Space Shot (1994)
The last year of the Joe line was a strange affair. Hasbro tried changing a few thing up a bit, like the card design, but it was ultimately too late. The toy world at that point had moved beyond the small Joes. Hasbro just couldn’t catch lightning in a bottle again, no matter how many concepts and tweaks they tried late in the line. There were however some gems hidden among the sub-groups and general oddities at the end of the vintage line.
One thing that gets me about the final series was the tendency to go short on paint apps. There were numerous figures in the last series that had two paint schemes; one with some painted details and one without. Unfortunately, Space Shot didn’t get much in the way of detailed paint apps, and some very nice bits of his newly molded chest and helmet just seems to blend in. The ultimate effect is a plain looking figure that loses the great little details of the mold. Honestly, at first glance the lack of painted detail on the body here could almost make one mistake it for a Lanard Corps figure.
Obviously they were trying to save tooling dollars by reusing parts. The choice of old parts works well however, especially the padded boots (originally from DEF Mutt).
The backstory of the character is a bit farfetched. The file card describes him as a fly-by-night freighter pilot with a rebellious reputation. Okay, wait a minute. So now we’re into full-blown sci-fi territory? And where have I heard of a rebellious space freighter pilot before? Hmmm… I guess I shouldn’t complain too much, since aliens were also introduced into the line this same year. Fortunately, the Marvel comic simply portrayed him as your basic astronaut trained Joe and not Han Solo Joe.
Overall, the figure is nicely done, even if it goes short on painted detail. I would pick up another one and customize it with a little extra paint, but these days it doesn’t turn up too often on ebay and the like.