13 Days of Halloween: GI Joe Spy Mission

It’s fall in my part of the world. The leaves are changing color, the temperatures are getting cooler, and pop-up Halloween stores are appearing in strip malls as far as the eye can see. It’s a beautiful thing to see, especially if you grew up a monster kid. This time of year brings back just as many memories for me as back-to-school or Christmas, possibly because it fed my strong appetite for all things monsters. While many of my classmates were checking out Zane Grey westerns or books about Bart Starr at the school library, I was getting Daniel Cohen’s Encyclopedia of Monsters or Make-up Monsters. If I didn’t run a GI Joe blog, I’d probably be doing something movie monster related. With that in mind, I’d like to venture again into the weirder realms of Joe mythos. Hopefully I don’t go too far afield.

The run-up Halloween reminds me of many things; among them are costumes. I recall the yearly ritual of picking out a Ben Cooper costume (or sometimes just a mask, if Mom and Dad were feeling frugal) at the local drug store. I think I was Darth Vader at least three years in a row.

Technically, the twelve inch GI Joes have always been about “dress-up”, but few of the accessory sets implied that Joe himself was wearing a costume or disguise. In 2003, the relaunched small-scale GI Joe line introduced the Spy Troops concept. That year’s figures would feature add-on accessories to disguise them as members of the enemy forces. Joes could don Cobra gear, and vice versa. The idea transferred to the twelve inch line that was also on shelves at the time.

The GI Joe Spy Mission set let you disguise a Joe as a Cobra to infiltrate enemy headquarters. My favorite aspect of this accessory set is the way that so many disparate elements are brought together in a way that would fool no one. Whichever Joe this is had better hope that Cobra Commander is on holiday when he sneaks into the base. Wouldn’t it make more sense to put on a trooper’s helmet? Maybe the deceit would work if it were being pulled off by someone as bold as Shipwreck.

GI Joe Spy Mission


  • Halloween is pretty new in my country. Its only come about in the past couple of years.
    Though I liked the spy troops figures; I felt the gimmick was a bit of a swing and a miss

  • Yeah, disguise yourself at the enemy leader! that won’t be subject to scrutiny.

    The set isn’t shown, but it reused 1992 Cobra Commander’s hood with the current larger/longer Cobra Commander logo, and his luger and knife in gold, plus more recent stuff. You could upgrade your Hall of Fame CC to Spy Troops era. Not sure the Commander is known for carrying a 50 caliber sniper rifle or an ammo bandolier, but…there’s a flight helmet with oxygen mask for a more generic cobra look…I guess.

  • Disguising yourself as Cobra Commander is crazy enough that it just might work! Think about it, which low-level troop is going to stop and question CC? I can only assume that he could be quite tempermental behind the scenes.

    Plus, in my mind, Cobra had bases everywhere. So the chances of the real CC being in the base you’re infiltrating would be rather small. I’m thinking back to my days working retail and how often the store manager was actually around.

  • That is G.I.JOE world!

  • Spy troops had some great concepts and figures. Even though the costumes weren’t fooling fans, at least they tried something new and interesting.

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