Darwin and the fittest

Many people credit Charles Darwin, but we have Herbert Spencer to thank for the phrase “Survival of the fittest”. This time we have the Impel Trading Card #69, the fittest man in the Joe team, Stuart Selkirk, better known as Outback.

The U.S. army’s Survival Manual says that Survival stands for the following:

S – Size up the situation

U – Undue haste makes waste

R – Remember where you are

V – Vanquish fear and panic

I – Improvise

V – Value living

A – Act like the natives

L – Learn basic skills

I guess that all of the above are skills and trades that every Joe knows by heart. They are the best of the best after all. Outback however is sporting this credo on his chest, so I guess he made a religion out of it and is probably the best of the best of the best.

There have been 11 figures released of Outback (or Stuart Selkirk). I’m including the figure known as Tiger Force Outback, since that was the only version I knew existed of the file until I started collecting as an adult.  The figures mostly stay true to the original.But the ’93 versions turn him into a bright colored construction worker (YMCA anyone?). And then there’s the 2008 figure that kinda makes him look like a badass ginger Jesus. This being said, I may need to see if I can still find one of these shirts. They do look cool.

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Talking of this shirt, Kate’s customs has made an awesome cosplay of Outback (gender-bender style). Check it out via https://www.facebook.com/KatesCustomsPropsCosplay/posts/work-in-progress-tiger-force-outback-so-excited-about-this-amazing-custom-shirt-/288973791658483/

In the Marvel comics,  Outback made his first appearance in #59, the issue also featured the new SLAM anti-aircraft artillery (my first tank!). Outback was out in the field to test some new gear. His report stated the equipment was junk that fell apart and the food was so bad it was inedible. 

Outback went on to play a major role in a story arc that stretched across issues #61 to #67, in which a team consisting of Outback, Snow Job, Stalker, and Quick Kick infiltrate the Soviet republic of Borovia on a rescue mission. As a kid, I had some of the Special Missions in a TPB (and translated in Dutch). One of the stories in there (Special Missions #6) tells the story of how Outback got back to the US after the rest of the team were sent to a labor camp. I read those 2 TPBs from back to front for years, not having access to the other comics. I never really got what it was all about until I bought the Marvel run. By then I already knew that Outback was one tough cookie. We’ll revisit this in a while when we discuss the Impel Trading Card #88.

I’ll finish here with a final pic. Not sure if Larry did use this as inspiration for Outback, but my guess would be yes…

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See you again next time. Take a deep breath and hold tight for the next Impel Trading Card.

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

The Right of Might, the Left of Rockets?

We have another Rocket Man for you today. Yes, that’s right, a man, suck it Mr. Sitterson. Impel Trading Card # 67 features Salvo.

In the Marvel Comics, he first appeared in issue #114. He is part of a large scale operation against Cobra forces in the Benzheen. To say that the guy is a bit buffed would be an understatement. I guess you’ll need a lot of muscle to carry around a 4-stage TOW rocket launcher.

As a Joe of the 90’s, he is however mostly remembered from the DIC cartoon series. He plays a significant part in at least 5 episodes. He gets brainwashed by Cobra, gets to attack Destro’s vulcano base and he helps to stop Cobra’s sun-cream and poison gas from Earth. Gotta love that nineties creativity. Though DIC may have tried to do it cheap, they always replenished Salvo’s rockets between shots 🙂

There have been 3 official figure releases of Salvo over the years, originally from 1990, later in 2005 and then the v3 in 2017 as part of the Club’s FSS 5.0. Most notably on the figures is his bald head (v2 gave him hair!) and the shirt with “The Right of Might” printed on it. I got the original figure as a kid. I know the 90’s Joes get some flack from the community, but you have to admit that they did come with a lot of accessories. Salvo came with a removable helmet, a briefcase, rocket launcher/backpack, 5 missiles, a mine launching type of gun and 5 mines. I’d really like to see toys being this complete nowadays in the stores.

Next time around you might want to put on some thermal underwear, not to get into the guy’s codename, but it sounds painful.

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

New specs

A short post today, to show off my new Knockaround glasses.

I ordered them from the Knockaround website earlier this month after having seen them around the interwebs a lot, mostly on Instagram. They arrived quite fast, from the US of A. Naturally our Belgian Postal Services ripped me off and I ended up paying more in taxes and their ‘processing’ fee than I paid for the glasses. Each year, they increase the amount of that fee. First it was $10,then $14, last year it was up to $18 and now I had to pay $25 on top of the import duties. Those duties are actually fair and correct, but the fee they charge is complete bogus and they can never explain what this fee covers. I swear, it looks like Extensive Enterprises is controlling that company and their trying to fund professor Apple’s plan.

Enough nagging (I can hear you think it. How scary is that 😁 But you have to admit that I’m right!)

The glasses themselves are simply amazing. The orange tinted glass pieces are polarized, so they work like a charm in bright sunlight and whilst driving. The plastic box they are shipped in, looks the part. Showing off both the Joe and Knockaround logo. The glasses come with a rather nice looking pouch, depicting Duke on one side and big old CC on the other.

The green camouflage goes perfect with the orange and the red, white and blue stripes on the arms are a nice homage to the original G.I.Joe logo. Check it out for yourself and order your own pair. You won’t regret it!

 

This post is not sponsored by Knockaround. I bought the glasses myself as a collector of all things Joe related and cool person 😁

Until next time.

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

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!

Another strange codename

We have arrived at Impel Trading Card #65 and again the definition of the codename is worrying to say the least. The Urban Dictionary describes it as: when presented with a long list of complicated tasks and one takes the easiest possible route, doing things incorrectly and cutting corners to the extreme. Just the person you’d want to be taking care of your explosives… Ladies and Gentlemen, this is #65, Light Foot.

I have to admit, although Light Foot is one of the first more colorful (I’m being polite here) Joes to be released at the end of the 80’s, I really like the figure. I can’t remember when exactly I got the figure, but I do remember him playing a big part in my backyard stories.

We are first introduced to Light Foot in the Special Missions #13 where he – as a probationary Joe – is part of the team assigned to destroy a secret bunker. He is teamed up with another Joe trainee, Mangler,  and Veteran Joe’s Dusty and Outback. The team gets captured and tortured, and Light Foot spills all there is to spill about the mission. Mangler gives him a hard time about it, but in the end, Light Foot carries out his mission and Mangler gets … well, mangled.

In the regular run of the Marvel comics, Light Foot first appears in issue #82. They reference to his injury in the Special Mission, and he tells that because he got injured and couldn’t finish the training. He makes it again this time and together with Repeater and Budo, he is accepted into the Joe team. They don’t get the rest they deserve after the harsh training, when they have to stop a raid on the Picatinny Arsenal. Cobra is able to airlift the truck, but Light Foot had placed a time-delayed mine on the cabin making the truck and helicopter go WHAM in mid-air.

Unfortunately, Light Foot doesn’t appear in the cartoons.

As far as figures is concerned, only 2 official versions were ever released. The second being a repaint to fit Light Foot in with the Night Force team, he was released carded with Shockwave. As I mentioned above, I really like the figure and it’s a shame only 2 versions (1 mold) were ever made. I think that the FSS of the G.I. Joe club could have benefited from a new and updated version of Lightfoot. Maybe in 2020 with the reboot, we’ll get a whole bunch of new and/or updated toys… One can only hope, right?

Next time around, we’ll have a clerk typist in, so I’d better check my spelling.

Till then, Happy Collecting and YoJoe!