Wednesday, February 28, 2001

2000 Funskool Desert Scorpion

Much has been recently made of YoJoe.com offering Funskool Joes from India to the collecting community. This is the first time that foreign Joes have ever been made widely available for affordable prices here. While some may deride the playability of many of these bizarrely colored figures, there are a few figures in the assortment that really stand out and can find a home in any loose figure collection. While the Night Viper, Cutter, Stormshadow, and the Hydro Viper are the most noteworthy, it is the largely unheralded Desert Scorpion figure whom I have chosen as my representative for profiling.

When I first saw this guy, I quickly bought three of them. I didn't really know what I was going to use him for, but the color scheme and cool mold simply drew me to the figure. After I ordered them, I kept looking at the picture of the figure and tried to figure out what I was going to do with him. Suddenly, it hit me. This guy was going to be Cobra Commander's personal body guards. While I have previously used Crimson Guards in this capacity, I felt this figure would be a perfect way for my Commander to have distinct body guards that would draw attention to themselves in any diorama I may set up. Also, their odd color scheme could be attributed to the fact that they are not combat troops, but ceremonial guards. The Commander is not a combatant anymore and rarely leaves the confines of his bases. In this setting, having guards dressed like the Desert Scorpion would make perfect sense. Also, the figure's massive Road Pige-sque arms make him look like the type of person who would be a personal body guard rather than a normal combat troop. Add to that the cool, little pistol these guys come with, and you've got a perfect figure to use in this capacity.

I think the reason I like these guys is twofold. They are a great mold that comes with cool accessories that is tough to find in the U.S. They are also in a color scheme that is eye-catching, but still distinctive enough that you know the figure is something a little different. Like Skydiver and the Tiger Force Outback, this figure is done in a style that is very different from American Joes, but is still not so gaudy that the figure can't be used among them. I foresee these guys getting a good deal of use in my collection. I've said that I don't have much use for desert figures, but this color scheme, and the lack of the cloth headpiece, allow this figure the versatility I look for in figures that I use frequently. As the Commander becomes the focal point of many dioramas, I see these guys always being by his side. It was a role that had belonged to the Crimson Guard Immortals, but they have moved on to bigger and better duties. This figure will provide my Cobra Commander with the security he needs without me having to sacrifice other, more traditional Cobra troops for his defense.

The overall availability of this figure is not yet determined. The first shipment that YoJoe.com received sold out in a matter of hours. I would expect that trend to continue through several shipments. This is the type of figure that people will snatch up and use to build armies. Like the Funskool Night Viper, the Desert Scorpion is a cool and less often seen Cobra mold. While this guy's colors aren't as close to the traditional American figure's as the Night Viper is, they do actually work and create a very aesthetically pleasing figure.
Personally, I've got two of these guys loose right now. I only ordered a couple of them so that other collectors would have a chance at getting some of these guys. I am fully anticipating adding a couple more every time I get the opportunity. Slowly, I will be able to build up a nice cadre of these guys and they will be able to guard every version of my Commander. You can be sure I'm not the only one who is planning on doing something like this. If you see these guys available, I would buy a couple right now. I've found the quality of the figure itself to be superior to many of the '97 releases. (Although, the unconfirmed rumours of lead based paint in these figures will prevent me from even allowing any children to handle them.) This rare opportunity that has been afforded the collecting community by the guys at YoJoe.com should be fully embraced and utilized while it is available. While many would like to think deals like this will be around forever, you never know what the future holds. (Just look at the current state of availability for the peg warming 1997 Joes!) In any regard, I'm very happy that I've had the chance to acquire figures like this Desert Scorpion. Given half a chance, I think your collection will welcome him as well.

