Snow Job (1997)
By Past Nastification
Where does the time go? Two decades have rolled by since Kenner rolled out the second version of the Joes’ first dedicated arctic trooper. Yep, this was technically a Kenner-labeled product following the Hasbro/Kenner merger.
A repaint of the original Snow Job, except for the upper arms, Kenner expanded its use of long-dormant molds. Sure, I’m probably ignoring overseas uses of molds in places like India. But here in the US, most of the molds used for the Star & Stripes set hadn’t seen use in years. The next wave, which included Snow Job, gave us additional new uses of old molds.
All of Snow Job’s arctic-themed gear returned. Snow Job was also packed with Blizzard (a repaint of V3 Frostbite) and Iceberg in an “Arctic Mission Team” three pack.
Kenner’s approach to coloring Snow Job was probably intended to be subtle yet clever, but comes off as timid. The uniform is white with sprayed grey camouflage stripes. The stripes, for lack of a better word, are misty applications. They have faded, poorly defined edges, and look more like weathering than camouflage. They appear to have been applied after the figure was assembled, as the top of the legs on the backside are bare, where they would have been masked by the rear of the waist piece. The stripes are also mostly on the front and back facing surfaces of Snow Job. The left and right are mostly void of the striping. The stripes were nonsensically sprayed on top of the web gear and its buckles.
The ski goggles are silver with black edging. Since Kenner wasn’t doing a reliable job of paint applications for eyes at the time, it’s probably good that Snow Job’s aren’t visible. The black edging is uneven, but I appreciate the attempt to bring some complexity to the design.
It’s also worth noting that this mostly white plastic figure, now 20 years on, isn’t showing any signs of yellowing. By 2003 one of my 1982 Snow Job figures was already yellowing, but 1997 Snow Jobs retains even white coloring. Time will tell if this one will yellow shift or not. As I understand it, the yellowing is caused by the addition of required flame-retardants to the plastic, not the base plastic formula itself, which causes the down-the-road yellowing. If I have that wrong, or if someone can better explain it, please drop a line in the comments!
A bolder concept would have really shown the direction Kenner thought about going. Maybe a grey uniform with white misting on it. But even with the camouflage on it, it’s very similar in feel to the ’83 Snow Job. Most figures I can easily categorize as ones that I like or dislike. This one is different. More than anything, I respect that Kenner tried. Or tried to try. Yoda would probably be less forgiving.