Metal-Head (1994)

Who would have figured that Metal-Head would get the remake treatment at the tail end of the Real American Hero line? I suppose it was to be somewhat expected, considering his prominence in the DIC cartoon. Speaking of which, although he was quite the goof in that series, I found him to be a bright spot in what was an often lackluster Joe cartoon. For all his foolishness, Metal-Head may be the Zartan or Major Bludd of the fans who were 90’s kids, in that he was prominent and ever-present.

I actually like this design more than the first version. The old one looked good on the card art, and the figure’s accessories were great, but as a whole, I found it lacking, especially the helmet and head sculpt. This one does away with the helmet, presenting Metal-Head with a cybernetic implant that covers one eye and integrates into a wrap around headpiece. I also love the evil grin on his face. I can picture his maniacal voice activated launching commands, “Bang!”

Yes, he’s wearing hot pink, but I don’t mind it (go figure) especially considering his crazed, out-there persona. Although, being a past member of the Iron Grenadiers, he may get some flack from Destro about his choice of colors. If you want an IG version of the mold, seek out the 2005 con set. It’s a pretty brilliant recolor.

The inclusion of a giant missile launcher makes sense for a change, since he’s a tank destruction specialist. Also, in case you’re wondering, his secondary specialty–hockey fight analyst. Not quite the subtle Hama humor of the earlier filecards.

A fair number of old favorites were revisited as the original line closed out, but many were left undone. I’m curious, who would you have liked to see get a reinterpretation back in the 90’s?



  • Metal-Head here is also one of a small number of Battle Corps figures who had a small amount of reused parts from earlier figures. In his case, his came from the 1990 Rock-Viper. The other figures include:
    -Alley-Viper (used the ’89 Alley-Viper’s legs)
    -Backblast (used the original figure’s mold with Topside’s arms)
    -Bazooka (used Bullhorn’s waist and legs)
    -Beachhead (used ’88 Shockwave’s waist and legs)
    -Colonel Courage (used Recoil’s waist and legs)
    -Dial-Tone (used ’87 Tunnel Rat’s arms, Clean-Sweep’s waist and legs)
    -Dr. Mindbender (used ’86 Viper’s waist and legs)
    -Leatherneck (used ’87 Falcon’s waist and legs)
    -Major Bludd (used ’91 Toxo-Viper’s waist and legs)
    -Night Creeper Leader (used ’90 Night Creeper’s waist and legs)
    -Shipwreck (used ’86 Wet-Suit’s waist and legs)

  • The IG version would be my choice. Best sculpt and color combo.

    As for revisited figures, I would have loved updates of the early characters which Hasbro never got to doing again prior to the line’s demise: Flash, Grand Slam, Short-Fuze, Breaker, Steeler, Doc, Airborne, Snow Job, Cover Girl, Torpedo, Tripwire, Recondo, Blowtorch, Rip Cord, Thunder, and so forth.

  • Anyone notice he looks like he’s wearing Robocops chest?

  • It is Robocops chest! 90’s joes were on crack. Or the team at Hasbro was.

  • Hockey Fight Analyst?

    Metalhead is Canadian?

  • I like this version of Metal Head a lot. I didn’t own the original but have the IG version from the Con set. As much as I liked the first Metal Head, he just had so many parts and piece that could fall off that I never found him all that fun to you. He looked really cool on the card but I always found playing with him to be a little bit of a hassle. I kinda wish the first one was a little more simplistic like this one.

  • I kinda like this guy! Not just because he´s called metal-head but he was, like Rob said, a sort of Major Blood character. When I first saw this figure I actually thought that it was a remake of the major. He looks cool but it´s hard to take him serious ´cause of that grin.

    Who would I like to see a reinterpretation of in the nineties?

    Without a doubt The Baroness. I´d kill my spoiled brat neighbor to get my hand on one of those never released battle rangers that were scrapped when the line was discontinued.

  • The original character design was more distinct, but like other’s said, hard to use and fragile, especially those thigh pegs.

    This one is okay, but they did that thing again where they make the waist the same color as the chest, as if these guys are wearing a leotard.

  • I’d liked to have seen 90’s reinterpretations of Raptor, Super Trooper, the early Dreadnoks, Red Dog, Taurus, Steeler, Blowtorch, and Flash. I know I said Raptor, I have a soft spot. He was one of my first Cobra troops. Don’t judge.

  • It’s amazing how much heavy metal music influenced the Joe brand.
    Rock n Roll was a guitarist for a rock/metal band.
    Budo and Thunder were both metal fans.
    Thrasher was an obvious homage to the emerging mid-eighties Thrash Metal scene.
    Then you got charcters like Metal-Head and Heavy Metal.
    Overkill was first a thrash metal band.
    Mainframe enjoys speed-metal. See IDW’s GiJoe:Origins #8
    I think there was a joe named Speed Metal if I’m not correct.

    • Steven B. Williams

      The term ‘thrasher’ was also an 80s term for skateboarders (mainly the hardcore ones), though you could be right regarding Thrash Metal.

  • +Crystal Ball – because I love the original and it would be great if there was a version that the masses of Joe fans loved as well
    +Raptor – same as above
    +Monkeywrench – because he was the least interesting looking Dreadnok and he probably should have come with an actual monkey wrench and maybe some explosives. With a name like that, I think of him has being some sort of ecodefense-type dude, but I suppose that doesn’t really fit into the Dreadnok’s typical predilection. It would be cool if there was one that was a somewhat sympathetic figure, though

  • The head sculpt reminds me of the legendary Tom Savini. Never noticed that until now. Anyone else?

    • In the ’90s, I thought it looked like shock jock Mancow Muller (even though it clearly isn’t based on him since he was not really known then, making it coincidental).

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