Is Thunder one of the most forgotten of the early 80s GI Joe drivers? I don’t know why, looking at his figure. While he may not have been as colorful as others, his uniform and accessories were unique for the time. Outfitted in a very realistic looking uniform with flak vest and chest holster, he has some of the most realistic sculpting of the early line in terms of his clothing. There’s a lot of the detail that was becoming more prevalent as the line continued.
I’ve always found his accessories to be among the most interesting for the year. The monocular was something unique, and his three part helmet was a fantastic addition that made the figure stand out among the team, even if his colors didn’t.
The file card is pure early Real American Hero brilliance. Terse, yet humorous and colorful, it perfectly illustrates what set the 80s GI Joe line apart from many other toys of the day (and even today’s GI Joe). Just that little bit of succinct exposition put this figure into the ongoing GI Joe story.
While watching some of the first season Sunbow episodes lately, I was surprised at the number of times Thunder appeared, especially in the very trippy two-parter ‘Captives of Cobra.’ Sadly, in the Marvel comic, Thunder was one of the Joes gunned down by the SAW Viper during the infamous Trucial Abysmia mission. Too bad, he was a cool and underused character.