Total Combat Sgt. Savage (1995)
“Deep behind enemy lines, World War II’s greatest military hero leads a small platoon of soldiers on a top secret mission. The year is 1944 and Master Sergeant Robert Steven Savage is about to be ambushed by a traitor in his ranks! Fifty years after that fateful ambush, Savage’s cryognically frozen body is discovered among the ruins of a mysterious laboratory dating back to the 40’s. Incredibly, Savage is revived by the G.I. Joe team and given a special DNA formula to to maintain his youth and super-enhanced strength. Hawk gives him command of the Screaming Eagles, and the chance to avenge his fallen platoon. Once again, this “blast from the past” is about to show the world what being a hero is all about.”
Hey, it’s one of them big GI Joe dolls! The Sgt. Savage line was Hasbro’s answer to flagging GI Joe sales. Released in 1995, the main line was 4 1/2″ scale and befitting its World War II hero, was more military oriented than the final years of vintage 3 3/4″ GI Joe. Borrowing elements from comic icons Sgt. Rock and Captain America, the line failed at retail and quickly died. Even the cursory attempt at connecting it to the previous Joe line didn’t help. It was just too much of a drastic change. The most interesting aspect of the series to me was the excellent package art by comics great Joe Kubert.
Total Combat Sgt. Savage was the lone 12 inch figure released. Utilizing the 90’s GI Joe body, and adding newly sculpted head and big-ass machine gun, the figure is a throwback to an earlier time, much like its subject. The 12 inch body of the time unfortunately is not nearly as poseable as the classic 60’s versions, so the good Sgt. is quite the stiff. The head sculpt is the best part of the figure overall, with appropriately gritty expression, band aid and painted-on stubble.
I give Hasbro credit for trying something new here, even though the concept wasn’t successful.