We are back with a BANG, BANG!

This week we have Captain Grid-Iron’s former classmate featuring the blog post. What better way to introduce this fan favourite (please ignore the sarcasm), than the following video (bad quality, I know, but hey, so is the character).

Ladies and Gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Impel Trading Card #34, Metal-Head.

What’s there to say about this character? I’m not a huge fan of him. Mainly because when I think of Metal-Head, the only memory that springs to mind, is that awful DIC cartoon. Although I have to say that he does remind me of someone else. Take a look at the guy and tell me you don’t see the resemblance with Commander William T. Riker of the Federation Starship Enterprise.

Image result for william t riker

I mean, look at them! Even the uniform is practically a copy. Granted, Commander Riker is less of a nutcase. But still, I think Larry had been watching a little too much of TNG when he cooked up Metal-Head.

There have been 4 versions of the figure released, starting with the original one in 1990. The last one was released as part of the 2015 International G.I.Joe Convention, organised in Springfield, IL. The exclusive Tiger Force versus Destro´s Iron Grenadiers box set from the Official G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club also collected Sgt. Stalker, Dial-Tone, Big Brawler, Wreckage, Recondo, Edwin “Lifeline” Steen, General Mayhem, Undertow Officer, three Iron Anvils and three Undertow. Personally, I like Destro having his own little army. After all, he does have the need for some personal security and with the customers he supplies, I know I would feel safer having a personal army to defend myself in case they are not happy with a product or in case they want to try and steal some new prototype.

In the ARAH comic books, Metal-Head first appeared working for Cobra but spying for Destro. I don´t recall him being in a lot of stories, so not much more to tell. I´ll have to reread them again.

I won´t go into the cartoons here since I´d like to remove the memory of Metal-Head in the cartoons.

Next time, it´s time for some chill (sadly G.I.Joe is no longer on Netflix – at least not over here).

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Hello? Is it me you’re looking for? 

I guess I could start this post off with a bad joke like “How many Tele-Vipers does Cobra Commander need to make his troops retreat? “. Nowadays he’d use 140 characters, but I covered that in last week’s post ?

This time around, we will discuss the Impel Trading Card #33, the Cobra Tele-Viper (or Televiper?), Cobra´s force of Radio Communication Officers.

The Joe team have 2 Communication Specialists, Breaker and Dial-Tone. Cobra has like hundreds of Televipers to transmit messages on all frequencies. Of course, Cobra Commander has been known for hijacking the various TV channels all over the world and divulge on his current plan or ask for ransom demands. I guess he would need an army of technicians and hackers to get this done.

For what the toys are concerned, 9 iterations of the Televiper have been released. Of these 9, 2 were Python Patrol editions. The original 1985 version is still the coolest if you ask me. Just look at that Cobra belt buckle and tell me you´re not impressed. I dare you! I´m not much of an army builder, I´m more of a gotta catch them all collector, but I must admit that I don´t have a lot of Televipers in my collection.

I´m sure the Tele-Vipers are present in the cartoons, I just can´t remember them being there. They are not the most memorable foes, to be honest. They are what they are, technicians working behind the scenes and making sure that every single one of Cobra Commander´s rants gets onto the air for everyone to enjoy. I do remember seeing them in one of my favourite episodes. It´s an episode I have on VHS (in Dutch) and I believe the English title is In the Presence of my Enemy. Slip-Stream (my all time favourite pilot, who the F is Ace anyway?) crashes onto an abandoned Cobra research facility with a female Strato-Viper and they encounter several traps and they have to work together in order for them to escape. Anyway, in the beginning of the episode, the Tele-Vipers send out a message to one of Cobra´s satellites and Slip-Stream intercepts it.

All in all, not the most memorable Cobra out there, but they are important none the less. Without them, nobody would know about Cobra Commander´s mad schemes and plans to conquer the world. Not until Twitter was available that is 🙂

Next time, we go out with a BANG when we discuss a hockey analyst?! Who comes up with these? Oh, right, Larry Hama (who is a GOD!). Have you seen the Kickstarter campaign for the Larry Hama Action Figure? Too late to enter now, but I´ll post about it when I have the figure in hand 🙂 (Admit it, you´re jealous!)

Until next time. Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Big in Japan

This week we visit a son of the Land of the Rising Sun. Tommy Arashikage, better known as the Cobra Commander’s ninja bodyguard and assassin, Storm Shadow.

As with every good written character, the real situation is not that black and white. Tommy really is a good guy, an honorable ninja. He got his ninja training, before enlisting in the US Army and serving in the Long Range Recon Patrol along with Snake-Eyes, Stalker, Wade Collins, Dickie Saperstein and Ramon Escobedo. (Listen to A Letter from Snake-Eyes Pt1 from Wordburglar)

He became besties with Snake-Eyes and after the war and drama in Snake-Eyes’ personal life. They both went to Japan to (re-)join the Arashikage Ninja Clan. Snake-Eyes soon became the better of Tommy and it was rumoured that he would become the new leader, even though Tommy was the nephew of the Hard Master. No spoilers here, but long story short. The Hard Master was killed with one of Tommy’s arrows – intended for Snake-Eyes- and Tommy fled from the ninja clan. He joined Cobra because the Commander promised him he would reveal the true identity of the masked man who killed the Hard Master. If you want the long story, check out the entire A Real American Hero run (from Marvel and IDW) 🙂

In the original cartoons, his rivalry/friendship with Snake-Eyes was replaced by honorable fights with Spirit and Quick Kick. The DIC cartoons however, follow the toy line more closely and in these episodes, Storm Shadow is a member of the G.I. Joe Ninja Force. Later on in the Spy Troops and Valor vs Venom cartoons/movies, Stormy is back with Cobra and does have some face-offs with Snake-Eyes.

As for what the figures is concerned, there are about 7,452 different versions of Storm Shadow out there. (The actual number may be closer to 50, but hey, who’s counting). I recently got the v9 from 2002. Here he is wearing his suit from the Ninja Force, but it’s red and has a Cobra sigil. The most cherished Storm Shadow in my collection is the v4 from 1994. This is the color changing Shadow Ninja one. I have the Belgian Ducth/French carded one (I also have Snake Eyes v6 carded). Lastly, I just saw the v1 of Storm Shadow posted by a fellow collector an Instagram I want to show to the world. It’s like a toothpaste commercial, so WHITE! Check it out here. In Dutch, Storm Shadow is called “Bliksemschicht”, which translates into Lightning Bolt (落雷 in Japanese).

Next time, we’ll tackle one of my all time favorite figures.

Until then, Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Skystriker patch 1988 – Belgium exclusive


Apparently we have an exclusive G.I. Joe product here in Belgium. The 1988 Skystriker patch.
It was a mail in action that cost 9 Flag Points and the equivalent of € 1 in stamps.

I’ve been collecting them and am willing to part with them now to generate some extra cash for expanding my 50th anniversary collection and vintage Joes.

If you’re interested, let me know. I can ship internationally.

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