Dial Tone (2000)
The 2000 releases brought GI Joe back to mainstream retail, beyond its two year stint as Toys R Us exclusives. At first, I wasn’t too enthused about the series, but once I started checking out a few of the packs more closely, I found some things to like. First off, if you’re not a fan of brightly colored figures, this set should be to your liking. The series also features unique paint applications. Earth tones and dark washes abound, along with an interesting take on camouflage deco: marbleized plastic.
Getting Dial Tone in a more subdued and generic looking uniform is a nice change up from his previous color schemes that tended toward a more utilitarian or support than combat look. Thankfully the entire mold was kept intact, making for a consistent look among his other iterations. With a character of Dial Tone’s specialty, it would be a shame to lose some of his unique uniform details. It is a bummer however that his gloves were left unpainted.
This figure bears the distinction of being the only clean-shaven Dial-Tone. Well, not technically, if you’re only going by the code name, as 2009 saw a female release with the same name. You get the idea, though. It’s a little bit of a shock to see the character without his trademark ‘stache, and if you’re not careful, you might think the head mold was different. It’s not, as you can still see his sculpted facial hair. That’s kind of weird. Also gone this time around is his unique communication backpack, replaced by yet another remolding of the 1984 Firefly phone. I imagine that the original pack was not available, so the smaller device was thrown in the mix. From a mythos standpoint, it could stand to reason that the Joe team was way ahead of the curve in terms of miniaturization of communications technology.