Drivers? Hey, cool. I could always use a few extras, especially a HISS Driver. That guy always lost his Cobra symbol too easily. What, you can’t order online? Great, where did I put my checkbook? And where the heck can I buy a stamp? It’s been so long…


  • Were not talking about the guy from 1990 who hid under his house for two days?

    The vehicle drivers are solid characters and figures. What i find odd about the Sunbow cartoon is the unbalanced appearances of the vehicle drivers. Heavy metal got a strong supporting role in Pit of vipers as did Thunder in Battle for the train of gold. Copperhead had a role in Jungle trap, Frostbite was in Haul down the heavens. The hiss driver only appeared in The funhouse.
    I have no idea why Crankcase never appeared. He must have had a cell designed and it dosnt really make sense when you think about it as it would have made more sense to promote Crankcase as he came with a more affordable vehicle than Heavy metal who came with the Mauler [not that theres anything wrong with heavy metal]

  • Nice dio set! But the best were the Nederland’s ones!

  • I can see why kids might’ve been underwhelmed when this came out, but looking back, what an opportunity.

  • I sent out for this set back in the day because I hadn’t owned any of the drivers previously except for Thunder and his Slugger. I was stoked when I received it in the mail. Offering the rarer drivers through promotions like this was one of the many reasons that made Hasbro rule over most of the larger toy companies in the 80’s.

    Much like Grand Slam, poor Crankcase did get the shaft in the Sunbow cartoon. They could have given him a cameo at best during one of the many battles or raids where all we got were a couple of Joes and like, a dozen green shirts instead. I love the episodes Skymate cited because they balanced the main players out alongside lesser known favorites such as Thunder, Frostbite, and Heavy Metal while giving these guys their own shot at the spotlight.

  • @Clutch
    For what its worth, Season 2 gave us Into your tent i will silently creep and In the presence of mine enemies. Both those episodes feature characters that came with more expensive toys so its a wonder Slipstream and Crosscountry managed to get the screen time they did. Also, In the presence of mine enemies features a female strato viper. Whats balsy about that is that she received top billing and isnt an actual product. A rarity for kids toy cartoons.

    I’m also guessing Sergeant Slaughter and Serpentor featured more prominantly as they came with smaller and more affordable vehicles.

  • @Skymate: Yeah, the guys at Sunbow in charge of scripts were doing their homework when they gave Slipstream and Cross-Country their own spotlight eps. I always appreciated that and the creation of new characters like the female, ethnic Strato-Viper was likewise a very progressive move on their part.

  • Selling the more expensive vehicles’ drivers is probably better for Hasbro than seling Crankcase. A kid might get the AWE Striker anyway, simply because it was cheap. But Hasbro and Sunbow really needed to make sure you bugged your parents about the Conquest over and over.

  • Lampreys were also AWOL from the cartoon.

  • I assume these came loose bagged?

    I don’t remember this exact flyer offer, but 1987…, not a really notable year for me getting GIJoe stuff. Aside from the Sea Ray and Dreadnok Cycle, I can’t think of getting much from that series back in the day.
    I remember other offers for other vehicle drivers, though.

    Ever wonder if there are cases of things like these in former sub-warehouses or some nook or cranny in that addresses area?

  • Actually both Lamprey and Crankcase make “blink and you’ll miss ’em” appearances in Sunbow’s GI JOE. Part of a Lamprey is just barely seen on a hydrofoil when one of the Crimson twins rescues the other in Pyramid of Darkness. Crankcase makes non speaking shot GI JOE THE MOVIE appearance at least, arguably a few other background shots.

    Season 2 used Cobra drivers heavily, to the point that the mere one Motor Viper included with the Stun felt inadequate. I wished I’d gotten more of them via mail-ins.

  • Yes, Crankcase did make one or two brief cameo appearances in the regular show and in The Movie. Incidentally, there’s a thorough site called that isn’t being updated by the webmaster at the moment, but it has nice breakdowns of every character, including their cartoon appearances and screen caps.

    According to that site and others, by the way, the only ’82-’86 figures not to appear on the Sunbow cartoons were Grand Slam, Keel-Haul, Claymore, and the Stinger Driver. Grand Slam did actually sneak into the earliest animated comic and toy commercials, alongside an identical Flash. Of course, those earlier character designs were different than the Sunbow series and mini-series. That design for Flash (or maybe Grand Slam with Flash’s laser rifle?) shows up in the opening sequence of The MASS Device, which grabbed one or two scenes from the first comic commercial.

  • @Jmm
    Thanks for the input.
    I beleive the early comic commercials featured Hawk wearing a white helmet and Breaker wearing a cap

  • You can pretty much find all the commercials online between Youtube, YoJoe, Joeguide and 3djoes. Some are in better resolution than others. I wish we got them all on the DVDs.

    Almost everyone in those early commercials has different character designs, but many are very close to the later ones from the mini-series and regular series. Of course, once the cartoon premiered all the designs were changed to match. I like to consider the early comic commercials to be part of the cartoon universe. The events in them are different enough from the comic to work there.

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