2000 Funskool Desert Scorpion, India, 1984 Cobra Commander, Cobra Trooper, Cobra Officer, Viper, Crimson Guard

2000 Funskool Desert Scorpion, India, 1984 Cobra Commander, Cobra Trooper, Cobra Officer, Viper, Crimson Guard

2000 Funskool Desert Scorpion, India, 1984 Cobra Commander, Cobra Trooper, Cobra Officer, Viper, Crimson Guard

2000 Funskool Desert Scorpion, India, 1984 Cobra Commander, Cobra Trooper, Cobra Officer, Viper, Crimson Guard

Monday, February 26, 2001

1990 Gold Viper

In 1990, the true death knell for G.I. Joe as it was previously known was sounded. Rather than just offering a basic figure assortment, Hasbro decided that it would be a good idea to release a subset of figures that came with sound packs. These battery operated packs would be capable of producing "battlefield sounds" so that kids could start using less imagination and start to rely more on the toymaker to tell them how to play. Naturally, this idea was so good, parents would gladly pay $5.99 for a figure with this sound pack, as opposed to about half that for a regular figure. To say the idea failed, would be an understatement. Like all of Hasbro's gimmicks to raise the price point of Joe figures, this initial experiment caused a group of otherwise nice figures to sit on the shelves as they more economically priced brethren, with whom they shared shelf space, disappeared from retail. What this leaves us, though, is a small group of figures that are somewhat difficult to find and are rather unappreciated.

The basic gold trip on this figure makes him stand out among all other Cobra army builders. As such, in my collection, he is the top ranking Viper. He is just a step below the officer or Crimson Guard in rank. This guy is the field commander for my armies of Vipers, Python Vipers, Cobra Trooper Leaders, and Cobra Troopers. He answers directly to the named Cobras who compose the hierarchy. While I've said that I use figures like the Worm and the Decimator as the top ranking enlisted men in the Cobra army, I keep this guy just a step below that. The Gold Viper is promoted to the positions held by those two figures, who are the last step before a Cobra soldier becomes a member of the named cadre of Cobra leaders. For that reason, this guy gets lots of use as in base situations, but sees little combat time. I see the golden uniform as more ceremonial than functional. (Kind of like the Gold Cylons from the old Battlestar Galactica show.) He can often be found aboard the command vehicle in any Cobra full scale assault. He also aids Interrogator in the "information extraction" process that all Cobra prisoners must undergo. He's one of those figures whose mold ties him to the cannon fodder, but whose colors allow him to rise above them and be seen as a distinct and important member of the Cobra army.

I have been worrying that what has happened to me in a collecting sense was going to happen for quite some time. As a kid, I always liked having two or three of some figures. Certain figures just lent themselves to army building. As an adult collector, I have sometimes taken that a bit far, but still like having many multiples of various figures. (Most of whom are profiled throughout this site.) However, I was always concerned that the day would come when I would want to display my figures, rather than keep them in their drawers. As this is finally happening, I've found myself on a Cobra army building kick. Sure, I've been slowly building armies of Cobras for years now, but now I'm after many different figures, in many different multiples. I think I've settled on 6 as the ideal number for any given figure. (5 to display, and one mint, complete with filecard specimen to put away.) While I have this number for the heavy hitters of the Cobra line, I am severely lacking in many different genres. Trying to acquire 6 Desert Scorpions, SAW Vipers, Rock Vipers, Incinerators, Aero Vipers and various other Cobras is not only incredibly expensive, but time consuming as well. As such, I can't be content with the Cobra army that I have. I always want more. Naturally, this is a problem. I've always felt that I enjoyed my collection much more back when I had under 100 figures available to me. Now that I have substantially more than that, I think my collection has lost some of its significance. Sure, I can build big dioramas, but that's not nearly as much fun as it is hubris. I'm watching my collection morph from something was used and enjoyed into something that is displayed and appreciated. It's not a transformation I'm entirely comfortable with. I know I'm not the only collector out there who is having this happen to them. It may simply be a function of my getting older. It could be any number of things. In any regard, it will be an issue that faces my collection and my status as a Joe fan in the coming months.

Gold Vipers are tough to find. Many people are looking for them. They are a variation on the always popular Viper mold and are a distinct enough figure for them to be desired. They really don't appear all that frequently. While the '90 Law and Lamprey are fairly easy to find, this guy takes a little bit of work to track down. I think many collectors hold onto this guy, while they are willing to let the other sonic fighter figures go. The gold is striking and this figure really stands out in any collection. Like all Cobra army builders, though, this guy will cost you a few bucks to add to your collection. He is one of those figures that no one realizes they need or want until they actually see one for sale. For that reason, interest in these figures is fairly high and the prices of them follow. He is, though, a figure that I've found great use for in my collection. He provides a stark contrast to other Cobra figures that allows him to be a figure of great use. I think you will find him so worthy as well.

