Action Marine (1994)
In 1994, the final year of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero brand, Hasbro sought to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the toy that started it all for them way back in 1964. As a result, the original “action team” figures–the soldier, the sailor, the marine, and the pilot (and to some extent, the astronaut)–were reimagined in the 3 3/4″ format, both individually boxed and together in a special 5-pack.
The figure itself is a nice recreation of the original figure, even if it’s missing the knife on the lower right leg present in the packaging art. He shares his head mold, along with both upper legs, with the Action Soldier, with the chest being used for the G.I. Joe Colton figure released at the same time. Most of the body is molded in military green plastic, with flesh tone paint on the hands, olive drab shoes, a gray undershirt and belt, and a brown and black camo blend. The head has grayish brown hair and eyebrows, with blue eyes, a green painted helmet with a lighter green camo pattern. Oddly enough, though the signature scar is molded on the face, it is unpainted. Non-removable helmet aside, it’s a spectacular shrunken-down version of the original face, which was a kind of plain-looking fellow at best. Another thing I find odd about the sculpt is the torso, which, while being a bit big and broad, has the shoulder sockets really flat. The arms don’t exactly flow into the torso because of this.
The body mold would be used here and there in later years, other than the keychain figures. The mold would be used for the 2004 comic pack version of Grunt in his infiltration of Vance Wingfield’s First Strike paramilitary group. Two years later, the torso, waist and legs would be used for the comic pack version of Lt. Gorky of the Oktober Guard. Finally, the waist and legs would be used for the 2010 Joecon-exclusive version of the Action Force villain Black Major.
The Marine comes with the same rifle (molded in black), backpack, and missile launcher as the sailor, but also comes with a black assault raft with a paddle and a rifle mount. The raft also functions as the “weapons tree” for the accessories, meaning you have to split the boat in two halves in order to remove the rifle mount, paddle, rifle, and missile–but that’s an easy task, as the raft comes apart and can be put back together. The handle of the missile launcher is a little too big for the hands of the Marine, so I wouldn’t have him use it often. The backpack, molded in green, is made of a bit of a softer plastic, and is nicely sculpted, with a sleeping bag, belts, sheathed shovel, and canister present in the details. It’s a bit big for the Marine, so unless you position him in a certain stand, the weight will cause the figure to fall back. I have not seen if the raft floats in water (I imagine it’s a tad heavy).
I noticed this minor detail on the bottom of the left foot–the sole is painted black, with some sort of number stamped in green. I have no idea what this means, so any info would be handy.
I picked the Action Marine up, still in its box, at a small comic convention just yesterday (before this post) for $10 for a variety of reasons, one of which was…there weren’t enough old toy dealers at this thing. Still, this was a nice find, at a booth that also had an Action Soldier and two Action Sailors. I’m thinking that I might paint the scar. The 30th Anniversary Action Team members are fine additions to any collection, as they do a decent job bridging the two very distant versions of the G.I. Joe brand.