S.L.A.M. (1987)

1987’s vehicle offerings encompassed a vast range of purposes and designs, from the functionally sublime to the utterly ridiculous. The Strategic Long-Range Artillery Machine (SLAM) manages to incorporate a little of both. As a vehicle, and it is a vehicle, since it has an engine, and even a tow hook, the SLAM looks a bit like a tank turret was severed and placed onto a motorized platform.

As an artillery piece, it’s armed to the hilt. This thing has a higher missile count than a Skystriker, with ten small missiles. Missiles which, by the way, are frustratingly fiddly to attach, especially with adult sized fingers. There may be a ridiculous amount of surface to air armaments, but those ten missiles clustered together look pretty sweet.

The unique features just keep on coming, with the dual seated controls. Two Joes sit in the SLAM, facing in opposite directions, a very interesting setup. I may have to check with Don from Flag Points to see if there are real military parallels to the rear facing dual driver/operator concept. A high powered cannon needs to have some stability when firing, so there are four stabilizers that pull out of the four corners. They’re fairly ingeniously designed, as the units slide in next to one another, allowing for an impressively wide footprint when extended.

The earlier years perfected the big fun in a small package, low price point items, and this is a continuation of the theme that’s well worth checking out. You can probably even hook up the Road Toad to the back of it, if you’re so inclined.


  • This is the stuff vehicle-wise I wish Hasbro would get around to updating. The S.L.A.M. is a neat-looking little piece that while functional clearly has some elements of the fantastical, but that’s why I like it. I love small vehicles, and this one just continues my streak of liking the odd little Joe vehicles.

  • I have to say, since I started collecting, I found the SLAM to be one of my favorite Joe vehicles. Just the name alone really makes me like it.

  • I’ve said this before a few times. When i was a kid. The only Transformers cartoon i had was Hoist goes Hollywood [which is now hysterically ironic] and at the end of the episode was a commercial for the S.L.A.M, Sergeant Slaughter and the motorised battlepacks. I soon managed to find a SLAM afterwards at a second hand score. For seven bucks i got a sky hawk, SLAM, V1 Duke, and castle Greyskull. I only had them about a week before they were all donated to the “needy” kids. The needy kids lived in a three story house with an ornate water feature out the front.

    This past Febuary i managed to replace my old SLAM and it is proudly manned by my Crazylegs and Fastdraw. I have one problem. How do the shells fit in? Is it a muzzle loader?

  • With me, it turned out to be the opposite. By 1987, I was well into my teen years and drifting out of collecting. I remember the S.L.A.M. was among the final vehicles I bought at retail and it left me kinda bummed out. Maybe it’s the combination of fact and fantasy Rob pointed out but the vehicles coming out at the time didn’t grab me the way stuff from ’82 through ’84 had done. I think the last vehicle I remember truly enjoying was the ’88 Desert Fox. Realism had gone out the window for the most part in the late 80’s.

    Still, I did put the S.L.A.M. through its paces in our new, spacious backyard, which at one point lacked a fence. Not checking it out thoroughly, I wasn’t sure if the S.L.A.M. was a vehicle per se, or a towable weapon, but I liked the two-seat arrangement with the figures sitting opposite each other.

    I remember killing off Psyche-Out at his post thanks to a spot of red Play-Doh on the back of his head where his antenna lay rooted. (I really, really hated that figure to no end.) The S.L.A.M. saw active duty during the cold weather months as well. (With its towering pine trees, that backyard made for an awesome winter battleground!)

    After around two years, I sold off the S.L.A.M. along with the rest of my Joe collection and moved out west from the Chicago suburbs to Orange County, CA. Heck, this post brought back enough memories to give the S.L.A.M. another try these twenty-four years later if I should find one at a nice price.

  • I got this little thing from my best bud back in the day. I thought it was pretty cool with those extending legs, spinning and elevating turret, and the many missiles. The tow hook threw me, though, as did the tail lights (?).

    This was a vehicle that ended up in an earlier big trade pile. For me, the SLAM didn’t stand out as a vehicle to me, nor as a tow-able field unit (like the MMS, for example). I think it sat out in front of the HQ as a defensive point, and never really saw much in adventures that I can remember.

  • Steven B. Williams

    I didn’t know that the S.L.A.M. was a self-propelled artillery piece. Now I want to see the turret of the S.L.A.M. on the chassis of an Armadillo.

    When I saw the S.L.A.M. in those fold-out pack-ins, I found it to be a little too weird for me. “Why do you have two guys looking in opposent directions for? To cover the other’s six?”. Oh, well.

  • Needed to be a towed weapon or have that option. I assume the self-propelled aspect is more for maneuvering, because it doesn’t look like you’d drive this any long distances.

    It’s not realistic, but mostly realistic colours (oddly similar to the HAVOC’s colours) help sell it, something later vehicle oddities needed. I do wonder where the ammo goes for the quad guns. What I liked least was the fact that the barrels droop.

  • I call my younger brother, Slam after the Onyx song. “Let the boys be boys”!

  • Reminds me of the “Lover’s Toilet” from Saturday Night Live…

  • 1987 was a year of weird vehicles. the SLAM was a notch more towards realistic than the Buzz Boar, Pogo, or jet hang glider thing. Since the Road Toad also came out in 1987, I believe it was intended to be towed by it. Might want to check a few other things (Coastal Defender) if it has towing built in.

    Years ago, I remember someone saying there was something lewd or vulgar on the S.L.A.M. though they refused to say what because of that forum’s censorship. I was curious what the heck they were talking about but didn’t have a S.L.A.M. so I couldn’t check for it myself. Anyone know what they might be talking about on the stickers, plastic, or box art?

    @ Ben
    “Lover’s Toilet”… The Coastal Defender from 1987 looked like a portapotty. Imagine the chair as a toilet. I think that wins for the most toilet-like vehicle/battlefield accessory from ARAH.

  • @Little Boa
    My S.L.A.M is sitting on my desk as i type and i cant see anything lewed at all about it.
    I think the most risque thing might be that the drivers/gunners hands might touch

  • @ Little Boa
    Yeah Coastal Defender does look like a porta-potty!
    The Love Toilet or whatever it was called was one of their fake commercials. It was two toilets arranged so the seating was oriented similarly to the SLAM. The users could gaze lovingly at each other while taking care of business…

  • I wish some former personnel from Hasbro would say what the heck was going on that gave them so many goofy ideas in 1986 when they were coming up with 1987’s toys.

  • @Little Boa. You know what they say about Executives in the 80’s i think that might explain it.

    Also, speaking as a man who builds a lot of model kits. To me several of the “small” vehicles look as though they are 1/35th kits with extra bits. I’m positive the Armordillo started out as a Sherman and the S.L.A.M has a circular detail on its top, at the base of the guns. That circle is the turret hatch from a 1/35 Panther tank

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