Tomax and Xamot (1985)

Tomax and Xamot were so fascinating to me in 1985 that I took the first opportunity I could to get to a store and buy the set. It was the same day that I had seen the commercial for their debut comic (during an episode of MASK, no less) and one of my buddies called to ask if I wanted to make a trip to Dolgin’s ( a local department store with locations in the KC area) with him. He was looking for Transformers, and ended up buying Blaster. I got the Crimson Twins. I still think I made out better on the trip.

Just the fact that two GI Joe figures were packaged together was special, but I was particularly fascinated with the packaging. It’s one of the most unique looking carded figure sets in the line. The mirrored finish to the inserts on either side of each brother was a cool touch.

I was instantly hooked on the figures’ look, with their flashy style and abundant cobra motifs. Looking at the head sculpts from a GI Joe history perspective, I wonder if the hairstyles and scar were intentional references to 1960s Joes. The side parted, almost plastered-down hair sure looks similar to those first figures.

As far as Joe media, I had equal exposure to the characters from both the cartoon and comic. I found the debut of the twins in the comic to be much more memorable and exciting than their first appearance in the Sunbow ‘toon. Conceptually, they skirted a line between goofy and cool. The comic I think handled them more deftly, thanks to Larry Hama’s writing. The cartoon versions had their moments though, and the brothers’ sometimes snarky comments were often good for a laugh, at both the Joes’ and Cobra Commander’s expense.


  • My Tomax has seen better days. His symbol has worn off, his joints are loose and and his thumbs are broken but he’s the only crimson guardsmen i have. Hama was certainly ahead of everyone one else by making the villains crooked CEO’s You think that was the inspiration for OCP from Robocop?

    My Grandparents bought me my Blaster. They actually thought it was a real radio. They got a bit irritated when i showed them it wasnt capable of playing music

    As a kid. Not every epsiode was available in the dust bowl i used to live in. I had a copy of lazer in the night and the local video store had Cobrathon + My Brothers keeper and Weather dominator so i didnt really know who or what these two did.

    As an adult collector i must say i think it was a pretty gutsy decission to package two identicle toys. I guess if they were sold seperatly there would have been no way a kid would have bought both of them.

  • I don’t know, these clowns always weirded me out as a kid. Brothers who can feel each other’s pain? Sometimes the concepts that Hasbro came up with were down right bizzare.

  • That mirror finish on the inserts was one of the few times my dad was impressed enough to comment on something I collected. He even got the forward/backward name angle before I did. But for some reason, I never bought the Twins while at retail, nor when Hasbro Direct offered them via mail order a couple of years later. I was always more into Joes than Cobras and I couldn’t possibly “collect ’em all” as a kid.

    Good theory regarding the head sculpts. I never thought they matched the Sunbow designs or anything from the comics, so a homage to 60’s Joes is a more likely explanation.

    I liked the Twins enough as characters. Even quirks such as finishing each others’ sentences or getting one to fall down after you’d smacked the other. It was fun. Larry Hama took a slightly different approach in the comic which wasn’t too far off personality wise, but they dropped out of a sight for several years with no explanation until the Trucial Abysmia arc started.

  • Yeah, I’d say you made out better. Blaster didn’t get any cassettes of his own til 1986. I think the mirrored package was to invoke the twins being mirror images of one another. It was a cool touch. 1980s toy packaging could be excellent. Hasbro had a flair for eye-catching designs with G.I. Joe & Transformers. Other twins used a mirror motif (i.e. Mega Man III’s Gemini Man. Their armor are mirror plates. 1990. By the way, did Snake Man ever remind people of Serpentor when playing it?). I like the snake kneepads. The colors all go well together. 1985 was a great year for the figure design.

    I wonder if those double your pleasure double your fun Doublemint Gum ads might’ve inspired these figures? Not sure of the timing on those beyond “80s”. Transformers had their twins, the clones (Fastlane & Cloudraker, Pounce & Wingspan), but that was in 1987.

    Question, how well did they sell? I don’t recall seeing them around very much in late 1985 or across all 1986 (remember, all Joe figures were available for 2 years til 1990 or so, some of the earlier ones were for 3 years). That might suggest stores sold out of however many they ordered, which by 1985 practices (suggested by the USS Flagg) was probably on the far side from caution.

  • I wonder how it would look if someone made a cast of a torso and waist that merged the two halves (sashes and collars on both side, same with the waist armor), and then someone put the two pauldron’d arms, knife sheathed lower legs, and holster-carrying upper legs on one figure, with the other one having near-bare arms and unadorned legs?

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    The whole “feeling each other’s emotions” was based on the Corsican Brothers. I always thought they were great characters and that these were two of the best figures of the entire line. While we got way too many versions of Snake Eyes, I always thought they should’ve made another release of the Crimson Twins, The Baroness, and others.

  • @Dreadknock Spirit
    Agreed with the different versions of these guys. A shame we had to wait so many years for a suited version. I guess thats because action figures in buisness suits arnt very exciting.

    For many years my sister was convinced she had the ulra-rare, unproduced 1995 Battle corps Baroness but no. On furher ispection it was a franken-joe which vaguely resembled the preproduction artwork.

  • Besides being based on Corsican Brothers, they were probably inspired by the knife throwing circus twins from OCTOPUSSY. Hasbro seemed to emulate movies, look at a few post-ALIENS Joes like Repeater, Dodger, Blaster.

    It nice to have Cobra’s with unmasked faces. I disliked that silver paint rubbed off so easily. Tomax and Xamot were available in mail order for years, maybe leftover ACTION FORCE (Hasbro series) stock? Too bad their CG’s weren’t! One mail-order offer’s story pitted them and Hooded Cobra Commander against Serpentor for control of Cobra.

  • Some of my favorites, I have had a itch to get them MOC lately.

  • I hope to see them in “G.I.JOE 3”!

  • Has anyone else noticed how much the size of Xamot’s scar can vary? I’ve had one of his figures with a really big and very noticeable one as well as one with a tiny one that you can barely even see.

  • I had a just one twin for the longest time that I got loose.

    I was pretty happy when I found the missing twin.

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