Saturday, June 24, 2017

Rarities - 1995 Ninja Commando Road Pig

Road Pig was far and away the oddest choice for the Ninja Commandos subset.  How did a muscle bound schizophrenic find the time to become a ninja?  I'd have loved to have seen the filecard that explained that one.

As a figure, Road Pig isn't great.  The face and chest are well detailed, but uninteresting.  He's just a guy with no shirt on.  His legs lack any real details or definition.  The only real highlight is the head.  It is true to Road Pig and well detailed.  But, even it isn't that much different from the 1988 sculpt.

Hasbro actually did release part of this figure.  The chest and arms were used on the Mortal Combat Movie Edition Liu Kang figure.  So, the mold did get some use.  Liu Kang gave customizers a chance to interpret this figure and make their own.  That was rare for unproduced concepts.  But, in looking at this figure, he's definitely a case where collectors didn't miss out on much by him being cancelled.

Ninja Commando Road Pigs exist both in unpainted and fully painted production level form.  In the mid 2000's, quite a few of these unpainted figures showed up from Asian sellers.  They were likely overstock that had been sitting around for a while and was discovered when the market for Joes took off.  Being a Ninja Commando, either form still fetches a decent price.  But, many collectors are not keen on the subset and are less keen on Road Pig as a ninja.  So, you will also see this figure sit unsold at prices that are similar to other characters from the same set who do sell.  While 1995 would have had some amazing new figures that would have been well liked by collectors to this day, it would also have given us a ninja Road Pig.  So, we did dodge a few bullets, too.

1995 Ninja Commando Road Pig, Unproduced, Prototype

1995 Ninja Commando Road Pig, Unproduced, Prototype

1995 Ninja Commando Road Pig, Unproduced, Prototype


  1. Roadpig would've been the only Dreadnok, besides Zartan, to have gotten a remake in vintage ARAH, he was already the only Dreadnok figure repaint.

    Seemed stupid to shoehorn characters into roles they don't fit...however, they were pushing popular characters into Star action Ninja Road Pig and walking space Firefly?

    1. I wonder if Hama's liking of the Road Pig character is why he showed up again in later years. Though, he seemed fond of Zarana, too, and she never got another version. Though, that was likely more female figure syndrome than anything else.

    2. I had a toy magazine from 1993 with an interview with (then) Hasbro's Kirk Bozigian about GI JOE, and he mentioned when he came back to GI JOE (after years working in another Hasbro division), he asked Larry about who Hama's favorite characters were and who kids were writing in and saying were their favorites. That's one reason why remakes started appearing in 1991.

      And, yes, they proposed female characters and after 1987 were shot down by whoever had final say. Scarlett finally made it in, and by the time they got a green-light for a new Baroness, the line got cancelled.