Super Trooper (1988)
It’s been a long time getting here, two years in fact. Last year, my first anniversary post covered the 30th anniversary Airtight, a new version of the first figure I ever covered for the blog. This time, I’m looking at a figure that I’d intended to showcase since the beginning, but that had been pushed back time after time. I’m glad to see that I’ve finally come to this point, of two uninterrupted years of daily GI Joe blogging. What better way to commemorate the occasion than with a shiny action figure?
As a kid, I gravitated toward the usual figures that most Joe fans count as favorites. When I came back into GI Joe collecting in 1991, I had an immediate affinity for the odd and unusual, and as time has gone by, I’ve become fascinated by the more toylike figures and vehicles. I suppose you could say I’ve regressed in my adult years. I haven’t gone as far back as chewing on toys however, but only time will tell.
One of the first figures I bought when I returned to toy collecting was the distinctively strange Tracker, who remains a favorite. What’s not to love about a figure that includes a tiny inflatable raft? It makes me want to play Joes in the tub again, but I don’t want to deal with rusty screws in my collection. Anyway, as I dug deeper into the figures I had missed during my hiatus, there were so many that piqued my new interests. But a certain individual stood out from all the others: the Super Trooper. Where do I begin with him, other than to say he certainly looks super, what with his chromed accoutrements. Considering his name and look, one might take him for a super hero, but the file card simply paints him as an extremely capable soldier. The mini-comic from his offer booklet and the TV commercial portray him in a more superhuman light.
He’s one of the more heavily promoted mail-ins, which started all the way back with Cobra Commander in ’82. There were later offerings, but Super Trooper was boldly publicized with stickers on the front of figure packages. The cynical might say that the mail-in concepts got progressively goofy over the years, going from classics like the hooded Cobra Commander and Duke to the likes of the Fridge and this guy. But I think there’s a spirit of fun to Super Trooper, not unlike the cereal prizes of old.
Made up of parts from four different figures, he’s a patchwork of a Joe that only really comes together because of the unifying effects of chromed plastic. Even his gun is chromed, an effect that wouldn’t be seen again until the Funskool pastiche version of Cross Country.
Yes, he’s gaudy and ridiculous, a crazed chromed commando of epic proportions, but he can have a place in a GI Joe collection. Use him as a morale booster, a sort of rallying point for the troops. That’s what he’s been for me. When it’s gotten hard to write and at the times I’ve wanted to pack it in, I’ve thought,”No, I won’t give in yet, because I still need to cover Super Trooper.”
Well, here he is, and here we are. Two years. I’m amazed. Here’s to two more, or as many as I can manage. Finally, Super Trooper, you can enjoy the fleeting spotlight of Joe A Day. It’s your time to shine.