Rapid-Fire (1993)

1993 was an exciting year for the Hall of Fame GI Joe line. The interest created by the previous year’s releases prompted Hasbro to delve deeper into the Real American Hero cast of characters, releasing 12 inch scale versions of some of the most requested iconic Joes and Cobras. The line expanded into carded mission gear and weapon sets, a talking figure, and even added a vehicle. The series also went back to its beginnings and offered an exclusive, this time via Toys R Us.

Rapid-Fire is no stranger to appearing in odd and different formats. His initial small-scale figure was included in a package with a VHS cassette tape that featured a DIC cartoon episode. That figure was a bit goofy looking, appearing in neon green armor, with purple pants and hot pink highlights. Not exactly the most subdued of uniforms.

While his 1990 figure was garish, this version goes the commando route, actually titling the figure “the Ultimate Commando.” Dressed in urban camouflage, equipped with a tactical vest and loaded with accessories, the look is the antithesis of his previous incarnation. He’s also gone from a brunette to a blonde in the ensuing years. Specifically, the head was previously used as Hall of Fame Grunt. The fuzzy hair really makes it stand out and look quite a bit different from its original release.

Captain Rapid-Fire’s background is impressive: fluent in multiple languages, airborne qualified and a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. It all seemed a little far fetched with the original green outfitted Super Trooper repaint, but here it doesn’t seem quite as Mary Sue-ish. Funny what a toned down outfit can do for you.

Of course, as cool as the outfit and accesssories are, the underlying figure itself is the elephant in the room. The Hall of Fame series wasn’t much for playability in terms of articulation. That’s a real shame here, as there is a lot of play value in the weaponry, and the grey camo is such a striking look. I imagine that once kids busted this guy out of his package, they were probably disappointed that he didn’t move around all that well. It’s unfortunate that the Hall of Fame line ended before Hasbro released the much improved Classic Collection body. Of course, since the 12 inch figures’ uniforms are removable, it’s a situation that’s fairly easily remedied.


  • The “neon twin” of Supr Trooper!

  • After all these years, I finally found a reason to get this guy: The head sculpt. Somebody at Hasbro was a Vic Morrow fan and watched his 60’s WWII series Combat! That face and hair color are unmistakably Morrow’s.

  • I remeber, back in ’93 there was a bit of a resurgance in Joe interest to the extent that the local news did a story on Hall of fame Duke.

    On the subject of 12′ vehicles, I picked up the Action man Action jeep in 1996. Its identical to that Hall of fame jeep. The grill even has “G.I.JOE” still printed on it. Its too big to display so i passed it onto my Neice and Nephew and they both love it.

    The last time i was reorganising my collection, i noticed i had a couple of my brothers 12′ Action men dolls from the 90’s and some knockoff men of action uniforms. So i dressed one up as a 90’s Action man and another as a 1960’s Joe [they are being commanded by Omar Bradly] after that i realised i had nearly fifty years of assorted Joe merchandise so i gave each era shelf space. Now if only i can find a Sergeant Savage and Iron Klaw to complete it.

  • Another figure that was completely off the radar for me. I think it was more from the original price point, where my only focus was the little guys and the vehicles at this time. I knew about some of the other big guys, but seeing Rapid Fire had another appearance is really cool. And 20 years ago at that!

  • This guy = awesome! Original Rapid Fire, notsomuch. It might be fun to remake the 3 3/4″ version as this one. I’m surprised he doesn’t have elbows, though.

  • @cyko9

    Several of my little brothers Action men had no elbows and it was really hard to change their uniforms thanks to it. The shirt i have on my improvised ’12 Flint has very badly torn sleeves thanks to the elbows. Maybe it was a nod to “streight” arm figures?

  • I remember back in the day “why a 12″ version of him of all people?” (It’s worth noting that Hawk didn’t get a 12″ figure until Rise of Cobra). I hope if Rapid Fire is remade, that never gets any unique parts, that would ruin his charm.

  • Hasbro UK repurposed Rapid Fire as part of the modern Action Man line they did in the 1990s. Essentially it was the same figure but they put the then iteration of Action Man (his second new sculpt face back then) as well as amending the colour of the spring fire weapons from orange as on this version, to a more neon green – I guess it was to contrast the packaging A.M. had back the which was electric orange…Also, his black vest only had an orange name label printed on the right breast pocket saying ‘ACTION MAN’. As soon as i saw the figure back then I knew where it had originated from…he even had the same crappy body style but had the Action Man logo tattoo on one of his shoulders as did all A.M.s in the new line back then as a marque of ‘authenticity…

    If you look here in this Flickr album you’ll see the toy itself:


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