Claymore (1986)

First off, I aplogize for the less than stellar quality of this figure. His paint is worn, he’s got a but of a broken crotch, and most all of his joints are quite loose. Someone must have played the heck out of him back in the day. I just can’t bring myself to plunk down a large sum of moolah to get a pristine copy of this goofball. That’s right, I said goofball. Why? Look at him. I’m not sure if that’s camo or mud stains on his French’s Mustard yellow outfit. Plus, since he’s sporting the chest mold of a Tele-Viper, Claymore is showing way more decolletage than I think is appropriate within a special mission force. There’s no place for a plunging neckline in this man’s army.

A reading of his file card reveals a male Mary Sue of the Big Brawler caliber. Actually, since Claymore debuted in 1986, that should be the other way around. It turns out that Big Brawler is a pale imitation of the over the top glory that is Claymore. This cat is proficient in all forms of martial arts. All. Forms. He’s respected by all branches of the armed forces. All. Branches. To cement his awesomeness, the story goes that General Hawk insisted Claymore join the Joes. The man responded by stipulating that he only participate in special assignments. Wow. Even Mr. Brawler doesn’t have the cojones to make such a request.

Why create such an overpowered character? Maybe to counterbalance the fact that the figure was a less than attractive adventure hero toy back in 1986. Then again, since every other Joe in the Mission Brazil pack was a simple repaint, it’s possible that the Hasbro marketers felt it necessary to give the lone new guy a little extra punch to boost sales of the set. Probably not. I think I read too much into these things sometimes.

16 comments

  • I wonder how sales for the set would’ve fared if they replaced Claymore with one of the other ’86 Joes that could fit the theme–Beachhead, Lifeline, Low-Light, or Roadblock…

    Finished product aside, I think it’s funny that Claymore is a 1986 Joe who’s made up of parts of Joe figures from the previous year.

    And at least his profile got a boost in the Devil’s Due run.

  • Pretty ballsy to pick on GI Joe’s closest parallel to Chuck Norris.

  • I’d never know that his filecard is that over the top. That’s pretty funny actually. Yeah, Claymore is kind of a weird-looking dude. It’s nice to see that the yellow and brown giraffe camo of 90s Leatherneck has a spiritual brother back in the day.

  • I suspect this file wasn’t written by Larry Hama. Larry has mentioned that he tried to give characters flaws to make them more interesting, and that doesn’t seem to be the case with Claymore. That said, other than the “super hero” aspect, it’s actually a well-written card (which can’t be said for some of the later non-Hama work).

  • He’s always been little more than a Footloose repaint/clone to me, although the Devil’s Due guys must have been fans ’cause they had him live up to his file card credo a bit.

    I’m not sure that Larry Hama wrote it either, though. Mainly for the reasons ergozoom cites above, but also because Larry tended to add a psychological angle of his own, a specific trait or quirk if you will. Claymore is missing those, he is practically Norris or Arnold or whomever else defined 80’s macho perfection.

  • From the appearance of Claymore, I’m not a fan. It’s probably the brown and yellow camo more than anything.

    As for the file card, wouldn’t everything G.I. Joe does be classified as a special mission?

  • At the time of writing this, i’m just back home from a collectables fair. I managed to score a huge bag of vintage Joes. In the lot was mission Brazil Wet suit. I had a deep rummage but couldnt find Claymore but i did find an Imperial dignitary!
    I know this guy seems a bit over powered and skilled [how can one man know that many martial arts?] but i looked for him as he’s the hardest one of the set to get. I also got a bit confused a couple of years ago when i first heard of him as “Claymore” was also the name of a Cobra trooper Dusty saved. It wasnt until i looked at this guy on Yojoe did i realise there was no way they could be related.

  • He was brawlin’ before brawlin’ was Big.

  • Claymore wasn’t dumb enough to turn down an officer’s commission at least. Also probably follows orders and doesn’t blow up entire islands like a reckless twit.

  • I give Claymore a bye because he sounds like black-ops. So elite that he can only be requested by the Joes for extra-special missions. Wish he had a better figure though. In a way, I wish Mission Brazil had either all been Franken-Joes or all just simple repaints. Claymore is more of an oddball because of it.

  • One of my fave G.I.JOEs! I do not why, maybe because he’s another Italo-american Joe (John Zullo).

  • The only thing I can think of to make Claymore not suck is to put his head on Chuckles’ body. Then you’ve got the Joe’s private investigator, Magnum.

  • Ah Claymore, the GI Joe Frankenstein. His camouflage was perfect for the daring raid on Cobra’s illegal mustard factory and it always covered his escape in giant dandelion fields. He might also be known as the giraffe whisperer. Hmm, Toys R Us exclusive, giraffe-like camo. I wonder…

    Maybe Claymore oversold himself. He’s proficient in all forms of martial arts… that he’s familiar with, like that line from a song from a few years after 1986: “I’m not aware of too many things. I know what I know, if you know what I mean”.

  • In my Joeverse, Claymore and Rumbler are best friends. They attend rodeos,monster truck demolition derbies, bowling on Thursday nights, and knocking back some pops at the local country/western dive bar,complete with mechanical bull.

  • Claymore has always been a favorite of mine! He was born in my home state and went to college in my High School town, so I always had an attachment to him as a kid, and as an adult I love the “Black Ops” nature of him. Even if he looks a bit silly in the leopard print, I still think he rocks.

  • I was glad to have Claymore as a kid. But, he broke almost immediately due to the poor waist/leg combo. Had I not owned him then, I doubt I would have any attachment to him. But, I forgive the colors due to him being part of my childhood collection.

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