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Feb 02

Badger (1991)

Badgers? We ain’t got no badgers. We don’t need no badgers. We don’t got to show you any stinking Badgers! Sorry, couldn’t resist.

I suppose the Badger filled a similar spot to the old VAMP, albeit in a bit of a scaled down size. While this is not as small a vehicle as you would think, it is a one-seater. There are a couple of foot pegs on the sides, but any riders had better hang on, and watch for firing missiles. The large tires and working suspension are more akin to an off-road adventure vehicle than a military machine. If you need more reference to an off-roader, there’s a roll cage and even an antenna with flag handily emblazoned with the vehicle’s name. I guess that’s in case the Joes either participate in a cross country race or forget where they park when they head off to the mall.

Kidding aside, I really enjoy this vehicle. It’s in a similar vein to the Mudbuster, in that it incorporates fun play features and a chunky look that is different from the 80’s vehicles, yet not entrenched in the Tonka-like style that would dominate in the early 2000’s lines.

Of course the elephant in the room with this vehicle is the color. What can I say–or what do I even need to say, the pictures tell the story without my blathering. Yes, it is a brightly colored attack jeep. Why? Maybe Hasbro was trying to capture a bit of the Ninja Turtles market by making their toys brighter. Okay, maybe it wasn’t all due to the Turtles’ success in the toy aisle. After all, it was a pretty colorful decade in general. I’m not afraid to.admit that I had some bright orange Zubaz pants at one point. When I see the colored weapons of the time and the color coordinated parts on vehicles like this, I can’t help but see the similarities between the Playmates Turtles toys. They even have crazily bold paper stickers, though with no references to pizza.

The mold saw another release in the Street Fighter line, in a less brightly colored scheme, yet still not anything typical of a military vehicle. Obviously, this mold would have been more of a hit with collectors if it had been released later in shades of green, tan or even black. I often wonder what happened to the molds for the 90’s vehicles, and why other than the Barracuda and Monster Blaster APC, they didn’t get a re-release in the 2000’s lines via Toys R Us or the Collectors Club.

The 90’s vehicles weren’t the same animals as their predecessors in a lot of ways, but they were surprisingly consistent in terms of look and feel. Even though the color of vehicles like the Badger aped other toy lines of the time, in the end, they do occupy their own little niche of GI Joe toys.

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  1. Carson

    One day I will own all of the early 90s Joe vehicles. Shortly thereafter I will learn to customize and I will re-color them all and add more traditional 80s G.I. Joe markings. That will be awesome. But first, there’s another 300 figures or so to document…

  2. Acer

    I remember seeing someone on joedios.com show off a custom where he put all the Badger’s blue parts on the Crimson Cruiser to make a vehicle that surprisingly matched the 1997 Viper figure.

  3. Skymate

    I use to have the STREET FIGHTER version. I pretended it was a Crimson guard vehicle. I think the Badger might work as a combat vehicle if it didnt look like a constructicon

  4. Clutch

    Gotta love any review which incorporates a “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” reference!

    I had the Badger at one point not long ago. The flag was a paper sticker which you had to fold and if you didn’t get both sides even the first time, there were no second chances. Of course, I messed mine up.

    The Badger itself is a neat little vehicle if you ignore the neon green. An aside: If 90’s toys were modeled after the Turtles and Power Rangers, what would a RAH line have looked like in the 70’s? Corduroy brown with a side of lava lamp? Wallpaper yellow? Fridge/phone green?

    I guess we do have the Adventure Team suit colors to go by. Not that different from the 90’s really…

  5. Dekkard

    If you just paint this the same colour as the VAMP, or better still, the VAMP Mk II it’s a great little scout car.

    Be seeing you…

  6. DrSyn

    My best friend had this, went toe-to-toe with my Thundermachine.

    Good guys won, naturally.

  7. Scott

    For a rather simple vehicle, it really has some neat spots that make it stand out to me. Take the rear working suspension, as well as the forward flipping hood that reveals a small figure-weapon storage location, for instance. The antenna is something that could have been omitted entirely, but is still a fairly intricate item. There’s the little hood “hooks,” a brush guard that takes down anything, room for two figures on the side pegs, and, importantly, a steering wheel and pedals.

    Had the Badger gotten a “steerable” front axle (and a slightly muted green color tone) it would have been more famous now. Not to mention a more refined armament.

    1. Scott

      Good figures for the picture!

  8. Scot

    While fun, the Badger seems a quickly drawn up vehicle. “Let’s make a wicked awesome 4×4! Wait, it needs a weapon… whip a spring launcher on top of the rollcage! EXTREME!!!” The sculpting is top-notch and the details are nice. I just don’t know what to do with it, though. Maybe a dune race with the Funskool MRF VAMP?

  9. Neapolitan Joe

    A big, bad Jeep!

  10. Little Boa

    Heh. This vehicle and that opening line reminds me of this scene from UHF:

  11. Jeremy

    The Badger would be a good scout vehicle for an armored division. This vehicle has a nice design, its just crying out for a complete paint job.

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