Operation: Mountain Eye (2001 Double Duty)
Time for more Double Duty, the 12 inch line that gave kids more bang for their buck, with double the missions and equipment. This time, Joe is taking on an assignment of the mountain climbing and sniper variety. That’s one of the things I find fascinating about this short lived series: the juxtaposition of two sort-of-related military missions. This one is akin to a strange sort of action figure biathlon, with the team scaling a mountain (shirtless), then changing into camouflaged parkas to blow up an unnamed base using their missile-firing rifles.
First off, is it wise to climb a mountain shirtless? I’m no Edmund Hillary, but I would think one would need some kind of covering on one’s torso, since your average rock surface is very unforgiving to human skin. This poor guy’s got exposed nips. One slip, and he’s in for some deep hurting. Ouch. Maybe he should just wear the parka on the way up the mountain, instead of carrying it on his back.
Both outfits are relatively simple affairs, but I think the starkness works well, and there is quite a bit of play value for a lower price point set. The climbing harness is interesting, although I have to wonder how long it’ll hold up, being made entirely of elastic. Almost all of my 90s Hall of Fame figures’ elastic straps have lost their strength over time, and stretched out.
I must say, there are some really interesting colors going on with this set, in regards to both outfits. I’m a sucker for outlandish camo patterns, and the parka included has the same kind of geometric style that thrilled me in the Adventures 2010 line. The mask also made an appearance in that same fantastically futuristic line. It’s sort of a take-off on the iconic Snake Eyes mask of the 80s. The blue and silver combo looks nice, although I can’t rightly say why Joe needs a mask to climb a mountain. At least he won’t scrape up his face if he slips.
Joe is equipped with a very nice scoped rifle and a missile-firing attachment that may look familiar to those who collected the 90s Hall of Fame line. There’s a firing grappling hook that includes what must be forty yards of string. He also has a pickaxe to help him get on up that mountain.
There weren’t very many sets in the Double Duty line, and that’s a shame. Most of them tread a fun and funky line between adventure and military, and in a way harked back to the interim Adventures of GI Joe segment, which was sandwiched between the original military focused figures and the Adventure Team of the 70s. There’s something pretty cool about both looks here. Even though Double Duty portrayed a GI Joe of the everyman variety, that shirtless mountain climber is dying for an awesome code name.