Funskool Zartan

Zartan is one of my favorite GI Joe figures, so when I saw a Funskool version, I just had to pick it up. In the early 2000s, the closest I had to a remade o-ring version of the master of disguise was the disappointing collectors series release. You remember the one, with the SAW Viper body. It would be a few years before we got a remake in the comic pack series, and as cool as it was, that Zartan lacked the original head mold.

Funskool figures can run the gamut from cool for their sometimes unique variations on original deco, to bat-excrement crazy for their original character design mashups (I’m looking at you, Big Brawler and Cross Country). Zartan doesn’t fare too badly, and follows his 1984 figure pretty closely. He looks a bit scary thanks to the lack of face paint. I always thought his portrait looked creepy, but without the black around the eyes, he’s got a strange, almost unformed look to his features.

Accessory-wise, the backpack is missing, and there’s no place to store his mask. My version came with the hood unglued, and the mask is a hard plastic, so I haven’t been able to put the disguise on him. The original pistol is here, but done in bright red. The replacement backpack doesn’t quite work, but I like the fact that the color is matched to his outfit, and the style fits the comic’s motif of his time with the Arashikage swordmaster. Too bad he didn’t come with a sword. Not that I don’t have a million lying around to give to him.

Funskool Zartan

Funskool Zartan

Funskool Zartan


  • I’m a fan of the creepy eyes. Gives the character some depth. If you work it just the right, the mask will lodge in the hood and the whole assembly will work as kind of a helmet and stay on a bit better.

    If you can find the ones made in 2003, the construction is much higher quality. They were mostly bagged, though, so you’ll have to get a carded version for accessories.

    I miss Funskool.

  • I have this figure and actually prefer it almost to the original. I love the eyeliner look to the pro wrestler face paint and the painted pants behind the shin guards make more sense than the solid black boots.

  • This face is much creepier & therefore makes perfect sense for his character. Cool & informative post! Nice thorough photos of him as well!

  • One could use this as a ‘canvas’ for a cartoon-based repaint custom of the character.

  • Don’t forget to point out the Funskool-exclusive all-black thigh pads & chest armor. Plus the fact that you can disassemble this figure, unlike the original Hasbro release (broken Zartan crotch = end of the figure). This is one of those FS figures that is totally worth picking up on the cheap (which they usually are).

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    On the subject of pro wrestlers, Funskool Zartan’s face looks like Kane.

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