G.I. Joe (2006)

I’m sure somebody somewhere has asked, “Which one is G.I. Joe?” Good question, and one that didn’t have an answer until 1994. Until that time, at least as far as the figures go, there was no one actually called G.I. Joe. They were all identified as Joes or part of the Joe team. For the 30th anniversary in 1994, Hasbro released a set of commemorative 3 3/4″ scale figures based on the look of the original 1960’s 12″ line. One of these was a mail-in offer, and guess what, he had the code name G.I. Joe. He was identified as Joseph Colton, a distinguished Green Beret and top secret operative who was selected by President Kennedy to create the ultimate fighting force.

Fast forward to 2006, and a figure named G.I. Joe was released again, as part of a boxed set of figures targeted at collectors and sold  exclusively through Hasbro’s web site. The story for this boxed set had the creator of the G.I. Joe team retired and working as the head of a secret military defense installation. This figure was part of the “new sculpt” era of the early 2000’s, which although it benefited from modern improvements in paint and sculpting, often had issues with proportions. Take for instance Joe’s extra wide shoulders and short waist. I think he retired because he had trouble finding government issue shirts that would fit.

The figure is decent enough, although it is weakened by poor choice of parts. Most of the body is made from the molds of another figure, Wild Bill, a stereotypical Texan Cowpoke, which explains Joe’s snakeskin holsters, pointy cowboy boots and big-ass belt buckle. I’m not sure what’s up with the giant silver zipper on his jacket. Overall, he looks more like he’s going out hunting than heading up a top secret project. Maybe this camo cowboy outfit is just his retirement style, kind of like an ex-President who retires to civilian life on a ranch.

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