The Power of Packaging: AH-74 Desert Apache

Here’s an example of a toy’s packaging doing its darndest to sell the item that lurks inside. I think this copter is on many Joe collectors’ “oh yeah, that exists” lists. I haven’t tracked it down personally, but maybe someday I will.

There’s a reason why no figure is pictured riding in the vehicle on the back of the box. They don’t fit too well. The mold originated with Hasbro’s Flying Fighters, which were scaled to a smaller size than the small Joe line.



  • ”Hasbro reaching out into the ”Operation:Desert Storm” ,time frame from 1991.Seeing a lot of the real AH-64 Apache anti-tank attack helicopters , at the time during the attack on Bagdad,this G.I.Joe tank-buster was based on.

  • If I’d have seen this at retail, I’d have bought it based on the box art. Of course, I’d have been very disappointed when I opened it, though. Not a great Joe toy at all.

    • Know what stopped me from buying it? The picture of the actual product on the back.

      • Same here. I was still collecting at the time and couldn’t make myself buy the thing. Funny, this was a more obscure release from its era, and in the late 90’s some people thought it was an undiscovered gem. But they had no idea. Even to this day, still doesn’t have good loose pictures of it.

  • Let’s be honest. The Sonic and Super Sonic Fighters figures are great, the vehicles are pieces of crap.

  • Oh, it was based on a mold from another toyline? I hadn’t known that. It always seemed “odd” in several ways.

  • I turned a True heroes [I think that’s the brand] apache into a tiger force apache

  • Was the Godzilla version before or after this one?

    I have the Godzilla version in the closet.

  • It had a marked down price at Kmart and it was bought for me at the time. It really is deceptively sold with that box rendering, mostly by the inclusion of a glass canopy and the depicted size of Lt. Falcon inside. From this box cover art perspective it looks like a second figure could fit in that cockpit.

    The sound stick was fun to play with. A nice strong handle attachment that slid solidly onto the boom of the chopper and allowed a side to side push of the (sort of) cyclic button. Heavy Duty’s spring firing rocket pods were nice on the pylons.

    Those were the high points for me. I found the size and the canopy underwhelming. It was more of a tubular shoulder harness that left a head sticking up and arms flailing out the sides. The chin gun had more realistic detail, but lacked good movement range and size. The engine cover, if that is what it is, gave opening to a hollow inside.

    This would maybe be a great Sigma 6 mission scale helicopter if anyone is collecting those.

    I don’t know if these are rare, but for awhile years back the prices made me wonder if my trade for a Fang II was me on the short end. I still think I came out just fine on that trade, though.

Leave a 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.