Toxic Zartan (2007)

For your consideration: Toxic Zartan. Before you hit the ‘Back’ button on your browser, for a moment, take Sigma 6 out of its place in GI Joe history as the line that supplanted an improving small scale line in 2005. Put the mostly god awful cartoon series out of your mind. Look at the figures purely from a toy perspective, without the baggage of what GI Joe had been in the past. Still with me? Good.

Why is Zartan toxic? Does it make sense for a master of disguise? Not really, but who cares? Just look at this figure. I really think that sometimes toy designers just decide to put everything cool they can think of in a design. What more can I say here, except purple, translucent green and Kung Fu Grip?
I often wonder why I’m fascinated by translucent plastic action figures. I think it goes back to the Micronauts line. Now there was the perfect marriage of kid attractors: clear plastic and chrome. Wow, if they had only been able to work a bit of chrome into Zartan here, it could have been sheer toy bliss.

Not that Zartan isn’t a fun figure in his own right. If a funky look isn’t enough, he has an action feature weapon. His prodigiously sized rifle squirts water. Hmm, shades of Eco Warriors? Now that I’m thinking about it, Eco Warriors could have been an interesting angle for Zartan back in the 90s.

In addition to the water squirting rifle, Zartan comes with some wicked looking blades. It’s interesting to note that Zartan in  GI Joe lines of late has taken an interest in bladed weapons. First in Sigma 6, then later in the movie lines. It’s another departure from the norm, but one that I think works for the character, particularly considering the Marvel comic Zartan’s ties to the Arashikage sword master.


  • I remember seeing this guy on a dealer table at Joe Con and have to stop and just look at him for a moment. While I never really got into the Sigma 6 stuff, I had to admit, that was a pretty cool (albeit unusual) looking toy. The cartoon never played in my area, so I don’t have the memory of the cartoon being roundly awful to color my opinion of these guys. While they weren’t my cup of tea, I have to admit, they’re pretty cool looking toys that I imagine would be pretty fun to play with.

  • That’s a really awesome figure. I, too, am fascinated with translucent figures–wish they were more prevalent. You’re starting to make me wish I hadn’t been a broke college student when Sig6 was on the pegs…I would have gotten more than I did.

  • I still want one of these figures. Frankly, I love it.

  • Somehow i dont think glowing in the dark would help him blend into the background.
    It also reminds of that truly awful B movie character that got his own lame ass enviromental cartoon. [Hint TJ OMEGA ripped it to shreds]

  • The Toxic Avenger?

  • Acer. Toxic avengers got a terrible cartoon called ‘Toxic crusaders’. Lasted a total of five episodes [or something like that] i think the toys were the same scale as sigma six [i think]. I remeber the main gimmick of them was sneezing. Give me the sigma six cartoon over that any day

  • Another cartoon had a similar run–the ill-fated 1991 “Swamp Thing” series. Completely UNRELATED to the work by Alan Moore and Rick Veitch that preceded it.

  • Zartan and family would have been interesting additions to the Eco Warriors line, with their color change features and all that. The Dreadnoks alone contributed to pollution thanks to those hundreds of grape soda bottles and chocolate-covered donut boxes they went through over the years. Cesspool should have hired the lot. Heck, at one point in the comic, CC’s two main cronies were Zarana and Cesspool, so you had a precedent right there.

  • I hate to look as though im hogging the discussion but does it remind anyone else of that Britany Spears video?

  • What did you guys think of Zartan’s role in Retaliation? Did you fellows like it? I thought it kicked ass.

  • Dammit i feel like i’m stealing this website 🙁 I thought making Zartan an ‘evil’ president was a good idea. Wonder if thats the real reason the North Koreans have become so edgy

  • It wasn’t unrelated to the DC comics character. They went with the origin from the early Swamp Thing that the monster was a mutated Alec Holland, not Moore’s take. The USA network live action series did the same, IIRC.

  • The Toxic Crusaders figures shared the same scale (and aesthetic) as the Ninja Turtles, perhaps not surprisingly considering that both were produced by Playmates.

    And I’d still like to get Toxic Zartan.

  • Skymate, the ‘Toxic Crusaders’ cartoon lasted 13 episodes. Further plans were made to have DiC produce a ‘Sgt. Kabukiman’ series, but it didn’t get past the pilot stage.

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