Baroness (2008 DVD battle pack)
I have a real soft spot for the first GI Joe mini-series, AKA the MASS Device. I find it endlessly interesting from the standpoint of the many elements that are different from next mini-series and the eventual regular series. One of the elements I enjoy so much about this and other Joe Sunbow series are the added characters, vehicles and locations that weren’t part of the Real American Hero toy mythos. The MASS Device series is chock full of people, places and things we won’t see again. Among these were character designs I always wished I could get as toys, but which never saw release.
Hasbro gave me some of my wishes with the DVD battle packs from 2008. The first pack, from which the Baroness hails, also included the radioactive Snake Eyes and Stalker with jet pack. Those two figures took existing 25th anniversary parts and turned them into effective cartoon depictions. The Baroness in her diving outfit from the ‘heavy water’ battle continues the trend. Using the Scarlett mold and some choice new parts is actually pretty effective. She even includes the device used to gather the heavy water sample.
Both the Cobra and Joe diver designs in this scene are the kind of thing I find fascinating about this early bit of Joe animation. Because the toy line was just beginning, the cartoon artists had some ability to make up non-toy designs when needed. Another good example of this is in the series final battle, as the Joes are scaling the walls of Cobra’s temple. To make use of the MOBAT tanks in this odd situation, the designers placed them into platforms with clawed legs, allowing them to crawl up the walls. It’s that kind of extreme suspension of disbelief moment that makes the first Joe mini-series such goofy fun.