Is the typewriter mightier than the missile launcher?

I guess the time of pen and sword are behind us, although I still use a fountain pen for my daily work notes. Still, we keep on using the pen and sword metaphor. This week, we have arrived at Impel Trading Card #66, the man who can type faster than his shadow, Fast Draw.

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I guess this guy is the Joe equivalent for Cobra’s Mr. Bang Bang (well technically, he’s an Iron Grenadier, so Destro’s private army, but he was employed by CC, so I’m counting him as a Cobra). The difference between these 2 rocket men, is that Fast Draw has hand controls for his missiles, where Metal Head (a.k.a. Number One – yes, that’s a Star Trek reference) is shouting like a complete idiot.

Enough about that, the figure (yes, just the one release again, although the club recently announced they are releasing an updated version in the FSS 8.0) was released in 1987. I honestly couldn’t tell you if I have the figure in my collection. I’m guessing I do, but since all of my Joes are still boxed up, there’s no way to be sure… I guess my entire collection is a bit like Schrodinger’s cat at the moment. I have something or I don’t, there’s really no certainty these days 🙂

The first appearance of Fast Draw in the comic books (Marvel run), is in #60 I believe, where he is part of the group of Law & Order, Lt. Falcon & Chuckles, who kidnap General Hawk whilst believing they are actually members of G.I. Joe. A bit of a filler issue, after that, the whole Borovia story starts to unfold, oh and – SPOILER ALERT – CC gets shot (issue #61, amazing cover art).

I don’t think Fast Draw gets any (explicit) action in the cartoons, he may be in the background somewhere, but I don’t recollect him at all.

A bit of a shorter post this time, but there just isn’t a lot I can say about this guy. If he were here, he probably would be able to talk some more about his clerk typing specialities, but I won’t go into that right now.

Next time, we’ll have another man (or is it woman nowadays?) with a lot of firepower on his/her back.

Until then, YoJoe and Happy Collecting!

Oh and Happy Mother’s Day to all our fantastic mothers who bought us our first Joes to play with!

You know you’ve made it when they call you cargo…

According to the dictionary, our featured Joe’s nickname means, the part of a vehicle’s load, especially an aircraft’s, from which revenue is derived. Still, not the worst codename in the team, Hit and Run anyone? Anyway, here’s Impel Trading Card #63, Payload.

While Snake-Eyes is throwing knives at a giant wheel that has Scarlett bound to it and standing on top of Blind Master’s shoulders who himself is balancing on a large ball while juggling with working chainsaws, Payload is in a space fight with Fred VII over some spy satellites. I guess it was one of the few times Cobra actually scored a win. They destroyed the spy satellites – so they couldn’t pick up on the Terror Dromes –  and crippled the Joe’s Defiant space shuttle.

There have been 5 figures released bearing the Payload name. The first one released in 1987 with the massive Defiant Space Vehicle Complex. v2 was a repaint of that first figure and came with the 1989 Crusader Space Shuttle. The next 3 figures were released in quick succession, in 1993 and 1994, as part of the Star Brigade subteam. All 3 being just a repaint of the same mold (used before as the Eco-Warriors’ Barbecue figure).

Next time we’re going back into the deep… a dive down memory lane to January 22 of this year as well 🙂

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Hadleyville,PA or the Bayou?

We’re not going to talk about some Japanese car manufacturer taking over an American car factory, but about the Joe’s first real Marine, Ettienne R. LaFitte, better known as Gung-Ho.

Shown here in his dress blues, is actually also how I first got to know the figure. I hadn’t read any of the comics or seen the cartoons when I started collecting (okay, back in the day it was called playing) with Joes. So I had no idea how Gung-Ho looked like in his more regular Joe outfit. I have to say, he scrubs up nice 🙂 With the pornstache, bald head, bare chest, … I can’t help but think of The Village People. Y-M-C-A, it’s fun to — ok, let’s not go there.

In the comics, Gung-Ho is part of the backup team in Alaska when Cobra’s new specialist (Destro) first appears. He is later assigned to the guard detail on Cobra Commander, eventually getting injured at the hands of Storm Shadow, leading to the discovery of Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow sharing the same tattoo.

Between 1983 and 2015, 21 figures of Gung-Ho (or Gung Ho) have been released. Surprisingly, most of these show him wearing a shirt. The first figure of Gung-Ho I had, was the dress blue version of 1987. In my younger self’s headcanon, he was some sort of Army Brass, a high ranking officer coming down to inspect the Joes. I have a few of the later iterations now and I have to say, he’s not my favorite Joe, but I suppose it’s admirable that he runs around bare-chested a lot, dropping that huge USMC tattoo on his chest in your face.

