Straight arm or swivel? Seems an odd question to ask, since the 1983 figures are regarded as improvements to the first year offerings. Not only did the later figures offer the added poseability option of the swiveling arms, but the waists were also slimmed down. The new arms themselves also seem just a bit beefier. Even the rivets looked less intrusive.
I didn’t have too many straight arm figures as a kid. My first Clutch was a swivel arm, and I didn’t pick this one up until my adult collector days in the late 90s. I actually revisited all of the 1983 original thirteen figures, buying up straight arm copies of each. Why? At the time, not much reason, other than for the sake of completeness.
Looking back on the 1982 Joes from a toy design within the context of their time, I can appreciate where action figures were in the early 80s, when Kenner’s vintage Star Wars’ line ruled the boys’ toys roost. The more sparse designs, in terms of both the outfits and the figure construction, have their own particular clunky charm. I’d like to see these guys blown up to the twelve inch scale a la Gentle Giant’s jumbo vintage Star Wars series. Imagine the huge rivets and a giant o-ring inside!
What if GI Joe hadn’t evolved in its construction within the Real American Hero line’s second year? Would it have been the runaway success it became in 1984 and 1985?
Can’t get enough of Clutch? Check out this figure, and every other A Real American Hero figure, from every angle on our partner site, 3DJoes.com.