McDonalds Dr. Mindbender
By Past Nastification
Throughout the 1980’s heyday of the A Real American Hero line GI Joe never made any appearances as McDonald’s Happy Meal toys. Like Charlie Brown energetically dislodging the football from Lucy’s condescending grip, it just never happened.
But in 2004, during the New Sculpt era, GI Joe and Ronald McDonald finally crossed paths, resulting in a series of several vehicles and action figures. The vehicles were distorted and silly, with molded-in drivers.
The figures, though, were in 1:18 scale. McDonald’s unsurprisingly stuck with popular characters. This included Duke, Cobra Commander, Snake-Eyes, and Dr. Mindbender.
In 2004 Dr. Mindbender sported a lab coat and glasses. This is a variation of a design originated by Devil’s Due, which wisely moved the mad scientist out of a cape with suspenders and into science garb. His monocle was replaced by sleek eyewear. On a quick side note, I can’t say that I was a big fan of the comics done by Devil’s Due, but Josh Blaylock deserves much more credit for bringing GI Joe back to life than he ever gets. The lab coat echoes Dr. Frankenstein as played by Colin Clive in Universal’s 1931 Frankenstein. The jackboots are a given for any villain ever, so they’re fine, too. There’s a techno-snake backpack molded onto the figure’s back, but it’s unpainted and easy enough to ignore.
Clocking in at five points of articulation, and released as a Happy Meal toy, there’s a legitimate argument that this isn’t really a GI Joe figure. It is a license product, probably not made by Hasbro. Even so, I disagree. The sculpting is surprisingly good- there are crisp details like a row of buttons. It has good proportions- better than many official action figures of the NS era. Several paint applications draw just enough attention to details. And even Hasbro has released official GI Joe figures with five points of articulation (thank you, Retaliation toy line!). The arms are a bit awkward as they’re bent at about 80 degrees at the elbows, probably pre-posed to hold the accessory water squirter. The t-crotch is also odd in that the center part (between the hips) drops down passed the legs when in a sitting-on-the-floor position.
Lost somewhere in the Sea of Toys that is my attic, there is the water squirter accessory to this action figure, so I can’t photograph it. It’s a gimmick and not really worthy of much discussion.
If you can live with limited poa’s and simply need a Dr. Mindbender to stand next to lab equipment in a diorama, give this one a try.