By Past Nastification
Almost a decade before American children were exposed to the visual poison that was Robojoe, our UK counterparts’ eyeballs were devastated by the Action Force figure Kiwi. Kiwi was the Space Force engineer.
“Space Force?” What? If you’re not familiar, I’ll explain. If you are, skip this paragraph. The ARAH GI Joe team started life as one primary team, eventually adding sub-teams like Tiger Force, Night Force, Sonic Fighters, and Sky Patrol. Action Force did the opposite, not having one main team at the beginning, but four: SAS force (possibly just “SAS”), Z Force, Q Force, and Space Force.
I embrace SAS Force and Z Force wholeheartedly for their realism. SAS Force sports mostly black night-ops style uniforms and Z Force is more about the green uniforms.
Q Force, the ocean specialists, and Space Force, the space specialists, leave me cold. The uniforms and figures, for the most part, are made up of the same molds used to create other Action Force figures. But the colors for both teams look more like Adventure People than any sort of plausible military outfits. The Space Force color set included yellow, orange, blue, and grey. Were you to give someone unfamiliar with action figures of box of random action figures and ask him/her to sort them into an “Action Force” pile and an “Adventure People” pile, Kiwi would probably end up in the Adventure People pile.
Space Force was also given an unimpressive logo. It’s an electrical bolt across a circle. Reminiscent of the logos of DC’s Captain Marvel or the Flash, but looking more like what would be on side of an electrician’s van.
Which brings us back to Kiwi. Unlike some of the other Space Force figures, this figure at least looks like it’s in a space suit. Its right hand has a molded-in weapon/tool (like Galoob later did with phasers in its Star Trek: the Next Generation toyline). Its left arms has a handless stump onto which either a blaster or a robot claw can be connected. There’s even a nifty storage place on the back of the figure. It’s not as bad a design as Robojoe, I suppose, but something about it seems lazy. Maybe it’s because Kiwi is a space hero with a robotic hand (okay- claw) just a few years after Luke Skywalker got a robot hand following some very bad parenting.
Kiwi also came with a flip-down visor and intricate blue tubing (not pictured).
Further damaging the figure are its very wide hips, as if to imply that there’s an ice cream maker somewhere in space that Kiwi just can’t stay away from. The hips are supposed to be armored plating, but they just make him look fat.
Is Kiwi as bad as Robojoe? No. But it still might be the worst of the Action Force Space Force figures, and that’s saying something.
I have no idea what Robojoe is. Is it the figure on the right? All three of these guys suck.
For the time he came out, that design is pretty cool. I was always bummed my Adventure People astronaut helmets couldn’t come off (not sure why, really), and at least Kiwi has a flip-up visor. The molded-on tool is a bummer, but the swappable left hand is creative, and something Hasbro would copy for the BAT years later. Having not grown up with the Action Force, if I’d seen this figure, I probably would’ve painted him black and made him a villain with a cheesy name like “Doctor Klaw”.
Whoa! I think Kiwi actually looks pretty cool. I’ve never seen this figure before.
I unironically love both this guy *and* Robo J.O.E.
I’m digging the Kiwi, but then again, I like Robo-Joe too.
In the UK his bio stated he lost his hand in an accident hence the ability to attach different accessories after surgery…