Desert Camo Sgt. Savage (1995)
Surprisingly, I haven’t covered Sgt. Savage too much in the nearly three year history of the site. In fact, this is the first representative of the line’s regularly scaled toys that I’ve written about. There were as many differences as similarities between this attempted relaunch of the brand and the classic small scaled GI Joe figures. The Savage line’s figures have been scaled up a bit, yet retain some of the previous period’s construction style. GI Joe lost articulation with the move away from the o-ring, and the substitute for the old t-hook in the hips doesn’t hold up in terms of poseability. The arms are, for the most part, a progression of the RAH builds. The larger format does allow for a bit more detail in sculpting, and the Sarge has some well defined arm muscles and even more detailed hands. Unfortunately the hands’ construction is just different enough that, while more realistic, don’t seem to hold weapons as well as the older Joes, and in this figure’s case, he can’t hold his rifle in any kind of firing position.
Desert Camo Sgt. Savage continued the long history of exclusive mail-in figures that began in the 1980s. But wait a minute, I hear you say. Sgt. Savage had a mail-in figure? Didn’t that line tank faster than Hudson Hawk? Yes, dear reader, it did. Someone at Hasbro, at the outset, apparently must have had high hopes for the Sarge as a follow-up to the defunct Real American Hero series. The line certainly had its share of care given to its packaging and presentation, if not its marketing. Even the 1995 pre-Toy Fair catalog from Hasbro put Sgt. Savage front and center, with an impressive wrap around cover. After that auspicious debut, things just fizzled.
Following on from the last few years’ propensity for gimmickry, Desert Camo Sgt. Savage features color changing paint. Dip him in warm water and the dark camo paint on his face and arms fades to a lighter shade. I would have preferred it the other way ’round, although the dark spots do fit in nicely against his uniform. Nevertheless, it’s a fun little gimmick, and an interesting figure.I also never mind a Joe repainted in tan.