The Power of Packaging: Outback

Outback is to me one of the most compelling figures of 1987, the year in which I stopped collecting GI Joes. Other interests began to grab my attention, and toys fell be the wayside. That’s not to say that I wasn’t impressed with my last childhood hurrah for the toy line.

Outback is a figure whose packaging art is just as cool as the toy inside. Where other figures were lacking compared to the artistic rendering on their cardbacks, Outback stole the show for me as a Joe who triggered so many ideas for adventure. He was also a character who, in hindsight, appears to be a bit of throwback (in looks and specialty) to the Adventure Team of the 70s. True homage, or coincidence? Who knows, but the guy is cool.



  • I thought he was inspired by Chuck Norris?

  • I liked Outback a lot; he was kindofa “real” superhero versus a guy like Super Trooper. Usually, he was posted to the Bivouac with Sneak Peek, who often got shot, and Outback carried him to safety. Almost a Rambo type for me. Never liked how his webgear fit, though.

  • I’d never noticed the snow capped mountain in the background. High res scans really bring that out.

    Outback is a badass in this photo and I think it (and his comic introduction) really cemented the character for me and made me like the figure moreso than I would have if it was just the figure alone.

    One of my great laments of the 2000’s was that we never got an updated Outback repaint. Hasbro had the mold and just didn’t release him. It’s sad that so many great molds were ignored while Avalanche, SSF Stalker and others got made.

  • I remember seeing this hanging on the peg at TRU. When I saw the removable flashlight, I was sold! Finally they had listened to the voice inside my head who kept saying, make the grenades, guns, knives, and flashlights removable!!!!! Awesome looking card art!!!

  • The outback card made him way cooler! I remember having outback though and the white Tshirt really limited my young mind because I felt he was so noticeable that he always got shot early and was in the bushes trying to “survive” by applying his own pressure to his wound alla chuck Norris! Another good example of the power of packaging is 89′ snake eyes he looks like he is gonna be so awesome and when I bought him at try when I was 5 it was a race to get home to open him but what a dud the figure was a huge let down, he looks way cooler as a concept on the card! Recently got my son this version and he still likes the other one better something never change.

  • The art sold that figure! The flashlight was awesome too. Web gear is cool, the backpack is huge, one of the biggest. Unless you count stalkers kayak.

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