Iron Grenadier (2003)
One of the more imposing Cobra figures released during the relaunched small Joe era, the revamped Iron Grenadier was an instant favorite with me. I didn’t have any attachment to the 80s version, as it was available first during the time I had dropped out of toy collecting. Maybe that’s the reason I accepted this figure so readily. Whatever the reason, the figure still stands above many others of its time for its design and useability.
Not as plagued by odd proportions as many of its fellow figures, the Iron Grenadier is lanky enough in its build to fit in a little better among the Real American Hero figures of the 80s and 90s. Again, the figure is an imposing presence, and true to Destro’s penchant for for high fashion, stylized to the hilt. Who else but the big D would outfit his troops in shoulder armor like that? They’re almost 40K Space Marine large. The fact that the armor was removable also struck me back then, as it wasn’t common in GI Joe figures. Who knew that the feature would become so common in a few years’ time?
From the 80s to 2002, The Iron Grenadier went from a stormtrooper-esque figure to something along the lines of a comic book super villain. Though the toy may be somewhat forgotten in the minds of modern collectors, I think there’s still a lot to like It’s the sort of welcome reimagining that at times made the relaunched toyline of the early 2000s something special.