by Flag Points‘ Dave
Thunder’s not every Joe fan’s favorite, but he holds a special place in this toy-collector’s heart, let me tell ya. The slugger does too, even though I’ve heard many Joe fans bash the funny-looking tank. But something happens when you get a completely-unexpected, fairly plain Joe and his funny-looking tank from your Aunt and Uncle on Christmas day, 1984 after you’ve opened all your “good stuff” at your own house that morning. Sgt. Matt Breckinridge and his Slugger become some of your favorite toys of all time simply because of the experience you had with them 28 years ago.
As soon as I ripped him out of his bubble, I appreciated the colors chosen for the fig. I loved Rip Cord too, and to me, these guys had a very similar vibe. While Thunder lacked the awesome HALO gear RC had, he seemed to me to be a no-nonsense, get-things-done kinda guy. I thought of him as an unsung hero and he certainly was unsung in the comics and the toon for the most part. I know now where and when he appeared in the media, but I don’t really remember watching him on the TV or reading about him in the comics as a kid. To me, he was just a cool fig and reliable character with a VERY powerful tank that probably would blow him back a 1/2 mile when fired in real life — even with that self-planting stabilizer blade deployed!