In the cartoons, Gung-Ho is always there, fighting for freedom over land and air. But mostly, showing off… see below. Or talking to his gun as if its a child.

That’s all for now. Next time, we’ll aim for the moon and end up somewhere in space.

Until then, Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Darling, it’s better down where it’s wetter…

Yeah, that title is straight out of a Disney movie title song. I swear. Google it!

It is kind of appropriate for the #61 Impel Trading Card we will take a look at today. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Wet-Suit.

Although I was born and raised in a small seaside town, I’m not a huge fan of swimming and diving. So aquatic themed Joes/Cobras and their vehicles don’t rock my boat (pardon the pun). The only exceptions are probably the Cobra BUGG and Hammerhead. How cool are those? Totally non-functional, but boy do they look good.

Back to today’s Joe though, Wet-Suit is a Navy Seal. Best of the best, toughest of the toughest. Obviously, this guy would be a member of the G.I. Joe team. One of my all-time favorite stories is the one told in Special Missions #1. Wet-Suit is part of the team that is sent undercover into the Baltic Sea to extract a Russian defector. The story really pulls you in and the twist at the end is just sublime.

In the cartoons, the most remarkable feature of Wet-Suit is his constant rivalry with Leatherneck, portraying that of Navy vs Marines. I do believe that Wet-Suit entered an Ultimate Fighter kinda tournament, but it was a Cobra scheme. Details are a little foggy, I need to rewatch the Sunbow series again pretty soon.

As far as the figures go, I only have the v4 from 1993 out of the 12 figures made. The bright orange and black design does look quite good. As for the other figures, well, like I said, the nautical thing doesn’t really do it for me, so I’m not actively looking to add more divers to my Joe collection, but that doesn’t mean, I’ll let them sink 🙂 Maybe when I get my very own USS Flagg, I’ll add more water Joes to my collection. That’s right, it says ‘when’, not ‘if’. Positive thinking people!

Before I leave you remembering someone that looked better in a wetsuit than Wet-Suit. Don’t get too enthusiastic or overzealous for the next post…

Now, as promised, Miss Lara Croft sporting a wetsuit.

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Cannon Fodder

Welcome back to the blog! This week’s post will be shorter than the last one 🙂 If you haven’t read the previous post on the Original Joe Team, do so now and then get back here to read all about the 1991 Impel Trading Cards #51 and #52 which we had to skip to add General Hawk to the team post.

We’re starting this one off with #51, the Cobra Viper.

The figure portrayed here does differ from the Viper figures. This figure is the Cobra (soldier) released in 1982 alongside the 13 original Joes and the Cobra Officer. CC was also available, but at first only through mail-in. The Viper (the figure with the cool looking visor helmet) was released in 1986. I guess that by 1991 (when the Impel Cards were released), the Vipers were commonly known as Cobra’s Infantry.

The Vipers are the Cobra Greenshirts. Bottom of the hierarchy, but that doesn’t mean they’re not fearless. They are the ones that charge forward while CC is yelling ‘COBRA, Retreat!’. They are mercenaries, hired help, and if they have any doubts, they’ll probably end up being strapped to the Brainwave Scanner for attitude rearrangement.

They are just generic troopers. Only one guy ever stepped up. Scarface. He was actually a Cobra Courier, but who’s saying that is better than a Viper?

As I may have mentioned in the previous post, I don’t have a lot of the 1982 figures and so I don’t have a Viper in my collection. I’m not much of an army builder myself. One of each is my motto! But I do see the attraction some people may have to build armies of these Vipers. Losing armies, but still armies 🙂

There are 29 (before you freak about that number, Snake Eyes has 70+ figures) figures released. Most of them in the distinctive Cobra blue with red sigil, but some have other colors. Still, the Cobra Royal Blue is a beautiful color and I prefer that to the other color schemes.

#52 is the Cobra Officer. An evolved Cobra Viper to put it in Pokémon terms.

In the army of the blind, the soldier with one eye is the general. The best of the worst. Cobra’s forces have never been very successful. A lack of competent leadership? Perhaps. I blame the middle-management. The Cobra Officers are just incompetent to belay and execute the delicate and precise winning strategies that Cobra Commander concocts.

There have been 12 different figures of the Cobra Officer. Considering the 29 different Vipers we had, it’s safe to say that Officers have a better chance of survival than the Vipers do.

In the cartoons, both of these figures are like Stormtroopers. Sure, they see the enemy. They know how to fire a (laser) gun. They just don’t think of putting 1 and 2 together. No wonder that Dr. Mindbender started working on the B.A.T.’s as Cobra’s foot soldiers. They are even more expendable…

That’s it for now. Next time we’ll listen to some Van Halen.

Happy collecting and YoJoe!