The 80’s and 90’s were a great time to be a child. It was the first generation to see a big push in action figures. They came in all shapes and sizes, and cartoons were created just to create the need for more. I had all kinds of different ones. They all had their pro and cons, but, in my opinion, the best of that era were the 3 3/4” G.I. Joe’s. There were so many different characters, each specializing in something different. They always came with a cool gun or sword, and a backpack, but the best feature was all the points of articulation. Compared to the Masters of the Universe (MOTU) and the wrestling figures of the time, these could move in just about any position. Not only did I use these figures to battle over land, sea, and air, they battled in the square circle.
Here are 5 of my favorite Joe figures.
I had two Spirit action figures. 1990 Spirit V2, was part of Slaughters Marauders, and all of the Marauder figures were given an electric blue accent color to go along with the typical camouflage.
The second was 1993 Spirit V4, and was part of the international Action Force, which you could only get by mail order. Both figures have a lot of small details that make the them great. They both have the headband and braids. The 1990 Spirit had a cleaner look with only a knife molded into the leg, while 1993 Spirit has grenades molded onto the leg and chest, and feathers tied onto the arm. Spirit was always one of my favorite Joes on the cartoon.
I had two versions of Wet-Suit as well. 1986 Wet-suit V1 and 1992 Wet-Suit V3. Wet-suit was one of my favorite figures. I used to examine all the small details to the diving suit and mask.
V1 had a gun and knife molded onto the legs, with pockets and straps molded onto the chest and arms. The helmet was molded to the head, making him unique as one of the few figures you could not see his face.
V3 had a molded knife to go along with several different gauges on the suit. He had a removable diving helmet which was more common with the later figures. Both figures came with diving sleds and removable flippers which I used extensively.
I had three versions of this Slaughter. 1985 V1 that could only be bought by mail order, and came with his vehicle, and the 1988 V3, which also came with a vehicle, the Warthog A.I.F.V, and V4 in 1989, Slaughter’s Marauders version.
These figures had tons of small details: the USMC belt buckle, the whistle, wrist tape, the chevrons on his boots, and, of course, the classic whistle, glasses and hat. His biceps were larger than just about all the other Joes and He did not come with any weapons, just his baton or hat. Of course, he did not need any weapons because he was one. He took down any foe that crossed his path.
The only version of Quick Kick was the 1991 direct order version. He is an exact copy of the 1989 original, but he is painted in brighter colors. His ninja stars and headband are molded on, and he came with backpack, sword, and nunchucks. Being a ninja, or knowing karate seemed to always make a character more desirable, but for some reason they never made any other versions of Quick Kick until 2008. He did not need many weapons, if he connected with one of his kicks, Cobra was out for the count. I feel like I under used this figure, only bringing him out on special occasions trying not to mess up his paint.
I have had several versions of this figure, but the 1989 V3 was the one I used the most. There have been more versions of Snake Eyes than any other figure (63 different versions), but this was the first one with distinguishable features, as the first two versions were solid black. He came with several different weapons, but if you knew his back ground he did not need them. This was my favorite figure to use, he was always the team leader, and always the hero. If you need a job done there is no one better to do it.