Blizzard (1997)

I was super excited for the news of a  limited revival of GI Joe at Toys R Us in 1997. I had seen preview pictures in the usual toy media outlets of the day (Tomart’s, Lee’s and Previews), and couldn’t wait to get my hands on some newly redecoed versions of classic GI Joe molds. Later, I was more than a little disappointed at what ultimately made its way to the shelves.

Blizzard has apparently grown a beard since the late 80s. A Little facial hair It does help to keep one’s face warm in cold weather. I don’t know what to say about his hair color, other than it looks like it came out of a bottle of red dye #2. One thing Blizzard has going for him is a nicely repurposed 90s mold. Originally released as Frostbite, the Battle Corps version of this figure had a mostly effective arctic look. The only drawback were orange highlights among the grey and snow camo uniform. The spray style camo here is a bit blobby, like many figures of the year, but Blizzard’s uniform overall looks better than many of the same year’s Stars and Stripes set Joes.

Weapons choice is problematic. Whereas Frostbite came with a decent selection of armaments, and a super neat mask, Blizzard is stuck with the Baroness rifle and an uzi. That’s it. No skis, no snow shoes or crampons. Nothing at all remotely useful for an arctic figure. This was a harbinger of things to come in the early 2000s, as later Joes of all stripes were also given an inexplicable range of accessories, from Tele-Viper gear to SAW Viper backpacks.

10 comments

  • I thought he was Snowjob

    I never saw any of these sets in my neck of the woods. A pity. I’d say the reason the toys r us’s down here never picked them up was to the epic shelfwarming of the streetfighter and mortal kombat stuff.

    He is a good figure though; just not of Blizzard

  • If only they didn’t lose the Blizzard mold–I mean, they used it three years before for the Street Fighter movie line as Arctic Assault Guile.

  • Maybe somebody at Chuck E. Cheese headquarters has some figures left so that Hasbro can reverse-engineer the mold.

    The plastic used for the ’97 figures had a lot to do with their issues. Paint apps simply would not fare well on these, making them look more like cheap knock-offs found in the street markets of Mexico or China rather than a legitimate Hasbro product. Things improved a bit the following year, but most of the ’97 material made Lanard’s products look superior by comparison.

  • I have to say, I’m kind of glad, in retrospect, that I didn’t find many of the 1997 sets that interesting. With the problems that collectors discuss, I probably would have been pretty disappointed in them. I’ll echo the Snow Job comparisons here. I didn’t know who Snow Job was back in the day, but I was surprised that Hasbro didn’t make this Snow Job considering that with a red beard, he really does look like a great update of the Joe team’s first arctic specialist.

  • Blizzard’s mold resurfaced in time for the 2005 Winter Operations set. He was called “Short Fuze” for no apparent reason. The set didn’t even come witha mortar

  • @NegaT
    Was that the same set that came with the purple camo Stalker and the “invisible” Mirage?

  • I remember seeing the packaged items here and being so disappointed it didn’t include the proper Blizzard. Ditto Snake Eyes and the Cobra Commander, though the CC has redeemed itself a bit over the years as more CC’s have become available…. if you can find a spare pipe for his mouth that is!

  • The ’97/’98 and ARAHC releases on the generation 1 figures were strongest when they were pretty much straight repaints of the original for me.
    This figure is Frostbite to me, just one example where I can’t think of it as what the package says it is. (Vypra is Jinx, for another example)

  • this guy isn’t Blizzard or Frostbite or Snow Job…. he’s Big Bear in arctic clothes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.