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.