If the GI Joe brand lacked one element during its first generation of toys, it was an enemy. Sure, the concept of the original military line was meant to be open-ended–that’s what GI Joe himself was. But the nature of boys’ play almost always involves an antagonist. I see this in my own son, as during almost all of his imaginative play with me, someone has to be the “bad guy”, whether we’re playing with action figures, cars or even blocks. I’ll have to revisit that good-guy, bad-guy block thing sometime–there may be a marketable toy idea in there somewhere.
What can I say about Terron that’s not immediately apparent upon viewing him? The GI Joe Line was being taken into some freaky-deaky weird 70s sci-fi territory after the original Adventure Team was given the heave-ho in 1976. I suppose I should be more specific in that regard, as Super Joe was indeed labeled with Adventure Team, but the words appear to be more of a sub-title. A case of shrinking text to accompany a shrinking action figure.
The function of Terron, besides appearing to be the mutant child of the mating of a triceratops, armadillo and grasshopper, was to terrorize the new Super Joe team. Where does he come from? We don’t know. Is he related to the Intruders of the previous year? Presumably not, but we really don’t know. Is he related to Gor, King of the Terrons? Yes, as Gor is their king. Wait–what? Are they of the same race, or is Terron just some sort of beast of burden? Is he an individual, or the name of a species? Again, we don’t know. My only advice is to repeat to yourself, “it’s just a toy, I should really just relax.”
As a toy, Terron incorporates an interesting action feature. He is battery powered, and lumbers around in his quest to make Super Joe’s life generally difficult. Terron also has a weakness, however. If you shine the (included) laser beam AKA flashlight into the small window below his head, he cries a bloodcurdling scream, emits light from his own eyes and mouth, and stops dead in his tracks. Impressive for a toy from that mellowest of decades. The feature is also activated by the light in Super Joe Commander’s power vest, or The Shield’s shield. Unfortunately, my example of Terron no longer functions, so I can’t demonstrate the effects. Too bad, as it all sounds totally groovy.
My favorite part of the toy’s packaging relates to the suggested age range. It’s 3 1/2. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a toy get quite so specific in its reference to age appropriateness. Why not just go with either 3 or 4? Maybe Terron was just to gosh-darn scary for a 3 year old.