13 Days of Halloween: Toxo-Zombie
There just aren’t enough monsters in GI Joe for my tastes. I know that wishing for more crazy elements in the brand is not among the popular opinion of a majority of the fandom, but I don’t mind being weird. The Adventure Team I suppose is more suited to the concept than the Real American Hero, and although not monsters, both exotic and imaginary creatures have made it into the twelve inch scale. Pygmy gorillas, white tigers, even the sasquatch and yeti have crossed paths with the Joes. The 80s and 90s team was more likely to encounter monstrosities produced by Cobra than mythological or supernatural beings.
The Eco Warriors clashed with Cesspool’s Toxo-Vipers in their first year, and by the time of the sub-team’s second series, things had gone from bad to worse. Now mutated, members of Cobra’s “Leaky Suit Brigade” had become zombies. And hey, this was years before the modern zombie craze. Way to get ahead of the curve, Hasbro! Not only is the Toxo-Zombie an out-there concept, he’s also super bright. Somewhere along the line of transforming from a Toxo-Viper to a Toxo-Zombie, the troopers’ uniforms changed color along with their mutating flesh. Purple and green became hot purple and green. Sure, I can buy that. Maybe they’re just outfitted differently to keep them separated in the Cobra chow lines. You know, one group gets sausage and gravy while the other gets brains and entrails.
Back when I was buying these figures in the 90s, I wasn’t fond at all of the missile launcher and/or water squirter accessory pack-ins. I found it kind of a cheat when these outsized weapons took the place of more accurately scaled gear. The first Eco assortment at least gave each figure a normal weapon alongside the action accessory, but with this second set, the Toxo-Zombie was left wanting for weaponry. Not that he needs it, since he’s prbably too far gone to operate a rifle. Nevertheless, the water squirter makes a second appearance, and I have to say that I’ve come around to these things. Maybe it’s the fact I’m playing with these toys alongside my son, but there’s a lot of fun to be had with a good action feature–and you can’t go wrong with a water gun.
Now that I think of it, Hasbro is missing out on capitalizing on the modern zombie fascination. Imagine a new team of Joe Eco Warriors fighting zombies, only this time equipped with miniature NERF Zombie Strike weapons. Yeah, I’d buy those–and play with them.