This guy's role in my collection really lends itself to remaining a unique figure and, as such, I'm not after any more of him. What is your favorite use of the classic Viper mold? Let me know!

1990 Gold Viper, Super Sonic Fighters, 2006 Viper Pit

1990 Gold Viper, Super Sonic Fighters, 2006 Viper Pit

1990 Gold Viper, Super Sonic Fighters, 1991 Crimson Guard Immortal, 1998 Cobra Trooper, Cobra Officer

1990 Gold Viper, Super Sonic Fighters, MOC

Tuesday, February 20, 2001

1983 Tripwire

In 1983, either my friends or I had just about all the new G.I. Joe figures that were released that year. Back then, it took just about the whole year to finally get all the new figures and vehicles that were released. There were very few things I didn't have by the fall of 1983. Among them were the Skystriker, Headquarters, and the Dragonfly. There was a rumour circulating that a new Kohl's store had Dragonflies in stock. I convinced my mother that I had saved enough money from mowing lawns that summer to be able to buy it. After several days of me badgering her, my mom relented and took me to Kohl's. Once there, I finally added the awesome Dragonfly helicopter to my collection. While we were there, though, my mom was pestered by my brothers who no money of their own with which to purchase anything. Once again, my mom relented and allowed each of them to buy one figure. One of my brothers purchased Torpedo, who was one of the two figures we were missing at that time. My other brother purchased the second figure we were missing: Tripwire.

Tripwire is a very simple, but still cool figure. He didn't come with any guns, but his mines, pack, and mine detector more than make up for that oversight. (Of course, if you check out the catalog from 1983, it shows Tripwire holding a pistol. From the best I can see, it looks like the pistol that came with Destro from that year. Whether he was originally intended to come with this, or if it was just an oversight, is unclear. It does show, though, that someone, somewhere, sometime felt that this guy should have had a gun.) Like Alpine, Airtight, and Barbecue from later years, Tripwire was the perfect support figure that began the tradition of strong figure classes after the initial, generic year of 1982. He is the type of figure that you only need for certain missions, but is essential for when you do need him. He was never a figure around which you could build adventures, at least not to the extent you could with many of the other figures from his year, but he is a figure that works perfectly as a background character who is only called upon when he is absolutely needed. He is the type of figure that made the Joe line so memorable. Had the line only been the headliners, interest would have quickly faded. It was the addition of the background characters and figures that really allowed for expanded play. Joe offered something for everyone. That was the single most important reason behind the line's long term success. (And a lesson that Hasbro needs to remember with the new releases. We don't need repaint after repaint. Variety is the spice of life and will keep the line profitable for much, much longer.)

As a kid, I never really used Tripwire. I never liked playing with his mines as they were easily lost if you used them outside. For that reason, this guy was very under appreciated by me for most of the life of my original figures. In later years, though, Tripwire found use as the driver and crew of my APC. He just seemed to fit that role. (Of course, the fact that both my original Tripwires had broken crotches helped relegate them to less than glamorous duties.) He also, though, found use as prison guards. (It's odd how most of my figures of which I had more than one eventually found themselves in this role.) The armour on his chest was kind of cool and lended itself to the type of figure that would be a guard of some type. Now, though, I think Tripwire will see some use in his intended specialty. I still like the figure and the look is very nice. He is also one of the few figures in the line whose accessories were never improved upon. No other mine detectors were ever released, so it gives Tripwire a real sense of uniqueness. It also, though, lends itself to a new figure for the 2001 or 2002 assortments. I think a redone mine detector, who doubled as E.O.D. or something similar, could be a very cool figure that many fans would like to see in the new figures. Time will tell, I guess.

