Wild Bill (2004)

I wonder if they were going for a cowboy theme here? For the second time, the Joe helicopter pilot was stereotyped to the hilt. The Battle Corps version put him in 19th century US cavalry gear, and then a decade later this figure went full-on cowpoke. I don’t have a problem with it, simply an observation. But this look does lend itself to the joke of the Joes sometimes resembling the Village People. I don’t think the joke is warranted. In fact, I think Lanard’s CORPS line came closer to that territory. They had an actual motorcycle cop in their lineup.

What I get out of this figure is another example of an adventure character, a concept that the Joe line hasn’t effectively explored since the 70’s. There have been fits and starts, with the modern 12 inch and Sigma 6 Adventure Team sets, as well as the delightfully cheesy Adventures of GI Joe 2010 (from 1999). But the 3 & 3/4 inch lines have glossed over it. I think the smaller scale really lends itself to the concept. After all, look at what Fisher Price did in the past with the Adventure People, and does now with Imaginext, and also what Chap Mei is doing with its non-military lines.

Back to Wild Bill. He’s a fun figure, in a Rescue Heroes kind of way. I see him as Wild Bill when he’s off duty, and working at his ranch. He’s got his hat, boots and big work gloves, and of course he’s ready for trouble with his twin six-shooters (in snakeskin holsters). Bill even wears a big-ass belt buckle. He could have really used a horse though. Come on, Hasbro, where’s our official Joe-scale horse? I’m tired of borrowing from Indiana Jones and True Heroes.

8 comments

  • Of course, his six-shooters got reused in the 25th Anniversary line, with the four Wild Bills and seven types of Crimson Guardsmen they released. And let’s not forget how his torso, waist, legs and six-shooters were used for the 2006 Joe Colton.

  • A figure I keep think that probably looks great on paper when you describe it but something is lost in the translation to figure form. The face sculpt leaves much to be desired and looks more like Mongomery Gentry than any WB I have seen before. Thos shoulders are better than most we see in that era but wow they are still ugly. It’s a nice idea, but it’s easy to see this could have been so much better given the chance.

  • Version 1 of Bill is still the best.

  • He’s way too buffed to be “the” classic Wild Bill. Plus, the goatee and lack of shades would lead me to believe that he’s either Bill Junior or Young Will Hardy. And speaking of the Village People, it looks like Bill here swiped the Construction Worker’s gloves. The Corps did rock that VP look with figures such as Chopper, but Hasbro could give Lanard a run for their money with a boxed set featuring Tollbooth, Spirit, any bearded Dreadnok, Shipwreck and this here version of a strangely rejuvenated W.B.

  • That tiny little head sculpt sort of reminds me of the shrunken head guy from Beetlejuice.

  • I don’t have fond memories of the JvC sculpt era. Looking at this figure, though, makes me realize that even my jaded view isn’t hard enough on those sculpts. This figure really doesn’t look like a Hasbro offering. If I found it in a Thrift store, I would think it a Corps or knockoff. That’s a pretty hard indictment for a line whole hallmark was supposed to be quality.

  • How many people have shoulders as big as their head?

    Also, head is too cartoony. A lot of them were from that era.

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