Scrap-Iron (1984)

In 1983, Airborne was one of my favorite figures. The sculpt, accessories and colors worked together to create a figure that was so different from my previous team which consisted of Flash, Grunt and Snake-Eyes. When I got Scrap-Iron in ’84, I noticed that certain parts of him looked–familiar. I knew that the first series of Joes looked alike, but this was the first time when I looked at resued parts and wondered why they did it.

The repeat of Airborne parts however didn’t change my opinion of the figure. In fact, Scrap-Iron quickly became one of my favorite and most used Cobras. I imagined him as a high ranking operative, taking orders directly from Cobra Commander. Plus, he had a huge Cobra symbol on his helmet. In my young mind, that had to stand for a high rank of some kind. Finally, Scrap-Iron looked just plain mean to me, and I imagined he was always in a bad mood. He was a guy you didn’t want to mess with.

If his looks weren’t imposing enough, he also came with a missile launcher, the most impressive accessory of any single figure up to that point. Scrap-Iron was never far from his launcher, and took out many a Joe VAMP in backyard battles with it’s dual missiles. Now that I think of it, I wonder if this large accessory explains the reuse of parts. Was it to save tooling dollars and justify the accessory?


  • Wow, I only realized that Scrappy uses Airborne parts now that you mentioned it. I always paired up Scrap-Iron with Firefly since I didn’t have the Rattler as a kid and Wild Weasel was Firefly’s partner during their initial appearances in the comic. I liked the scar on Scrappy’s face and his file card did make him sound mighty dangerous. He had some memorable moments in the Sunbow cartoon series and remains one of my favorite of the earlier Cobra operatives. I do wish his helmet had been removable, as it made his head look too big and the paint rubbed off pretty easily. (Nothing that a black Sharpie couldn’t fix, though.)

  • I hope to get the versions of Scrap-Iron made up to that point, starting with the DTC version. Basically, for Dio-Story purposes, I want to use most Joes that are in their most current looks (for example, POC Duke, DTC Footloose, VvV Scarlett…).

  • Great character and figure!

  • I also liked Scrap Iron and saw him as a badass (the scar helps). His launcher was heavy artillery for those early Cobras. Seems like I read that the figure design was initially slated for a GIJoe mountaineer, which explains the pitons on his left thigh. I wonder if Airborne trumped that idea, or they just needed more Cobras and repurposed the figure?

    • You are correct on the parts originating on a Joe mountaineeer. Alpine ultimately took part of that original concept figure’s look.

      I always thought Scrap Iron’s head looked like a rush job and the parts starting as a different Joe are likely the cause of that.

      Still, I love this figure. He was one of my faves as a kid and remains a great classic Cobra today. They’re getting pretty tought to find if you want a head with absolutely no paint wear. But, the hunt is worth it.

  • I appreciate him because he isn’t that physically intimidating. He’s probably not gonna kick your butt in a hand to hand fight. No, he’s gonna kill you with some booby trap or new weapon.

    Also he wears a shirt. For awhile there, new enemy characters were shirtless, open vested, sleeveless and/or looked like they wore animal skins.

    Scrappy was a refreshingly old school Cobra.

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