Joe Toys That Could Have Been: MASS Device Figures – Part 1
By Past Nastification
This week I continue looking at Sunbow’s MASS Device mini-series as a source for toys. Last week I talked about the vehicles Hasbro could make, now I’ll talk about potential action figures. If you’ve seen the customs I’ve made based on many of these characters, my apologies in advance for repeating my thoughts. The MASS Device series has plenty of action figure subjects to cover, so stay tuned for the next entry soon!
Cloaked Destro: When arriving at the Cobra headquarters, Destro wore a hooded cape and a cloak over his already-crazy outfit. Almost looking like a Jedi, this would be easy for Hasbro to make with some rubber pop-on accessories.
Flagg/Hooper: General Flagg and Major Hooper met Duke to have GI Joe test a military facility’s security. General Flagg is closer in appearance to the comic books’ General Austin. Major Hooper turned out to be the Baroness in disguise, which explained her puffy face but thin legs. Even though the dress green uniform has been retired by the US Army, this is what the figures should be wearing. If you’ve read any of my rants on joecustoms.com, then you already know how frustrated I am that Hasbro has never really put out a decent dress uniform or civilian suited figure. Bonus points if Hasbro could make Major Hooper/the Baroness a working disguise figure.
US Soldiers: The Joes were supposed to be the best of the best. So by comparing them to standard American Soldiers of the day, Sunbow showed us that the Joes and their fancy attire were slightly ahead of the time. Sporting baggier uniforms and pre-composite helmets, the generic Sunbow US Soldier design looks dated now- and even cooler for it. By way of the 30th anniversary generic soldier/marine figures (later released as keychain figures) we sort of got this in 3.75 format.
Cobra Captives/Selina: Cobra held a cave dungeon full of captives. This included Duke’s raven-haired lady-on-the-side, Selina. If Hasbro were to work up figures for a few captives, it could easily recolor them and their tattered clothing for re-release as zombies.
Dr. Vandermeer: Star Trek’s Scotty hadn’t been born yet, and the Joes needed help putting together a transporter. Who did they ask for help? Dr. Vandermeer, the super nerd! Yes, another figure in a suit.
Ramar: Freakishly tall and strong, and most likely suffering from unimaginable halitosis, Ramar was forced to fight Duke in the Cobra Arena of Sport. He and Selina later joined in the fight against Cobra. This would probably be the tallest 1:18 figure Hasbro could make.
Science Nerds: Dr. Vandermeer couldn’t do all that nerding by himself. Yet again, I ask Hasbro to get over its fear of sculpting suits.
I’ve always thought that Ramar was just a He-Man rip off.
The cloaked Destro would have been a great figure and played into the mystery persona that Hama kept going for a couple of months in the comic.
Ramar could’ve been done in the scale of the Mega Monsters. Maybe a little smaller. And for cloaked Destro, Hasbro could’ve gone with soft goods.
Well, Ramar could have also been done in the scale of the Visionaries figures. Him, and also the original Nemesis Enforcer figure.
While Vandermeer isn’t so important on his own, so many of the cartoon plots involved civilian scientists. A figure like that could’ve been very useful.
Dr.Vandermeer could have been a good guy version of the future Dr.Mindbender , for the Joes.
The Hasbro folks should release the Ramar, and Selina figures together. And, a Baroness figure in a Spy Troops style Major Hooper disguise, is a very good idea. Too bad that they won’t be o-ring figures, though. But, posing Ramar, and the 2008 Nemesis Enforcer, together in one of those WWE wrestling rings, would look really cool. Speaking of General Flagg, I couldn’t help but notice how the 90’s General Flagg figure resembles Colonel Sharp more, but without the glasses. I read years ago on some website, that that figure is supposed to be the son of General Flagg. Could it be possible that that figure was originally meant to have been a Colonel Sharp figure instead? Even the colors on the 92 General Flagg figure, look similar to Colonel Sharp’s uniform colors. Anyway, it would have been really cool if the Hasbro folks had released figures of all of those characters from the tv show, and the comics, including General Austin.
I doubt it was meant to be Sharp. Why? Because in 1991 Hasbro started remaking a lot more characters, in part based on who was popular in the comic and which characters fans who wrote in said they liked (so I read once), and in doing so they started to follow comic continuity somewhat (like Mindbender’s battle corps file card mentions he was sealed in the freighter but says he survived, but not by cloning). Since General Flagg was dead, they made his son. Since Col. Brekov and Horrorshow were dead, they made Red Star and Big Bear. Somehow they didn’t make Kwinn’s son…at the time…many years later they did.
Thank you very much for all of that information. I read years ago on some website, that the characters from the comics were just meant to be supporting characters, and that that was the reason why so many of them eventually died, or got killed. Sadly, Kwinn ended up been one of those characters. But, I didn’t know that Col. Brekov, and Horrorshow had died. That story about the freighter was freaking awful. I have read on some websites, that there were so many characters that met their doom in such a terrible way inside that thing. You know, after I read your reply, I went to the Yojoe.com website to look at the artwork on the cover of the 92 General Flagg card, and I just couldn’t help but notice how the character’s artwork looks so much like Colonel Sharp, but without the glasses. And now that I’m thinking about it, I am beginning to remember the first time that I saw that artwork, and I thought that it was a Colonel Sharp figure. I believe that it was on the catalog that was released with the boxed items that same year. Also, I read on some website, that the 2004 General Flagg figure, is actually the father of the 1992 figure.
What I thought was odd back in the day was that Talking Battle Commmander Hawk looked more like an updated comic book General Flagg than Hawk. And Gen. Flagg Jr.’s look was similar to 1986 Hawk, though not so much in the face.
Yes, the comic pack Flagg is the comic book character/father. The comic backs did not use the “no dead characters” rule that the rest of the early 2000’s line had.
I wanted them to the Captives of Cobra from the two-parter of that name. They wore hazmat type suits. Hasbro could’ve used Long-Arm or even the Action Astronaut’s body for a “close enough” version of the male captive brainwashed “troopers”.
Great article, never understood why Hasbro didn’t give us a ‘Sunbow’ 5 pack with Colonel Sharp, Sparks, a Sunbow accurate Zartan, Mara & maybe as the blue costumed female Crimson Guard that interrogated Shipwreck in There’s No Place Like Springfield. At least we got a Sunbow Lady Jaye.