Steel Brigade 2: Electric Boogaloo (1992)

Will we ever get another mail-in figure in the modern era? Sure, the Rescue Doc mail-in offer was a nice little nod to the 80s, but I miss the figures made exclusively as mail-in offers. Hasbro in the 1990s went crazy with the number of mail-ins, though many were crazily hued. Without a large number of kids buying GI Joe, I suppose it’s too much to ask for a return to the mail-in glory days in today’s market.

I never mailed away for a Steel Brigade figure as a kid. At the time, I really didn’t like the look of the first figure, especially the colors and the long neck. I’ve written about this figure once before, in the early days of the blog. At the time, I was rediscovering a lot of figures that I had first acquired as an adult collector. I still find it an interesting departure from the typical Steel Brigade figure. The gold accents are particularly flashy. I like flashy.

I picked this guy up back in the late 90s, still in its mailer bag. I was instantly impressed with the colors. Yes, there’s some Cobra blue on a Joe figure, but I like the change-up quite a bit. The blue and gold together lend the figure an air of higher rank than the more plain looking original.

Maybe that’s what the Steel Brigade has needed to become more interesting, a commanding officer. The Collectors Club put forth this sort of idea in its 2005 convention figures with the Steel Brigade Commander, but I think putting a named character in charge of the group would be even better. Maybe the modern era figure, painted in this color scheme, with an unmasked head could make for an interesting Steel Brigade CO.


  • I was borne in 1986 but fortunatly, the little rat hole of a town i grew up in still had plenty of Joes in the toy store. They were still getting in early G1 Transformers as of 1996. The oldest Joe i remeber seeing though was Crystal Ball who sat on the peg until 1998

    The day i opened my Mudbuster i was suprised of what fell out of the box. As my Dad picked up the peices to assemble the aquatic coloured 4×4, i picked up a mail order catalouge and my Brother and i filled out the Steel Brigade and creat-a-cobra forms. We had no American currency as we were Australian so we drew little pictures of George Washington and threw them into the envolope as we took that “Picftures of washington” phrase litterally.

    I never got my Steel Brigadier and my Brother never got his Cobra guy. That envolope is probably still sitting in the Cootamundra post offices dead letter box [along with my letters to Optimus Prime]

  • Great story Skymate.

  • I love this figure. I just can’t justify the 400+ dollars it costs these days. Back in March, I paid $ 360 dollars for a mint complete Terrordrome in comparison.Still, This figure is my holy grail item,it really is just a terrific figure. Was it super expensive when you bought it in the late 90’s,Rob?

    @Skymate-too bad Hasbro couldn’t have thrown you some kinda bone.The drawn currency story is hilarious…:)

    • He wasn’t all that expensive when I bought him in the 90s. I picked him up in a lot along with a bunch of other sealed mail-in stock, including the 93 Arctic set, and a JUMP and HAL.

  • The Airborne badge on the chest and the kneepads deserve some paint. Also, coming up with a modern version of this figure shouldn’t be too hard–I could picture this recipe:
    Head–POC/30th Steel Brigadier
    Arms–HISS Scout driver
    Torso–25th Mutt or Lift-Ticket
    Legs–ROC Monkeywrench with the kneepads from the ROC Cobra 5-pack Duke painted black
    Bandolier–25th 3-pack Hawk with the grenade painted gold
    Helmet–POC/30th Steel Brigadier painted gold
    Belt–25th HISS Driver with a gold buckle
    Backpack–25th Greatest Battles Pack Duke painted green
    Weapon–25th Duke

  • @ YT thanks for the comment. I have many more amusing stories involving Joes
    @ Jeremy the one true trouble magnet.
    A couple of years ago i wanted to make a diorama from the climax of Crystal Skull [if you think thats bad try reading some of those Indy comics from the 90’s they are far worse] i completed twelve of those passports to adventure by buying multiples of all those bad Indy figures. None of those crystal skeltons ever appeared. Aparently i wasnt the only one though. There was a problem with the shipping or something.

    And on the subject of foreighn money. The day i stumbled across an American dollar [a proper picture of George Washington] i took it to my Mother and said “Look, Mum, American money. Can we please visit that big green lady?”
    I did make my own custom modern Steel brigadier out of mostly R.O.C Breakers and using a helmet which i think the Pit trooper came with. I also armed him with a 1/72 scale G.I i painted to look like Duke V1. He is meant to be my alter ego after all.

    As for $400. for this guy? Good greif, i thought Heavy Metel was the most expensive after market figure. I’ve assembled 40k armies that were cheaper than that!

  • @ Acer.Nice recipe! For my version, I just took a 30th SB helmet, painted it gold, and stuck it on a Kickstart figure(from that awful mech from P.O.C.)painted him blue and green and stuck that Duke bandolier on it and called it a day. Doesn’t look EXACTLY like the ’92 version, but none of the modern updates ever do anyways!

  • “Childrens’ letters to Optimus Prime” sounds like some Family Guy or maybe Robot Chicken joke.

    Is this Steel Brigade the rarest US figure release? I mean, as unique figure, not some packaging variant.

  • I’m okay with this guy being blue insomuch as he might be an MP or urban ops. The gold is only odd as Joes don’t tend to be flashy (neon, yes, but Cobras are usually the glam ones). He’s not bad, but I think the figure is overvalued these days.
    @Nega: I’d speculate GSB isn’t the rarest figure (maybe Create-A-Cobra or one of the 1994 figures?), but it’s in high demand. Like Starduster, which was much more plentiful, collectors filling that last spot or two have escalated the prices.

  • @Nega
    “DeER Octimes wHy Is U Ded?” [Thats what i wrote from memory]

    This evening i have been pondering making a custom create-a-cobra but as i was checking the bible [Bellormo’s book] i realised that he would look like T.A.R.G.E.T cosplaying as Pinkie pie

    I have found a few odd comics from various thrift stores i bought simply because of the mail in offers in them. One is some sort of blacksploitation afro/ninja guy that has a Gobots camera on the back cover [offer expires 1985] and the other is a Vissionaries last issue which has Steel brigade V1 on the back

    But getting back to this figure. The blue seems an odd choice. Many a fan unfamiliar with the latter runs of figures would think he’s either a custom, knockoff or Cobra. Makes me wonder if anyone picked him up at a yard sale for a buck or two

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    The Steel Brigade has always been a favorite of mine, but I much prefer the original paint scheme.

    If they ever did bring back the Steel Brigade mail-away, I think it would be cool if they made the helmet removable, but added customizable options to the head so you could make it look the way you want. There should be a few different head sculpts to choose from and then you could pick the race and skin tone, hair color, eye color, maybe a facial hair option, etc.

Leave a Reply to Nega Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.