by Lt. Clutch
The 1983 Amphibious Personnel Carrier was one of my earliest Joe vehicles and remains among my top favorites. Hasbro wisely released it several times over during the vintage era and for good reason: What’s not to love about it? It’s both a troop carrier and carrying case in one, although I never used it as the latter.
Army builders love it because you can carry bunches of troops inside these guys. I had the original and much like Clutch described it in issue #14 of the comic, it “took a licking and kept on it ticking.” The ol’ APC did indeed, do good by me through a cross-state move from Miami to Chicago with my Joes safely tucked inside. Later, they flew from Chicago to Anaheim for a family visit. That original APC was later given away to a friend during my Chicago days after I stopped collecting for a time.
Much like in the comic, I gave my namesake Clutch driving duties. After I got back into Joe, I ordered two more from the mail order catalogs Hasbro issued featuring older figures and vehicles no longer on shelves. That was a master stroke of marketing genius on Hasbro’s part as both Pawtucket and their young customers could have their cake and eat it too. Those truly were the days to be a G.I. Joe collector!
Hasbro repainted the APC and released it under different monikers such as the TRUs exclusive Night Force Night Scrambler, a second mail order variant (which is pictured here) and later released as the CUDA (Coastal Unit Defense Amphibious Transport) to convention goers along with a ’93 Cutter figure, not to mention various European and South American releases. It proved to be a huge success for Hasbro.
If there’s one vehicle that begs to see retail shelves once more, it’s gotta be the APC. Hasbro kept it simple with this one and gave us another winner in the process. This is a timeless piece and one of the great vehicles in the RAH universe.