share common parts, I used Grunt to set the recipe for the team.

Head, hands: Marauder MTF
Torso: Paris Pursuit Snake Eyes
Arms, legs: DG Duke
Web gear: 25th Snake Eyes
Weapon: 25th Duke (Comic Pack)
Helmet: Vintage Battle Gear
Backpack: ROC Monkey Wrench
Collar: POC Steel Brigade

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

#1007 Hawk






As a kid, I did not have very many issues of the comic, so the Sunbow series was "the" Joe-verse. As such, the leader was Duke. I did not understand that Hawk showed up much later in the series and that he outranked Duke. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that that random green guy that was included with the MMS was in fact the first leader of the Joe team. I always thought that it was a strange way to release GI Joe’s leader. I would have thought that he would be on his own card or a large vehicle. Regardless, after reading the entire run of Marvel comics, I came to appreciate how good a commander Colonel (and later, General) Hawk truly was.

Hawk is a straight forward build as he shares the exact same parts recipe as Grunt. Fortunately, I had a DTC comic book Hawk in my fodder pile and used his head. It represents the Joe leader very well in my opinion.

Head: DTC Comic Hawk
Hands: Marauder MTF
Torso: Paris Pursuit Snake Eyes
Arms, legs: DG Duke
Web gear: 25th Snake Eyes
Weapon: Modern era pistol
Helmet, visor: Vintage Battle Gear
Collar: POC Steel Brigade

Sunday, 8 April 2018

#1006 Breaker





I remember Breaker mostly from the Sunbow series. He was on the show quite a bit in the early episodes. As a kid, I had no interest in his figure however. He was quite ordinary and did not include a weapon. He did play an important role in one early comic book that I had, issue 5. In that story, Steeler and Clutch use a loud speaker and Breaker bubble gum popping to trick a squad of Cobra Troopers into surrendering.

This custom uses my established OG13 recipe. I used the early Marauder head with a painted-on beard since Breaker had no beard in the comics and a full beard on the show and on his figure. I decided to split the difference.

Head, hands: Marauder MTF
Torso: Paris Pursuit Snake Eyes
Arms: Retaliation Ultimate Flint
Legs: DG Duke
Web gear: 25th Snake Eyes
Helmet: Vintage Battle Gear
Backpack, communications gear: Vintage Breaker
Collar: POC Steel Brigade

Saturday, 7 April 2018

#1004 Stalker & #1005 Rock & Roll

Still playing catch-up while fighting off a nasty virus. Here are the next two Original 13 team members.


#1004 - Stalker



I never had Stalker when I was a kid. None of my friends had the figure either, and he did not figure prominently in any of the few early Marvel issues that I had (5, 11, 12 and 24) so my only early knowledge of the character was through the Sunbow series and the catalogs. As such, when I was collecting and playing with Joes in the early years, Stalker did not really register on my radar. Later, when I was a bit older and just getting out of Joes, I received a copy of Special Missions 17 for Halloween. In the issue, Stalker leads a small team of Joes on a raid of a corporate building. It was only when I started collecting as an adult and I read the whole Marvel run that I developed an appreciation for the character.

For my custom, I stuck close to my established recipe for the other OG13. The Marauder MTF head oozes Stalker in my opinion. The colors match the vintage version as closely as possible as well.

Head, hands, beret: Marauder MTF
Torso: Paris Pursuit Snake Eyes
Arms, legs: DG Duke
Web gear: 25th Snake Eyes
Weapon: Vintage Stalker
Collar: POC Steel Brigade


#1005 - Rock & Roll





I did not have Rock & Roll as a kid. I don’t remember seeing him on store pegs, although I was probably just focusing on other characters. I remember him mostly for his Sunbow appearances as well as the role he played in issue 11 of the original Marvel run. In that issue, he gets tricked by Snow Job into going on a date with Gung Ho’s high-fashion model sister.

The 25th version of Rock & Roll was lacking in my opinion. The head is tiny, the arms are slit, the sleeves are not rolled up and the color is bland. My custom addresses all of these issues. It is a straight-forward use of my established OG13 recipe. I used Ultimate Flint’s arms to finally give R&R the proper rolled-up sleeves.

Head, hands: Marauder MTF
Torso: Paris Pursuit Snake Eyes
Arms: Retaliation Ultimate Flint
Legs, belt: DG Duke
Web gear: 25th Rock & Roll
Weapon: Vintage R&R
Helmet: Vintage Battle Gear
Collar: POC Steel Brigade