Incinerators (1991)

Textures. They’re not something that I think about often in terms of the RAH toy line. Other than armor, I can’t recall a lot of figures whose uniform reflected some kind of different surfaces among pants, shirts, etc. Early in the line, sculpted details like folds and bloused pants weren’t depicted in much detail, if at all. I’ve wondered  if that was a conscious design decision on the early figures, a budget/time issue, or a result of the limitations of toy production in the early 80’s. Regardless, as time went on, figures became more detailed and yes, even textures were made their way into sculpts now and then.

I get a dragon skin vibe from the Incinerators’ protective suits. Speaking of protection, it seems like a minor miracle to say that Cobra for once outfitted a trooper with adequately protective equipment. There’s no “leaky suit brigade” aspect to this trooper’s outfit. Back to the style of the suit; it really makes the figure look like it’s ready to breathe fire. The textured scales and padded chest plate make for a very animalistic appearance. The cobra hood motif on the helmet tops it all off. The helmet also has a kind of ornateness to it that could lend itself to a ceremonial uniform as well. I could see this head being used for an honor guard for Cobra Commander. Another custom idea I’ll never get around to.

The Incinerators included a rubber band powered catapult that hurled translucent orange balls (this was the age of firing weapons, after all). The flamethrower is a nice two-handed weapon, but was reused umpteen times through the final years of the RAH line, as a frequent element of the weapons “tree” included in the Battle Corps releases. The flamethrower weapon also has an interesting side note on the file card, as it’s described as having ozone destroying properties. I hadn’t noticed that loose tie-in to the Eco Warriors theme before.

8 comments

  • Thanks for highlighting the good aspects of Incinerators and not getting distracted by the bright colors.

    I think the 1991 figures are often given short shrift because they introduced neon on a larger scale, but there were some great designs in that year. E.g., Big Ben; I’d say he is one of the best figures in the whole line.

  • Scales and padding never looked so good. Everything about the Incinerator works in his favor. Red, silver, and orange actually makes you think “flamethrower” much like Blowtorch does for the Joes due to his radical uniform colors. This is one figure that deserves to be reused several times over whenever the o-ring style is needed again, be it for club, convention, or store exclusives. By far one of the great figures in the watershed year that was 1991 along with the line in general.

  • This is a figure I’ve always liked, but never really used. It looks great posed in a single photo like above. But, it’s hard to integrate them into a larger Cobra display.

    The Funskool version, if given the American accessories, is a good way to diversify the Incinerators a bit. But, I’m kind of glad that this is the only real coloring of the figure. It leaves it as a true vintage mold with none of the baggage that accompanies many modern repaints of classic molds.

  • I’m really surprised that a lot of Cobra troops depicted in the cartoons (Sunbow AND DIC) never even used the weapons they were specially designed for–in the DIC cartoon alone, I think the only troops that did so were the Laser-Vipers, Night Creepers, and Sludge-Vipers. I’ve seen the Incinerators in the DIC cartoon, and they NEVER used their flamethrowers. On the Sunbow hand, Tele-Vipers never had their scanners, and Crimson Guards didn’t even have laser-ized versions of their bayoneted rifles.

  • I’ve always loved these figures. The mold and colors were awesome, the weapons and accessories were great, and the I liked the file card description of them in action.

  • I found this trooper odd because he has a big smooth dome, no visible respirator like other flamethrower troopers or even a few Cobra non-flame throwers.

  • One of my favorites back then and now. I can’t imagine the sculpt or colors being any more perfect for his job description.

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