In the Cards: Desert Scorpion

You know what I love most about Desert Scorpion? Is it the amazing weapon complement? The unique uniform design? The cool, Snake Eyes-Esque mask? I appreciate all those great elements, but my favorite part of the figure is Unexplained Giant Scorpion. The accessory list printed next to the card bubble calls it a pet scorpion, but I prefer my name.

The Impel card does nothing to explain the presence of the UGS, and that’s just fine with me. Mystery is sorely missing from nerd culture these days, as every bit of minutiae gets explained and worked into canon. Why do the Desert Scorpions get giant scorpion sidekicks? In the 90s toy makers said who knows–make up your own dang story, kid.

The Impel card set gave us a treasure trove of unique character art, and the lesser known 90s toys certainly deserved more massive media exposure. 1991 is a favorite year of mine, and Cobras like this guy are a fave within a fave. Desert Scorpion looks appropriately badass alongside UGS, which is a pretty mean feat. How does he manage it? He just slides those red goggles up and mean mugs us. Wicked.


  • This guy looks like he doesnt take any B-S from anyone! And why should he when the UGS by his side? Whats cool about these guys is that they basically the dregs of the viper corps lol. Theyre tough but unruly. But theyre motivated to fight hard because theyre on their way to being Toxo-Zombies if they dont get their act together!

  • There’s not much reference to specific art credits for the Impel cards, but that squarish Cobra emblem means that was probably an M.D. Bright drawing, he was regular GI JOE comic artist in 1989-90. Curious things, this Scorpion has shirt sleeves and his skin is the same color as his mask.

    Can’t say I did much with the giant scorpion, but some of the animals were fun bonus adversaries or allies for GI JOE. It’s hard to top EEL v2’s torpedo launching robot shark, though.

  • Toxo vipers. Toxo zombies happens if you get really unlucky and exposed to way too much toxic waste.

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