The Human Bullet (2014)
Having been a child in the 70s, I probably should have more memories about mid 70s toys than I do. I have vague memories of getting a Mego Planet of the Apes Dr. Zaius for Christmas, and I do remember having an Evel Knievel stunt set. Unfortunately, I have little to no memory of GI Joe in the 70s. I was just outside that sweet spot of age to have gotten toys from the end of the Adventure Team era. Being a 1976 release, Bullet Man flew just below my kid radar. Of course, two years later, Star Wars toys would show up at just the right time, eclipsing (to my young mind) all other playthings until 1983. The only memory I have of GI Joes at the time came from a visit to an older neighbor’s house. He had what I’m sure was the Adventure Team HQ, plus several fuzzy head Joes. I remember thinking that these huge bearded toy men and their vinyl base were very strange indeed. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate what I missed, and even got into collecting twelve inch Joes during the 90s.
The Kre-O line continues to mine GI Joe history to produce fun and nostalgic new toys. The inclusion of a 70s era figure in each blind bag series has been a welcome little bonus, and a reminder to all of the small-Joe era fans that there’s more to the brand than just the Real American Hero years. Yes, Bullet Man is a reminder of the waning days of the first generation of Joes, but I’ll be darned if the old goofball isn’t just fun. Hopefully, the line will continue and the design team can break into the Super Joe characters. Wouldn’t a Kre-O Luminos or Darkon be just grand?
Bullet Man’s cartoonishness translates perfectly into the brick format, and though the figure is wearing an obvious Decepticon Seeker cone head, I don’t care. It works for me. The tiny zip line is also a great accessory–heck, a zip line is always a great accessory in my book. It worked (sort of) for the original, and this version is even better. I especially like the clear backpack piece. Very snazzy, and almost invisible. As has become the norm, he also comes with a tiny brick version of a figure box–even though Bullet Man was sold carded. Oh well, artistic license and all. Finally, Bullet Man’s entire outfit has been faithfully recreated, and I think he marks the first time a Kreon has sported tiny shorts. Here’s to you, Bullet Man. It was a wise decision for Hasbro to feature you front and center on the fifth wave packaging. You (and your shorts) deserve the spotlight.