Scarlett (1982)

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.


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  • I still wonder why they never put peg holes in her original mold’s feet. It was a mistake that was partially corrected when the DTC comic pack version came out, only the holes were a little smaller than the normal diameter.

  • She was among the first of my collection too.

  • My only gripes about the figure were the lack of peg holes (due to her boot heels) and trademark red ponytail. She just didn’t look like Scarlett without it. Otherwise, the figure is highly detailed for being part of the initial wave. Scarlett was badass from the start: She pierces Cobra Commander’s hand with a throwing star in the very first issue of the comic! In the book’s second story, she considers using the back-up piece on her glove to take her own life alongside Snake-Eyes, lest they be taken prisoners by the enemy. Now THAT is a hardcore character and the original figure still reminds me of it to this day.

  • Sure she’s a little homely and wears a tan unitard, but I have trouble using any other Scarlett figure than this one (though some recolors are decent). Her “smarter than the average Joe” personality helped integrate her with the team’s command structure, too.

  • Loved this figure back in the day, the throwing stars, gun on the wrist, she just looked so Badarse even dispite the pony tail (which I thought was odd when they added it into the comic and cartoon, but whatever). I do feel Scarlett has never really got a great figure though and she is long overdue.

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    Aside from missing her ponytail, I think this is a fine version of Scarlett. Never had it as a kid, but I know I would’ve loved to have had this one on my Joe team.

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