Mutt (1989)

Mutt was one of my favorite figures back in ’84. Imagine my surprise seeing him as part of Slaughter’s Marauders. I confess to not understanding what these strange repaints were about when noticing them in 1989. Those old molds just looked strange hanging on the pegs. What was I doing in a toy store in ’89? The first Batman film was in theaters, and I was totally geeked out on it. I had also seen ads for toys based on it. So I made a run to TRU to seek those out, and in passing noticed the GI Joe section. This was at a time when I felt really embarrassed for going into a toy store, and although I did buy a Toy Biz Batman figure (a pretty awful toy by the way) the Joes I passed by didn’t suck me back in. That wouldn’t happen for a few more years.

The Marauders figures’ color scheme doesn’t do much for me. I much prefer the more subdued look of the vehicles, which leave out the bright blue and green. The DIC Operation Dragonfire cartoon presented a different deco for the team, doing away with the large swaths of paint for a multi colored and camo look that followed the design of each member’s uniform. Each individual looked a bit different, aside from a common element of camo pants. I liked the look so much in fact that I made a few customs based on the animated color scheme. I can’t believe it’s been almost ten years since I made them.

Mutt is missing his unique helmet, and comes with a black version of the simpler ’82-83 helmet. Mutt also broke into the hair dye and became more of a brunette, while Junkyard went all black. Thankfully Junk didn’t end up with any green stripes or a bright blue leash.

While I still like the Mutt figure on the whole, for me this version is just a colorful oddity. I actually find myself really liking and seeing more of a use for the European exclusive repaint.


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  • Well, there is a simple solution to any issue you have with the hair color or helmet choice. If you used V1 Mutt or any of his accessories in a custom, but didn’t use the helmet, give the helmet to this version. You can also swap the head of a V1 junker Mutt onto this–after a fresh coat of paint.

  • 1989. The end of the golden era of comics, toys, and metal music….

  • I have Maraduers Footloose and the colour scheme on him doesnt make much sense. This version of Mutt would look better if he didnt have a blue crayola jacket. On a simmilar note. When my brother was young and we played with our Joes, he only ever wanted to be Junkyard

  • I think the Joe line peaked sometime around ’85 and ’86, but what really made me lose interest was the increased use of repaints, especially when they couldn’t top the originals. Mutt here is one of the best examples, mostly after I noticed that his cool helmet had been swapped for a plain generic one. The only sub-group which ever worked for me after this period was Sky Patrol.

    And yeah, those early Toy Biz DC figures sucked to no end. As Jeremy notes, with the 80’s ending so did the Golden Age of action figure lines along with comics and music. 🙁

  • I didn’t hate the colors used. I did dislike the quality of the figures. They were produced in Brazil, and the plastic was weaker than what we were used to. Also the paint ops, Marauder’s Mutt’s mustache rubs off easier than the original.

    That they were made in Brazil probably affected the character selection. Why did an armored strike team include a dog handler and a firefighter? Mold availabity is why Tiger Force’s line-up changed from the catalog photos (Ripcord, recolored Firefly) to what was released in North America.

    • Well that explains why, at my flea market, I’ve seen a SM Footloose, Mutt and Spirit with broken hands.

    • Is that true, about the plastic? I’ve read here Estrela made the figures but I hadn’t heard before whether they used foreign figures plastic or US GI Joe plastic). Were Slaughter’s Marauders the only one with substandard plastic of the three repaint lines?

      • The marauders figs were made by Estrela and are the same plastic as other Brazilian figures. The insignia is missing on this figure as Estrela removed it from the mold. (
        I’ve been told that this was due to brazil coming out of political oppression at the time and the insignia reminded people of the secret police.)

        The molds were what Estrela had on hand and the US marauders figs are identical to those also released in brazil. (Slaughter, BBQ, footloose, etc.).

        • So Slaughters’ Marauders were the only of the bunch that were outsourced? Hasbro themselves made Tiger Force, Python Patrol, and Night Force? If that’s the case, it would explain why Slaughter’s Marauders seemed so odd in terms of their coloration compared to the other sets.

  • Considering his teammates, I think Mutt got off easy on the bad paint job. Some of his teammates looked like while they were sleeping 4 paint rollers of blue, brown, dark green, light green just rolled across them in a straight line while they slept. The patterns reminded me of those photos of the median lines on roads being sprayed over the roadkill.

    • Yeah, those have not escaped my sight. Haven’t spotted them around here in the wild. If anyone sees them where they should be (like at a dollar store for 3 bucks) Joe A Day will happily accept the donation. 🙂

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