Mutt & Junkyard II (2004)
Many of the 90s re-imaginings of older Joe characters don’t get a whole lot of love. Some folks aren’t fond of the bright colors, others don’t care for the gimmick-laden accessories, and still others hate both of the above. Being a toy optimist, I like to look for the positive in anything I pick up. In the case of Mutt’s DEF figure and its repainted Battle Corps version, I found a lot to like. The sculpt is detailed and unique, and I even liked that crazy flashing bola net launcher.
The 2004 convention Tiger Force figures were an attempt at broadening the sub-team, in terms of characters and uniforms. Beachhead, Mutt and Hawk were naturals to get into the group (yeah, I know it’s Zartan, but I think the fig can do double duty). Those three are among the more recognizable Joes, and a throw-in like Hardtop was fine by me. He was a vehicle driver after all. Okay, he’s a weird choice, so let’s just pretend he was planned for a con-exclusive Tiger Force Defiant crawler, but umm…the club couldn’t get the mold at the last minute. What? It could happen.
The color scheme is a bit heavy on the orange, which first occurred in the 2003 Toys R Us Tiger Force set. Stalker and Dial Tone being the most orangetastic of the group. They can’t hold a candle to Beachhead, who inspired me to poetry. Mutt’s top half is similarly bright, although I’m glad they didn’t decide to give him and orange cap. That would have been too much even for me.
Mutt us paired up yet again with a K-9 Joe, and this time it’s Junkyard II. I’ll refrain from an Electric Boogaloo reference–oops, too late. Seems the original Junk was retired to Mutt’s home, but he found a new partner to carry on the tradition, and another Lab at that. Only this time, he’s brown. I guess tiger stripe would have been too on-the-nose.