Iron Mech (2005)
Mechs have been a part of the GI Joe universe since 1983, when the SNAKE armor debuted. Things got more active in the 90s, with offerings like the Armor Bot (okay, not technically a mech, but close) and the 1994 Power Fighters. Both were space-oriented, a natural extension of military vehicles suited for the Star Brigade sub-team. In 2004, both the Joes and Cobra got in on the mech action with the Defense Mech and Cobra Pulverizer. Both scales of Sigma 6 offered robotic exo-suits, and the Pursuit of Cobra line got in on the augmented action with re-tooled versions of a smaller scaled Sigma mech mold. Whew! That’s a mess o’ mechs.
In 2005, MARS got their mitts on the Defense Mech and re-purposed it for their JoeCon appearance. The design of the Defense Mech mold is more suitable for a MARS product than the Cobra Pulverzier, which looks like it would be piloted by a Neosapien rather than a Cobra. There’s something about black, red and gold that just adds both a regal and menacing air. Maybe it’s just Destro’s sense of style rubbing off on them, but I find myself enjoying the color scheme whenever I see it.
Features are carried over from the original toy, including firing missiles and a light/sound action. The year this mold debuted (2004) it seemed as if Hasbro were really starting to find their footing with GI Joe vehicles in this new era. The earlier bulky, Tonka-esque designs were giving way to a more streamlined look, as evidenced by the the Jungle Strike Humvee, Ice Sabre and the wonderfully fun (and huge) Patriot Grizzly. I really need to pull the Grizzly out of the JAD underground motor pool and get it up here on the blog.