Bazooka (1985)

Though I have a great fondness for the Sunbow cartoon, I do have a bone to pick with its portrayal of Bazooka. Did he have to sound like such a dunderhead? The file card describes him as a decisive fast thinker, and maybe he is to some extent (witness the ending of the Bazooka Saw a Sea Serpent episode), but he just seemed to be such an easy butt for jokes, most notably at the hands of Alpine. Watching that same episode lately, I was amazed at some of the brutal comments by Alpine. The two seemed like the classic straight man vs. foil duo in the Pyramid of Darkness mini-series, but later the relationship got to the point of workplace hostility. I feel really bad for poor Bazook, having to deal with that kind of behavior from a co-worker day-in, day-out. Of course, this was years before bullying on the job was the hot issue it is now, so I’m not surprised Duke or Hawk never gave Mr. Pine a talking-to.

When I was a young GI Joe fan, I had no I interest in Bazooka as a character or an action figure. I never bought one back in the day. Even as a kid, I thought Bazooka was a strange looking GI Joe. I just didn’t get why the guy wore a football jersey. Then there was the fact that his head looked pretty goofy, especially with the huge mustache. Of course, now that I’m an adult, I understand and respect the power of an impressively groomed ‘stache, as well as the odd design choices that gave the old toys a little more character.


  • I think I’ve read that the plan was to keep having different sports themed guys year after year, but then they never really did. (Except Gridiron and I guess Cutter?)

  • Believe it or not, my first experience with this mold came in the form of the Tiger Force version–which I got a year ago. I wonder why there was such a discrepancy in the character portrayals–maybe the writers thought that not every Joe needed to be all Curt Swan-era Superman?

  • Bazooka and Alpine seemed to have the most well developed relationship [that is not innuendo] out of the first season. I guess thats why both of them are so expensive on the secondary market.
    Bazooka’s filcard also says that he used to drive abrams tanks[i think]. The army does not usually let morons drive heavy, complicated armoured vehicles. I guess the writers just needed a ‘dense’ guy for a double act so Bazooka was picked.

    My only Bazooka was the Battlecorps one

    Seeing as how there are so many football themed Joes it is my dream to one day have them all and posed as though they are singing ‘Shapoopi’ ala family guy

  • That would be kinda funny. Looks like other than Bazooka, you’ll just need:
    ….Actually, I think those are the only football-tied Joes in the whole line.

  • Add Red Dog to that list…

  • I saw Bazooka *a lot* at stores back in the day. I kept passing on him. IIRC, he may have even been more of a shelfwarmer than Tele-Vipers. Airtight had nothing on him (though it seems like there were quite a few leftover Blowtorches). I recall seeing quite a few Bazookas still in what I guess is early 1987 and I hedged on getting him because he might be a stand-in for a Mario toy (which didn’t exist then). He’s got the moustache and right colors, but I kept going “… nah”.

    Bazooka seems to be the weakest link in 1985. I don’t hate him, but I don’t like him.

  • Bazooka looked just like an Assistant Manager I used to have at work.

    I first picked up the figure right after the ’85 Joes were released along with Footloose and Shipwreck. He was the least impressive of the three, partly because of his look and mostly because I was a huge fan of Zap. This dude was clearly meant to replace him, but when I watched the cartoon, I couldn’t believe that the army would allow someone so obviously retarded into their ranks. My respect for him went further downhill. I didn’t mind Alpine at all but I cringed whenever he and Bazook got into their routine.

    There’s probably a reason why Warren Ellis chose him to be killed off by Storm Shadow in the Resolute short. If Ellis ever watched the Sunbow cartoon, he knew he’d found his man.

    It’s also telling that although he was among the first Joes to be found back in ’85, I still spotted him on a gray card alongside Leatherneck at a drugstore in Cheyenne, Wyoming, …in 1990! I do wish I’d known which other figures the pharmacist had stocked at the time other than those two.

  • Oh yeah, Rob–are you ever going to touch up Bazooka’s cookie-duster there? A nice coat of paint can do wonders.

  • Bazooka was a poor substitute for Zap. I believe the jersey was a homage to Steve Grogan’s 1985 New England Patriots.

  • stupidest figure in the RAH line. worse than all the 90s gimmicky figures.

  • Hardball’s more baseball-themed.

  • This action figure (1985) was genial!

  • Looks like your Bazooka’s going a bit grey on the old moustache there…!

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  • Bazooka the one figure i couldn’t find in my local toy shops, my friend got him. Yet when i tried to find him he was always sold out.

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