Tripwires are pretty easy to find. He was a pretty ubiquitous figure in just about everyone's collections. However, he has a brittle crotch that is easily broken, face and chest paint that chips under very little stress, and accessories that were not only easy to lose, but easy to break. All this adds up to a figure that takes some searching for whom to find a mint, complete specimen. Still, he's pretty cheap. I just paid $10 for the figure you see in the scan below. Frankly, I overpaid for him. He can easily be had for $6-$7 instead. Still, to me, he was worth this much as I've wanted one in this condition for quite some time. He is a figure that I recommend having as he is a cool specialty figure with great accessories. Tripwire is also one of the easiest and cheapest '83 figures still out there. His lack of a gun make him less desirable than the other figures from 1983. Also, he and Torpedo were the two '83 Joes who were not showcased in the first commercials for that year's new figures. Fortunately, this allows the modern collector to capitalize on this figure's lack of notoriety. While I don't foresee this guy ever becoming overly popular, I think he will eventually have his day. (Heck, one of the proposed names for the next wave of new Joes for 2001 was Trip-Wire. While that name has now changed at least 2 or 3 times, perhaps, this mold may yet make a comeback.) I'm happy with my new Tripwire. I have a feeling that anyone else who adds him to their collection will feel the same way.

Tripwire is cool, but I only need his Listen and Fun variation. If you have one of those that you are willing to trade, email me.

1983 Tripwire, Steeler, 1997 Snake Eyes, 1983, 1984 Thunder, APC

1983 Tripwire,

Monday, February 12, 2001

1986 AVAC

I've spent some time over the course of the last year on several different Cobra pilots. I've showcased figures that were meant to be pilots, like the Aero and Strato Vipers, as well as figures that I have made into pilots, like the 91 Bat. What made the Joe line so memorable was the vehicles. The awesome detail and sheer size and volume of them made the line the most memorable toy line in history. While planes like the Night Raven and Rattler were impressive, they were dwarfed by the massive flagship playsets that Hasbro started to put in 1985. What began with the U.S.S. Flagg took a bold turn in 1986 when the featured playset belonged to the bad guys. The Cobra Terrordrome gave Cobra a fortress that was far superior to anything the Joes ever received. While it was a base, it also offered one very unique play feature: a rocket launching pad for a custom Cobra aircraft that was set in the dead center of the base. The pilot of this aircraft, and the only figure to be included with the Terrordrome, was the indefatigable AVAC.

The AVAC figure itself is very nice. He is a cool combination of black, red and silver. Frankly, he looks like he should be a member of the Crimson Guard. He has a sleek helmet and what looks like an armoured uniform. The overall presentation is very nice and is indicative of what Hasbro was creating during Joe's peak years. You really, though, can't appreciate this figure until you place him in the Firebat. I owned two Firebats long before I acquired an AVAC. The Firebat cockpit is very small and cramped and it is very difficult to find figures that fit into it without looking very uncomfortable. AVAC, though, is sculpted slightly smaller and fits into the cockpit very nicely. It is this attention to detail and care about playability that have always been the hallmark of the Joe line. (It is also why I'm not too keen on seeing the '95's and even many of the '94's get re released just yet. The line is still fledgling and producing the later figures, who have bulkier sculpts {see the 1995 Flint and the 1994 Blackstar for examples} would create an inconsistency. There would be figures available who would not fit into the newly released vehicles. This would be a large source of contention with the parents of the children this line needs to remain highly successful. Doing something like this that would upset that demographic would be very shortsighted and detrimental to the line's long term success. If the '94's or even the '95's are going to return as an assortment, they should either introduce them slowly, like 1 two pack in 5, or release them as a collectors set, much like the new Manimals. While I want to see the '95's come out some day, I wouldn't want them at the expense of the new line's success. Just something to think about.)

