The cynical may consider female Joes “tokens”, or out of place in a boys’ toy line, but it’s refreshing to consider that despite the conventional wisdom of “boys don’t want to play with an icky toy girl”, Hasbro still thought it important to include a female character amongst the Joes from day one. Though there haven’t been a large number of women on the Joe team since, there’s no denying their impact, whether it be in the toy line, comics or cartoons, over the years.
Scarlett has been an equal participant in the Joe adventures, at times even taking a leading role in missions. She was as capable a fighter as anyone else on the team. In fact, she was quite the fierce hand-to-hand combatant in both the comics and cartoons. Scarlett also wasn’t a damsel in distress to be repeatedly captured by the enemy and rescued by the men.
This first representation of Scarlett, like the other original 1982 Joe team members, may look a little clunky in hindsight. But consider what even these early figures represent for their time. Star Wars, the king of the boys’ toys aisle, though based on a monumentally popular film series, didn’t compare to GI Joe in terms of articulation. Other toy lines like Micronauts and the Mego 3 & 3/4 inch licensed properties offered similar levels of poseability, but didn’t feature the kind of one-two marketing punch of file cards and an ongoing comic book. The molding and articulation improvements that were to come later in the decade helped to further propel GI Joe (and Hasbro) into becoming a toy powerhouse of the 80’s.
When looking closely again at this figure, I’m still amazed at the small details throughout the sculpt. From her outfit, to the throwing stars to the concealed wrist gun, Scarlett’s design embodies the small Joe line’s marriage of military/secret agent/superhero style that’s always set off the bells on my (still functioning) internal eight-year-old kid cool alarm. So while she may not be the most beautiful representation of the female form in plastic, Scarlett, like her other straight-arm teammates still holds an honored place in my collection.
Can’t get enough of Scarlett? Check out this figure, and every other A Real American Hero figure, from every angle on our partner site, 3DJoes.com