Tracker (Funskool)

I consider myself an “opener” when it comes to toys. After all, if I can’t get my hands on it, what’s the point? While I love well made card and packaging art, that hasn’t translated into my collecting habits. So when I picked up this figure, I fully intended to open it up, as I’ve done with all the Funskool Joes I own. But something has held me back. I don’t know if it’s the card art, since I’ve ripped open other gems of ugliness like Windmill and Cross Country, or if the raft folded neatly behind the figure somehow makes the package just a bit more colorful. Funskool Tracker and his packaging has me at odds with myself.

This figure is a melange of Hasbro hues and Funskool reinterpretation. The shirt and pants are similar to the domestic release, but the socks are where it gets strange. Have you ever seen silver socks? Maybe they’re fireproof, like the old 60s crash crew set. Paint-wise, he’s missing the torso tampo, and doesn’t have any suitably chintzy Funskool replacement text. I was hoping for something like “Tracker” in Brush Script font, or maybe “Undercover” in Comic Sans Bold.

All of the Tracker accessories made the trip over to India, including the strange visor. Somehow a bright blue remold of this inexplicable part makes sense. The visor was always one of the wierder bits of Joe headgear to me; just what purpose did it serve; was it based on some military gear, or was it just there to look cool? Whatever the case, it looked cool on the card art. The figure was a different story, and the visor just seemed too huge when placed on the head.

Speaking of card art, I am continually awed by the horrid re-do of the original. Where the Hasbro version was an impressive vignette of action featuring Tracker piloting his raft, the Funskool remake is a ridiculously stiff and flat rendering of Tracker (now dubbed an Under Cover Operator) climbing out of his raft. Wait a minute, wasn’t this guy a Navy SEAL? Now he’s an Under Cover Operator. Remarkably, the term is both specfic and generic at the same time. It also sounds like the title of an 80s R & B album.

So now I, a collector who loves to open his toys, am stuck in a No Man’s Land with this figure. It looks like it would be a wonderful subject to bust out of its plastic prison and photograph, but the whole presentation as it stands is too much of a testament to Funskool Funk to allow me to take the leap. Maybe I should put it to a vote. What do you all think? Open or not?

 

16 comments

  • So Trackers a Navy SEAL? I thought he was a search and rescue guy. Maybe the socks are chainmail and he’s into live action roleplaying?

  • Well, Rob, you have these pictures for posterity. The absurdity is now safely stored in the tomes of legend. I say you have afforded yourself with the possibility of 2 blog posts for the price of 1 with this little gem. This is just my opinion for you to do with as you will.

  • Throw it back! LOL. The title “Undercover Operator” does sound like a Barry White album however.

    I love the domestic version of Tracker but the Funskool take belongs more with Fisher-Price’s Adventure People. I would only open it to see if the paint’s lead content is truly hazardous enough to knock one on one’s can from excessive handling.

  • Is that the same battle stand from the Commando Attack board game, the one that holds cardboard cut outs as well as figures?

    I should have kept that game.

  • Since this figure is kinda “blah” I would keep it in the package! I’m an opener ,too, EXCEPT if the toy has great packaging or it’s expensive. Seeing how this figure isn’t too expensive-I’d just get another…

  • Yes, some of the Funskool releases inexplicably came with Commando Attack Board Game figure stands.

    I’d just keep this guy MOC at this point. Funskool figures have a kitschy appeal, but open they sometimes disappoint because the quality is spotty.

  • I say leave it carded now, and then open it when your son is old enough to understand the ridiculousness of it all. The two of you can do a joint video review of it.

  • You always give me a good chuckle…. thanks for that!

    I say his socks are chain mail, and he’s wearing it underneath all of his clothes. How awesome is that 🙂

    About the sealed/opened conundrum: you can always open him with a razor and preserve that “gem of ugliness” … I opened dozens of 93-94 figures this way: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=542775849112313&set=a.567800033276561.1073741831.349133401809893&type=3&theater

  • Yeah, I vote to leave it carded; the overall presentation is more spectacular than the low-quality figure could afford. Loose Funskool figures are always out there for cheap, anyway. Now I wanna “track” one down and print a waterslide decal in Brush Script font.

  • I was going to make a crack about needing to make a person-to-person phone call, but I couldn’t locate the operator because she was undercover, but then I realized who frickin’ old talking about person-to-person calls made me.

  • The original Tracker’s one of the few Joe figures I could never convince myself to buy. I remember going down to the store, determined to pick up a new Joe figure. The selection that day must not have been very good, because the choice came down to Tracker or Hardball. Easily, I decided on Hardball.

  • @Carson
    The last time i was moving some stuff around in my vault [man cave], i picked up my carded D.E.F figures by the bubble and the bubble on Muskrat came off as the glue had dried up. I then noticed the same thing had happened to the other carded figures i had.So i opened them by running my thumb down the right hand side of the bubble.

  • Leave carded. International figures do hold greater appeal as a collector. Especially if there’s foreign language printed on the card.

  • There’s really no reason to open the figure. The American version is better and the Funskool version really is better on the card. One thing of note, though, is that the raft is actually different than the American raft. It’s a smaller design that may be a Funskool original.

  • I’ve been tempted to get this as its cheaper to get than the domestic version is loose and complete. I loved the original and this is relatively close. However im not familiar with Funskools quality at all. I only have 2 in my collection ( Zartan and Cobra Commander) and both are hanging on my wall MOC simply because of the appeal of having my two favorite Cobrashangibg on the wall of MOC figures from varying lines that i keep. By and large though im an opener myself. And for the price this Tracker may do in a pinch……..if the QC isn’t that bad.

Leave a Reply to Dreadnok: Spirit Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.