As the AVAC is a relative newcomer to my collection, I'm not yet sure of his use. He will, of course, find some time in the Firebat. That, however, will not be his exclusive duty. This guy has the look of something much cooler. As my Crimson Guard Immortal ranks are starting to grow, I see this guy as their future leader. He fits in with them and would make a great addition to their ranks. I'm torn, though, as I do like this guy as a pilot. I've often searched for cool, named Cobra pilots. I'm not fond of Wild Weasel and have always a figure that could fill his role and still look cool. I've morphed Cesspool into a Cobra pilot, as I have also done with the aforementioned Bat. I'm thinking the AVAC will ultimately end up solely in use as a Cobra fighter pilot. He really is too cool of a figure to be stuck in such a narrow role, but he fits into it so well, I'm finding it difficult to remove him from it. Someday, he may pilot my Rattler. This guy just really needs an open cockpit plane that allows you to see him at the helm. He really is a nice looking figure that just begs to be displayed. I somehow doubt that I will disappoint him.

AVACs have become rather tough to find. While he was originally only offered via the Terrordrome, AVAC was also available as a mail in figure for a while. This has increased his availability above that of figures such as Hardtop and Payload, but he is not nearly as ubiquitous as Keel Haul. He is, though, one of the rarest Cobra figures out there and his price in indicative of that. With his tough to find parachute pack and filecard, these guys will fetch over $30. A loose, incomplete specimen can still cost over $15. The maddening thing about this figure, though, is that he isn't easy to find. He is one of the few figures that you will really have a hard time acquiring in the standard, casual figure lot. When I was a kid, I did not know anyone who had this figure. That has translated into a tough figure to find for the modern collector. Oh, don't get me wrong, AVACs are out there, but they require a little bit of effort on the collector's part. I looked for one for a couple of months before I found an affordable way to acquire him. Now that I've got him, he is a very nice figure who will see some use in my collection. This is a figure, much like the Headhunter, that is well worth the search. Unlike most of the most recent figures for whom I've searched, this is a guy that I'm now happy to have in my collection. I think you will feel the same way about him as well.

AVACs are cool, but not so cool that I'd want to pay a lot for one. What's your opinion of this figure? Let me know.

1986 AVAC, 1985 Rattler, Strato Viper

1986 AVAC, Firebat, Mail Away, Techno Viper, 1987, Strato Viper, Crimson Guard Immortal, 1991, 1983 Cobra Trooper

1986 AVAC, Firebat, Mail Away, 1984 Wild Weasel, 2006 Viper Pit

1986 AVAC, Firebat, Mail Away, 1984 Wild Weasel, 1984 Rattler, Strato Viper
1986 Slipstream, AVAC, Firebat, Air Viper Advanced Corps, 1987 Chuckles, 1998 Ace, Chinese Exclusive Flint, Tiger Force Falcon

1986 Slipstream, AVAC, Firebat, Air Viper Advanced Corps, 1987 Chuckles, 1998 Ace, Chinese Exclusive Flint, Tiger Force Falcon


Friday, February 2, 2001

1994 Metal Head

Back in 1990 and 1991, I used to watch a couple of kids that lived down the street from me. They were into Joe and had many of the figures from those years. As I was not purchasing any figures at the time, they introduced me to some great looking figures like Recoil and Big Ben. One of the few Cobras they had, though, was a very cool figure for whom they only had his gun and one leg missile launcher remaining for: Metal Head.

The original Metal Head was a figure I wanted, but I couldn't bring myself to visit a toy store. As such, it wasn't until just a couple of years ago that I finally added him to my collection. However, back in late 1994 or early 1995, I managed to find the figure you see below at retail. He was a new version of Metal Head, and was one of the few Cobras who were available at that time who I felt had a decent enough color scheme for me to purchase him. Once I had him, though, this guy became a vital part of my Cobra army. I've mentioned many times that my Cobra is now lead by a new, young, dynamic group of villains who, while loyal to Cobra Commander, are out to make their own mark against all that is good. So, rather than use this figure as Metal Head, he became an all new character who was a ruthless criminal whose only loyalty is to the star of this new crop of Cobras. This guy is not dangerous in the sense of plotting against the Joes, he is one who actually carries out the orders.

