Wild Bill (2008 Comic Pack)
Some fans of Sunbow’s GI Joe cartoon have for years clamored for toy versions of the series’ interpretations of some key characters. From the slightly different, like Flint in a new shade of fatigue shirt or Cobra Commander with a striped battle helmet, to the radically altered like Airborne and Steeler. Some of the changes make for oddities that only existed in the animated series, while others would seem to fit in among the official toy designs as alternate outfits. I find Wild Bill to be a case of the latter. I liked his original 1983 figure, but also wanted to see him in his Sunbow blue and orange getup. Strangely enough, this one showed up not in a DVD battle pack, but a comic pack. Wasn’t Bill usually in green, brown or tan in the Marvel comic?
Wild Bill’s 25th Anniversary style figure was well traveled within two years. From 2008 to 2009, there were five versions released. Four of the figures were basic repaints of the first single carded issue. The body was also used to create Ace, and while it’s not a bad base, the figure was quite plain. Luckily the modern figure construction allows for added embellishments, and Wild Bill’s additions of new feet, belt and a very nice vest helped bring some interest. On the plus side, I’ve always thought that the Ace body was a good choice, since it appears to be tall and lanky, which seems to fit Bill’s character.
Wild Bill still suffers from a tiny head, a problem that followed the modern iteration of the Joe team’s premiere helicopter pilot until the Rise of Cobra pilot version in 2009. The itty bitty noggin problem is masked somewhat by the air cav hat and helmet, and you also probably won’t notice if you stuck him in the cockpit of a helicopter.