Budo (1993 Mail-In)

The end of the RAH Joe line produced its fair share of hits, misses and oddities. For me, the mail-in international force mail in set from 1993 was an odd, yet fun and eclectic mix of both characters and colors. As a concept, it’s a great idea, particularly after the foreign Joes released in ’91 and ’92. The four figures in the set also sport some subdued colors (including a Night Force-ish Big Bear) along with some odd colors. None of them however approach the eye-gouging color of other ’93 mail-ins like Interrogator and the Create a Cobra.

Big Ben,  Big Bear and Spirit represent the UK, Russia and the USA respectively, and Budo is supposed to represent Japan, but is actually from the USA. Oops. I suppose they could have put Skymate on the team, since he represents Australia, but I suppose Budo’s inclusion still works for the set, if you aren’t a huge stickler for detail.

As 90’s repaints go, he doesn’t fare too badly. The only real oddness in his scheme are the bright orange highlights. Like his first figure, It’s in the paint detail where Budo suffers, as his incredibly detailed torso is molded in a solid color with no paint apps. This isn’t surprising at the end of the original Joe line, which seemed to see a reduction in paint apps overall.

The only accessory included outside of his helmet is his sheathed sword, molded in silver. It’s disappointing not to get his other sword, sai or backpack, but I’m not surprised that a mail-in and late release figure ended up light on the accessory count.


  • Much like Long Range from the other week, my main problem with Budo is the lack of paint apps on what turned out to be such a highly detailed figure. Character wise, Budo made little sense as a Joe because Samurai warriors are few and far in between among recruits, and in full gear at that! I could have pictured him as an instructor who happened to descend from Samurai lineage, but who am I to argue? The Thundercats had Hachiman and it worked out for them. Same deal with the Super Friends earlier in the decade. Samurais must have been all the rage back then.

  • Jonah Hardenbrook

    Budo in his samurai garb never made much sense to me as a member of the Joe team. I had created a custom that redically reworked the look of the character while maintaining his samurai nobility.
    I much prefer the original over this version because of the originals muted colors. The orange highlights were pretty terrible.

    • I hope Rob doesn’t mind if I request a link. I am very curious about this custom you speak of.

      Also, I totally agree with the preference of the original. These colors look like they came from a cereal box character or something.

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