Back when I only had about a dozen and a half figures from which to choose, this guy got lots of use. Any more, though, he has fallen the wayside. I found him in the very back of the 1994 drawer. I think, though, that he will start to play a more significant role in my collection. I've been searching for some figures who aren't normally showcased to portray Cobra bigwigs. This guy will be perfect. The subtle purple and silver highlights perfectly complement Metal Head's basic black uniform. He also has tons of gadgets and geegaws all over him that make him look like a dangerous enemy. Plus, his head is great. The maniacal grin reminds of the character with the rictus in one of the issues of G.I. Joe Special Missions. He just has to be used as an over the top villain. I'm getting the feeling that he may have a significant role in my collection in the weeks to come....

From the very beginnings of this site, I have tried to portray many of the '94's in a new light. While I think the bad reputation the final years of the line have acquired is appropriate for 1993, I do not think 1994 should be considered a bad Joe year. It is chock full of great molds, subtle color schemes and remakes of popular characters that deserve more collector attention. Figures like this guy, Shipwreck, Stalker, Viper, and Dial Tone are all great remakes of classic figures. They can also, though, stand by themselves as some of the better figures in the entire line. In time, I think many of these guys will get their due. Right now, the heavy sentiment among Joe collectors is for the earlier figures. As collectors who were old enough to purchase and remember Joes back in the early '80's start to move on in life, younger people who are nostalgic for figures from the '90's will replace them. When this happens, I think you will see much more done with and written about the figures from 1994. Just remember, though, you heard it here first.

For over a year now, I've been telling people about the cool figures from the '94 line and about how, someday, collectors were going to warm to them and they would start to become even scarcer than they already are. The well of '94 figures is starting to run dry. Only a year ago, you could find lots of carded '94's that would sit unsold for under $3.00 a piece. Star Brigade figs could rarely be sold at any price. Now, though, there is a dearth of '94 Joes out there. Sure, a few more loose figures are available, but the carded ones are starting to disappear. I've always felt that the '94 series of Joes is not only highly underrated, but also very scarce. Few people were into Joe the year the line was cancelled. As such, production numbers are much lower. People are starting to realize this. As floods of '80's, and even '90 and '91, Joes continue to find their way to market, the '94's are not following suit. Savvy collectors are filling the holes in their collections and the '94's are finally starting to get their due. Right now, carded '94's are still affordable. I would take advantage of this now, though, because I don't see it lasting for long. '94's will be the next big area of Joe price jumps. They are still very forgotten right now, but will become a hotbed of Joe activity. I was one of the few who bought these guys back when they were at retail. Right now, their secondary market prices are very comparable to their original retail price. You can be sure this is an inequity that won't long go uncorrected.

By the way, you might notice the sweet gun that this guy is holding in the picture down below. I want to give a big shout out to Raven Viper for it. It is a custom and is excellent. He does good work and I highly recommend him to anyone.

I still need a couple of loose '94's. Most notably, an Alley Viper, Predacon, and Lobotomaxx. If you can help, email me.

1994 Metal Head, Viper

1994 Metal Head, Viper

Thursday, February 1, 2001

1984 Stinger Driver

I've already profiled the basic blue Cobra trooper when I showcased the Viper Pilot. Since most collectors use Stinger Drivers as just another branch of the Cobra Officers (as that was all their filecard was!), you can see why this guy rarely gets any due. He is a figure for me, though, that has proven important for many years and one that, more recently, has become a larger part of my standard Cobra army.

I've never really liked the Stinger jeep. I liked the original VAMP, but hated the VAMP Mark II. The reason is simple, the doors and roof, while greatly adding to the aesthetics of the vehicle, greatly reduce its play value. On top of that, the Stinger only had a missile launcher. I wanted a jeep with a gun. For me, the missile launchers were mundane and boring. The primary reason the Wolf is so superior to the Snow Cat is simply because of the swivel machine gun it has located on the main body. It makes such a better weapon that I can hardly use the Snow Cat as comparison. That being said, the Stinger Driver quickly found himself in capacities beyond his original intentions.

