In the Cards: Clean Sweep and Ozone

Any pop culture phenom worth its salt gives rise to all manner of ancillary product. From toys to bedsheets and board games, there’s no end to the ways in which a property can capitalize on success. Sometimes cross promotion of tchotchkes merges with the fads of the day to produce something unique. The 90s saw trading cards come to the fore, with sets based on many a pop culture subject.

GI Joe was in the game via Impel, which released a single series in 1991. The set has a more comic book slant to the art than toy or package art. Maybe this was due to Impel’s concurrent Marvel comics cards, which also makes sense as the set commemorated characters that had been killed off in Marvel continuity.

The Eco Warriors sub-team starred in the “patrols” label, and Clean Sweep and Ozone are two of my favorites. Clean Sweep is depicted alongside his unique “sweeper” and with his control panel backpack accessory. Ozone is set in a particularly bleak wooded area. His brightly colored outfit is quite a contrast to the background. 

If you want more in-depth coverage of the Impel cards and more, check out European Joe’s blog. 


  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    I was a big fan of these as a kid and had the entire set. I always found Crystal Ball’s card interesting for two particular reasons: 1. It was a Hall of Fame card (Hall of Fame cards focused on deceased characters) which stated he died in an avalanche and 2. It mentioned that he was from Cobra-La.

    • I liked Deep Six’s card where it mentioned he could hold his breath for hours. He’s a freaking mutant!

  • The Impel cards have a lot of variety, but my favorite trading cards are still the Milton Bradley ones with the classic packaging art.

  • Ozone is easily my favorite “obscure” Joe, and I’d love to get a Clean Sweep eventually. Oddly, I have both of these cards (and a few others) but have no idea how I got them. They’re sure not left over from childhood.

  • I’ve always loved the old Impel cards, which I think made many of the early 90s figures a lot more aesthetically appealing than the actual Hasbro product. 1991 Snake Eyes in particular is just beautiful:

    • James From Miami

      Thank you very much for that link. Now that is how the 1991 Snake Eyes figure should have been painted in the first place. The way that it looks in that drawing, is the way that Snake Eyes is supposed to look. The 1991 Snake Eyes figure was the first Snake Eyes figure that I ever had, but yet, I was not exactly happy, or excited, about having it. It just wasn’t a big deal to me, even thought he was one of those older characters that I had wanted to get years earlier, but I wasn’t able to. To me, the worse feature of that figure, was the blue and pink goggles. To this day, I still hate the colors of those goggles. Especially, the pink. What were they thinking? Snake Eyes isn’t supposed to have on bright colors, specially neon colors. It was bad enough that they painted the figure in a blue color that looks kind of a Cobra looking blue color, but the pink in the goggles just doesn’t match with the character of Snake Eyes.

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