Infantry Division (2005)

There have always been a few figures that Joe fans (and particularly Sunbow fans) have wanted to see since they were wee little ones watching the cartoon back in the day. One of these wish list figures can also cause much debate amongst Joe fans of all stripes. That is the generic  Joe trooper, popularly known as the Greenshirt. The very concept, some would argue, goes against the GI Joe team’s basic identity as a special ops force made up of individual specialists from all the armed forces.

I don’t mind the idea and I see them as background fodder for big battles. In the Sunbow cartoon, they were seen here and there in some scenes, but it seems that these guys were only really called out in force when the big battles went down. This leads me to wonder: are the Greenshirts even meant to be part of the Joe team? Maybe they’re just regular Army that functions as backup. The common accepted purpose of the force in the mythos (including the multi-pack) is as a training ground for the primary Joe team. Sort of like the minor leagues of special ops.

The Infantry Division set, a Toys R Us exclusive multi-pack, included two basic figure molds painted in differing hair and skin tone combinations. Some parts were shared in common with the ’82-’83 Joe team comic packs of the same time. The result is a force that closely resembles the original thirteen Joes. Like the other multi-packs of the time, the Infantry Division had its share of problems. The biggest of which for me is the choice of head mold. Using the relatively obscure Downtown head made for a generic look, but it’s not the most heroic head sculpt. Not to mention that the haircut looks too unkempt for raw recruits.

The worst aspect of the set for me was the painted facial hair. In fact, it was so annoying that I had to break out the customizing tools and carefully scrape it off. I also didn’t much care for the two figures that used the original HISS driver torso.  There is something about the other four figures, especially after a “shave”,  that really appeals to the ’82-’83 fan in me. In the end, it’s not a representation of the Sunbow style Greenshirt, and the multi-pack on the whole is rather lackluster, but I still find something to like in its simplicity.

8 comments

  • I also considered these guys background fodder as a kid, and as it turns out that’s basically what the animators were shooting for so they could cut costs. That Downtown head was the worst choice ever for a generic Joe. They needed to go with a crew cut or something. I wish they’d kept the ’82/’83 crotch piece around because those were far sturdier. I know that DDP tried to flesh out the Green Shirt concept back when the cartoon and comic continuities were being integrated, but it just came across as a waste of time when there were over 200 actual characters to revisit.

  • That head plastic is what turned me off to “new” figs years ago. It’s like you can see through it or something. Weird. Times have changed. Love the concept (and the fig) though. Yo Sunbow!

    • Yeah the waxy plastic is quite weird. There was a whole furor in the 2000’s when the new sculpt figures had painted faces vs. molded skin tone. I didn’t get the problem, and didn’t mind the painted skin. At least it cut down on zombie-looking Joes.

  • They do not exist in my Joeverse.

  • It’s a lazy set on Hasbro’s part, but a lot of that era was. Still, I’m glad to get non-brittle ’82 arms, even if they’re bright green. But I absolutely despise the ’86 Roadblock waist; the ’84 version would’ve looked much better on these legs (why not use the original legs?). The dark, goateed head makes a decent Abel “Breaker” Shaz, and the HISS torso could make a good jungle HISS driver.

  • There was justice in the world when this set warmed the pegs back in ’05. (Wow, has it really been that long????) This is a terrible set. Had this been one or two Greenshits and a some Steel Brigade figures made from the unproduced Tiger Force mold that was surfacing about that time, it would have been worthwhile. But, this set was terrible. The HAS, Desert, Processional and Shadow Guard sets at least had one figure or accessory that made them worthwhile in the long term. This one had nothing.

    • Yeah, they could’ve done more with the idea of nameless JOES than than just 6 of the same head (not even a good head) and two different torsos and thighs.
      Generic JOES shouldn’t look like knock-offs…or worse than some knock-offs.

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