The Stinger Driver, I think, was designed with the intention of him being a night force version of the Cobra Officer. As such, he was cast in a pale, grey color. This color, though, worked perfectly for all sorts of other specialties. Originally, the Stinger Driver was my Cobra Arctic trooper. When the Snow Serpent was release in 1985, though, he took over the Stinger Driver's functions there. However, at some point during my childhood, I made the connection that the hierarchy in Cobra went Crimson Guard - Eel - Snow Serpent. (I now know different, but had lots of fun as a child following this advancement scheme.) As such, the Snow Serpents were the creme-de-la-creme of the Cobra forces. They could not be stopped. The only way for the Joes to have a chance against any Cobra Arctic forces was for me to reintroduce the Stinger Driver as basic Cobra Arctic troops. I originally gave them white AK-47's from an accessory kit and had them serve under the tutelage of a more experienced Snow Serpent. Slowly, though, their usage slightly morphed. Then, for years, he was the gunner for the aforementioned Wolf. In the Arctic realm, this guy was an excellent crossover figure. It was in this capacity that the Stinger Driver stayed until just recently.

The past year has seen me greatly grow my Cobra armor ranks. I've doubled the amount of Hiss tanks in as well as added a couple of new Stingers to my collection. As these vehicles have been assimilated, I've had to search out proper drivers for them. As I've said many times, I like uniformity in my vehicle driver ranks. I have the Motor Viper drive all my Hiss tanks (I still don't like the original Hiss Driver.), the Ice Viper man all positions in my Wolves, and I finally decided to have Stinger Drivers operate all my Stingers and Rattler 4-WD jeeps. While I wish I could have found some other figure for this duty, none fit into the jeep in the same manner as its intended driver. Now, though, the jeeps and drivers are rightfully reunited. I must admit, that I now enjoy having these figures in the jeeps. They do look nice and add a nice touch to any diorama with a Cobra mechanized unit.

1984 was an odd year in terms of vehicle drivers. Both the Stinger and VAMP Mark II featured exclusive drivers who were nothing more than repaints of previously released figures. These were in stark contrast to the multitude of exclusive drivers from 1984 who were all new molds. It seems that the Stinger and VAMP might have been vehicles that were mostly profit for Hasbro. They featured the modified body of a vehicle that sold very well in the first two years of the line and figures whose molds were likely already paid for as well. Perhaps it was the inclusion of these vehicles in the line that allowed Hasbro to take a chance on a larger item like the Whale or Rattler since they knew they would make money on these jeeps.

Stinger Drivers aren't too tough to find these days. They were offered in a very popular and cheaply priced vehicle during Joe's peak years. Also, he was offered as a mail in figure for many more. Therefore, he exists in abundant quantities today. However, this figure is prone to discoloration. There are many Stinger Drivers out there that may otherwise be perfect, but they suffer from severe discoloration that rivals even the worst Storm Shadows and Snow Jobs. Also, Stinger Drivers are subject to a rather strange phenomenon. It seems that their hands are prone to breaking off. Now, I'm not talking about a broken thumb, or broken figures.
I'm talking about the hand just coming clean off at the wrist. I've got one that had this happen to him and many other collectors report the same thing. It doesn't seem to be a problem with most other figures, but the Stinger Driver is just prone to this kind of breakage. Taking all that into consideration, though, still leaves you with a cheap figure. He didn't have any accessories to lose, and most people consider him to be a lesser version of the highly sought Cobra Officer. Still, though, he is a Cobra trooper and many people like to have more than a couple of Stinger jeeps. All said, though, you can pick up a mint specimen for under $12.00. I don't think it too bad a price for this figure. He is definitely a nice addition to any Cobra army and is a figure well worth another look.

I'll take a couple of extra Stinger Drivers. If you want to get rid of them cheap, email me.

1984 Stinger Driver, Stinger, Stormshadow

1984 Stinger Driver, 1983 Hiss Tank, 2003 Unproduced Wal Mart Sky Patrol Hiss Driver

1984 Stinger Driver, Firefly

1984 Stinger Driver, 1987 Falcon, 1988 Tiger Force Flint

1984 Stinger Driver, Stinger, Stormshadow

1984 Stinger Driver, Ninja Ku, Ninja Black, Argentina, Plastirama, 2004 Action Man, 1983 G.I. Joe HQ

1984 Stinger Driver, Stinger,