Radar Station (1987 Action Pack)

If there was ever evidence of how big the GI Joe line was in the 80’s, one need only look at the amount and variation of product and its increase as those first few years went by. From the beginning, Hasbro was wise to include a variety of price points in its offerings. There were big ticket items like the MOBAT and the HQ, along with less expensive items like the RAM, JUMP and the even smaller PAC/RATs. Carded accessory packs that included recolored weapons, helmets and backpacks were also a low price option. The line branched out further with an accessory pack that included vehicle missiles. Another outgrowth of the small price point items were the motorized Action Packs, debuting in 1987.

While many of the Action Packs, most of which attached to figures like a standard backpack, were either cumbersome or just plain ridiculous, the Radar Station is a pretty useful battlefield accessory. Its main use to me is to populate a display with a bit of background interest, adding a seldom seen element of defensive GI Joe equipment.

The Radar Station is basically a wind-up toy, whose action is a rotating dish and a spinning radar screen. Simple but effective. Like the other packs, it also has a peg on the back, allowing figures to schlep it around. I’d hate to be the one to pull that duty. The cardback shows Sneek Peek carrying it fairly easily. My man Flint had a harder time, so I’m thinking there was a bit of chicanery going on in the old Hasbro photo. Some poses may require support–no kidding. Maybe the packs were created as a way to increase sales of accessory packs with battle stands.

These sort of toys are really fun, and as crazy as some of them are, they fleshed out the line at a low price point. I’d like to see something like it in the modern line. I suppose the closest we’ve come in recent years were the deluxe figures of the early 2000’s. Now that I think of it, I’d like to see those come back as well, in a form more interesting than the recent cycle figures. A deluxe Night Landing with Eels set is coming, and it looks great, but I want my wind-up axe swinging backpack too.


  • I got this lil’ guy off of Amazon a couple of years ago–carded! The card was a little beat up, but the labels, believe it or not, were still good. Since then, I’ve gotten the 1988 Tank Car, the 1987 Cobra Mountain climber (which no longer works), the Cobra Earth Borer and the Pom-Pom gun, but believe it or not, my first of these was the Joe Helicopter pack, which I got at a garage sale around 2008 or so.

  • Back in the day, my brother and i were offered one each from our Dad on a trip to the local toyworld. I picked the green flak gun thing and my brother picked this one. I hate to sound negetive about this neat little contraption but to a seven year old the action possibilites with it werent as many as they were with the green flak gun thingy

  • That was the Anti-Aircraft gun–another one I got recently.

  • Boy, that “panel removal” label sure got around over the years.

    The Radar Station is a pretty cool accessory. Going by the photo above, it kinda looks like a little robot as well.

    I wasn’t heavily into the line by ’87, but I’ve always liked wind-up toys and most of these guys were too cool to pass up. I ended up getting the Scuba Pack and gave it to Wet-Suit. If Hasbro had done a figure/action pack combo, matching characters to the various packs, these might have sold better.

  • On the subject of the anti aircraft gun, i permantly had it hauled about by Sergeant Slaughter [because he was the only one capable of doing it]. Regarding the radar station, i once saw a stop motion joe movie [starring Shockwave] in which the radar station was a bomb

  • This is my favorite of the motorized action packs by far. I usually had it deployed at the bivouac, since their radio was pretty outdated. Didn’t really use the wind-up feature often, and the mustard color is kinda lame, but this is a great accessory to have around.

  • Flint looks like he needs a chiropractor in that 2nd pic.

    These were pretty nice accessories given their low price points. There was nice variety from the realistic (like this one) to the wild, like some others were.

  • Steven B. Williams

    I really liked these Action Packs. I wasn’t too wild about the Radar Station, but I agree with Rob: I would love to see these brought back (and maybe bundled with a redecoed/retooled figure). The only tooling that would need to be done would be the peg (though the only person who could drive the Tank Car might be 25th Anni/RoC Tunnel Rat).

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